Wildflowers and Wine: Santa Barbara Pinot Noir and Vintners Release Party

Hillsides surrounding the vineyards at Sanford and elsewhere in Southern California are covered in bright yellow mustard flowers; the barley cover crop was chosen to draw excess moisture from the soil in this rainy year.

Looking for a wild flower show? With a side of wine?

If so, head to the 35th Santa Barbara Vintners New Release Spring Weekend for four days of wine, food and fun throughout Santa Barbara Wine Country starting tonight Thursday, April 20 through Sunday, April 23, 2017. Tickets here.

Along the way you will be thrilled by spring green hillsides with yellow mustard, splashes of patches of orange poppies, strips of purple vetch, asters, lupine, and others, plus fields of orangey-yellow fiddleneck along with vines budding out in Chartreuse and Peridot near deep emerald oak trees with bright shiny leaves. Continue reading

Grilled Cheese Game Night with Fun Wines: Black Light White, Q & A Red

img_1269

Mammoth Mountain’s record breaking snow January 2017

In California, we have had a long wet dark winter with epic rain and snow.

16835975_10155941337519546_6346810970674620923_o

record breaking rain in Santa Cruz mountains

 

You’ve probably read about it in the news if you haven’t experienced it yourself.

And while it’s almost March, it’s not over.  Winter is not over.

I know, I know, technically, winter kicks the bucket in three weeks on the equinox Monday March 20 at 3:30am PST and the days will once again be longer than the nights. But there will be more rain and more snow. You can bet on it.

SO WE HAVE THREE MORE WEEKS OR MORE OF WINTER NO MATTER WHAT THE GROUNDHOG OR THE ALMANAC HAS TO SAY!

And while you might be distracted by the Super Bowl, the Grammy’s, the Oscars, and maybe Mardi Gras if you’re lucky (and I happen to be lucky enough to have an awesome Mardi Gras party in Ojai next week to look forward to…)

SPRING and SUMMER TIME PARTIES AND BBQS ARE A LONG WAY OFF!

What to do? How to fend off the darkness, the boredom, the tedium of more snow and rain? How to survive the final three weeks of winter and that first cold month of spring?

img_1339

Not a trivial wine for trivia night!

Our answer? Host a game night for friends and family with grilled cheese and fun wine!

For our wines, we chose two: Black Light 2015 white wine blend that comes with a flashlight and Q and A, a red Bordeaux blend. like Black Light and Q and A both from Rubin Family wines! Keep reading for a review of Black Light White and Q & Red along with how to make some fabulous grilled cheese sandwiches!

Continue reading

Montes Alpha: Sustainably Dry Farmed Wine for Earth Month (every month!)

CCpQP-5VIAATJQr-1
Looking for an Earth friendly and budget friendly red wine? Recently Que Syrah Sue and I tasted the 2012 Syrah, Carmenere, and Cabernet Sauvignon from Montes Winery which dry farmed (note the cobwebs on the water spigots?) and is certified under the Wines of Chile Sustainable Code. These wines retail for under $20 making them perfect candidates for Earth Month festivities. Look for the distinctive angel iconography on the Montes Winery label which began when owner Douglas Murray survived two near-fatal automobile accidents;
the angel symbolizes the winery’s philosophy to be a positive force and influence.

Continue reading

Experience Central Coast Wines on #CCWineDay Friday May 31, 2013

select central coast wines

select central coast wines

You’re invited to the Second Annual  Central Coast Wine Day, Friday May 31, 2013!

#CCWineDay follows in the footsteps of various #VarietalDays that have been going on for a few years. These include  Cabernet Day, Albarino Day, Tempranillo Day, Pinot Noir Day, Zinfandel Day, and even Wine Tourism Day! (As you can see, I enjoy participating in these varietal days!)

Personally, I say the Central Coast begins with Ventura County, Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Adventures from Wine Predator!

Happy Valentine’s Day! As Art Predator and Wine Predator, I’m on the prowl for good wine and good adventures! May your Valentine’s Day be full of joyous adventures with fine wine, good times, and good friends!

Have an adventurous Valentine's Day! Cheers!

Have an adventurous Valentine’s Day! Cheers!

Remember to celebrate Valentine’s Day every day with romance, adventure, and fun! That might mean sparkling wine and fancy dinners or something as simple as a heart shaped bagel and a foot rub!

How do you like to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Will you be opening any special wine? We began our celebration last Sunday with steak and lobster paired with Chalk Hill Chardonnay and Cantara Cellars Franknvine, and we’ll keep celebrating over the ling weekend with wine from Steven Kent (leftovers from tomorrow’s tasting!) and Chile too!

No matter how you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year–with red, white, rose, or bubbles!– a toast to YOU, my readers and subscribers! Cheers!

Oh and can you help ME go on an adventure? Just vote here for me to go to Chile where I will blog my heart out for you about the food, the wine, and the adventure!

http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/310099/voteable_entries

Thanks!

PS I found the Adventure Time artwork here. My son and I added the text for his valentine’s day cards then I changed it to be from me!

February Fun Part 2: Valentine’n Wine, Steven Kent, Garagiste South

Will you be my Valentine? Please vote for me to go to Chile!
http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/302/contests/310099/voteable_entries

Welcome to February Fun –the Fat Tuesday edition where I’ll share details about this week’s events.

  • Tue. Feb. 12 Fat Tuesday
  • Thu. Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day
  • Thu. Feb. 14-18 Valentine n Wine, Ventura County
  • Fri. Feb. 15 Twitter Tasting 4-6pm PST Steven Kent Winery
  • Sat. Feb. 16 Garagiste South Tasting, Solvang
  • Thu. Feb. 21 City of Bordeaux Twitter Wine Party
  • Fri. Feb. 22 Dark and Delicious Petite Sirah Tasting, Rock Wall, Alameda

Tue. Feb. 12 Fat Tuesday!

Did you know today is Pancake Day? Do you know why? (And what do you pair with pancakes??) According to wikipedia, during Lent, people often give up rich foods including butter, milk and eggs, key ingredients in pancakes. Because so many people would use these ingredients up by making pancakes the day before Lent, it became known as PANCAKE DAY! (What do YOU pair with pancakes and syrup? Riesling? Something sparkling and a bit sweet?)

While I suggested pancakes for dinner to my husband, Chef Tim Kilcoyne at The Sidecar Restaurant is doing it up right with gumbo and oyster po boys and more–with oysters from the Jolly Oyster, of course–and my husband has got his hopes up for that!

Th Feb 14-18 Valentine n Wi2013_ValentineWine_Largene, Ventura County: Starting on Valentine’s Day and going all weekend is the third annual Valentine n Wine passport weekend event in Ventura County. Continue reading

Not your average pony: 6 Don & Sons Appellation Driven Wines

A8_Nyq8CYAAqdQJ

BEFORE

Yesterday, 20 other wine bloggers and I cracked open six tiny bottles of Don Sebastiani & Sons Appellation Brands wines during a Virtual (Twitter) Tasting hosted by winemaker Greg Kitchens and Donny Sebastiani on a live video and audio stream from Sonoma, California.

I know Appellation isn’t a type of HORSE or pony, not even a Shetland Pony like these cute little 50ml bottles Don and Sons sent us.

Appellation is the terroir–where the grapes were grown. In this case, for this tasting, we traveled all over California: from Sonoma to Napa to Paso to Clarksburg.

So we could really get a sense of the various appellations, Don and Sons sent 20 of us bloggers a collection six 50ml bottles from TastingRoom.Com instead of only 3 or 4 full-sized ones. Continue reading