Let’s Go! Ventura County Barrel Tasting Weekend June 24 and 25

Dan Kessler of Kessler-Haak pulls out a barrel sample for me to taste in April 2017. This weekend 8 wineries in Ventura County will offer barrel samples.

As a wine blogger, one of the best privileges is the opportunity to taste wine from the barrel — and often with the winemaker! Even though I’ve done this many times, as recently as at Kessler-Haak in April where we tasted a half dozen or so different barrels of Pinot Noir and at wineries as varied as Painted Rock in British Columbia following the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2013 to Basel Cellars in Walla Walla during the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2010 and, more locally, at Bridlewood with David Hopkins in Santa Barbara County, with Ventura County’s Bruce Freeman of Clos de Amis last fall, with Micheal Meagher of Vino V, and with Mike Brown of Cantara Cellars.

Sometimes at tastings, they will pull a barrel sample to taste alongside other vintages and that can be fun too: you can taste a wine BEFORE it’s bottled and get a sense of a vintage. Wines are super fresh and often intense, but they give you a looking glass into the future of a wine.

No wonder Barrel Tasting Passport Weekends are so popular!

This coming weekend, June 24 and 25, seven Ventura County vintners will open up their barrels Continue reading

French #Winophiles Journey to Burgundy Part 2

This should be where I wax poetic about the delights of this wine from Burgundy in a post titled “Bourgogne with Beef Bourguignon from an Instant Pot” for this month’s French Winophiles excursion into Burgundy Part 2 with LM Archer following last month’s amazing trip where we paired this Chablis with seafood and beurre blanc sauce:

Continue reading

For Grads, Dad: Clubs, Tools, Books!

Still looking for Dad or Grad gifts? If so, consider:

  1. a wine club membership either far away or close by
  2. a bottle of wine from that winery or region, for example a bottle (or pair!) of Pinot Noir from The Ojai Vineyard
  3. a wine opener like this one from Avina
  4. a book to read while drinking wine like Vertical 
  5. a breath analyzer to make sure that it is safe to drink and drive

Continue reading

On Grill: Salmon, Squash, Stone Fruit; In Glass: Square Peg Pinot Noir for #WinePW

Grilled veggies, grilled stone fruit smoked trout salad, grilled Copper River Salmon paired with Square Peg Pinot Noir

I don’t know about you but there’s something on our grill almost every night– and something in a glass to go with it!

Continue reading

A toast to Rose Day with Cote Mas Brut!

Tomorrow is the second Saturday of June — which means it is Rose Day!  Cheers!

Join us on June 10 in celebrating this festive, pretty in pink wine! Go sweet like my grandma or dry like the traditional style from Provence France or explore the world of Rose and its many variances in style, sweetness, color, technique of production, and grape!

This month on #WineStudio, we are once again going pink! On Tuesdays from 6-7pm PST, we are tasting wines from four different regions starting with France, traveling to Spain on June 13, then two sites in California: Mendocino and Napa.

6 June – We were joined on twitter by fourth-generation vine grower and first generation vigneron Jean-Claude Mas who says “Languedoc is a destination for fine rosé, thanks to the wide variety of soils and ideal varietals.” We tasted Coté Mas Rosé Aurore​ 2016 Sud de France $11 and  Arrogant Frog Rosé 2016 Languedoc $10 (and compared them to two wines from Lodi)  plus 

Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé Brut NV St. Hilaire Languedoc $16 which is a great wine to toast Rose Day with!

Continue reading

Rose Wine from Lodi and France: Pair With Grilled Tuna, Fruit for Taco Tues

Taco Tuesday! Rose Day! Judgment of Lodi! #WineStudio!

What do these have in common?

  1. Rose Day is the second Saturday of June; in 2017, that is Sat. June 10.
  2. Last weekend I was on a press trip to Lodi CA where I bought a case of wine, including four bottles of ROSE!
  3. Lodi Wine Commission recently did a blind tasting that compared Lodi wines with those from other parts of the world to see how they measured up; read Nancy Brazil’s report on it here. 
  4. We bought a whole tuna in May so that we could make tuna tacos for Taco Tuesday to pair with rose.
  5. #WineStudio this month features rose, and on June 6, we had three samples from Paul Mas.
  6. #WinePW has a grillables theme that got us going on the grill.
  7. The blind tasting we did of five rose wines from around the world was FUN!

So for this month’s Taco Tuesday post, we celebrated rose day early with a comparison of two rose wines from France with two rose wines from Lodi a las the Judgement of Paris aka the Judgement of Lodi and paired them with grilled ahi tuna with grilled fruit. Read on for the results!

yes that’s a tuna taco

The Menu Continue reading