Moldova: Bubbles, Red Blend, and …Pizza? Yes! #WinePW

Who is the eleventh largest producer of wine in Europe and in 2014 the twentieth largest wine producing country in the world?

Tiny Moldova!

While most of the wine from Moldova is exported, very little lands in the United States; instead it heads to Russia. Once part of the Soviet Union, Moldova Continue reading

The Point Is Not The Point, The Point is… Who’s On The 2020 US Team

Team USA 2019 in a photo by the US Consulate Marseille: from left to right team member Gwendolyn Alley, team member Sue Hill, gf of Jacob Fergus, team Jacob Fergus, Taylor Robertson, Kathy Greene, coach John Vilja.

Back in the day, I did Slam Poetry. That’s competitive poetry where you get points from random judges in the audience on a ten point scale. Like in diving, the highest and the lowest scores get thrown out and your score is the three in the middle added together. While I love performing my poetry in front of an audience and I continue to write and publish poetry plus I’ve had several  major paying commissions and fellowships (Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and more) I no longer compete in Slams. While I loved the community, I’m just not into competitive poetry.

But I learned a lot, and I carry those word and life lessons as well as those friendships with me today. One of the most important came when I was active at the Taos Poetry Circus in Taos New Mexico, where I learned from slam ring master Jim Nave that

“The  point is not the point, the point is POETRY!”

I’m trying to keep this in mind Continue reading

This Summer, Invite Il Bastardo and La Bastarda #ItalianFWT


From Italy, here’s the affordable and fun couple you want to see this summer! She’s a sassy sweet-tart sweetheart Pinot Grigio who grew up in on the island of Sicily and he’s more of a lighthearted sweetheart fruit tart, a Sangiovese from Toscana in central Italy. Take her to the pool and him on a picnic! No need to #maskup to enjoy their company!

Simple wines, simple pleasures for complex times.

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What’s Up With The 2020 World Wine Tasting Challenge: where, who, how

The 2019 World Wine Tasting Challenge at Chateau Chambord, France with the South African team on the right and the US team on the left; that’s me in the ball cap! Yes, the event was held IN part of the castle! photo courtesy of organizer La Revue du Vin de France.

It seems crazy now, but this time last year, I had almost no experience tasting wine blind, no plans to compete to be on the US Wine Tasting team organized by Wine Acuity and no intention to go to France for the World Tasting Championship, a blind wine tasting challenge sponsored by the French magazine La Revue du Vin de France..

But two weeks later, on Sunday July 14, 2019, Sue and I blind tasted our way through six whites and six reds, identifying varietal, country and region of origin, the year and the producer to earn 92 points which put us in second place in the US Wine Tasting Open.

This put us on the US Wine Tasting Team (more about that here)– which would pay for travel, food and accommodations to compete in the World Tasting Championships held at the beautiful Chateau Chambord, one of the most impressive castles in France (more about how that went here). 

Read about how the competition works with blind wine tasting tips here.

And the good news is that– even in the time of COVID with so many cancellations–  Continue reading

Super Tuscans: Keep Your Sassicaia, I’ll take the Sangiovese #ItalianFWT

Sangiovese lovingSue shows off her purple teeth: we asked these three after a practice for the US Wine Tasting Team!

“Sassicaia, Sassicaia, all they want is Sassicaia!” wailed the young sommelier from China during a tasting lab of Sangiovese  and other Italian indigenous grapes during the VinItaly Wine Ambassador Course in Los Angeles in February 2019.

“How can I get them to try something else?” she asked plaintively. The group of wine professionals gathered weighed in, but none of the suggestions seemed to click. Continue reading

You Ready for Another #RoséDay? Here’s 6 From Around the World!

Another day, another Rosé Day? 

YES! Especially when it is summer time and grill time!

Here’s six — from bubbles to sweet from six countries around the world– for you to consider today or for International Rosé Day, celebrated on the fourth Friday each June. Also, of the six, two are kosher and two are organic, and the grapes range from pinot noir to tempranillo to grenache to Zweigelt and more! Continue reading

Not So Private Idaho: Fujishin Family Cellars 2014 Late Harvest Riesling

Eleven years ago, the state of Idaho declared June as Idaho Wine and Cider Month to commemorate its growing wine industry and to encourage support of local grape growers and winemakers. Of course events this year are a little different considering COVID-19! However, June is still the perfect opportunity to call attention to this up-coming region– one where wine has been grown for longer than you might think– people just don’t know that where you can grow potatoes, the temperatures are great for growing wine grapes!

One of the fastest-growing wine regions in the country, Idaho is home to more than 60 wineries and vineyards with 1,300 acres of wine grapes.

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