Cava, Prosecco, Champagne, Oh My! Four Sparkling Wines to Try This Summer with Zucchini Fritters

Bubbles! We love them! But when they come from different parts of the world and have different names  how are they the same? Different?

How does a Italian Prosecco taste side by side with a Spanish Cava, a glass of Champagne, a sparkler from California? Do they all go with the same foods? What goes with bubbles?

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Go Ahead, Give In, Acquiesce To These Rhone Whites from Lodi CA

To acquiesce is to agree with something, to give in, to go along. It comes from Latin meaning “to rest” as in to rest a case or to give tacit agreement.

So you’d think that because Lodi’s Acquiesce Winery focuses on white wines in a region known for red wines, or because Acquiesce features obscure white Rhone varietals, that the name suggests that they gave in– that perhaps someone had already planted these vineyards with these white grapes, and they just acquiesced.

But that’s not the case.

The story goes that Rodney Tipton was Continue reading

Testimony to Potential: Chapoutier’s Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Blanc Paired with Halibut #Winophiles

Roussillon has the potential to be as great as Bordeaux, Burgundy or the Rhône.”

So says Michel Chapoutier, oenologist, biodynamic farmer, famed Rhône winemaker, and head of Maison M. Chapoutier whose Bila-Haut wines from the region provide a testimony offering excellent wines at an affordable price. Continue reading

White Rhones Find Homes in California’s Central Coast

You’re probably very familiar with global red wine favorites Syrah and Grenache which thrive in various regions of the world and famously flourish in France’s Rhone Valley (for a few examples, read about Saint Joseph here, Rasteau here, Chateauneuf-du-Pape here, M. Chapoutier here (red and white!), and Lirac here,).

You’re probably less familiar, however, with the white wines of the Rhone Valley and for good reason– there are very few of them, and those few produced are quite coveted!

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Moldova: Bubbles, Red Blend, and …Pizza? Yes! #WinePW

Who is the eleventh largest producer of wine in Europe and in 2014 the twentieth largest wine producing country in the world?

Tiny Moldova!

While most of the wine from Moldova is exported, very little lands in the United States; instead it heads to Russia. Once part of the Soviet Union, Moldova Continue reading

The Point Is Not The Point, The Point is… Who’s On The 2020 US Team

Team USA 2019 in a photo by the US Consulate Marseille: from left to right team member Gwendolyn Alley, team member Sue Hill, gf of Jacob Fergus, team Jacob Fergus, Taylor Robertson, Kathy Greene, coach John Vilja.

Back in the day, I did Slam Poetry. That’s competitive poetry where you get points from random judges in the audience on a ten point scale. Like in diving, the highest and the lowest scores get thrown out and your score is the three in the middle added together. While I love performing my poetry in front of an audience and I continue to write and publish poetry plus I’ve had several  major paying commissions and fellowships (Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and more) I no longer compete in Slams. While I loved the community, I’m just not into competitive poetry.

But I learned a lot, and I carry those word and life lessons as well as those friendships with me today. One of the most important came when I was active at the Taos Poetry Circus in Taos New Mexico, where I learned from slam ring master Jim Nave that

“The  point is not the point, the point is POETRY!”

I’m trying to keep this in mind Continue reading