Carménère: The Vine That Masqueraded as Merlot in Chile

Concha y Toro Carmenere

After phylloxera wiped out Carménère in Bordeaux, it wasn’t replanted: too prone to disease and too late in ripening. With so few vines planted, commercial Carménère was considered extinct.

Until in 1994, Carménère was discovered in Chile masquerading as Merlot! Continue reading

Successful Pairings of Salty and Savory with Semi-Dry Sweet Bordeaux #Winophiles

semi-dry Bordeaux paired with savory, salty, and semi-sweet meal

Who doesn’t love kettle corn, that salty and sweet combination? If you like me are a fan, then consider this: semi-dry Bordeaux white wines paired with savory and salty fare! Continue reading

WordPress WordFest 1/22/21: 24 Hours of Fun! Register Now!

Art Predator (CC) phot by Randy Stewart, and taken at WordCamp SF. “Feel free to use this picture,” he says. “Please credit as shown. If you are a person that I have taken a photo of, it’s yours (but I’d still be curious as to where it is).”

I was trying to finish up my Zin Day Post yesterday, when I noticed on my WordPress dashboard a call for speakers for the upcoming international 24 hour marathon WordPress online WordFest set for Friday 1/22/21. 

Well that sounds fun! 

So I checked it out and noticed right off the bat that in 90 minutes the submissions to speak would close. I instantly switched gears from Zinfandel to what should I talk about? 

Because here’s the truth: I love public speaking. Continue reading

A Zinfandel for Every One and Every Occasion: Happy Zinfandel Day 2020!

Truly, there is a zinfandel for everybody. Here are four are very different Zinfandel wines that work wonderfully for your holiday table, be it Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the Rose Bowl…

2018 Bartholomew Estate Antonia’s Garden Rose of Zinfandel Sonoma Valley
ABV 14%; SRP
Sue purchased this wine with an industry discount at the tasting room which is located in a historic military hospital. Continue reading

Local Love: 6 Ventura County Wines from Local Vines paired with Watkins Beef, Ventura Fresh Fish #WinePW

This is my 1000 post on Wine Predator.

“Congratulations on writing 1000 posts on wine predator!” says WordPress.

As such, it seems appropriate to make it about “Local Love, Local Wine” because while I first started going wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma then worked at Ridge Vineyards in the early and mid-80s, in the mid 1990s, I got back into wine as the Art Predator by writing a newspaper column that included “all that engages the whole soul” from art to literature to film to wine to food, all local. I didn’t make a lot of money in that gig, but I did have trade: free food and drink at many area restaurants.

One of the restaurants, the long gone Nora’s of Ojai, featured wines from The Ojai Vineyard Continue reading

#WineStudio ZOOM with Donnachiara’s Ilaria Petitto

Donnachiara’s falangina paired with shrimp bisque and aglianico paired with seared blue fin tuna.

As I near my 1000 post on this blog, I’ve been reflecting on some of the factors that shaped it and participating in Wine Studio’s educational programs on Tuesday nights at 6pm since 2014 is one of them. Through Tina Morey, I had access to wines I wouldn’t have been able to taste otherwise, and via the educational format with experts and others chiming in on twitter as we taste through wines, I learned a lot. Recently, Tina ended the WineStudio season with a special event hosted by Susannah Gold with Donnachiara’s Ilaria Petitto. For Wine Predator Post #999, here’s my write up from the conversation and my thoughts about the wines and pairings. 

At Donnachiara they say they tend their vines as carefully as window boxes “even though the locations can be distinctly challenging. This process makes for superior vines, grapes, and ultimately wines.”

Donnachiara is located in Campania, which is famous for the beautiful landscape of the Amalfi coast, the volcanic fields of fire and as the home to 10 of the 55 UNESCO sites in Italy; Mount Vesuvius is in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

The presence of Mount Vesuvius is everywhere, but as Ilaria Petito says in a ZOOM call with members of #WineStudio, “Vesuvius is sleeping; better for us! Thanks to Vesuvious, the soil is volcanic.”

Continue reading