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

7 Lodi Zin for #ZinDay, #TurkeyDay

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Because you know I’m all about that Zin,
‘Bout that Zin, from Lodi
I’m all ’bout that Zin, ’bout that Zin, from Lodi
I’m all ’bout that Zin, ’bout that Zin, from Lodi
I’m all ’bout that Zin, ’bout that Zin

What do you think I’ll be drinking for Zinfandel Day today? If you guessed Zinfandel from Lodi, you guessed correctly! Yes, Sue and I are going to Cantara Cellars to taste 15-20 wines from Lodi with winemaker Mike Brown who’s family grows grapes in Lodi.

According to ZAP, “All other significant wine varieties have their reference points in Europe, but Zinfandel established its own tradition in California and has become known as America’s Heritage wine. Zinfandel’s history is a classic All-American success story—transforming from a little-known grape into one that has achieved such tremendous popularity that it has grown on more than 50,000 acres in the United States.”

Zinfandel Day gives Zinfandel fans a chance to tell the world about the grape and the wines made from it. Wineries, wine bars, and restaurants host special #ZinDay events like the event at Cantara that Sue and I are going to.

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Harvest a bottle or two of Lodi zinfandel for your fall feast!

Below you will find out more about #ZinfandelDay festivities plus reviews of seven Lodi zinfandel that I’d recommend for this year’s #ZinDay as well as #TurkeyDay! Continue reading

WBW#80: Four reasons to love “My Derby Wife” Rose by WineGirl Wines

wbw_logoAt the last three wine bloggers conferences, I lucked out both with amazing pre-conference excursions and great conference expeditions as well. In 2010, a small group of us  traveled on a press trip Seattle to Walla Walla and back, tasting along the way. In 2012, on our pre-conference excursion we dined at King Estates then learned about pinot noir with Robin Pffeifer, then went by TRAIN from Eugene to Portland where I was on the infamous #cuffedincarlton bus.

In 2013, I joined the Seattle to Lake Okanagan trip by way of the Lake Chelan AVA and went on the OK Falls hike where I discovered Painted Rock which I wrote about here also. When the announcement that Wine Blogging Wednesday #80 was Dry Rose, I didn’t have to think too hard about which wine I wanted to write about: “My Derby Wife” rose Continue reading

From SeaTac to Lake Chelan: it’s time for WBC13!

After flying in on June 1 and a whirlwind weekend of 3:15 experiment poetry events in Seattle, I’m writing a paper then moving full blast into wine blogging mode! On Tuesday, after a quick trip to Woodinville home of westside tasting rooms for wines grown on the east side of the Cascades, wine writing and blogging gals like Wine Julia, Wine Hooch, Travel Wine Chick, Wild Celtic Rose and I will gather on the rooftop patio of Janice Van Cleve, former President of the Wine Society of Seattle for wine and conversation. Then Wednesday, Wine Julia, Wine Hooch, Travel Wine Chick and I plus 100 or so fellow bloggers will board buses at SEA-Tac for a pre-conference excursion to the Lake Chelan Valley on way up to the Blogger’s Conference in Penticton.

On the bus, there will be box lunches and beverages for everyone from
Blueacre Seafood in Seattle (http://www.blueacreseafood.com/) –I had such a hard time deciding between the WINDSOR COURT & DUNGENESS CRABMEAT SALAD (apple smoked bacon | tomato | avocado | red onions | bleu cheese| hard-boiled egg | lorenzo dressing) the HEART OF ROMAINE CAESAR SALAD (grilled draper valley farms chicken breast | charred lemon dressing | fennel croutons | parmesa) or the HEIRLOOM BEET SALAD (arugula | maytag bleu cheese | pickled onions | grain mustard vinaigrette. Hold the onions please! rio-winery-plane-bottle

It’s going to take us about three hours to drive over the Cascades to the Lake Chelan AVA but every minute on that bus will be worth it! (And fortunately, there are bathrooms on the bus! The last bus I took –from Seattle to WBC10 in Walla Walla–did not!)

Once there, we’ll enjoy a reception at Rio Vista Winery, a riverside winery with stunning gardens and sandy beach. There, we’ll have the option of a

  Seaplane Tour of Lake Chelan!!! Of course I said sign me up!! Continue reading

Wine Predator: 50,000 views!

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Between preparing for my doctoral classes in ecopsychology and grading my students’ finals, I just had to go into hiding the past two weeks which meant while I participated in a few twitter tastings, I didn’t get any blogging done on this site and very little on my other sites (including Art Predator, Compassionate Rebel, Whisper Down The Write Alley). And yes. pictured with the Don and Sons Pinot Noir vertical from last Thursday’s twitter tasting are just a portion of the research papers and finals I was reading in order to get my grades in!

Even though I am still not completely done with my grading (and there’s another twitter tasting tonight!), today I was doing a little blogging on Art Predator and ended up checking my stats over here to discover  that about midnight last night, my blog hit 50,000 page views! Which, for a wine blog like mine, is pretty good! (In contrast, my Art Predator blog, which I started in November 2007,  is about to hit 500,000 page views and Compassionate Rebel which was born January 2010 is almost 10,000.) Continue reading

Wine Predator Wins Wine Blogger Scholarship!

WBC13I’m very excited to announce that I was chosen by the Wine Bloggers Scholarship Committee to attend the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton, British Columbia!

This will be my sixth Wine Bloggers Conference: I’ve been to three states so far–California in 2008 and 2009, Walla Walla WA in 2010, and Portland in 2012 and soon to be three countries–US, Portugal (as a guest of Enoforum Wines in 2009), plus Canada in 2013! 

Thank you to all the wonderful donors who made my scholarship possible! Especially Tom Wark of Fermentation who matched $500 of the donations and Amy Anderson Gross the Vine Sleuth who matched his match plus $1! Continue reading

Wine Predator’s WBC12 Ignite!Wine & Conscious Wine’s Portland Pairings

So, after hearing about my being on Marcy Gordon’s 2013 list of important wine bloggers and Michael Wangbickler’s 2012 list and Jo Diaz’s list in 2011

you want to know how I achieved my success as a wine blogger?

Today’s your lucky day!IgniteWineAlleyWbc12

Jeff Weissler aka  http://consciouswine.com recorded my 5-minute IGNITE!wine session at the 2012 Wine Blogger’s Conference in Portland:

“The Ten Commandments of Wine Blogging”

What’s an Ignite? For this style of presentation, we each have five minutes to present a story using 20 slides; each slide changes automatically every 15 seconds. Like TEDX, people are organizing Ignite! presentations all over the world; this is the second year of Ignite at the WBC. Continue reading