Discover “Undiscovered California” at Ventura County’s Clos des Amis VeroTalk

With brown hills above Santa Paula and local snow capped mountains in the background, winemaker Bruce Freeman cradles three of his wines to be featured in the Feb. 11 Verotalk.

Following high winds with two brief yet intense rainstorms which left inches of hail on the ground and snow dusting the local mountains including several inches in Malibu canyon, I dropped by Clos des Amis yesterday  afternoon to taste how the 2020 vintage is progressing, and help a bit with clean up.

These 3 Clos des Amis wines will be featured in a Facebook live talk on Feb. 11; details on how to order them below. (Unfiltered, unedited photo!)

In a difficult year with COVID, fires, and sudden record-breaking high temperatures, the 2020 harvest overall was a bright spot for Clos Des Amis winemaker Bruce Freeman who predicted the vintage would be exceptional: “We had beautiful weather, beautiful fruit, and I’m excited about the potential for these wines.” Soon after harvested, he told me that the wines were “already showing elegance and power.” Continue reading

Napa’s Groth New Estate White Wine Plus Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay Paired with Sushi and Seafood Pasta

Creating Groth’s newly released Estate White was NOT a quick or easy task.

In fact it was many years in the making from idea to fruition. The idea? Groth, famous for their estate Cabernet Sauvignon, wanted to offer a classic white Bordeaux style blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from their Oakville Estate in the heart of Napa Valley. Continue reading

Regional Rioja Pairings: Tempranillo, Viura, Rosado with bean kale soup, orange avo salad, rack of lamb, patatas bravas #WorldWineTravel

Many people discovered and continue to discover the wines of Rioja while on a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago Continue reading

For a Special Evening at Home: Bordeaux’s Sweet, Sparkling, Savory Surprises #Winophiles

Bordeaux: white, red, rose– and it comes in sweet and sparkling too!

What’s new, different, or surprising about the venerable, distinguished and well known wine region Bordeaux?

  • As of July 2019, to combat climate change, Bordeaux wineries can use four new red grapes: Marselan, Touriga Nacional, Castets, and Arinarnoa.
  • New white grapes allowed in Bordeaux are Alvarinho, Petit Manseng, and Liliorila.
  • Bordeaux wines come in in a wide range of styles and colors: still, sparkling, sweet, white, rose, and red.
  • Bordeaux wines can be affordable! They don’t have to be red tannic monsters that break the bank.
  • Bordeaux’s diversity of wines means there’s one for every occasion and menu!

In fact for a special evening at home, you can enjoy a range of sweet, savory, and sparkling wines paired with a romantic menu and barely break a $20 bill.

Continue reading

Sushi and Wine? Totally Fine! Here’s 21 to Try in 2021 #WinePW

I write about food and wine, so it would be expected that my social media has pictures of both, right? And because we’re total cheese whores around here, there’s lot of photos of wine and cheese. Oh and oysters! After that, believe it or not, I take and post a lot of pictures of wine and sushi.

Even on National Wine and Cheese Day there’s pictures of sushi with wine! Continue reading

My Top 20 Wine Stories from 2020

Reflecting on 2020, the year that wasn’t but still was, I was fortunate to travel around the world via my wine glass and ZOOM. On my virtual travels, and travels before the shutdown, many winemakers shared their stories. And with no where to go and nothing to do, I also found more time to write about the adventures in wine I’ve had including those that Sue Hill and I had in France in October 2019 when we visited for two weeks while in the country to compete for the US Wine Tasting team as well as a trip to Napa and Sonoma earlier in the year. Continue reading

Going with Lugana in 2021 #ItalianFWT

Colli Vaibo “Gemma” Lugana Riserva DOC

Like many wine writers, I’m asked all the time what’s my favorite wine. My response is always: what’s on the menu?

Because there are so many unusual and indigenous wines in Italy, choosing a favorite Italian wine is even harder, Continue reading