Embedded in Albariño: Ventura County Vineyards January 2022

freshly planted Albariño cuttings

In January 2019, this journalist (me!) embedded herself into a Ventura County winery, Clos des Amis, to better understand how wine grapes are grown and wine is made. And then in January 2022, she embedded herself even more literally by planting cuttings Continue reading

Margaret River’s Vinaceous Voodoo Moon Malbec Makes You Howl for Blue Cheese Burgers on the Barbie #WorldWineTravel

Voodoo Moon and Blue cheese burger

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says January’s full Moon is called the Wolf Moon because wolves could be heard howling in winter to define their territory, locate their pack members, reinforce their social bonds, and coordinate their hunting. Assiniboine people of the Northern Great Plains call the January full moon Center Moon  because it marks the middle of the winter cold. Along the same lines, the Cree call it Cold Moon or Frost Exploding Moon, Algonquin refer to it as Freeze Up Moon, and the Dakotas say it’s the  Severe Moon or the Hard Moon which means fresh fallen snow on the hard crust of older snow. Other records show: Canada Goose Moon (Tlingit), Great Moon (Cree), Greetings Moon (Western Abenaki), and Spirit Moon (Ojibwe).

Voodoo Moon and Blue cheese

And now we also have “Voodoo Moon”! Of course in Western Australia, where Voodoo Moon comes from, it’s the middle of summer, and not cold at all! Under a brightly lit sky, Marshall grilled us the “ultimate burger” blend from Main Street Meats in Ventura which we served with a hearty helping of arugula plus sweet potato oven chips to pair with this Western Australian wine from Margaret River’s Vinaceous Wines “Voodoo Moon Malbec.”

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#WorldWineTravel Invitation to Engage South Australian Reds and an Introduction to Age Worthy Shiraz

screen shot from a ZOOM on AUS Shiraz

in 2021, on the fourth Saturday of every month, the #WorldWineTravel group of wine writers did a deep dive into the wines of Spain with articles published on specific themes and a twitter chat at 8am Pacific: Continue reading

2022 Slow Wine Tour Showcases Italy, CA, OR, WA, NY Wines in 5 US Cities

cover art for Slow Wine Guide 2022: Italy and US

“In the name of productivity, the ‘fast life’ has changed our lifestyle and now threatens our environment and our land (and city) scapes.” Carlo Petrini, SLOW FOOD MANIFESTO

Inspired by the Slow Food Movement which began in 1986 after a “demonstration on the intended site of a McDonald’s at the Spanish Steps in Rome,” and which advocates “a comprehensive approach to food that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, people, politics and culture,” The Slow Wine Guide and the Slow Wine Tour highlight those wineries that epitomize the “slow” approach which avoids chemical herbicides and instead promotes regenerative agriculture.

With a reliance on in-person winery visits and winemaker interviews, The Slow Wine Guide today evaluates over 400 different wineries in Italy and almost 300 in the US Continue reading

Sparkling Wine Secrets: Germany, Austria, So Africa, Argentina, and Lodi Paired with Fried Chicken for a Bubbly Birthday Bash #WinePW

Clink different with sparkling wine secrets from around the world

Did you know Germany is the largest producer of sparkling wine in the world?  And that they drink more sparkling wine per capita than any other country in the world? In 2014, Germans consumed five bottles of sparkling wine per person — FIVE times the rate in the US! With about  two billion bottles of sparkling wine produced each year worldwide, one fifth are consumed in Germany which translated in 2017 to 400 million bottles of sparkling wine including Champagne, Cava, and Prosecco. In 2017, Germany produced 368.8 million bottles of Sekt– most of which the Germans enjoyed themselves. Austria comes in right behind, drinking four bottles of sparkling wine per person each year. The two countries represent the largest sparkling wine markets in the world, even though in 2020 they place fifth and 24th when it comes to exporting the bubbly: Continue reading

A Different Perspective from Provençe: Chateau Vignelaure Coteaux D’Aix Rosé #Winophiles

When you think of Provence, what comes to mind? Coastal breezes? Fields of lavender? Herbs of Provence? A fresh crisp rosé wine made from Grenache, possibly with some Syrah or Mourvedre or CInsault? So at first when you think of a different perspective in Provence, you’d think red wine, which are rare and lovely: of the 176 million bottles produced each year, 89% of the region’s production is rosé; only 7% is red and the remaining 4% is white. Read about biodynamic practicing and organic certified 2013 Chateau Guilheim Tournier “Cuvee la Malissonne” AOC Bandol, France, a red wine made with 95% Mourvèdre, 5% Grenache. 

But the different perspective we’re talking about today is that of Continue reading

A Dozen Sparkling Wine Pairing Secrets from Around the World: Part One #WinePW

Clink different with sparkling wine secrets from around the world

Whether it’s called Cremant, Cava, Prosecco, Col Fondo, Champagne or Metodo Classico, sparkling wine is made in wine regions around the world from regional or international grapes and using various production methods. While we typically think about this bubbly beverage when we’re in a celebratory mood, it’s a great wine to pair well with many different dishes. During 2020, here on Wine Predator we explored sparkling wine pairings in a series of twelve articles which featured sparkling wines from around the world, which is also the theme for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend.

What should you pair sparkling wine with? Check out these ideas: Continue reading