Women In Wine: Meet Winemaker Merry Edwards

Merry Edwards 2014 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Flax Vineyard

March is Women’s History month, so here on Wine  Predator we are recognizing and honoring women in wine including New Zealand’s Erica Crawford, Italy’s Lisa Anselmi, and France’s  Floriane Eznack.

Today we turn our attention to women in wine in the US starting with winemaker Merry Edwards who began her career in wine in 1974 making her one of California’s first women winemakers.

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Spring for Festivals: Essentials in LA, Garagiste in Santa Ynez

Now that spring has sprung, it is officially festival season! No matter where you live, there are great festivals about! Coming up this Sunday April 26 is Essentials in downtown Los Angeles and the following weekend March 30-April 2 is the Garagiste Festival in Santa Ynez!

ESSENTIAL : top 99 restaurants as determined by LA Weekly

GARAGISTE Syn: Rule-breakers, pioneers, renegades, mavericks, driven by passion.


First up, Essentials this Sunday from 2-5pm benefits Food Forward  Continue reading

Women in Wine: Floriane Eznack, Cellar Master, Champagne Jacquart for French #Winophiles

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, winter, spring, summer, or fall, Champagne (aka that sparkling wine from Champagne France) is a wine that pairs with any occasion or event, and it is one of the most versatile wines you’ll find.

Seven Fun Facts about Champagne and what makes it special and unique.

This month, with the French Winophiles food and wine group focus on Champagne and as March is Women’s History month and we are featuring influential women in wine like Erica Crawford of New Zealand’s Loveblock, Lisa Anselmi of Italy’s Anselmi Wines, it made sense that today we’d choose a wine made by Floriane Eznack of France’s Champagne Jacquart (read about the Brut Mosaique).

As head wine maker since 2011, Champagne Jacquart’s Floriane Eznack not only is responsible for the winemaking but she embodies the spirit of the brand.

I had the good fortune to meet Champagne Jacquart head wine maker Floriane Eznack at a press lunch at Ocean Prime in Beverly Hills Continue reading

Women In Wine: Lisa Anselmi, Anselmi Wines

Lisa Anselmi says she has a glass of their San Vincenzo almost every day

For Women’s History Month here on Wine Predator, we are focusing in on WOMEN IN WINE as much as possible, particularly, women we’ve met who wine! Last Wednesday March 8 was International Women’s Day and we featured Erica Crawford of New Zealand’s Loveblock Wine who we met at Wolf on Melrose in LA, CA.

Wine Predator Gwendolyn Alley, Lisa Anselmi, Que Syrah Sue

On Monday, March 13, Que Syrah Sue and I had lunch at Obica on Sunset with Lisa Anselmi; her grandfather began making wine from the family vineyards in the Veneto region of north eastern Italy  80 years ago, her dad changed direction to produce higher quality wine, and now Lisa is getting their story out to the world. Continue reading

Cheers to Open That Bottle Night 2017 with Champagne from Bollinger

Ginger is annoyed that we have yet to OPEN THAT BOTTLE

When I purchased this bottle of Bollinger NV back in 2011 to celebrate Ima Zinner’s birthday, I didn’t realize it would take us six years to open it.

But I wasn’t worried. You’re supposed to cellar wine, right?

WRONG. And somehow I didn’t know until May of 2016 that you don’t cellar Champagne.When Champagne is disgorged and ready for sale, it is ready to be enjoyed. That doesn’t mean you have to drink it that night that you buy it! But you should drink it within a year or two, maybe three.

You’re not supposed to wait SIX YEARS to open a bottle of Champagne!

But somehow that happened. It wasn’t a special enough occasion. Or it we were having red wine to go with red meat or some such. Or it wasn’t cold. One reason or another, it just didn’t happen.

So when Ima Zinner aka Kathy came over the other night, it was Open That Bottle Night, because we knew it was time. Way past time. But was it too late?

That depends! Continue reading

For International Women’s Day: Erica Crawford’s LoveBlock Pinot Noir

Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc: this is what I want all of my NZ Sauv Blancs to be like! Fresh and crisp but also sumptuous. The warm roasted olives in harrissa spices were a REVELATION and paired beautifully as did the hamachi crudo.

What better wine to toast International Women’s Day than with wine by a pioneer in the New Zealand wine industry Erica Crawford? That is, Erica Crawford, partner of Kim Crawford, and that would be Kim Crawford,  the third largest and possibly the most recognizable Sauvignon Blanc brand from New Zealand?

none other than NZ wine pioneer Erica Crawford: in the yellow glasses

Last month, Que Syrah Sue and I had lunch at Wolf on Melrose with Erica Crawford.

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Sicilian Food and Wine By Candlelight for #ItalianFWT


panelle by candlelight — and flashlight!–with wine from Sicily

What do you do when the power goes out in the midst of preparations for a dinner featuring wine and recipes from Sicily?

You stay calm and carry on of course!

Which is what we did –with no regrets except that I don’t recommend trying to shuck oysters in the dark. (No, I am not going to show you the jab wound I got!)

With a deadline looming for this month’s Italian Food Wine and Travel group to write about Sicilian wine and food pairings, we didn’t have too many options. So we went for it! (Scroll down to the bottom to read about the group’s recommendations). Continue reading