June Wine/Brew/Music Festivals to check out in Ojai, LA, Santa Barbara

The next three weekends in June each have a fun wine festival in Southern California that YOU should attend!

First up, on Sunday June 11 from 11:30 (for VIPs) to 4pm  is OJAI’s Wine Festival presented by Rotary Club of Ojai-West now in its 31st year! This is Sue’s absolutely most FAVORITE WINE FESTIVAL; Continue reading

Anselmi’s Passito Dessert Wine IS Dessert! Biscotti? OK! #ItalianFWT

For this month’s Italian Food Wine Travel prompt about Sweet Wine from Italy, we decided to keep to do something different and keep it simple! As regular readers know, we usually go ALL OUT with multi course meals and several wines for our regular monthly features about Italian wine and food on the first Saturday of the month, a general prompt for wine pairing on the second Saturday, and French food and wine on the the third Saturday of the month.

But this time, partly because of our busy schedules, we decided to just let the wine shine and so Sue picked up a chocolate almond tart and a tarimisu torte from Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, the wine didn’t really play well with these choices.

And honestly, Anselmi – 2011 I Capitelli is so good it deserves to be left alone!

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Behind the Wine in Lodi CA: In the Mood with Michael David Petite Sirah


Hello Lodi –again! and no I don’t feel stuck at all — instead I feel grateful! Last summer when I was here in Lodi for the Wine Bloggers Conference, I was suffering a great deal of pain in my heels. Turns out, I had STRESS FRACTURES in both feet following an intense Sierra backpack trip! As you can imagine, I didn’t get out and around as much as I’d like.

And so I am thrilled today to be here in LODI for a “behind the wine” experience!

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What’s Up for June; What Went Down in May!

Cheers! Sue and I hosted Italian Sparkling wine in May for B#ItalianFWT

Lots going on here at Wine Predator Land so I thought I’d start the month of June off with a round up of last month and what to look forward in the coming month! In May, I published 14 blog posts (that’s almost one every other day!) and in June I plan to publish 10-12 blog posts (2-3 a week).

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Troon’s Vermentino: An Unusual White Wine for #ORWine Month

Do you enjoy bright, lively, citrusy, minerally, acidic, refreshing white wines like Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Soave or Verdejo? If so, then you should check out VERMENTINO which, while unusual or rare in the United States, is not so unusual if you are in Italy!

According to Wikipedia, “Vermentino is also known under the synonyms Agostenga, Agostenga blanc, Brustiano, Brustiano di Corsica, Carbes, Carbesso, Favorita, Favorita bianca, Favorita Bianca di Conegliano, Favorita d’Alba, Favorita di Alba, Favorita di Conegliano, Formentino, Fourmentin, Garbesso, Grosse Clarette, Malvasia a Bonifacio, Malvasia Grossa, Malvasie, Malvoisie, Malvoisie è Gros Grains, Malvoisie Corse, Malvoisie de Corse, Malvoisie Précoce d’Espagne, Piccabon, Piga, Pigato, Rolle, Rossese, Sibirkovski, Uva Sapaiola, Uva Vermentino, Valentin, Varlentin, Varresana bianca, Vennentino, Verlantin, Vermentini, Vermentino bianco, Vermentino Pigato, and Vermentinu.” WHEW!

Originally thought to be from France or Italy, today Vermentino grows well and is well known in northern coastal regions of Italy including Marememma (try the one from Cecchi), and the islands of Sardinia, and Corsica in France. The Troon wine vineyards are in the Siskiyou Mountains which are very different than the volcanic soils in the Cascade Mtns.

In the US, Tablas Creek produces a Vermentino and it is grown also in Lodi, for example the 2014 Borra Vineyards Vermentino ($22) or the 2015 PRIE Winery, Delu Vineyard Lodi Vermentino ($21); Alta Mesa-Lodi AVA. 

Recently, Sue and I participated in a #WineStudio tasting of Troon’s 2014 Vermentino, and so for this final day of #ORWine month, I offer this post to you. Cheers to Oregon Wine Month! Cheers to trying new wines! Cheers to Vermentino! Continue reading

CA All The Way For #ChardonnayDay and #NationalWineDay!

While today May 25 is “National Wine Day,”  the Thursday before Memorial Day is “Chardonnay Day.”

Which is also today May 25!

With this double whammy in mind, and since last weekend we focused on Chardonnay from Chablis in Burgundy France, we decided to go for classic California interpretations for Chardonnay Day with two from Napa, one from Monterey, and a fourth from Lodi.

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For #NationalWineDay Say Hello to Merlot from Napa’s Rutherford Ranch

Poor Merlot!

After the movie Sideways came out, sales of Merlot dropped.

Under the influence of Miles, people were turned off by the idea of Merlot; people would even be ashamed or embarrassed to admit to me that they like Merlot!

So we thought that for this National Wine Day on May 25, Merlot needs more consideration. And we happened to have handy a recently arrived sample of the 2014  Rutherford Ranch Merlot from Napa Valley! Continue reading