WBW #55 Round-Up Report by Remy

Wine Blogging WednesdayMarch’s host Remy Charest writes:

Wine Blogging Wednesday 55: North vs South – a bipolar roundup

It’s always fascinating to see the many ways people can interpret a proposition. So what did the participants in the 55th Wine Blogging Wednesday make of this idea of confronting North vs South?

From Michigan Riesling to Tasmania Pinot Noir, from Spanish Garnacha to Tennessee Chambourcin, there sure were a lot of possible pairings (and threesomes, and foursomes) put together by the 33 participants who took up the challenge.

Here’s the Vino V White Hawk syrah I compared with hazyblur’s Adelaide Plaines. For how other wines fared, check out Remy’s Round-Up including other shiraz/syrah pairings and more here.

Rumor has it next month will be KOSHER wines! Find out more here. Whoo hoo!! I just happen to live a few miles away from HERZOG, which makes buckets of kosher wine! Perfect excuse to get over there and do some serious tasting!

WBW #55 syrah/shiraz showdown: CA Vino V 05 & AUS hazyblur 03

wbw-newI’m fortunate to live in the prime grape growing and wine producing region of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties–and, until just recently, just a few miles away from the Grateful Palate warehouse facility in Oxnard (it’s now in Fairfield near Napa).

I’ve long been a fan of Adam Tolmach’s Ojai Vineyard from back in the day when I had a print column “The Art Predator” for a weekly where I reviewed art shows, restaurants and whatever took my fancy, and was paid primarily in trade, mostly food and drink  (I could never say I was a starving artist.)

We had lots of trade at an Ojai restaurant which carried Adam Tolmach’s wines and I was thrilled to get to know many of them by the glass. It seemed that wine maker Tolmach often dropped off the odd bottle or two of wine that wouldn’t find its way onto a typical list or store. In particular, I remember being floored by one of his syrahs back in 1998.

So when I learned that Michael Meagher was a disciple of Adam Tolmach and was making his own wines under the Vino V label (V as in Ventura), that his limited edition wines (600 cases) are carried by restaurants like Campanile, and that his daughter was in my son’s kindergarten class, I wanted to get my hands on some and try it!tn

With this Wine Blogging Wednesday hosted by Remy Charest, pitting north vs south, here was a perfect opportunity to put a tasting together using a Vino V wine. Continue reading

WBW #55: Rack of Lamb with Mushroom & Artichoke Risotto & Que Syrah/Shiraz

Green Globe artichokes

They say artichokes are brutal when it comes to pairing with wine.

But as I discovered with this risotto last night, that if you braise the artichokes in bacon grease (along with the onion, mushrooms, and garlic) syrah is an awesome match.

I wanted to make something special for my husband to lure him into participating with me for this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday’s North vs South challenge, with Vino V’s 2005 White Hawk Vineyard Santa Barbara California syrah from the Northern hemisphere going up against a hazyblur Adelaide Plains 2003.

I found a lovely rack of already frenched lamb which he dolled up with a nice rub: kosher salt, black pepper, fresh rosemary and a few twists of Italian seasonings with sea salt.

For a side dish, I decided to make the artichoke risotto I’d been promising him. I had no official recipe but this is what I came up with and it tasted great! Here’s the recipe: In a large preheated iron skillet, Continue reading

WBW #55: Vino V CA Syrah vs which AUS Syrah?

wbw-new1Two questions: Where do you cellar your wine? And what should I drink from mine?

in the late 1950s,  my grandfather built a wine cellar into the hillside of his house, the floor made from water-washed Japanese stones used as ballast in a ship almost a hundred years ago.

He enjoyed his wine, but it didn’t take anything too exotic to please him–he drank chianti by the jug, the more unusual or interesting wines in the cellar supplied by friends. One day I will inventory what’s there and see if any of it is drinkable, much less valuable for more than a conversation or two.

Conveniently for me, my grandfather’s nearly empty wine cellar is less than a mile from my house as the crow flies, right up the hill from where we live near the beach. It’s just far enough away to keep me from ransacking it regularly, and it allows me to forget exactly what’s in there allowing the wine to age well past what it would if it was underneath our house which also maintains cellar like temperatures most of the year.tn1 Vino V syrah

For this Remy Charest’s Wine Blogging Wednesday, I decided to do syrahs (no surprise to anyone who knows my fondness for them!), and to compare Vino V’s White Hawk syrah with something from Down Under. So yesterday I headed up to the cellar to see what I had stored that would be a worthy competitor to Michael Meagher’s wine. Continue reading

What’s Up: MWG, WBW, OCRW & more!

That would be: a report from the Millenium Wine Group tasting last Wednesday, Wine Bloggging Wednesday, bottling day at Old Creek Ranch Winery, some current wine deals (and a few wines to avoid) at Big Lots and more …just as soon as I get my notes together and some coffee in my cup!

Wine Blogging Wednesday #55: North vs South

In this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday,  host Remy Charest the Wine Case challenges us to taste, to discuss, and to blog about not one but two wines: one from the “south” and one from the “north.”

I met Remy at the Wine Bloggers Conference last October when we strolled the vineyards of Quivera with a small group then I sat next to him at lunch. Now I often visit his blog and I follow him on Twitter, so I was happy to find out he was offering this month’s prompt which includes these closing words:

The one restriction is that the wines should be comparable in nature: Bordeaux blends from Bordeaux and Australia, sauvignon blanc from the Loire and from California, cabernet franc from the Niagara and Long Island, riesling from Washington State and Spring Mountain, etc. If you compare a Barossa shiraz with a chablis… well there just isn’t much actual comparing to do, right?

You have until March 18 to find these wines, taste them – and while you’re at it, see how they compare with a same dish. Put your tasting notes up on your blog, put up a link as a comment on this blog, and you’re all set. Heck, if you don’t have a blog, you can just put up a tasting note as a comment here, and I’ll include it in my roundup, on the weekend of the 21st of March – the official beginning of spring.

Cheers to everyone, and thanks a bunch to Lenn Thompson, founder of the WBW, for letting me in on the fun.

How to decide what to drink? A French Rhone wine with a California or Australian style rhone? A coupla GSMs perhaps like Twisted Oak’s with one from AUS? A California favorite like a syrah with an AUS favorite syrah from Grateful Palate? What about a northern California syrah and a southern California one? Hmmn, I’ve been wanting to try Vino V’s Michael Meagher’s Syrah–maybe this is finally the time!

Notice any trends? Bet I’ll be writing about something red for Wednesday!

Thanks Remy for the fun prompt!