I should be packing for France. For over a year now, I’ve been researching the Rhone Valley, and how best to get to Châteauneuf-du-Pape to compete or cover the World Wine Tasting Championship slated to be held there 10/2/21. Should I fly into Lyon? Marseille? Nice? Toulouse? Deals to fly in to Geneva, Porto, and Milan also caught my eye– cities all closer to the Southern Rhone destination than Paris. But in early July, life got a little complicated when it came to the contest. And I may or may not be part of a lawsuit related to this. It’s been quite the roller coaster with Team USA WINE. And if I’m not competing, like I did in 2019 in the Loire, I’d really like to be there covering the story. I just checked flights from LAX! Continue reading
Rigmarole. What a perfect word for what we’ve been going through globally during the pandemic: a lot of rigmarole. Masks. Social Distancing. Extra washing. Vaccines. COVID tests. Elbow bumps instead of hand shakes. Elbow bumps instead of hugs. Vaccine card checks. “Galimatias” means “rigmarole” according to Continue reading
Yes, we blend! And in the Côtes du Rhône that usually means Continue reading
As we bounced along on the narrow, straight dirt road in our 1990 VW Westfalia camper van, with a very steep oak wooded hillside to the left, and a rolling dry cow pasture rising to our right, I was sure we’d gone the wrong way. The sign that said AmByth with the arrow? Maybe we should go back and check. And then the road came to an abrupt end in a clump of oak trees with a climb up to the right and the left. To the left was a green gate and another small sign: AmByth.
“AmByth is the Welsh word meaning ‘forever’. We view it as our legacy,” states AmByth Estates founder Phillip Hart.
“In the name of productivity, the ‘fast life’ has changed our lifestyle and now threatens our environment and our land (and city) scapes,” writes Carlo Petrini in the SLOW FOOD MANIFESTO. Arguing that we “confuse efficiency with frenzy, we propose the vaccine of an adequate portion of sensual gourmandise pleasures, to be taken with slow and prolonged enjoyment.”
Featured in the Slow Wine Guide is pioneering Fetzer, one of the first larger wineries to get on the certified organic bandwagon, and is also now a B Corp. While they do source and use conventional grown fruit in their Fetzer brand, their Bonterra brand is all certified organically grown grapes, and they also have biodynamic wines. Fetzer’s family of wines includes Chile’s Cono Sur brand which uses organically grown certified grapes.
“Verdicchio? Is that a vegetable?” My writing partner Sue Hills was asked this question twice in twenty four hours. While Verdicchio may sound like some sort of green vegetable, it’s actually a green fruit — a grape to be exact, and not surprisingly, a greenish grape. To make it even more complicated, Verdicchio is known by many other names, and combined, it’s one of the most planted grapes in the world — and likely one that you don’t know! Continue reading