A Love Affair with Lugana: An Invitation for #ItalianFWT

 

This October, you’re invited to join the Italian Food Wine Travel group to discover LUGANA, a white wine made from the Turbiana grape and grown in the Lake Garda region of northern Italy about two hours from Milan, one hour from Verona, and 90 minutes from Venice on the coast.

The largest lake in Italy was formed by glaciers coming down from the nearby Dolomites at the end of the last Ice Age. When the glacier receded, it left a large moraine which dammed and retained the melt water. Before agriculture, a dense, marshy forest called “Selva Lucana” covered the land.

According to the Consortia Tutelar Lugana, the soils are “stratified clays of morainic origin while sedimentary in nature are Calcareous and rich in mineral salts, with more sand in the hillier part of the D.O.C. Difficult to work, the soil compacts easily, becomes hard during drought, and soft and muddy when it rains. “However,” they point out, “it is these very chemical and physical features that make it the source of Lugana’s organoleptic qualities, because they give the wine clean, powerful scents that combine hints of almonds and citrus fruits, as well as acidity, tanginess and a well-balanced structure.”

Turbiana is related to Trebbiano di Soave which grows nearby but on volcanic soils.

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Happy #GrenacheDay and #CaliforniaWineMonth from Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties

September is California Wine Month AND it’s Grenache Day on the third Friday of September!

We’re celebrating both by opening up four Grenache wines from Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties paired with gourmet beef and lamb burgers.

Why celebrate California wine? Among the many reasons, Discover California wines points out that wine is a signature industry, an economic driver, a sustainable leader, a culinary delight, a family business, a top crop,

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Happy 50th to Bogle plus the secret of The Phantom for #CaliforniaWineMonth

September is California Wine Month and so for the rest of the month we will be featuring various regions of California and encouraging you to visit. As a native Californian, I may be a bit partial, but California is a truly beautiful state graced with gorgeous weather and has been hit really hard by wild fires which has discouraged tourism.

So just in case you haven’t gotten the message,

CALIFORNIA IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

And we’d love for you to come visit!

California’s wine growing goes back to the Mission days when the Jesuit planted what came to be known as “Mission” grapes in the 1700s, and the industry was flourishing by the 1770s. California Wine Month celebrates our 250-year winegrowing history and recognizes the achievements of California vintners and growers in preserving tradition and driving innovation.

Did you know:

  • California has 4,800 vintners?
  • California has 5,900 growers?
  • California is the world’s fourth-largest wine producer?
  • California is the source of 81 percent of the wine made in the United States?
  • California is the most visited state in the U.S. for food- and wine-related activities?

So it seems appropriate to make our first stop just south of the Capital of California in YOLO COUNTY’s CLARKSBURG, to the home of Bogle, and where the Bogle family is celebrating has been farming in the Delta since the late-1800s and in 1968, the father and son team of Warren and Chris Bogle planted the first 20 acres of vines in Clarksburg. Continue reading

Go Greek: Marathon Wine and Grilled Eggplant with Pomegranate #WinePW

Marathon Wines from Greece paired with Greek dishes: “It is not About the Sprint but the Marathon”

For this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend focus on Greek wines hosted by Cindy Rynning at Grape Experiences, we decided we’d check out something new: Marathon’s first two wines, “Athena’s Vineyard” and “Nike’s Vineyard,” paired with a few favorite Greek dishes. 

 “Wine loosens the muscles and invigorates the spirit,” says ultra marathoner Dean Karnazes who enjoys wine after a long run and claims it works much better than ibuprofen.

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Italian Red Wines for Fall? Go Pink and Pair with Pasta! #ItalianFWT

In Ventura along the coast of California where we live, summer days and nights tend to be foggy.

That’s why we call the months May Gray, June Gloom, No Sky July, and Foghust…

While it’s not exactly cold during the day or night unless the fog is blowing in, it’s not sunny and hot either. But come September, the sun comes out! And the Santa Ana or East Winds begin to blow and it can get really really warm during the day until the ocean breeze and the cool fall evenings bring the temperature down!

So that’s why along the central coast of California, our best beach weather is in the fall!

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Chile’s Concha y Toro Wines Deliver for Cabernet Sauvignon Day

Back when I was in college, the go to wine for my friends and I was from Chile because we got the most bang for the buck, and the wines were enjoyable with or without food.

Years later, this is still true: wines from Chile continue to perform well for the price.

And there’s a wine for every budget as well as these three from Concha y Toro show.

With the Thursday before Labor Day designated at Cabernet Day, we decided to put together a simple mid-week menu to show case three Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile’s Concha y Toro, the largest producer of wine in Latin America; they also own a number of American wineries including organic Fetzer, Adorada, and biodynamic and organic Bonterra.

Don Melchor de Santiago Concha y Toro and his wife, Emiliana Subercaseaux  founded Concha y Toro Vineyard in  1883 with grape varieties he brought over from the Bordeaux region in France: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Merlot, and Carmenère.

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