Is Garnacha the next “great grape”? Find out Tuesdays in April 6pm PST

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Tonight, Tuesday April 21 from 6-7pm PST, is the third night of four focused on “The Next Great Grape: Garnacha” on Wine Studio hosted by Protocol Wine Studio. James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer, WSET Instructor, and public speaker Lyn Farmer aka @FizzFan visited the Cariñena region last June and brings his insights into the history, sights, sounds and tastes to the weekly discussion:

“I believe Cariñena is positioned to take a vibrant place on the world wine stage. It is not (yet) so well known as regions slightly to the north like Ribera del Duero and Rioja, nor is it (yet) so trendy as Priorat and Toro, but Cariñena’s day is coming.”  @FizzFan

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Chianti Classico Adds “Gran Selezione”– Reviews of 4 levels of Ruffino Wine

“Wine and life…They are as inseparable as the sun
and the warmth it brings.”
—Gabriele Tacconi, Ruffino Winemaker

Recently Que Syrah Sue and I participated in a Ruffino Chianti tasting of four wines hosted by Snooth and with a video chat. The occasion for the tasting was their release of their new top of the line “Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010.”

There were four wines in the line-up, and we tasted them in this order. Reviews of each follow.

Ruffino Chianti DOCG 2013
Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico 2012
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva 2011
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 

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PS I Love You: Time for Dark and Delicious and a Glass of Rock Wall Petite Sirah!

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One of the best ways to get to know a type of wine is to taste a whole lot of them at the same time.
And the best way to discover which wines pair with which foods is, again, to taste a lot of foods with that wine!
Coming to your rescue on Friday,  February 20, 2015 from 6-9pm at Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda CA is DARK & DELICIOUS, the preeminent, Petite Sirah event organized by PS I Love You, Inc, a Petite Sirah advocacy group.

Mezzacorona Wine Takes You to the Alps!

Today January 31, 2015 is the final day to enter Mezzacorona Wine’s trip to the Dolomites so it seemed the perfect day to write about their wines and to encourage you to enter via this link. http://woobox.com/8ognsr/dgfbi0

Plus, after Tuesday’s Slow Wine Continue reading

Try These $15 Sauvignon Blancs from Touraine, France

Vineyard_in_the_Loire_Valley Getting ready for tomorrow’s Vouvray twitter tasting with Snooth.com (Weds Aug 6 2014 (5:30pm PST; we’ll be trying two dry wines and two sparkling wines  and learning how Chenin Blanc thrives in the region, and the effects of that terroir) made me recall how many great wines from the Loire Valley in France I’ve had the pleasure to meet in the past year or two.

When it comes to white wines of the Loire Valley, people may think of Muscadet which grows along the river closer to the coast or Vouvray’s Chenin Blanc which is further up river.

The Loire River demarcates France’s weather between the northern climate and the south, adding a few degrees of temperature.  Spring is cool with frost while during grape harvest months it may have rain. Hot summers are moderated by the Atlantic breezes.

The Loire’s Sauvignon Blanc grows in the Touraine region even further up the Loire Valley.  There, under conditions too harsh for other white grapes with high winds and freezing temperatures,  its late bud break and early ripening allows it to flourish in the region’s limestone soils.

Last fall, we gathered at Que Syrah Sue’s and tasted five Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine region of the Loire Valley in France with the TasteLive crew at a twitter event, and what impressed us most about the group was the range of expression in the wines and the great value , with most of them $15 or less.

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WBW#80: Four reasons to love “My Derby Wife” Rose by WineGirl Wines

wbw_logoAt the last three wine bloggers conferences, I lucked out both with amazing pre-conference excursions and great conference expeditions as well. In 2010, a small group of us  traveled on a press trip Seattle to Walla Walla and back, tasting along the way. In 2012, on our pre-conference excursion we dined at King Estates then learned about pinot noir with Robin Pffeifer, then went by TRAIN from Eugene to Portland where I was on the infamous #cuffedincarlton bus.

In 2013, I joined the Seattle to Lake Okanagan trip by way of the Lake Chelan AVA and went on the OK Falls hike where I discovered Painted Rock which I wrote about here also. When the announcement that Wine Blogging Wednesday #80 was Dry Rose, I didn’t have to think too hard about which wine I wanted to write about: “My Derby Wife” rose Continue reading

A Selection of Rodney Strong Wines: Symmetry, Sauv Blanc, Chard, Knotty Vines, Alexander’s Crown

2013-08-12 18.59.54One of our Wine Predator summer 2012 highlights was a twitter tasting that featured Rodney Strong wines. I’m guessing that this summer Rodney Strong wines will be a highlight as well!

Last summer, we tasted several Rodney Strong wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Knotty Vines Zinfandel, and Symmetry. Getting in the mood for Wednesday’s blending party with Rodney Strong wines at the Pierpont Inn, I opened their Chardonnay one night and their Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon on another night.

To Rodney Strong Vineyards, “place matters.”  One of the oldest wineries in Sonoma County, it was started by the charismatic and handsome Rodney Strong, a retired dancer. Family owned and carbon neutral, their certified sustainable practices start with the earth with soil and water conservation and reach toward the sky with solar power (one of the largest by any winery in the world!). They are also one of the rare businesses that are committed to the Triple Bottom Line of Planet, People and Profit, meaning they are not just concerned about making money but taking care of the planet and their employees through social equity.

Below are notes on each of these wines from Rodney Strong. And watch for an upcoming post with pictures and stories from our experiment in blending! Continue reading