Who will compete in France in 2021? The independent spirit, winning, and who made the USA Wine Team

the brilliant logo on the back of my USA Wine Team jacket

July 4 celebrates the independent spirit of the United States of America. 

For me, July 4 was really all about the fireworks and family gatherings, although the Bicentennial in 1976 was special, after our country survived Watergate.

As a parent, participating in the City of Ventura Push-Em Pull-Em Parade on July 4 with my family and my community filled me with pride and joy as we walked down a closed Main Street toward downtown. 

Continue reading

You’re Invited to My ZOOM Interview and Tasting with Portuguese Winemaker Luis Duarte Weds. 7/7/21

Join me on Wednesday July 7th at 3pm ET / 12pm PT on Zoom or Facebook Live for a VeroTalk. I’ll be interviewing Portuguese winemaker Luis Duarte who will be live from the Alentejo wine region in Portugal while his colleague Mafalda will be live from the Duoro.

In the interview, I’ll be asking Luis Duarte about his career and his approach to making sustainable wines as well as tasting Continue reading

Ramato, the copper colored “orange” wine of Italy — and Oregon! #ItalianFWT

2 Ramato wines from Oregon

Ramato means copper in Italian.

And while you might think when you look at a Ramato wine that it’s a Rosé wine — a wine made by pressing red wine grapes with brief skin contact so little color from the skins is imparted in to the wine– 

Ramato is actually more like the opposite of a Rosé!

Ramato is made from a “white” grape, not red. Continue reading

Slow Wines, Fast Times: Ventura County Vineyards Growing Great!


Lunch time on bottling day for South Mountain Cabernet made with fruit from Paso Robles; Gretel looking pensive

After 18 wineries in five days last week in El Dorado County and the Lodi AVA, Sue and I made it back home to Ventura, and it looks like the summer is going to be FEVERISHLY HOT and busy as we continue to visit wineries looking to update and add to the Slow Wine Guide.

El Dorado’s Starfield with a full moon rising

This week we started assessing three Ventura County wineries, The Ojai Vineyard, Clos des Amis, and Topa Mountain Vineyard, as well as two from Santa Barbara County, Melville and Camins 2 Dreams with most of the grapes coming from the Sta Rita Hills AVA. All five wineries plus Anna’s Ciders will be featured in my upcoming article for Ventana Monthly’s July/August issue; we did our tasting and wine pairing dinner Monday at Ventura’s Vintage Trailer Park, Waypoint!

wines for my upcoming feature in Ventana against a backdrop of the “Vintner’s Trailer” at Waypoint Ventura

Next week for Slow Wine Guide we’ll visit lots of Santa Barbara wineries and the following week we head further north. (Should we visit you? Email me!)

Before we leave for SB, on Weds July 7 at noon Pacific I’m leading a ZOOM interview and tasting with Luis Duarte, Continue reading

Basque’s Effervescent Txakolina #WorldWineTravel


“To understand the path of wine in the 21st century, consider a bottle of Txakolina,” writes Eric Asimov in “Txakolina, a Simple Pleasure With a Deep Sense of Place.”

While twenty years ago, no one knew Txakolina outside Spanish Basque Country, “where it was the go-to wine with just about anything consumed at a table,” reports Asimov, today “people all over the world have a passing familiarity with this often mildly effervescent wine, even if they don’t know how to pronounce it (chock-oh-LEE-nah).” Continue reading

A Search for Rousillon’s Maury #Winophiles

In 2001, the large sunny coastal yet verdant Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south east of France beside the Mediterranean and north of Spain produced more wine than the entire United States. 

So you’d think it wouldn’t be too hard to find a wine from Maury, located in Roussillon. Or to find one from Roussillon. Continue reading

School’s Out: Ring the Bell with Shades of Summer with L’Ecole’s Chenin Blanc and Grenache Rose

The school bell has rung! School’s out for summer! And we’re celebrating the shades of summer days with a yellow Chenin Blanc and a salmon pink rose both from L’Ecole No. 41!  

And what goes with these wines and warm summer days? How about fresh fish and vegetables cooked on the grill? Continue reading