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

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Mammoth Mountain’s record breaking snow January 2017

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

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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?

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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!

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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

Happy #ChampagneDay! A Toast with Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique!

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Tomorrow is the sixth annual #ChampagneDay! The 2015 #ChampagneDay is set for Friday, October 23.

What makes Champagne Champagne and not just another bottle of bubbles you wonder?

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  1. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, which, on July 5th 2015 was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.
  2. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, making it the only sparkling wine that can be called Champagne.
  3. Champagne is from Champagne, France.

But beyond the fact that CHAMPAGNE only comes from the Champagne region of France and all other bubbles are just sparkling wine and NOT Champagne? This video offers a few clues: Continue reading

Cheers to Finger Lakes Month May 2015 with Fox Run Blanc de Blancs!

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May is the annual Finger Lakes Month, and so  with my spring semester grades turned in, it seemed like time to celebrate!  We opened a 2011 Blanc de Blancs from Fox Run Vineyards that I received as a sample.

Established in 1990 in a former dairy, Fox Run is also celebrating its 25th anniversary.  Continue reading

Is Garnacha the next “great grape”? Find out Tuesdays in April 6pm PST

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Tonight, Tuesday April 21 from 6-7pm PST, is the third night of four focused on “The Next Great Grape: Garnacha” on Wine Studio hosted by Protocol Wine Studio. James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer, WSET Instructor, and public speaker Lyn Farmer aka @FizzFan visited the Cariñena region last June and brings his insights into the history, sights, sounds and tastes to the weekly discussion:

“I believe Cariñena is positioned to take a vibrant place on the world wine stage. It is not (yet) so well known as regions slightly to the north like Ribera del Duero and Rioja, nor is it (yet) so trendy as Priorat and Toro, but Cariñena’s day is coming.”  @FizzFan

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Chianti Classico Adds “Gran Selezione”– Reviews of 4 levels of Ruffino Wine

“Wine and life…They are as inseparable as the sun
and the warmth it brings.”
—Gabriele Tacconi, Ruffino Winemaker

Recently Que Syrah Sue and I participated in a Ruffino Chianti tasting of four wines hosted by Snooth and with a video chat. The occasion for the tasting was their release of their new top of the line “Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010.”

There were four wines in the line-up, and we tasted them in this order. Reviews of each follow.

Ruffino Chianti DOCG 2013
Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico 2012
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva 2011
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 

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PS I Love You: Time for Dark and Delicious and a Glass of Rock Wall Petite Sirah!

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One of the best ways to get to know a type of wine is to taste a whole lot of them at the same time.
And the best way to discover which wines pair with which foods is, again, to taste a lot of foods with that wine!
Coming to your rescue on Friday,  February 20, 2015 from 6-9pm at Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda CA is DARK & DELICIOUS, the preeminent, Petite Sirah event organized by PS I Love You, Inc, a Petite Sirah advocacy group.