Hitting the Road…and maybe some wineries?

We’re off on a camping trip in New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Will we find any wineries or drink up the wine I’ll bring? Will I find wireless and keep on my wine blogging? Will we catch fish or just mosquito bites?

Stay tuned for a report along the way or when we return! In the meantime, read about our last Wine Staycation featuring Australian wines and Eastern California wild places!

So who else is going to be on the bus to Walla Walla?

Inquiring minds want to know a little more about these 12 bloggers who will be on the blogging bus wending its way from Woodinville to Walla Walla.

How many inquiring minds I couldn’t tell you. But I ‘m curious!

So I did a little digging around, found out that I’m already following most of the folks on twitter, I’m a fan of some of their blogs, some of my fellow van-mates I’ve  met before at previous Wine Bloggers Conferences, and I’m facebook friends with at least one (hi Amy!) who is helping me out enormously by picking me up at the airport and giving me a ride to Woodinville.

So check out these blogs. See what they have to say about Washington wine and wine in general. I’ll post this list again when the time comes so you can compare their responses on the wine soaked way to Walla Walla.

Toledo Wines and Vinestoledowinesandvines.blogspot.com

Another Wine BlogAnotherWineBlog.com (Hi Amy!)

Cellarmistress’ Cellar Talkcellarmistress.blogspot.com (Hi Grace!)

Windy City Wine Guywindycitywineguy.com

The Vino Filethevinofile.blogspot.com




Wine Predatorwinepredator.wordpress.com (That’s me!)


Jenna & Winewine.jennachateauvert.com


Wine Predator Wins Washington Wine Whirlwind WoodinvilleWallaWallaYakimaPalooza to WBC 2010!

Yes indeed, my efforts to wine my way to Washington have paid off well!

Not only did I win a scholarship to attend this year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference in Walla Walla Washington, but I also blogged my way through more than a dozen or so Washington Wines that are easily available in California to win a spot on the WBC-or-Bust Bus! And be able to taste some not-so-available wines and make you jealous! OK, just enough so you’ll track some of these amazing wines down for yourself! Or maybe you’ll find that you’ll just have to travel to Washington too!

So what’s in store for me next month? Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading

Wine Blogging Wednesday #69: Did you hear me howling “mourvedre”?

This month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday, hosted by The Passionate Foodie, asks us to sniff out some “dog strangler” wine aka mourvedre.  So, for the 69th edition Wine Blogging Wednesday that’s what I did.

Actually I began my search for wines with mourvedre nearly two years ago when I first tasted a 2001 rbj theologicum which blends 50% of the mourvedre sinner with 50% of the saintly grenache.

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven and hell all at once.

Instead, I was on a search to find a wine I could barely pronounce, and which I could barely find. Fortuantely for me, the grateful Palate Warehouse used to be located only a few miles away and they would periodically  open their doors and let us in.

And that’s how I discovered a straight mourvedre–a rbj 2002 Mataro which I opened on a camping trip in the heart of the Sierras.

So when I discovered this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday featured possibly my favorite varietal, and certainly one that makes my favorite blends shine, I howled with delight.

And then howled some more–what wine to choose? Or more precisely, whose?

An obvious choice would be Twisted Oak. Their mourvedre with the macabre red skull emblazened across the bottle is stunningly good. And they do my favorite blend mourvedre, grenache and syrah aka “Potty Mouth” that I love–especially the 2003 which is still available in their library.

Another obvious choice is Randall Grahm’s Bonny Doon. It seems he recovered rhone varietals like grenache and mourvedre from obscurity in California. And his Cigar Volant is always noteworthy.

So after much agonizing and howling at the crescent moon, I went for a winery I discovered in December and which maybe I can help you discover too (although they have thousands of facebook fans so obviously some people know them already!)

The wine with more than 50% mourvedre that I chose for this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday comes from Core Winery, run by Dave and Becky Corey, with financial backing and support from many family members.

And it’s Hard Core. Seriously Hard Core. A 2005 Hard Core made up of 60% mourvedre, 25% grenache, and 15% cabernet sauvignon.

Only 665 cases of this wine was produced, and it’s all gone except for what might be in people’s cellars–and a handful of splits which I found at the winery when we went by the other day.

We went to the Core winery as part of a wedding anniversary extravaganza (ok we went to Sycamore Hot Springs, Go Westy, Los Olivos for lunch and tasting at Carhartts and Carina) that started with dinner on our anniversary where I brought in a bottle of the 2006 Hard Core. While I prefer my syrah with mourvedre and grenache, my husband definitely prefers his syrah with a backbone of cab to it. Continue reading

May 2010 Wine Blogging Wednesday #69: The Dog Strangler Grape

The Passionate Foodie Pronounces the theme for the next Wine Blogging Wednesday as “Animal Cruelty”.

That’s right, for the 69th edition Wine Blogging Wednesday we will be drinking and writing about wines made with the “dog-strangler” grape aka Mourvedre, Monastrell or Mataro (or possibly 30 other names!).

I didn’t know until I read his post that “in southern France, this grape is sometimes known as Estrangle-Chien (which translates as “dog strangler”), because of its big tannins.”

I do know that no matter what you or he might call this grape, I call it one of my favorites. And that everyone that I have talked to about it calls it monstrously hard to grow because of a few perculiarities to the varietal and that it ripens so late. Continue reading