Here’s Why To Try Old or Ancient Vine Zinfandel from Mendocino or Lodi

What should you pour on Thanksgiving to pair with turkey, ham, or prime rib?

I say Old Vine ZINFANDEL!

(Although I must admit after tasting these three Beaujolais with coq a vin I was reminded how well that works too!)

Last Wednesday, on Zinfandel Day 2017, Sue, John, and I tasted FOUR old vine or ancient vine zinfandel: three from Lodi as part of a Facebook live event and one from Mendocino; all four were samples sent for our review consideration. Two of them should be easy to find in your nearby supermarket! Plus I tasted a blend that features Lodi and Mendocino old and ancient vines fruit that has been aged in bourbon barrels — and you should be able to find that one as well.

We’re fans of Zinfandel around here: we also did a Pre-Zinfandel Day warm up post featuring two more old and ancient vine Zinfandel from Lodi.  Last summer we did a Lodi-centric tasting with 13 zinfandels.  And after the 2008 and the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conferences, I came home with MANY bottles of Zinfandel which we tasted and I wrote about here (2008) and here (2016).

But if you’re not convinced that zin is the direction you want to go, check out this post all about what wines to bring for Thanksgiving.

And now back to ZINFANDEL.

Old or ancient vine zinfandel? What does that even mean?

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Do you know the way to Beaujolais? We do! Part 2 with Coq a Vin!

Pair with pate and triple cream brie — together!

Do you know the way to Beaujolais?

You should!

Beaujolais is a great greeter wine– a wine to greet guest with to rev up there palate and say HI!. Much like Sauvignon blanc can be a greeter wine, beaujolais has acidity and brightness, it awakens the palate and prepares you for what’s to come. Pair this wine as a greeter wine with pate and a triple cream brie and your guest will love you!

So do you know the way to Beaujolais? Continue reading

Do you know the way to Beaujolais? Part 1

Beaujolais LOVES Pate!

Each year, the third Thursday of November is the day that Beaujolais Nouveau is released.

What’s the big deal? Beaujolais nouveau is the first wine of the vintage! A red wine made with Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France and fermented for a few weeks and then bottled 6-8 weeks following harvest, on the day of release, Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations used to include races to get the wine delivered around the world. These days, it’s shipped in advance but no one may sell it until after midnight.

As fresh, fruity, and fun as Beaujolais nouveau is, there’s a lot more to the region of Beaujolais than nouveau wine!

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Zinfandel Day 2017 with Lodi Old Vines

This Thanksgiving, we’re grateful for old vine zinfandel from Lodi!

With Zinfandel Day today, and with Thanksgiving coming up, my thoughts turn to zinfandel, my go to wine when it comes to holiday ham, turkey, or prime rib. It’s a wine that works well with many of the sides too.

While many know zinfandel as an inexpensive, fruit forward wine that pairs well with pizza or burgers, some people are making top shelf zinfandel, often from old or ancient vines, a red wine that is elegant as well as rich, spicy, and complex and worthy of sharing with friends and family on special occasions. They taste and feel like a high quality wine. People often dismiss Zinfandel possibly because they haven’t tasted the really good ones, so they don’t know how very nice a really good Zin can be.

A selection of old and ancient vine Zinfandel from Lodi: some of these vines are over 100 years old!

You are invited to join us for an old-vine Zinfandel virtual tasting on National Zinfandel Day November 15th at 3 pm PST. The virtual tasting will be presented LIVE on Lodi’s Facebook page with wine grower Keven Phillips of Michael-David Vineyards, owner and winemaker Kyle Lerner of Harney Lane Winery and Stuart Spencer winemaker of St. Amant Winery and the program director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission.

In anticipation of this event, Sue and I opened two high end Old Vine Zinfandel Continue reading

Live Wine Blogging Round 2 at #WBC17: Red Wines

Every year the Wine Bloggers Conference features live blogging where wineries have five minutes to pour and present their wines to a table of bloggers who then do their best to tweet and take notes. This year there were around 25. or 30 tables with 6-8 people at each. For wineries, it’s a great chance to meet with an engaged group. For bloggers, it tests you to see how well you can taste and find a story to share in five minutes. In the past, I tried to do tasting notes. These days, I am using my camera to take notes and I am more interested in capturing the story and noting whether the wine or the wine’s story caught my interest enough to investigate further.

This year the red wines ranged from Pinot noir to petite sirah and in price from around $20 to around $70. I was able to get 10 tweets up, one about each wine. Continue reading

WBC17: Walla Walla Here We Come! #WBC18 October 4-7

Announced tonight at the dinner sponsored by Naked Wines that we will be going to Walla Walla WA for next year’s Wine Bloggers Conference!

And the dates will be:

October 4-7 2018!

Hard to imagine that I will be able to attend in the fall at that time … but I can dream right?

150 family owned wineries
charming city yes check
great history where you can walk anywhere


and we will be at the wonderful hotel where we were in 2010 as well

but yeah it’s a terrible time of the year for me personally so you probably won’t be seeing me…



American Wine, American Meal: Duck and Duckhorn Merlot #WinePW

As part of our #MerlotMe extravaganza in October, some of us received six bottles of wine as samples at three price points from Duckhorn Vineyards. Last year we were doing a Jura French wine dinner with food from the region and we figured it would be fine with the Duckhorn wine. While we were right and it was fine, the Jura wines paired with the Jura food was exceptional, while these fabulous Napa Merlot was just ho-hum with that meal

This year for #MerlotMe we wanted to go for Merlot and food pairs that we were confident were winners with Merlot but still a stretch for us in one way or another. That’s what led to this post where we paried two Napa merlot with both salmon and triptip as well as a number of sides.

But for these meal we loved the idea of pairing duck with Duckhorn — and as the Wine Pairing Weekend group is exploring American Wines for an American Meal with an eye on Thanksgiving, we thought this would fit right in.  Continue reading