WA Women in Wine: Meet Mercer’s Jessica Munnell

According to the Seattle Times, Jessica Munnell and her husband Juan Munoz-Orca make the most wine in the state of Washington: in 2016 Munnell was responsible for 60K cases at Mercer while her husband produced 2 million at Columbia Crest where they met  in 2001. Mercer has the capacity to expand to 100k cases.

That’s a lot of Washington wine! That made Jessica Munnell a natural for us to feature for Women’s History Month here on Wine Predator. Well that, and we love her wine! And the commitment to sustainability professed by Mercer too!

Plus isn’t Sharp Sisters a great name for a wine to toast women winemakers during Women’s History Month?

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Toast Cesar Chavez and Farmworkers with Ordaz Malbec March 31

portrait of Cesar Chavez by Dianne Bennet

This week, lift your glass to Cesar Chavez who was born on March 31! And do so with a wine from Ordaz!

As wine drinkers, we reflect often on the accomplishments of winemakers; see for example, my recent post about Merry Edwards.

But as winemakers are quick to remind us, wine is not made in the winery, but in the vineyards. Without excellent fruit, the wine will not be as wonderful.

While many winemakers do tend their own grapes (again looking at you Merry Edwards, and you Bruce Freeman!), the bulk of the work lands on the shoulders of those field hands who toil throughout the year to help each vine produce each precious grape. Continue reading

Women In Wine: Meet Winemaker Merry Edwards

Merry Edwards 2014 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Flax Vineyard

March is Women’s History month, so here on Wine  Predator we are recognizing and honoring women in wine including New Zealand’s Erica Crawford, Italy’s Lisa Anselmi, and France’s  Floriane Eznack.

Today we turn our attention to women in wine in the US starting with winemaker Merry Edwards who began her career in wine in 1974 making her one of California’s first women winemakers.

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Spring for Festivals: Essentials in LA, Garagiste in Santa Ynez

Now that spring has sprung, it is officially festival season! No matter where you live, there are great festivals about! Coming up this Sunday April 26 is Essentials in downtown Los Angeles and the following weekend March 30-April 2 is the Garagiste Festival in Santa Ynez!

ESSENTIAL : top 99 restaurants as determined by LA Weekly

GARAGISTE Syn: Rule-breakers, pioneers, renegades, mavericks, driven by passion.


First up, Essentials this Sunday from 2-5pm benefits Food Forward  Continue reading

Women in Wine: Floriane Eznack, Cellar Master, Champagne Jacquart for French #Winophiles

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, winter, spring, summer, or fall, Champagne (aka that sparkling wine from Champagne France) is a wine that pairs with any occasion or event, and it is one of the most versatile wines you’ll find.

Seven Fun Facts about Champagne and what makes it special and unique.

This month, with the French Winophiles food and wine group focus on Champagne and as March is Women’s History month and we are featuring influential women in wine like Erica Crawford of New Zealand’s Loveblock, Lisa Anselmi of Italy’s Anselmi Wines, it made sense that today we’d choose a wine made by Floriane Eznack of France’s Champagne Jacquart (read about the Brut Mosaique).

As head wine maker since 2011, Champagne Jacquart’s Floriane Eznack not only is responsible for the winemaking but she embodies the spirit of the brand.

I had the good fortune to meet Champagne Jacquart head wine maker Floriane Eznack at a press lunch at Ocean Prime in Beverly Hills Continue reading

Women In Wine: Lisa Anselmi, Anselmi Wines

Lisa Anselmi says she has a glass of their San Vincenzo almost every day

For Women’s History Month here on Wine Predator, we are focusing in on WOMEN IN WINE as much as possible, particularly, women we’ve met who wine! Last Wednesday March 8 was International Women’s Day and we featured Erica Crawford of New Zealand’s Loveblock Wine who we met at Wolf on Melrose in LA, CA.

Wine Predator Gwendolyn Alley, Lisa Anselmi, Que Syrah Sue

On Monday, March 13, Que Syrah Sue and I had lunch at Obica on Sunset with Lisa Anselmi; her grandfather began making wine from the family vineyards in the Veneto region of north eastern Italy  80 years ago, her dad changed direction to produce higher quality wine, and now Lisa is getting their story out to the world. Continue reading

Cheers to Open That Bottle Night 2017 with Champagne from Bollinger

Ginger is annoyed that we have yet to OPEN THAT BOTTLE

When I purchased this bottle of Bollinger NV back in 2011 to celebrate Ima Zinner’s birthday, I didn’t realize it would take us six years to open it.

But I wasn’t worried. You’re supposed to cellar wine, right?

WRONG. And somehow I didn’t know until May of 2016 that you don’t cellar Champagne.When Champagne is disgorged and ready for sale, it is ready to be enjoyed. That doesn’t mean you have to drink it that night that you buy it! But you should drink it within a year or two, maybe three.

You’re not supposed to wait SIX YEARS to open a bottle of Champagne!

But somehow that happened. It wasn’t a special enough occasion. Or it we were having red wine to go with red meat or some such. Or it wasn’t cold. One reason or another, it just didn’t happen.

So when Ima Zinner aka Kathy came over the other night, it was Open That Bottle Night, because we knew it was time. Way past time. But was it too late?

That depends! Continue reading