said the Foods from Chile folks in today’s email that arrived at lunchtime.
“Just one more step & you could be on your way to taking a foodie dream-trip of a lifetime with Foods From Chile!”
Yes, really! One lucky writer will go on a Guided Culinary Tour of Chile with members of top media publications from April 7th – April 13th 2013 with flight, transportation, and accommodations all included!
The winner will visit a number of different areas in Chile known for their wines, olive oils, and fruits (for example, the Atacama, Coquimbo and Valparaíso regions), experiencing tours and tastings at vineyards, olive groves, and fruit plantations. The group will meet with local exporters and producers, and eat specially prepared meals at the restaurants of local Chilean chefs. Continue reading →
For my birthday in 2011, I was in Egypt. Last year, I had a huge party. This year, I wanted something more quiet.
On the eve of my birthday, we drove late into the night to arrive in the first few minutes of my birthday at Benton Hot Springs Bed and Breakfast in eastern California near the Nevada border. Appropriately, we stayed in the “Cowgirl Room”!
Because of a reservation mix-up, for our accommodations the rest of the weekend, Tamarack Lodge upgraded us to a luxury two bedroom cabin where this exquisite bottle of Roederer Champagne waited, chilled, which we enjoyed with oysters I brought from the Jolly Oyster in Ventura plus some rosemary crackers and goat cheese. It was worth every penny (and since it was room service, I’m sure that was a pretty penny!)
That night, we had dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant (review to follow!). While they have a nice list, I had brought something even better, a Marilyn Remark 2003 syrah that fellow wine blogger David Rodriguez (aka @zensolo on twitter) had given me in November (review to follow!) All in all, it was a perfectly incredible day!
On Saturday we skied all day and we cooked dinner in: arugula salad with portabellas cooked in a 30 year tawny port and fresh manila clams from the Jolly Oyster with an amazing chardonnay from Ojai Vineyards (review to follow!). For dessert, we had the 30 year tawny and salted chocolate almonds.
Sunday morning as we were packing up, I realized there was one glass remaining of the Roederer. I’d never tried the spoon trick before–imagine my pleasure to discover that it works perfectly and the Champagne paired delightfully with my bagel and lox!
Thanks to Mammoth, Tamarack, The Lakeside, The Mill, Zensolo, Tony, Benton, and my family for such a wonderful birthday weekend!
PS Do you like the daffodils? Believe it or not, I brought them from home!
#PinotSmackdown is an all-day global celebration of the world’s most expressive wine grape combined with a knock-down, drag-out cage fight between YOUR FAVORITE Pinot-producing regions! All you need to participate is wine and Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagr.am or your favorite social channel. Just be sure to use the #PinotSmackdown hashtag!Who makes the best Pinot you’ve ever tasted? To vote via your tweets, posts, pins, or instagr.am snapshots simply add another 2-character hashtag after #PinotSmackdown and we’ll count the votes so that region gets bragging rights for the year! Voting region hashtags:
#OR – Oregon
#CA – California
#WA – Washington
#NY – New York
#46 – U.S. The “Other 46”
#FR – France
#IT – Italy
#DE – Germany (Deutschland)
#EU – Europe, beyond France, Germany, Italy
#CN – Canada
#NZ – New Zealand
#CH – Chile
#AR – Argentina
#AU – Australia
#SA – South Africa
#WD – World, as in none previously listed
For example, if you are drinking a Pinot from a region in California, simply tag the end of your tweets/posts with: #PinotSmackdown #CA
This year for the Pinot Noir Smackdown, I’m betting many post-WBC bloggers are rooting for and writing about Oregon Pinot Noir aka #PinotSmackdown #OR. I know that the most memorable pinot noirs for me right now are from my trip last August.
Like many of the 450 attendees to the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, I joined a pre-excursion trip which included a late afternoon drive to the massive and beautiful King Estates for a scrumptious dinner (deserving of its own blog post) followed by an early morning jaunt from our hotel in Eugene to the Pfeiffer Winery in the southern Willamette Valley and in the northwestern part of Lane County.
It took us about 30 minutes to drive the scenic country roads, passing by alpaca farms, hay farms, forest and finally grape vines to arrive at Pfeiffer where we were greeted by Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer, an enthusiastic, energetic, boisterous and attractive couple.
At one time, Danuta was the co-host of the 700 Club. When Pat Robertson ran for President, she started over and came to Oregon to write a book and be on Air America. Eighteen years ago, she placed an ad describing herself– and looking for a man who could spell. Robin responded with an invitation to go sailing.
On that first date, Robin Pfieffer brought an unlabeled red wine saying, “It’s a little something we make–pinot noir.”
I’ve made the pilgrimage to the Wine Bloggers Conference a regular part of my wine, writing, and blogging education: I attended the inaugural conference in 2008 as well as 2009 in Sonoma, followed by 2010 in Walla Walla. I also attended the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference in Lisbon as a guest of Enoforum Wine.
I keep going back to the Wine Blogger Conferences because I learn so much about writing and wine–two of my favorite activities combined into one!! It’s amazing to try so many wines from so many regions in such a short time. And over the years I’ve made some wonderful friends as well as connections in the business.
This year in Portland, over 350 consumer and industry wine bloggers will gather on Thursday August 16 for a welcome by Oregon Wine Board. Highlights include speed tastings, a keynotes by Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm and Sideways novelist Rex Pickett, plus many sessions on topics related to wine and writing including IgniteWine! where I will be presenting on “Sex, Wine and the Semi-Colon.” I’m currently debating whether I should include real-life examples of typos or mechanical errors that I come across in wine blogs–but I know that will open mine up to criticism and I am sure there are a few mistakes around here too! What do you think? Is it a good idea or not?
For an example of a great IgniteWine presentation, check out the video above!
In the meantime, please subscribe (in the upper right hand corner) so you don’t miss a single drop!
How did I get from Idaho and Walla Walla back to California for the Petite Sirah Symposium? By way of some Oregon Pinot Noir of course!
Read on to get a taste and see where I went and what I did; more in depth blog posts to come about my stops in Willamette Valley AVAs including Barrel Fence in the Dundee Hills (pictured) and Coleman Vineyards in the McMinnville AVA (photos below).
When I last checked in from my road trip, I had arrived on the coast of Oregon following a few days in the Walla Walla AVA (American Viticultural Area) and around Boise (the Snake River AVA)… Read More