Twisted Oak’s “Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week” ends today! Here’s my entry!

Twisted Oak’s “Take Your Rubber Chicken To Work Week” photo contest ends today! Here are the rules:

1. Get a rubber chicken if you don’t have one.

We got ours at Twisted Oak; it’s an original. You can tell by its Twisted Oak choker. You can also tell our chicken likes raves by the collection of friendship bracelets.

2. Take it to work.

And to lunch!

3. Take a funny picture.

We tried. Beverly said writing poetry is serious business.

4. Email it to tastingroomATtwistedoakDOTcom BY March 30th. That’s today!

For Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week, Danika and I decided to take my son’s rubber chicken to our “Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai” writing workshops.

Our rubber chicken learned a lot about poetry, wine, and local natural history. We thought our rubber chicken was named Murgatroyd but we discovered that was a favorite saying (and Twisted Oak wine) not a name: Beverly is actually the name of our rubber chicken.

Among many adventures, we took photos of Beverly learning how to do writing practice, write a pantoum, and taste wine with Vino V and Old Creek Ranch Winery winemaker Michael Meagher (pictured with Beverly). Beverly also enjoyed chai at Farmer in the Cook in Meiner’s Oaks and performed in an open mic at Big Buddha Lounge. Here’s a picture of Beverly with Big Buddha Lounge’s Davis Far.

Beverly also starred in a few youtube videos; I’ll post links when they go up sometime tonight.

You still have time! Break out your rubber chicken at work today! Complete rules and stuff:

So by my accounting, there’s quite a few of us who took a rubber chicken to work: Danika and Joan, the gals at Paradise Pantry, Michael Meagher, and Davis Far. I can only hope you will split your Master Cluck Bucks for Twisted Oak wine with me, your photographer and friendly neighborhood blogger.

Old Creek Ranch Winery 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Inspired Poetry

Last week, I wrote a lot during writing workshops all day Thursday at Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center and at Old Creek Ranch Winery then on Saturday at Danika Dinsmore’s Poetry BootCamp.

And I even wrote about wine–wine poetry, believe it or not!

So I will be posting some of my wine and winery inspired poems as well as a few by others from our writing workshop starting with these tasting “notes” about Old Creek Ranch’s Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ll also be posting a few more “traditional” notes about the wines we tasted and the pairings we enjoyed.

On Old Creek Ranch Winery’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Branham Obsidian Vineyard, Napa Valley

You fruit me like a cherry
summer ripe days

You flower me like a rose
red, deep, red

You spice me like a vanilla bean
musky, husky, rich

You rock me like a granite dome
round and rough

You roll me like a romp in the hay
the hills and the land in you

You sing to me like Tom Waits
gravely and true

You wear on me like  a gold watch
classic, reliable, dependable

You rub me like an old leather saddle
smooth and soft

You kick me like a soccer ball
on a wild open field

You stroke me like a tiger’s tongue
and I’m coming back for more

Okay, it may not be one of my best poems but it was a fun way to describe the wine using various prompts to get from the common descriptors to more unusual ones! Stay tuned or subscribe for more!

PS Better catch this luscious wine while you can since this is the last vintage of it they plan to make! (Instead, watch for a 2007 Nebbiolo from Stolpman Vineyard and some other new wines!)

Message in a Bottle: Waves, Wines, Words Writing Workshop

I’ve been busy getting all the details figured out for the “Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai” writing workshops that I’m doing with Danika Dinsmore as part of Ojai’s WordFest March 19-27, 2011.

A week or so ago I checked out venues for the winemaker dinner and open mic for Thurs March 24 and stopped by Old Creek Ranch Winery to talk with owner John Whitman and winemaker Michael Meagher. We also enjoyed some tasting: the petit sirah from the barrel is out of this world delicious!

And while I can’t make any promises, it’s looking likely that the cherry trees will be blooming at Old Creek Ranch Winery!

Here are all the fabulous details–menus and wines to come soon!

Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai --Whales, Wines, Words Writing Workshop Writing instructors Gwendolyn Alley of Ventura, California and Danika Dinsmore of Vancouver, British Columbia join forces Thursday, March 24 to offer a unique writing workshop that engages the senses and ignites the imagination. Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai – Waves, Wines, Words, an event during Ojai’s WordFest, will take its participants on a journey that begins with a whale watching cruise, continues at small family owned working ranch, and ends in the majestic Ojai Valley. … Read More

via The Write Alley

Wine Blogging Wednesday #71: Born to Rhone Wild Posts Due March 16

Since I was absolutely born to rhone wild, I am very excited that “rhone wines not from the rhone” has been announced by Wine Cast’s Tim Elliott as this month’s theme Wine Blogging Wednesday #71 (founded over 6 years ago by Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report.)

Tim suggests participants: “Pick any wine made from a variety best known in The Rhône but not made in that famous French region. It doesn’t matter if the wine is white, pink or red; still, sparkling or fortified. Whatever you choose just needs to be made from primarily a Rhone grape and come from a region not in France.”

“If you need some inspiration,” Tim says, “just check out this link.” He encourages participants to go beyond Syrah and Grenache and try something new.

So if you’re born to rhone wild –just not from the rhone!–post Wednesday, March 16th. If you announce your entry on Twitter or Facebook, please be sure to add the hashtag #wbw71 to your status update. Send Tim an email at winecast (at) gmail (dot) com with a link to your post so he can produce a summary after the event. You can also just email him your write-up.  Read all of Tim’s WBW#71 prompt here.

Now to figure out what to choose! I’m planning on going to a New Zealand tasting that day in LA. Even a syrah from NZ would be a wild rhone! I wonder what else rhone wise I might find there?

Paso Robles Grand Tasting Hits LA

This week, fans of Paso Robles wines will come to Los Angeles where over 40 wineries will participate in a series of events, tastings, and dinners. Tomorrow they will flock to Vibiana, a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles (214 S. Main, from 6:30-8:30pm to taste their fill. Appetizers will be provided by Room Forty;  tickets are $60. Learn more about the Paso Robles Grand Tasting and purchase tickets here.

Winery participants include:

Adelaida Cellars
Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery
Ancient Peaks Winery
Anglim Winery
Bianchi Winery
Calcareous Vineyard
Caliza Winery
Clavo Cellars
Clayhouse Wines
D’Anbino Vineyards & Cellars
Eberle Winery
Grey Wolf Vineyards & Cellars
Halter Ranch Vineyard
J&J Cellars
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery
Kenneth Volk Vineyards
Kiamie Wine Cellars
L’Aventure Winery
Le Vigne Winery
Lone Madrone
Minassian-Young Vineyards
Niner Wine Estates
Ortman Family Vineyards
Peachy Canyon Winery
Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery
Roxo Port Cellars
Sextant Wines
Silver Horse Winery
STANGER Vineyards
Tablas Creek Vineyard
Terry Hoage Vineyards
Thacher Winery
Treana and Hope Family Wines
Venteux Vineyards
Victor Hugo Winery
Vina Robles
Zenaida Cellars

I’ll be attending the afternoon industry event and plan to share some of my finds here! Which ones are favorites of yours? Which wines should I be sure to taste? I have to admit, I am familiar with only a few of these wineries (Eberle, Bianchi, a few more), but what I know I love and I am looking forward to seeing what they’re doing in this region so close to home. In particular, I will be searching for my favorite rhone varietals. Maybe I’ll even source myself a Hospice du Rhone ticket for this year’s event April 28-30 in Paso Robles!

Also at the afternoon event: Los Angeles based author Rex Pickett, well known as the author of Sideways, the film which is credited with destroying sales of everything except Pinot Noir, and especially merlot!

Pickett has a new book out, Vertical, and I’m going to ask him to come north to read and sign books and possibly even join us for a winemaker dinner during the “Message in a Bottle” writing workshops I’m leading and organizing that take place in Ventura and Ojai March 23 and 24.