The Eternal Light Shines in Galilee: Yarden’s Merlot, Pinot Gris with Acorn Squash Couscous, Tangerine Feta Spring Salad #WinePW

A beautiful oil lamp glimmers on the label of Yarden wines.

According to my friend Myr Slosberg, the oil lamp is significant because in Temple you have a light that’s above the Torah that’s always lit with oil. The light signifies the presence of God; the light is to always be lit.

An eternal light shines from these Yarden wines Continue reading

AUS Fires: Impact, How To Help, Focus on Four Wines with BBQ

As a lifelong Californian, I have experienced my share of fires. Growing up I remember my dad commuting from LA through fires in Malibu, and how scary that was. When I was very little, there was a fire on the hill above our Ventura house, and for the rest of my life when the sun sets at the right angle in the fall, the glint of the sun on the windows of the houses makes me wonder whether a fire is there or not.

In 2017, the Thomas Fire roared through my town taking out 300 homes, and the devastating mudflows in Montecito followed. In 2018, the Woolsey Fire took out a huge swath not far from home , and again in 2019, fire hit close by on South Mountain near Clos des Amis and where my son was at a slumber party, and other fires hit Ventura County too. If you add in the other devastating fires of the past few years — Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Tubbs, Atlas and more — Californians have lost a lot.

But this is nothing compared to what is happening in Australia where over 46 million acres have burned. According to a recent article in the New York Times,

  • The area of 2019-2020 bushfires in Australia is larger than the country of Switzerland.
  • The area of the 2019-2020 fires in Australia is larger than the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
  • If the fires in Australia were in California, they’d cover 1/10 of the state.

In addition to vineyards being burned to the ground, smoke taint threatens the crop Continue reading

Why I’m NOT at #WBC18 and Why I’ll be in Hunter Valley New South Wales AUS Oct 10-12 for WBC19!

Wine Predator Gwendolyn Alley on a pre-WBC13 press trip in WA

This week, several hundred of my wine blogging and wine writing and wine industry friends are gathering in Walla Walla WA for this year’s wine, food, travel, and social media educational extravaganza known as the Wine Bloggers Conference.

showing off my zin temporary tattoo at WBC09 in Santa Rosa; photo by John Cocoran

Before missing this year, I’d attended all but two Wine Blogger Conferences — and those two took place on the East Coast, too far and expensive for me to travel to.

That’s right: I attended:

  • the first Wine Blogger’s Conference in 2008 in Santa Rosa,
  • 2009 to Santa Rosa,
  • a press trip to Portugal in 2009 which included the European Wine Bloggers Conference,
  • on a scholarship to go to Walla Walla in 2010,
  • NOT– I skipped 2011 when it was in Virgina and instead visited Idaho and revisited Walla Walla and spent time in Oregon and northern California on a 3 week and 3k mile road trip,
  • and spoke at the 2012 WBC in PDX,
  • on another scholarship in 2013 to attend WBC in Penticton BC,
  • by driving an hour up the 101 to Santa Barbara in 2014,
  • NOT — I skipped 2015 in the Finger Lakes,
  • and spoke in 2016 at WBC in Lodi CA
  • 2017 back in Santa Rosa CA

And this year it’s in Walla Walla, Washington, where it was also held in 2010 at the Whitman Hotel which I loved. I also loved how walkable Walla Walla is — and of course the wine… and the food… and the friends…

So why am I not in Walla Walla? It’s not even on the east coast! Continue reading

Preview: Wine Pairing Weekend’s AUS Grilling Adventure #WinePW

It’s summertime and the grilling is easy!

That’s why the Wine Pairing Weekend crew headed to the grill this month — and paired those grilled goodies with wine from Australia — where, while it may be winter Down Under, they have some mighty fine wines to pair with your shrimp on the barbie as well as your sausages and shiraz! Plus it’s great prep for the Wine Bloggers Conference there in 2019!

Before I get further into telling you about the two wines pictured Continue reading

Red and White Wine With a #RiojaBuzz

When you think of wine from Rioja, Spain, you think red, right? and then maybe tempranillo?

But there is more to Rioja than red wine or tempranillo (even if tempranillo is over 75% of the region’s planted grapes!)

220px-DOCa_Rioja_location.svgIn fact, this wine growing region in northern Spain boasts white wines–and some tasty affordable white wines at that!

A few weeks ago,  Que Syrah Sue and I participated in #riojabuzz where we tasted a $15 white wine from Rioja,  the 2013 Cune Monopole and a $25 bottle of red wine from Rioja, a 2004 Tempranillo Gran Reserva. Both were delightful and a good value. Still in the Rioja mood, a few days later, I opened the 2010 Cune Rioja Crianza. Continue reading

Join These October Twitter Tastings for Wine from FOUR Continents!

This October, I am VERY excited by invitations to four Twitter tastings to experience wine from FOUR continents: Columbia Crest in Washington State North America, various Bordeaux Chateaus from France Europe, Concha y Toro Chile South America, and Chateau Tanunda Barossa Austalia! Continue reading