Troon’s Vermentino: An Unusual White Wine for #ORWine Month

Do you enjoy bright, lively, citrusy, minerally, acidic, refreshing white wines like Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Soave or Verdejo? If so, then you should check out VERMENTINO which, while unusual or rare in the United States, is not so unusual if you are in Italy!

According to Wikipedia, “Vermentino is also known under the synonyms Agostenga, Agostenga blanc, Brustiano, Brustiano di Corsica, Carbes, Carbesso, Favorita, Favorita bianca, Favorita Bianca di Conegliano, Favorita d’Alba, Favorita di Alba, Favorita di Conegliano, Formentino, Fourmentin, Garbesso, Grosse Clarette, Malvasia a Bonifacio, Malvasia Grossa, Malvasie, Malvoisie, Malvoisie è Gros Grains, Malvoisie Corse, Malvoisie de Corse, Malvoisie Précoce d’Espagne, Piccabon, Piga, Pigato, Rolle, Rossese, Sibirkovski, Uva Sapaiola, Uva Vermentino, Valentin, Varlentin, Varresana bianca, Vennentino, Verlantin, Vermentini, Vermentino bianco, Vermentino Pigato, and Vermentinu.” WHEW!

Originally thought to be from France or Italy, today Vermentino grows well and is well known in northern coastal regions of Italy including Marememma (try the one from Cecchi), and the islands of Sardinia, and Corsica in France. The Troon wine vineyards are in the Siskiyou Mountains which are very different than the volcanic soils in the Cascade Mtns.

In the US, Tablas Creek produces a Vermentino and it is grown also in Lodi, for example the 2014 Borra Vineyards Vermentino ($22) or the 2015 PRIE Winery, Delu Vineyard Lodi Vermentino ($21); Alta Mesa-Lodi AVA. 

Recently, Sue and I participated in a #WineStudio tasting of Troon’s 2014 Vermentino, and so for this final day of #ORWine month, I offer this post to you. Cheers to Oregon Wine Month! Cheers to trying new wines! Cheers to Vermentino! Continue reading

CA All The Way For #ChardonnayDay and #NationalWineDay!

While today May 25 is “National Wine Day,”  the Thursday before Memorial Day is “Chardonnay Day.”

Which is also today May 25!

With this double whammy in mind, and since last weekend we focused on Chardonnay from Chablis in Burgundy France, we decided to go for classic California interpretations for Chardonnay Day with two from Napa, one from Monterey, and a fourth from Lodi.

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For #NationalWineDay Say Hello to Merlot from Napa’s Rutherford Ranch

Poor Merlot!

After the movie Sideways came out, sales of Merlot dropped.

Under the influence of Miles, people were turned off by the idea of Merlot; people would even be ashamed or embarrassed to admit to me that they like Merlot!

So we thought that for this National Wine Day on May 25, Merlot needs more consideration. And we happened to have handy a recently arrived sample of the 2014  Rutherford Ranch Merlot from Napa Valley! Continue reading

Use your “Philtrum” to Celebrate #ORWine Month


1) Do you know what your PHILTRUM is, where it is located and what it does??

2) Do you know why a dog or a bear or a cat or another mammal has a wet nose?

(Yes, these two questions are related!)

Wikipedia says: The philtrum or medial cleft is a vertical groove in the middle area of the upper lip, common to many mammals.

Basically, your PHILTRUM is that area beneath your nostrils.

Wikipedia also says: For mammals, the philtrum helps carry sensory information to the brain but the human philtrum has no apparent function.

I’m here to tell you that Wikipedia is WRONG!

If you get your philtrum damp, you will be able to smell more distinct notes– in wine, perfume, food, you name it.  That’s why mammals have wet noses: so they can smell better! (Okay not smell better — have you ever smelled a bear? Ugh! No!)

Without water in the air , we wouldn’t be able to smell anything because the molecules are carried along with water.

To have a better sense of smell, get your nose wet! Or at least your PHILTRUM!

If you have a cold or other congestion from allergies, try licking your finger and then sliding it below your nose before you sniff and taste wine and you will know that what I saying is true: having a wet philtrum helps your sense of  smell and sing your sense of smell nd taste are dirtily related, guess what? you will be able to taste more intensely!

The philtrum also is the subject of a Jewish myth that has been featured in films. The myth says that angels teach infants in utero all of the world’s wisdom in the world, then an angel lightly taps the infant’s upper lip at birth to keep the child from telling the universe’s secrets.  In The Prophecy Christopher Walken stars as the archangel Gabriel who says, rather threateningly, “Do you know how you got that dent in your top lip? Way back, before you were born, I told you a secret, then I put my finger there and I said ‘Shhhhh!'”

As May is Oregon wine month, I will be posting  about wines from Oregon including several interesting whites from two regions of the state, plus Pinot Noir (of course), and we’re starting this off with a wine called… you guessed it:


2015 – Philtrum Pinot Noir Blanc, Love Potion – 13% alcohol – $29
2014 – Block B3 Old Vines Pinot Noir – Chehalem Mountain Vineyard – 13.8% alcohol – $50.00
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Chablis and the Sea: French #Winophiles Travel to Burgundy


the night I found out about beurre blanc…

Many of us grew up with gallon bottles of white wine around that said boldly on them “CHABLIS.”

But it is very unlikely that my grandparents were actually drinking “Chablis.” Instead, my relatives were drinking white wine, most likely Chardonnay blended with other white wines like Muscat, Chenin blanc, and Sauvignon blanc (which I think was called “French Colombard”!)

Today, just like if a bottle says “Champagne” it should be coming from Champagne France, if a bottle says “Chablis” on it, it is most likely to be wine made from 100% Chardonnay and coming from the Chablis region of France.

What makes Chablis special? Here are nine reasons: Continue reading

NZ Meets LA: Dinner at Tangaroa During LA Food Bowl 2017

During May 2017, The Los Angeles Times is presenting a new food festival called “Food Bowl” featuring “31 Days of Food” with special programs, dining experiences and forums as well as conversation about issues of sustainability, food waste and hunger.  L.A. area chefs and foodies as well as renown chefs from around the globe are participating in this unique Festival taking place throughout the City and LA County.

Last week, from May 10-14, a Night Market was held at Grand Park in downtown L.A. that included over 50 restaurants and food trucks plus live entertainment. For the rest of the month, there will be many more individual events in kitchens and restaurants, at bars and coffee shops, in farmers markets and even in buses. Lots to do this weekend or next and during the week too!

During the first week, on May 4, Sue and I attended the LA Food Bowl event at the New Zealand themed restaurant Tangaroa with wine from NZ Wine Navigator.

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May There Be Bubbles for Brunch! Plus Negronis, Strata for #WinePW

Let’s Do Brunch! So said Sue and I in suggesting this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend prompt.  We had no idea that this is actually #BrunchWeek for food bloggers who are also writing about Brunch this week!

But how many bloggers are writing about BRUNCH and WINE? Well, I’ll bet quite a few because for many a defining feature and interest in brunch is that they probably invented brunch so we could have wine with breakfast!

And for many, wine at brunch means BUBBLES! And while this was indeed true for many of us participating in Wine Pairing Weekend (scroll down and you’ll see!), Sue and I fell in love with a special Brunch Negroni! Continue reading