3 Vintages, 3 Vineyards, 3 Cheeses: WALT Pinot Noir and Cypress Grove Winning Pairings for Picnics

WALT wines with Cypress hill cheese

When we learned that WALT Wines, a Pinot Noir producer with vineyards from Willamette to Santa Barbara, had teamed up with  Cypress Grove, makers of goat cheese like Purple Haze, to launch “The Ultimate Cheeseboard Challenge,” we knew we’d participate! We love cheese and wine pairings, because  food and wine are both “flavor dense” — both offer complex flavors and chemistry for your palate to play.  Continue reading

Burning Man 2022: Waking Dreams, Secretly Abandoned Spaces, Minstrel Cramps, and a Fox in the Hen House #WorldWineTravel

In a statement that most of us can relate to in 2022, “After a long hazy blur of pandemic insomnia, unanchored in time and adrift between sleeping and waking, it’s time to start imagining the future again.” So writes Stuart Mangrum, director of Burning Man Project’s Philosophical Center, in announcing the 2022 Burning Man theme of Waking Dreams. “Whether it’s a dream of artistic expression, a yearning to connect with others in a fractured society, or simply a desire to live a more meaningful and authentic life, Burning Man is the place where dreams can and do come true.”  

Waking Dreams

And that’s how, on a very warm summer evening, I found myself conveniently unscrewing a bottle of Fox in the Henhouse Chardonnay after joining Minstrel Crampers in a very pandemic setting: a hybrid ZOOM meeting where we would continue planning how to make our dreams for this year’s camp come true. Continue reading

Garagistes Arrive in Glendale for “Urban Exposure: Celebrating the Artisan Winemaker” 7/22+ 7/23/22


“We are excited to be back in Southern California with another slate of remarkable and innovative wineries from almost every California AVA,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick in a press release. “The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure offers one of the most unique wine discovery opportunities available in the LA area.”

At a cost considerably less than a tank of gas for a trip to wine country, Southern California wine enthusiasts will congregate once more July 22 and 23 at the Garagiste Wine Festival’s Urban Exposure where they will taste wine from some of the best up and coming micro-production ‘garagiste’ wineries from across California, Continue reading

Comparing 4 More Sauv Blanc for Summer Time Virtual Travels: South Africa, Chile, Sonoma

4 sauv blanc: South Africa, Chile, Sonoma CA

What is it about Sauvignon Blanc that makes it so appealing, especially in the summer time? Is it the way Sauvignon Blanc goes so well with salads and other tastes of summer? Is it the notes of gooseberry aka “cat pee”? The jalapeño jelly? Grapefruit? Lemon lime? White stone fruit? Pine resin? Grassy herbal notes? Depending on what you prefer, and what glass you use, there is a Sauvignon Blanc for you! Continue reading

Comparing 2 French Sauvignon Blanc: Loire vs Bordeaux with Grilled Pesto Stuffed Chicken #Winophiles

Comparing 2 French Sauvignon Blanc

In this corner, Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine. And in that corner, Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux’s Graves. Let the competition begin! First, a straight tasting. And then pairing with Grilled Pesto Stuffed Chicken and an amazing fried goat cheese salad!

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Vive la France! Happy Bastille Day–“La Fête Nationale”! Celebrate with Grilled Meats and Sauces Paired with French Champagne or California’s Sosie!

Sosie’s 2019 “Bare Necessity” Sparkling Rosé

Vive la France! Even before our Declaration of Independence, the Kingdom of France secretly shipped supplies to the Continental Army, and two years after July 4, 1776, that alliance was solidified with a treaty in 1778. On July 14, 1789, the French followed suit in declaring their independence from the monarchy, and here in the US, we often think of Bastille Day on July 14th as “France’s Independence Day.”  But in France, Bastille Day is known as La Fête Nationale. Just like our July 4 Independence Day, celebrations include speeches, military parades, and fireworks to mark the anniversary of the fall of the medieval fortress, Bastille, in Paris, on July 14, 1789. And wine of course! Lots and lots of wine!

Of course you could celebrate with French sparkling wine from Champagne wine — or scroll down and check out Sosie Wines, which twins French sensibilities and style to grown French grapes in California terroir.

For a summer time celebration, it’s grill time! Sue paired four meats — fish, beef, pork, and chicken–with different sauces, and Marshall grilled them. Continue reading for all of the details! 

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5 Orange Wines for Summer Times from Austria, Mexico, Oregon, and Paso Robles Paired with Finger Foods #WinePW

Orange wines for summer times with tasty bites

Orange wines for summer times? No, I don’t mean some sort of orange juice infused wine or wine cocktail (although you can find some darn good juicy cocktails here!) Far from it. Orange wines are white wines made with the kind of skin contact typical of red wines– there is no orange juice involved at all. Usually white wines are made with brief contact with the skin; the juice is immediately pressed off.  That extended skin contact tints the wine so that it has a deeper hue, almost an orange or even amber color. Often, orange wines are made in amphora which are large clay or concrete vessels.

Like rosé, orange wines are Continue reading