4 Grenaches for #GrenacheDay To Lift Your Spirits

Picture of Grenache noir grapes from a vineyar...

Picture of Grenache noir grapes from a vineyard in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please join me in celebrating Grenache Day, today, Friday September 21, 2012 by enjoying a glass of this delightful varietal! You can share what you’re drinking on twitter by using the hashtag #grenacheday.

What is there to say about Grenache?

How about it’s one of the most widely grown varietals on the planet!  However, since grenache is used primarily in blends, many people don’t know they’ve had it or that they like it!

I am one of those people who definitely enjoys grenache –with or without its traditional Rhone blending partners, mourvedre and syrah. In case you’ve  heard the term GSM –the g is for grenache, the m is mourvedre and the s is syrah. I prefer my GSMs to be heavier on the grenache and light on the syrah.

On its own, Grenache can be a bit light for some people, and too fruity. Personally, I like its fruit forward freshness with roast chicken and salads and various cheeses;  tonight we’re going to try it with some chicken legs and thighs that are marinating in fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh rosemary, raw garlic, and a prepared teriyaki sauce. Grenache is nice on the cool side (cellar temperature or colder), great with picnics, or when you want something more hefty than a rose.

Grenache is a red wine that won’t bog you down but instead lift your spirits.

Grenache Day 2012 wines from Ojai Vineyards and Cantara CellarsIn honor of Grenache Day 2012, we tasted four: one from Horse Heaven Hills AVA by Alexandria Nichole, two from Lodi California made by Mike Brown at Cantara Cellars in Camarillo, and one from Thompson Vineyards in Santa Barbara made by Adam Tolmach at Ojai Vineyards.

They were all very different and we loved them all in their own ways. All of them are gorgeous in the glass, which is typical of grenache: super pretty pink and clear, vibrant with a violet tinge on the edge. Continue reading

How We Roll in “Wine Country”: New Video Gets Your Swirl On

 

Don’t try to drink wine while you watch this–you might find yourself missing the spit bucket!

Featuring the Bay Area’s Moe Green, Cameron Washington, and Jairo “Rojah” Vargas of Bayonics, lyrics include lines like these:

“Just one thing missing from this blessed day
a motherf—ing magnum of cuvee chardonnay”

  • “You brag about Mohammed, Buddha and Jesus to worship
    but Thomas Keller’s our god so back the f— up”
  • “Just because we like vino
    Don’t make us shallow
    Ask my n—-s
    Ernest and Julio Gallo.”

“It’s a 100 degrees
but I still wear my beanie.”

Thanks for the shout out to my home vineyards in the 805, yo! (More at the 3 mark).

Like their Facebook page.  Visit: http://www.russianhillprojects.com/

PS There are a few offensive words on this video.
So don’t watch it if you don’t want to hear “that kind” of language. Word. Out.

 

SICILY! And more EXPLOSIVE excitement September 19!

Using spittoon at a wine tasting Français : dé...

Using spittoon at a wine tasting Français : dégustation d’un vin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

September 19, 2012 I will definitely be doing wine related activities. And lots of wine tasting. And yes, a lot of spitting too.

First, I was invited to join the September 19 Thirsty Girl Twitter Tasting of Handcraft Wines. Then I was invited to join the next Cafe 140 Twitter Tasting. Then I received an invitation to an industry tasting of the San Francisco International Wine Competition award-winning wines. All on the same day.

Fortunately, September 19 is a day that I can devote to wine tasting.

Then, on Wednesday morning, as I was preparing to run some errands and then post about #CabernetDay and #PinotSmackdown, I checked my email and saw one from Elisabetta Tosi, a wine blogger and the Italian Ambassador to Palate Press.

She was writing to invite me to join a wine blogging tour of the Mt Etna wine region in Sicily. In two weeks. September 19-23.

Organized by Consorzio Tutela Vini Etna D.O.C., in collaboration with Fermenti Digitali and with support of Camera di Commercio di Catania, this is a tour for wine bloggers organized by wine bloggers. How cool but…no way! I had to teach, I had to write papers for grad school, who would get my kid to school…and how could I get a flight at this last-minute that would fit their budget? So I headed off on my errands.

And then it hit me–ITALY! WINE! VOLCANO! YES YES YES YES YES! Of course, YES! What in the world was I thinking? Of course I could make it work in order to go to Sicily and learn about and taste wines grown on the side of THE MOST ACTIVE VOLCANO in the WORLD!

I did a bunch of research. And that made me want to go even more to taste these wines that are getting a lot of attention! And I figured out how to put all the pieces together–except the flight part. There were no flights available for 500 euros. It was going to take 1000 euros to get this California girl onto Sicilian soil.

The bad news is, this September 19 I’m not going to be tasting and writing about wines grown on Mt Etna.

The good news is, they plan to invite me on the next trip planned for spring or possible fall 2013. Which will give me more time to prepare for the trip. And I’ll be home in California September 19 tasting and tweeting away.

You’re invited to join in the fun: you can subscribe and read about my adventures in wine and you can pick up the wines we’ll be tasting. Continue reading

#PinotSmackdown: How To Taste Pinot Noir according to Robin Pfeiffer

What follows last week’s #CabernetDay? #PinotSmackdown Thursday Sept. 6, 2012! According to organizer Ed Thralls,

#PinotSmackdown is an all-day global celebration of the world’s most expressive wine grape combined with a knock-down, drag-out cage fight between YOUR FAVORITE Pinot-producing regions! All you need to participate is wine and Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagr.am or your favorite social channel.  Just be sure to use the #PinotSmackdown hashtag!Who makes the best Pinot you’ve ever tasted?  To vote via your tweets, posts, pins, or instagr.am snapshots simply add another 2-character hashtag after #PinotSmackdown and we’ll count the votes so that region gets bragging rights for the year! Voting region hashtags:

  • #OR – Oregon
  • #CA – California
  • #WA – Washington
  • #NY – New York
  • #46 – U.S. The “Other 46”
  • #FR – France
  • #IT – Italy
  • #DE – Germany (Deutschland)
  • #EU – Europe, beyond France, Germany, Italy
  • #CN – Canada
  • #NZ – New Zealand
  • #CH – Chile
  • #AR – Argentina
  • #AU – Australia
  • #SA – South Africa
  • #WD – World, as in none previously listed

For example, if you are drinking a Pinot from a region in California, simply tag the end of your tweets/posts with:      #PinotSmackdown #CA

FOR MORE DETAILS CLICK HERE

This year for the Pinot Noir Smackdown, I’m betting many post-WBC bloggers are rooting for and writing about Oregon Pinot Noir aka #PinotSmackdown #OR. I know that the most memorable pinot noirs for me right now are from my trip last August.

Like many of the 450 attendees to the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, I joined a pre-excursion trip which included a late afternoon drive to the massive and beautiful King Estates for a scrumptious dinner (deserving of its own blog post) followed by an early morning jaunt from our hotel in Eugene to the Pfeiffer Winery in the southern Willamette Valley and in the northwestern part of Lane County.

It took us about 30 minutes to drive the scenic country roads, passing by alpaca farms, hay farms, forest and finally grape vines to arrive at Pfeiffer where we were greeted by Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer, an enthusiastic, energetic, boisterous and attractive couple.

At one time, Danuta was the co-host of the 700 Club. When Pat Robertson ran for President, she started over and came to Oregon to write a book and be on Air America.  Eighteen years ago, she placed an ad describing herself– and looking for a man who could spell. Robin responded with an invitation to go sailing.

On that first date, Robin Pfieffer brought an unlabeled red wine saying, “It’s a little something we make–pinot noir.”

“What’s so hot about pinot noir?” Danuta asked. Continue reading