“Orange” Wines from CA and Italy by accident and on purpose with pairings #WinePW

You know about red wine: you know that it’s red because “red” or dark skinned grapes get pressed and the juice and the skins hang out together for a little or a long time.

You know about white wine: you know it’s white because “white” or light skinned grape get pressed with little contact with the skins and the juice gets fermented.

You drink rose all day and all May and you know that rose can be made by quickly pressing red grapes so there’s almost no skin contact OR it’s made by mixing red and white wines.

But what about ORANGE wine?

Simply put, an orange wine is a wine made from a white wine grape like chardonnay that then has been made more like a red wine by leaving the juice on the skins for an extended period.

Orange wine is short hand for extended skin contact white wines.

Continue reading

Bringing Us Together: 3 Moscato and Sue’s Birthday #MoscatoDay 2020


As Paul Mabray points out in his recent Medium article “Sauvignon Blanc Time Machine” these  “Wine Variety Days” like last week’s Sauvignon Blanc Day, April’s Malbec Day, and Saturday May 9th’s Moscato Day have been around for a number of years now, long enough to become institutionalized, written about, lionized, and shamed.

I’m not ashamed to say that I appreciate taking a moment to taste, pay attention to, and reflect on a particular grape and the wine made from it. I’m grateful for the samples that make it easier and an online community with which to share them.

But in the best events, it’s not just about the wine, but about the connection, Paul reminds us, and a connection that’s not just my lips to my glass kind of connection but to an experience. An experience with your family– family by blood, by marriage, by choice along with a connection to the “one wine world.”

As you can imagine, an important member of my chosen family is Sue Hill. Continue reading

3 Wines from Campania’s Feudi Di San Gregorio paired with pizza and wild boar ragu #ItalianFWT

Campania — pronounced like lasagna — is the Roman name for the coastal areas of Italy located on the “shin” of the boot.

“Campania” means happy, blessed fertile valley, and indeed it is: the soils are rich and fertile because of volcanic activity in the region from Mount Vesuvius including the AD 79 eruption that buried Pompeii under 13-20′ of ash, pumice, and rubble.

In addition to Pompeii, Campania is home to 10 of the 55 UNESCO sites in Italy and Mount Vesuvius is in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Ancient Greeks between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. arrived, and they observed the local viticulture being practiced, and they called them “the people who have vines on poles.” Continue reading

Ventura County Vineyards April 2020: PASSION at Clos des Amis, VeroVino

Chardonnay at Olivelands in bloom April 28, 2020.

Each month I post about Ventura County Vineyards based often on my time at the vineyards that go into the wines of Clos des Amis.

This is essential work  but with everything going on in the world due to COVID 19 (and KITTENS!), the post is in progress!

I will finish and update it ASAP!

So sorry! Because there is some really exciting news!

Following LODI RULES for Earth Friendly Wines: McKay Cellars Grenache #EarthMonth

By now, everyone on Planet Earth probably knows that April is Earth Month.

And with so many of us practicing #SIP — as in Shelter in Place not Slurping in Place — the only where we can celebrate Earth Day and Earth Month is at home.

So at home it is! With a nice Earth friendly wine in our glasses whether we are #SIP with family or virtually! Continue reading

And now for something completely different! KITTENS!

So this is just to say

I am fostering
the kittens
that came from
the feral mom

and I’ll bet
you were probably
where the wine went

Forgive me
they are precious
so soft
and so young

— with apologies to William Carlos Williams

Yes, last Tuesday I suddenly became a foster mommy for three foundling kittens.

And suddenly my time has been consumed with tending kittens rather than tending this blog!

I’ll be back to wine in no time — I promise! I’ve been tasting and taking notes on a number of really interesting California wines for Sustainable California Wine month and I’m really excited to share them!