Bertrand’s Biodynamic Cigalus Paired with French Sausage for #Winophiles

“Revealing a message is what wine can do best in the pyramid of the senses, starting from pleasure, taste, emotion, and from time to time a kind of message in a bottle, ” says Gerard Bertrand, winemaker of Gerard Bertrand wines. “The message is the soul of the wine, the imprint of time, it is recalling 20, 30, or 40 years later that something very special happened in a certain vintage.” Continue reading

Day’s Biodynamic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for #OregonWineMonth

When I put out a call for dry farmed Chardonnay from Oregon, I was surprised by the number of wines that arrived at my doorstep. We chose a selection which I wrote about here for Chardonnay Day 2018 and we will do more for this Chardonnay Day.

But the wine kept coming, including a bottle that really wowed me as soon as I saw it:

  •  One, the label was flat out gorgeous, depicting a bee amongst dandelions. You may not know this, but dandelions, while a weed, are critically important fro bees because the dandelions bloom early in the season providing an important food source for bees. This said to me that these people are Paying Attention!
  • Two, I recognized the Belle Pente vineyard on the label as one that is farmed biodynamically
  • Three,  I knew that Brian O’Donnell, Belle Pente’s farmer as well as a winemaker who I met at the Oregon Wine Road event in LA, is a legitimate dry farm fanatic! (In this post, I discuss how some dry farms are drier than others).
  • Four, because it’s a biodynamic wine, I can continue my biodynamic wine experiment where I open and then periodically taste the wine to see how long it lasts! (OK partly my problem — I can only wait so long… in this case 14 days!).

The Day Chardonnay from the Bell Pente Vineyard in the Yamhill Carlton (AVA 12.75%  SRP $38) with only 150 cases produced delivered on its promises and intrigued me enough to pursue learning more about the wines, the label, and the winemaker, Brianne Day. Continue reading

“Our land is our life and our life is our wine:” Biodynamic Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir Paired with Duck #WinePW #OregonWineMonth


Located just 10 miles west of downtown Portland, Cooper Mountain Vineyards is located in the far northern reaches of Oregon’s Willamette Valley on Cooper Mountain next to the vines that Dr. Robert Gross and his wife Corinne planted in 1978; Corinne was from the area, and they wanted their three children to grow up there too.

“Our land is our life and our life is our wine.” Cooper Mountain’s Motto

After 10 years of growing grapes, they decided to make their own wine by turning an old horse barn into a winery. By the early 1990s, they evolved to grow organically (certified by Oregon Tilth in 1995) and biodynamically (certified by Demeter in 1999).

Back then there were only a handful of wineries and a few vineyards; today there are over 500 wineries, with many of them making world class Pinot noir and as of 2015, more than half of them (52%)  are certified sustainably farmed with a significant number of them biodynamically farmed (about 2500 acres in 2015 with more added just this year from Troon and possibly others). See below for links to discussions of many of these biodynamic wineries)

Why biodynamic? Continue reading

Yes, it matters where it comes from: Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir #OregonWineMonth

Does it matter to you where a wine comes from?

According to a Swiss Institute study referenced by Willamette Valley Vineyard’s founder and winegrower Jim Bernau, it does: on average, our decision to purchase a particular wine is based 45% on where it comes from; price factors in at 25% and vintage is only 11%. And we want that information to be correct: 94% of consumers surveyed by the Wine Origins Alliance favor laws that protect us from misleading wine labels. Continue reading

Moscato from Italy and Oliver’s from Indiana for Mom’s and #MoscatoDay

Italy, yes, of course, but Moscato from Indiana? Sure why not?

To celebrate this year’s Moscato Day, Thursday May 9, we thought it would be fun to share two that are expected and one that is not– two from Italy and one from, yes, Indiana — along with some appetizer ideas for happy hour at home or Mother’s Day. Check out Moscato from IDAHO here — yes it seems the “I’s” have it when it comes to Moscato!

Let’s start with an introduction to the grape of the day, Moscato, Continue reading

Pairing Pecorino d’Abuzzo from Ferzo: Lemon Caper Shrimp #ItalianFWT

PECORINO is not just a cheese, but a grape that almost went extinct!

Both Pecorino the cheese and Pecorino the wine are named after the abundant sheep and the sheep herders who roam the hills looking after them.

Native to Sibilini in the mountains of the Marche region of Italy, Pecorino was first mentioned in 1875 yet, the grape was abandoned and replaced by the more productive and easier to grow Trebianno (which I wrote about yesterday and you can read here).

In 1980, the grapevine was found in a vineyard and rescued.

Today you can find it being grown in both Marche, its native home, and in nearby Abruzzo Continue reading

3 Organic Wines from d’Abruzzo’s Valle de Real in Red, White, and Cerasuolo #ItalianFWT

If you like high mountains, rolling hills and lots of green as well as the ocean and a wonderful cuisine, Abruzzo, Italy is the place for you! 


  • 20% set aside as parks
  • 65% mountains
  • 34% hilly where the wines are grown
  • only 1% flat is flat!
  • is known as the greenest area of Italy, 
  • has the highest peaks in the main part of Italy, the Gran Sasso

Continue reading