One of the events that people either love or hate at the Wine Bloggers Conference is the Speed Tasting. Similar to Speed Dating, bloggers are introduced to a wine and have five minutes to respond with questions and to make notes and take photos, maybe even get out a tweet too. Some people–well one person anyway, Christopher Watkins of Ridge–can even tweet their notes in haiku–that’s 17 syllables for those of you who may have forgotten your poetry 101.
This year, I didn’t get to sit next to Christopher (because he wasn’t there) but I did get to sit with Wilfred Wong, formerly of Bevmo, as well as some other fun folks as we tried our best during the Speed Tastings. Continue reading
Ojai Vineyard Chardonnay photo by Pineapple Helen
3 Whites from Vino V photo by Pineapple Helen
Old Creek Ranch Winery Winemaker Michael Meagher also makes Vino V
Wine Predator Gwendolyn ALley at Old Creek Ranch Winery photo by Pineapple Helen
Old Creek Ranch Winery photo by Pineapple Helen
Ojai Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 Bien Nacido photo by Pineapple Helen
Ojai Vineyard’s new library room photo by Pineapple Helen
Pair this chard with this cheese from Paradise Pantry photo by Pineapple Helen
Pair these chards with these cheeses from Paradise Pantry photo by Pineapple Helen
NOTE: Heading to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara? Here’s a quick intro to a few wineries in Ventura County that folks on the way to WBC14 might want to try…Also, the first winery mentioned, Labyrinth, will be pouring in the red speed tasting.
On Chardonnay Day, which is the Thursday before Memorial Day every year, Pineapple Helen and I made a plan, and in the early afternoon, we hit the road in West and North Ventura County search of Chardonnay. Continue reading
“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
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 to 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
Posted in adventures in wine, Beginner's Guide, Great Wines under $20, how to
Tagged Alfred Peet, Christmas, how to make mulled wine, Ketel One, Mulled wine, Octavin, Red wine, Ridge Vineyards, Ridge Winery, Robin Thicke, what wine do you use for mulled wine, wine
Did you know that there are about 1500 active wine blogs? And that about 1000 of them are written by “citizen bloggers” like me?
See a list of Wine Bloggers here.
Allan Wright and his colleagues who organize the North American Wine Blogger’s Conference keep track of this kind of info; recently, I completed a survey for them for wine bloggers and another one for food bloggers. (Did you know I spoke at a wine and food panel at the International Food Bloggers Conference November 2011? Yep! I also spoke at the 5th WBC in Portland!)
A week ago, Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal posted about the State of the Wine Bloggosphere using information from an interview with Allan Wright and after reading 10,000 pages of blogs.
Her results? Continue reading
Posted in adventures in wine, how to
Tagged Allan Wright, Blog, food, influential wine bloggers, Jo Diaz, Lettie Teague, Marcy Gordon, Meg Maker, North American Wine Bloggers Conference, Thea Dwelle, Top Women Wine Bloggers, wakawaka, Wakawaka Wine Review, Wall Street Journal, wine, Wine Folly
May you be happy.
May all your thoughts be positive
and your experiences be good.
May you be free of problems, sickness, and sadness.
May your life be long and peaceful
and may you quickly reach enlightenment.
The year of the Black Snake begins on Sunday February 10, 2013 with the new moon rising in Aquarius–and I’m celebrating with an Italian wine!
According to Geomancer and Philosopher Paul Ng, the year 2013 is “Mountain-Thunder Rhythm”– a year of conservation, a year of rebuilding, and a year of changes.
Han-Ban.com says that “the year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create.”
The Snake is “enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined.” Hmmn, I wonder which wines are SNAKE wines??
If you will be celebrating with Chinese or another Asian cuisine, you might be wondering what wine to pair with the complex, often spicy dishes. Continue reading
Corks will pop and bubbles spill from California to London to Sydney during the Third Annual Global Champagne Day Friday October 26, 2012.
Join Wine Predator for our second year at the Jolly Oyster located at the Ventura State Beach off Harbor at San Pedro (take the Seaward exit).
Show off (and please share!) your bottle of Champagne and enjoy 2 for 1 oysters between 3pm and 6pm! The event is free and parking plentiful for $5 per car.
While the best party in the world will be at the Jolly Oyster, you can celebrate the 3rd annual #ChampagneDay anywhere!
To participate, get some champagne (which only comes from the Champagne region of France–any other bubbly wine is sparkling and lovely but NOT champagne). Share what’s in your glass October 26th 2012, post photos, tasting notes, experiences or videos on any social media site, and be sure to add the #ChampagneDay hash tag, so your friends from around the globe can check out the fun.
You can locate an event near you by visiting this interactive google map https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=208128116941799227377.0004ccb5c99f05c1bd92f&msa=0&ll=33.884097,-119.256592&spn=2.115887,3.268433 or by visiting the http://champagneday12.eventbrite.com/ for more information.