The Eternal Light Shines in Galilee: Yarden’s Merlot, Pinot Gris with Acorn Squash Couscous, Tangerine Feta Spring Salad #WinePW

A beautiful oil lamp glimmers on the label of Yarden wines.

According to my friend Myr Slosberg, the oil lamp is significant because in Temple you have a light that’s above the Torah that’s always lit with oil. The light signifies the presence of God; the light is to always be lit.

An eternal light shines from these Yarden wines Continue reading

Around the World With Chardonnay: 5 Wines, 5 Countries, 5 Continents #ChardonnayDay 2020

Chardonnay is made– and made well– around the world; here are representatives from Europe/France, Africa/So. Africa, Oceania, Australia, South America/Argentina, and North America/Oregon. Scroll down for tasting and pairing notes.

Just because we have to shelter in place at home doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Chardonnay Day May 21 because all you need is a bottle of Chardonnay to do it! And doesn’t everyone have at least ONE bottle of Chardonnay in cellar if not in the fridge?

Or you can do like we did and celebrate it by traveling literally around the world from home here in North America to taste wine from five countries on five continents!

Back in 2011, Elaine Chukan Brown of Wakawaka Wine Reviews drew this informative illustration about Chardonnay:

As Elaine points out, Continue reading

Cheers to Oregon’s Coelho Chardonnay #OregonWineMonth #ChardonnayDay

“Hands stained from dirt and fruit, aches through your back and legs. As farmers, we’re looking for good soil. You can feel its texture, you can cup it in your hands and smell it.

“This isn’t dirt, this is soil: it’s alive, it has a lot of distinctness from one place to the other. It’s a unique opportunity to use our skills as good farmers on pieces of land that are rich with history and flavor.”

According to the Coelho Winery website. the Coelhos believe that good winemakers are farmers first. The Coelhos see themselves as farmers first, as down to earth people who love to listen and love to share.

Since 2016, Coelho’s winemaker Chris Bertsche handles all aspects of wine production by saying “No problems, only solutions.” Chardonnay is winemaker Chris Bertsche’s go-to varietal, but with many of Pinot Noir and only 1.5 acres of Chardonnay, it’s clear that Coelho as a winery is really serious about Pinot Noir as well. Continue reading

A Toast with Leclerc Briant and an Invitation To Unexpected Pleasures in Champagne #Winophiles

Bouzy Rouge from Gaston Collard. It’s a thing– an unexpected pleasure, a red wine in Champagne!

Red still wine? In Champagne?

During my visits to Champagne just before harvest in 2018 and at the end of harvest in 2019, I tasted many unexpected pleasures including Gaston Collard’s biodynamic red wine made from Bouzy pinot noir in the barrel and the bottle.

Yes, red wine from Bouzy is a thing– a Champagne thing — and it’s called Coteaux Champenois. What an unexpected pleasure!

Because when we think about wine from Champagne, usually it’s the big sparkling wine houses that come to mind– the labels we see on a regular basis in the grocery store like Moet & Chandon, G. H. Mumm, Laurent Perrier, Bollinger, Veuve Cliquot, Taittinger, Piper-Heidsieck, Nicolas Feuillatte.

Just like when we pop open a bottle of Coca-Cola we expect a specific flavor, we expect these big brands, and their flagship labels, to have a certain, consistent, standard profile which they achieve from their proprietary dosage which is added before bottling.

All roads lead to Champagne! Also– these cookies– biscuits of Reims–another unexpected pleasure.

But Champagne is full of unexpected pleasures!

These include biodynamic wines like Vincent Charlot (read more here) and Leclerc Briant (discussed below) and organic wines too that express the terroir and the vintage, wines full of distinct personalities, wines with little or no added sugar, even red and white still wines like they are allowed to do in Bouzy!

So let’s virtually visit today in advance of the June #Winophiles exploration of unexpected pleasures in Champagne along with some picnic pairings!

Above are photos from our visit to Gaston Collard in Bouzy. We tasted through the wines and visited the cellar where we tasted the Bouzy rouge from the barrel.

Continue reading

“Orange” Wines from CA and Italy by accident and on purpose with pairings #WinePW

You know about red wine: you know that it’s red because “red” or dark skinned grapes get pressed and the juice and the skins hang out together for a little or a long time.

You know about white wine: you know it’s white because “white” or light skinned grape get pressed with little contact with the skins and the juice gets fermented.

You drink rose all day and all May and you know that rose can be made by quickly pressing red grapes so there’s almost no skin contact OR it’s made by mixing red and white wines.

But what about ORANGE wine?

Simply put, an orange wine is a wine made from a white wine grape like chardonnay that then has been made more like a red wine by leaving the juice on the skins for an extended period.

Orange wine is short hand for extended skin contact white wines.

Continue reading

Bringing Us Together: 3 Moscato and Sue’s Birthday #MoscatoDay 2020


As Paul Mabray points out in his recent Medium article “Sauvignon Blanc Time Machine” these  “Wine Variety Days” like last week’s Sauvignon Blanc Day, April’s Malbec Day, and Saturday May 9th’s Moscato Day have been around for a number of years now, long enough to become institutionalized, written about, lionized, and shamed.

I’m not ashamed to say that I appreciate taking a moment to taste, pay attention to, and reflect on a particular grape and the wine made from it. I’m grateful for the samples that make it easier and an online community with which to share them.

But in the best events, it’s not just about the wine, but about the connection, Paul reminds us, and a connection that’s not just my lips to my glass kind of connection but to an experience. An experience with your family– family by blood, by marriage, by choice along with a connection to the “one wine world.”

As you can imagine, an important member of my chosen family is Sue Hill. Continue reading