Did someone say French Wine and Gourmet Grilled Cheese? #Winophiles

I bet I’m not the only one who comes running if someone so much as whispers “French Wine and Cheese”!

You could simply say brie, but you’d have me doing a 400 yard dash for

  • “Camembert” — a cow’s milk from Normandy
  • or “Emmental” — a cow’s milk from Savoie
  • or “Brillat-Savarin” — a cow’s milk from Burgundy
  • or “Roquefort” — a sheep’s milk from the Pyrenees
  • or “Delice” — a cow’s milk from Burgundy
  • or  “St Augur” — a cow’s milk from Auvergne
  • or Crottin de Chavignol — a goat’s milk or chèvre
  • or “Morbier” or “Mimolette”  or …
  • so many cheeses, so little time!

Major AOC cheeses: the size of the symbol equates to the size of production (from Wikipedia)

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Wines from Unusual Locales: 2 from Fujishin Family Cellars with a Berry Salad for #IdahoWineMonth

Do you know that wine is grown and made commercially in every state in the union? Many of these wineries are small and local, and some rely on grape juice that’s shipped in from more prolific areas, like California.

Throughout the Unites States, farmers are converting their pastures, fields, and orchards into vineyards — and growing grapes in some unexpected places. Continue reading

3 Summer Wines from South Africa Shine for #CheninBlancDay #RoseDay #WinePW

As the days get longer and sunnier in the northern hemisphere here, it’s time to think about wines for summer. We’ve got three suggestions for you from South Africa — where it is actually winter there!

And because #RoseDay is TODAY, June 8, two of our summer suggestions are — you guessed it — ROSE!

And because #CheninBlancDay is June 15, we have a Chenin blanc!

The previous time we focused on South African wine was in August of 2016 we learned the cuisine focuses on: Continue reading

When A Summer Day Calls for Rosé

With the Rosé Revolution still going strong after five years, you can find great rosé  just about anywhere you look, and clearly the fascination with rosé is not temporary! (Note: this is an extended version of my rosé article published in the June 6, 2019 print and online editions of the VC Reporter about three local rosé ).

As rosé  finds a permanent place in people’s palates Continue reading

Bugno Martino’s Organic Lambrusco Defy Expectations #ItalianFWT

Q. “Giuseppe, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
A. “I want to be a Vigneron!”

Q. “What to do you want to do with all these grapes?”
A. “I will make Lambrusco, a real good one!”

Q. “Giuseppe, why do you make Lambrusco?”
A. “Because it brings me happiness!”

This summer, let Lambrusco defy your expectations and bring you happiness!

But not just any Lambrusco will do– it needs to be a really good one. And this month, just in time for Lambrusco Day on Friday June 21, the Italian Food Wine Travel group has a few to recommend! See the preview post here and links and titles of participant below.

Here on Wine Predator, we are excited to share two organic Lambrusco from Bugno Martino, Rosso Matilde, and Essentia, their traditionelle method Lambrusco which is such a new product that their website does not yet mention it.

While most Lambrusco comes from Emilia-Romagna (71%) with some from Puglia (20%), these two come from a small 9 hectare organic vineyard in the Mantovano area of the Lombardy region pictured in orange in the lower right of the map below. Lambrusco from this region comprise only 9% of production.

These two wines definitely defy the expectations most Americans have of Lambrusco, which conquered the market in the 1970s and 1980s with a syrupy sweet low alcohol cherry/grape bubbly.  At a tasting in Beverly Hills a few years ago, I learned otherwise, and convinced Sue as well when we tasted, paired and wrote about three from Medici Ermete in June 2017.

Because of a declining interest in this style of wine, the surface area of plantings decreased 41% between 2000 and 2010.



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Ventura County Vineyards: May Gray


Ventura’s Arroyo Verde Park 31 May Gray 2019

Today is the last day of May Gray here in the city of Ventura in Southern California, one county north of LA and one county south of Santa Barbara.

After May Gray, we have June Gloom, followed by No Sky July and then Fogust.

I’m not a fan.

Like a wine grape, I need daily sunshine. I need hot days and cold nights — aka an extreme diurnal shift.

Let me soak in the sun, and cool off under the stars and the moon. Continue reading

Defining Biodynamic: Rudy Marchesi and Three Montinore Pinot Noir #OregonWineMonth


“Biodynamic® agriculture is a philosophy and methodology that views a farm as a self-sustaining ecosystem entirely responsible for creating and maintaining its individual health and vitality without any external and unnatural additions. It is one of the most sustainable forms of agriculture, creating healthier food for healthier people and a healthier planet.”

This is how Demeter defines biodynamics, and this is how Rudy Marchesi and Montinore has practiced their farming since before 2002 when they were first certified. Today, Rudy Marchesi and Montinore are definitive leaders in biodynamic practices in the wine industry  Continue reading