Preserve Internet Freedom: #StopCISPA

CISPAcatAs much as I’d like to do some wine blogging for you (starting with reporting on all the malbec madness last Weds!), I’m joining the internet boycott tomorrow, April 22, 2013.

And I hope you will too.

With all your free time, please call your elected representatives, too.

It’s that important.

Here’s a video about why.

Here’s a letter from Anonymous who is organizing the boycott. Continue reading

Malbec Madness 2: 5 wines from Argentina, 1 from California!

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We’re celebrating Malbec Madness with 6 wines! Five come from Argentina and one is from California.

The flowers are from my husband for our 10th wedding anniversary!

wine predator

Malbec Madness!

Join the Celebration Weds April 17

In anticipation of Malbec Day Weds. April 17, Annie AnyDay, Ima Zinner, ChamPan, and I gathered on my sunny deck to taste four 2011 Malbecs: 2011 Trivento Reserve, 2011 Ruta 22, 2011 Conquista, all from Argentina, and from Chile, Concha y Toro’s 2011 Casillero del Diablo. (Reviews below).MalbecMadness

As Malbec and Malbec blends now account for almost half of the entire Argentinean wine category in the U.S., you’d think my first Malbec crush would be one from South America.

But the first Malbec that made a memorable impression and wowed my palate was actually a barrel sample from Basel Cellars that I tasted while on a visit there during the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla Washington.  

I remember clearly the lush blueberry that flooded my palate, and even now, I desire to repeat that experience. The following year when…

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A Little Levity for Tax Day

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Need some Tax Day relief?

While I can’t lower your tax bill, I can offer up some poetry, some art, some giggles, and some discounted bubbles!

Above is one of my 3:15 Experiment poems that I turned into a broadside that was published in ArtLife Limited Editions; the tape came from the college where I was teaching and I stapled some on to each broadside which makes the actual broadsides easier to read than this jpg! Read the whole poem.

Next up is a cartoon of the Beatles have an adventure with Robin Hood and singing “Tax Man.”

Plus today only Ventura Wine Company will pay your taxes! Continue reading

Malbec Madness!

Malbec Madness!

Join the Celebration Weds April 17

In anticipation of Malbec Day Weds. April 17, Annie AnyDay, Ima Zinner, ChamPan, and I gathered on my sunny deck to taste four 2011 Malbecs: 2011 Trivento Reserve, 2011 Ruta 22, 2011 Conquista, all from Argentina, and from Chile, Concha y Toro’s 2011 Casillero del Diablo. (Reviews below).MalbecMadness

As Malbec and Malbec blends now account for almost half of the entire Argentinean wine category in the U.S., you’d think my first Malbec crush would be one from South America.

But the first Malbec that made a memorable impression and wowed my palate was actually a barrel sample from Basel Cellars that I tasted while on a visit there during the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla Washington.  

I remember clearly the lush blueberry that flooded my palate, and even now, I desire to repeat that experience. The following year when I re-visited Walla Walla, I found myself driving by the impressive gates of the even more impressive Basel Cellars estate, but unfortunately the tasting room was closed…and we were on our way to Oregon so I have yet to taste this Malbec in the bottle (and, btw,  Steven Tanzer awarded 89 Points to the 2008 Chelle Den Millie Malbec which retails for $32).

Malbec grapes on the vine in the Cafayate wine...

Malbec grapes on the vine in the Cafayate wine region of Argentina. This pic also demonstrates the trellising vine training used with drip irrigation system running along the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the folks at Creative Palate, in the 1860s, Malbec was brought from France to the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina where the constant sun and heat helps the grape to achieve optimal ripeness; Malbec thrives in the hot, dry weather and high elevations of Mendoza creating a typically ripe and lush wine with smooth tannins.

Malbec has also found suitable terroir on the other side of the Andes in the consistently hot and dry Rapel Valley of Chile.

Please join me in raising a collective glass to toast this newly “discovered,” newly beloved versatile and delightful varietal–regardless of where it comes from North or South America! Follow along with the fun on twitter by searching and tweeting using #MalbecMadness! Continue reading

Bicycle Built for Wine: What I want for Mom’s Day & Burning Man!

bikebarIn case you don’t have this leather wine rack for your bike, here’s the way to picnic in style on this bicycle built for two–to have a picnic! Complete with safe storage and travel options for your adult beverages of choice!

Wouldn’t this bicycle be perfect for Burning Man? Or for wheeling around the scenic country roads of wine country? Continue reading

WordFest Writing Workshop: Haiku & Sushi with a Ojai Vineyards Chaser!

Bowl of Sushi (Painting by Hiroshige)

Bowl of Sushi (Painting by Hiroshige) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s National Poetry Month! Celebrate with me this Friday, April 12, 2013, when I will be leading a haiku writing workshop at a sushi bar in Ojai–which means I’ll be stopping by Ojai Vineyards while I’m in town!

That’s right, you can get your haiku and eat it too!

Well, maybe not, but that sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Either way, it will be a fun time for 12 on 4/12 at 12 when we gather in Ojai during WordFest’s “Foodie Friday” for a sushi lunch with a side of haiku. Or maybe that’s haiku with a side of sushi?

So if you don’t mind the soy sauce on your writing notebook, Continue reading

Wine Predator’s WBC12 Ignite!Wine & Conscious Wine’s Portland Pairings

So, after hearing about my being on Marcy Gordon’s 2013 list of important wine bloggers and Michael Wangbickler’s 2012 list and Jo Diaz’s list in 2011

you want to know how I achieved my success as a wine blogger?

Today’s your lucky day!IgniteWineAlleyWbc12

Jeff Weissler aka  http://consciouswine.com recorded my 5-minute IGNITE!wine session at the 2012 Wine Blogger’s Conference in Portland:

“The Ten Commandments of Wine Blogging”

What’s an Ignite? For this style of presentation, we each have five minutes to present a story using 20 slides; each slide changes automatically every 15 seconds. Like TEDX, people are organizing Ignite! presentations all over the world; this is the second year of Ignite at the WBC. Continue reading