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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How To Celebrate #SauvBlanc Day Friday May 16, 2014

downloadHot on the heels of last month’s Malbec Day and with Chardonnay Day on the last Thursday in May breathing down its neck, in the year long parade of days set aside to celebrate particular wines, Sauvignon Blanc Day is coming up on Friday, May 16, 2013.
Want to participate? Using the hashtag of #SauvBlanc and with the possibility to stir up a lively debate about the different styles of #SauvBlanc or at least the consumption of them, it’s easy. All you need to do is:

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Discover Loire Valley’s Touraine Sauvignon Blancs 9/17/13

BUZVm8uCUAA0AzLSauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite wines–it’s flexible, affordable, and a great wine with some of my favorite foods like oysters, chevre goat cheese and french bread, ceasar salad, and pesto with pasta. It’s my go to wine, my always in the fridge or on the shelf wine.

When in doubt, I get the sauvignon blanc out!

After participating in a number of industry tastings, I’m a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand-even the ones that feature a fair amount of gooseberry or cat pee.

Living in California, it’s easy to find locally grown Sauvignon Blanc; a favorite of mine is by Adam Tolmach for his winery, Ojai Vineyards. Continue reading

Rafters, Mammoth CA: Steven Kent Tasting–Lola & Dutton Chardonnay

Last month, after a bluebird afternoon on the slopes at Mammoth Mountain, I participated in a fantastic Twitter Wine tasting featuring Steven Kent Wines hosted by The Rafters Restaurant at the Sierra Nevada Resort 202 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA. Established in 1967; Rafters was recently reborn as a world class restaurant with a 7000 bottle wine list!

Sommelier Chip Irmish had glasses ready and the wines chilled perfectly for me when I dashed back after a few quick turns on the slopes. Continue reading

Celebrate NZ Harvest & CA spring! Villa Maria Thirsty Girl Tasting Weds!

It’s Harvest Time in New Zealand and Spring Time in California! Celebrate both with the first Thirsty Girl #TGTaste Twitter Tasting of 2013 set for Wednesday March 27 at 5 pm PST  (8 pm EST). You’re invited! Continue reading

Foods From Chile Goodie Bag + Wines to taste too!

chilegoodiesWhile I am not packing my bags and brushing up my Spanish for my trip to Chile (at least not this time!), I was excited to open my box of goodies from the Foods from Chile folks.

Enclosed, packed in a Foods From Chile muslin bag, I found these products made from Chilean foods: a bottle of 100% pure blueberry juice, a jar of onion jam in merlot wine, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, and a can of mussels in oil.

That same day I also received three bottles of Malbec for Malbec Madness April 17–two from Argentina, and this 2011 Casillero del Diablo from Concha y Toro in Chile!

In addition, I’m looking forward to tasting two more wines from Chile that are on their way: new releases from  Viña Ventisquero, a leading producer of estate and single vineyard wines–Queulat Sauvignon Blanc and Queulat Pinot Noir.

Queulat Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Varietal:                 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Appellation:          Leyda Valley

SRP:                        $17.99

Queulat Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Varietal:                 100% Pinot Noir

Appellation:          Casablanca Valley

SRP:                        $17.99

And I still have a bottle of Lapostolle Cabernet that I bought last month to use to make the video I submitted as a finalist in the Foods from Chile contest…

So if you, like me, can’t go to Chile, we can at least enjoy Foods (and wines!) from Chile like these!

Sauvignon Blanc Live Twitter Tasting Thursday March 4

Rick Bakas from St. Supery is at it again! A few weeks ago, he organized a live twitter tasting about California Cabernets. Tomorrow, March 4 from 5-7pm, he’s hosting a Sauvignon Blanc tasting. All you need to do to participate is taste and tweet about Sauvignon Blanc wine. If you use the hashtag, #sauvblanc, then other participants will be able to track what you’re saying along with everyone else using, for example, tweetdeck.

He also suggest you get a few friends together and a few bottles of wine and tweet, taste, and talk your way through them. Sounds fun!

Last month, I knew exactly what I was going to be drinking: a Napa Valley Cabernet from Old Creek Ranch Winery. This time, I’m not sure–I need to rummage around and see what I have or make a run up the hill to my mom’s where I keep my wine in the cellar my grandfather built.

Maybe next live twitter tasting I’ll see if John Whitman of Old Creek Ranch or winemaker Michael Meagher would host a group of us tweeters…

If only the #sauvblanc tasting was next Thursday! I’d have so much more to write about because I am going to a HUGE New Zealand tasting with lots of great Sauv Blancs at Nobu in LA on Tuesday March 9! I hope to get a post up about some of the highlights of the tasting on Wednesday March 10.

And be on the lookout for a post about #calicabs as well as one on the two Petite Sirahs I enjoyed for my remote Dark and Delicious tasting!