Cariñena Coop Vinícola San Valero Celebrates 75 Years with New Brands and #WineStudio

Celebrating 75 years of winemaking, Cariñena’s Cooperativa Vinícola San Valero, formerly known as Grupo Bodegas San Valero, recently launched of a new corporate structure with new proprietary brands that maintain the passion and spirit of the founding winemakers of 1944. Continue reading

Intro a Friend to French Wine 1: Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Comforting Cassoulet #Winophiles

While wine grapes may be grown throughout the world, it is France that many consider the most important country for wine. Ever since the Greeks cultivated grapes in Gaul (France) in the 6th century, for over 2,000 years,  growing grapes and making wine has been an important aspect of life in France. Wine grapes are grown throughout the country with 7-8 million bottles produced every year making France the number one producer of wine by volume in the world.

Did you know that most of the well-known grapes grown globally are actually French in origin? Continue reading

“The New California Wine” Author Jon Bonne Visits LA 12/15/13

download“I hear you hate California wine.”

That’s the first line in Jon Bonné’s new book, The New California Wine which showed up on my doorstep a few days ago. Since then I’ve discovered for myself why my wine blogging friends have been raving about it–it really is a great book. In fact,  it’s all I can do NOT to drop everything and keep reading it!

I mean, don’t you want to know what comes after that first line?

As a nationally recognized wine authority and the wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, Bonne certainly knows his wine. But it is his historical narratives and personal anecdotes that caught my imagination right away and seduced me into reading far longer than I had planned to–it’s finals, and I have huge piles of research papers to grade. But when I came down with that bug that’s going around, I had a chance to spend a little more time with his book to discover that he offers a seriously comprehensive overview–over 600 wines from long time producers and favorites like Ridge and Ojai Vineyards to the positively youthful Donkey and Goat from the Brandts, and from larger vintners that you can find in a grocery store to tiny ones like William Allen’s Two Shepherds– to guide readers in understanding what’s going on today in California viticulture. Continue reading

#MulledWine: you know you want it

Back in the early 80s, when I was barely legal and going to Foothill community college, I worked at Ridge Winery in the tasting room up on Montebello Road.

For those of you who remember, you are probably laughing because there was no “tasting room” at Ridge –there was only a tasting table outside, a simple picnic table where we had five wines, usually four zins and a claret, lined up along with a basket of fresh bread (from “City of Paris” as I recall); you went inside the cellar where Kathy poured other offerings and helped you make your purchases.

We were having a Christmas party or some sort of potluck as I recall and it was quite cold. I was a newlywed with a Crockpot and as I was going to7chaisspices be at the tasting room all day, I suggested I make mulled wine. After all, there was always plenty of leftover wine lying around that I never got around to drinking during the week so why not pour all those together and mull them?

You can only imagine the look of horror at my suggestion–mull a Ridge wine? Continue reading

I Made The List! Plus 5 Wine Blogs “I” Read

Following Vintank’s blog post last week listing the 9 most influential wine bloggers, several commenters observed the list was limited to one gender–male. The comments section has quite a ruckus going on–some of it insightful and provocative.

Last year, following the publication of a similar list and various online discussions about it and the fact that it too was a list of male wine bloggers, Jo Diaz posted her list of women bloggers. (If you need a refresher about this, you can do so here.)

This year, two bloggers responded with their own lists–and I made both of them! Continue reading

Wine How To Redux: Avoiding Palate Fatigue

Nearly two years ago I wrote the following blog post about palate fatigue. It’s one of the Top 10 posts on this site so I thought maybe I should review my advice and see if I still agree with it!

Fortunately, I do.

During the past week, I tasted a lot of wine: about 2 dozen wines at Bridlewood with winemaker David Hopkins, 15-20 wines at three Ventura County wineries on Friday, a couple of bottles on Saturday at home for blog posts, on Sunday another 20 or more wines at 4 Ventura County Wineries,  two more wines on Monday, then on Tuesday about 50 wines at an industry event in Los Angeles. That’s a lot of wine, but I didn’t have any problems with palate fatigue (no hangovers, either).

And I’m preparing for Dark & Delicious where I will taste as many as 50 different Petit Sirahs! Insert image of red wine tongue here!

So in addition to the ideas about palate fatigue in the post below, I’ve learned this about attending tastings:

1) Drink lots of liquids before (and after) the tasting; don’t drink water during. I like protein shakes before.

2) If you taste a lot of wine often, you don’t get palate fatigue like you do as a beginner.

3) Dump. Spit. Dump. Spit. Dump. Spit. You’re not going to offend anyone!

4) When in doubt, don’t drive. When your palate is fatigued, maybe this is a sign for you to stop tasting. There was a woman at the tasting Tuesday who insisted she could drive home. While I prayed the valet didn’t give her her keys, we went for sushi and let the traffic die down. I didn’t want to be on any road she was on.

5) Wear dark clothes!

Keep reading for more tips on what to do about palate fatigue.

Wine How To: Avoid Palate Fatigue When I applied for the “dream job” as Caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef I discovered a whole community of fellow applicants–warm, interesting people who share my interests. Same thing around this time as an applicant for the Murphy-Goode’s Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent. One of the cool people is Andy over at Andy’s Goode Life Blog where she’s hosting a blog carnival by asking us to respond to these three questions: When I drink red wine … Read More

via Wine Predator

WBW# 68: I Got Gamay, Babe!

Today is Wednesday, Wine Blogging Wednesday, so last night I prepared for my task of “Got Gamay?” by opening up a bottle which is readily available to most consumers. Wondering what I am talking about? (Cue up Sonny and Cher singing a variation of “I Got You, Babe” as “I Got Gamay, Babe!”)

“Drink What You Like” hosts April’s Wine Blogging Wednesday 68 – Got Gamay? where wine bloggers from around the world taste and blog on a common theme each month (thanks to  Lenn Thompson of New York Cork Report who started the monthly event over five years ago!) The host writes, “Gamay is unfortunately best know as the grape that produces Beaujolais Nouveau, popularized by George Duboeuf.”

Since we also had a pork tenderloin planned for dinner, possibly stuffed with canned plums (yum!), I thought I’d double check around the web and see what people had to say about this pairing where I found this article on various chefs’ wine pairings with pork tenderloin.While each chef had a different wine to suggest depending on the presentation of the pork, I found one chef who appreciates beaujolais with the “other” white meat: Continue reading