Happy 40th Anniversary to Caymus Vineyards!

To celebrate their 40th vintage,  Caymus Vineyards has released a 40th Anniversary special edition of their 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and they are organizing a HUGE anniversary party which they hope will be the largest virtual Twitter tasting ever, with wine writers, bloggers, collectors, enthusiasts and consumers across the country to participating. Continue reading

A Little Levity for Tax Day


Need some Tax Day relief?

While I can’t lower your tax bill, I can offer up some poetry, some art, some giggles, and some discounted bubbles!

Above is one of my 3:15 Experiment poems that I turned into a broadside that was published in ArtLife Limited Editions; the tape came from the college where I was teaching and I stapled some on to each broadside which makes the actual broadsides easier to read than this jpg! Read the whole poem.

Next up is a cartoon of the Beatles have an adventure with Robin Hood and singing “Tax Man.”

Plus today only Ventura Wine Company will pay your taxes! Continue reading

Wine Country Gangnam Style at Sonoma’s Jordan Winery

Once a week, Jordan Winery posts a new video on their youtube channel. Yesterday, award winning Jordan blogger and PR person extradinaire Lisa Matttson and her team at Jordan went “Gangnam Style” and posted this parody of PSY’s K-POP youtube megahit that has had the most views of any video ever. While the Jordan video may not hit the million mark, it went from 250 yesterday to nearly 1000 views today and is sure to bring a laugh to wine drinkers familiar with the images in the original.

There are a number of parody videos out there; some like Jordan’s, parody the images but others also change the lyrics like “Annoying Orange’s Nya Nya Style” which is a favorite of my son or my personal favorite, NASA Style which combines intelligent lyrics with an amazing location–the Johnson Space Center!


PS Time for bubbles! Tomorrow 12/16 is the Ventura Wine Company’s Champagne tasting and Weds 12/19 is Thirsty Girl’s tasting of bubbly from Chateau Ste Michelle!

What’s On the Wine Predator Horizon: November 2012 Tastings

Over here at Wine Predator, last month was hectic with twitter tastings  and Champagne Day plus reviewing The Divining Rod for Halloween.

This month we’re harvesting wines like crazy and RSVPing to tastings and other events! I’ve got lots of exciting samples to review including the very festive Enza Proseco ($15) and a number of twitter tastings and events on the calendar. Remember, for these twitter tastings, all you need to do to participate is check out the hashtag# for the event on twitter. (And no you don’t have to be ON twitter to check out what’s happening on twitter! Continue reading

(WBW #52) Search for Chilean Reds Under $20

What is it they say about good intentions? The road is paved with them?

Jeez, I must have a whole freeway system…

Last month I found out that Wine Blogging Weds #51 asked for Baked Goods: what to drink for dessert, specifically madeira…yummy! I enjoy a good glass of dessert wine many evenings, and was thrilled for an excuse to test drive madeira–except I couldn’t find any. I did have on hand a few Australians:  Jonesy Port, as always, as well as a 2002 Lillypilly Noble Blend sweet white wine and a 2002 Hazy Blur Baroota Late Picked Shiraz I was itching to try which I picked up from the Grateful Palate.

wbw-new1But Nov 12 came and went in a blur of birthday festivities for my boy and so did Wine Blogging Wednesday #51 leaving me waiting for  WBW # 52 : Chilean Value Reds.

Back in college in the 80s, I used to drink a lot of Chilean wines under $5. Gato Negro and Gato Blanco as I recall and a few others from the Maipo valley were the $2 Buck Chucks of the day. This was before everyone and their sister in the US were growing grapes and were making wine.

Finding an interesting Chilean under $20 and drinking it and writing it up by the next WBW, Weds Dec. 10, would be no problem I figured. Well here it is Tuesday Dec 9 and I am still empty handed when it comes to a Chilean Red Under $20.

I started at the best local wine retail outlet, The Ventura Wine Company, and glanced around. Last time I was there but nothing caught my eye (except the Whirling Dervish Sauv Blan once again) so I emailed David of the blog Vinomadic for some suggestions. He’s spent quite a bit of time in Argentina and wants to import some of their smaller, sustainable wines here.

He emailed back a few suggestions including links to Kingston Vineyards and Organic Vintners. Unfortunately, i’d have to drive 30 minutes to get to a store which carries the Kingston and it’s too late to order anything from Organic Vintners.

David and I did check a Ralph’s in Sherman Oaks which offered two wines and we split the cost of the one on sale for $22, forgetting that the WBW is for Chilean Wines UNDER $20. The merlot wasn’t particularly memorable (I don’t even remember what it was!)  so I left it behind with David to see how it might develop over time. Earlier David had opened a imageresolverbottle of Twisted Oak and not much could follow that beautiful GSM which is a steal at $25 a bottle:.

2005 Calaveras County Asterisk Percent Pound Ampersand At Exclamation (Red Blend, Mourvedre Syrah Grenache) Arrrr, the name of this wine is so disgusting that the Scurvy Dogs who provide our web site can’t even print the title… More Details

Yesterday, I desperately searched the shelves of Vons (two more Chilean wines which failed to move me toward the checkout counter although I did pick up a 6 pack of Alaska’s Winter Ale complete with real spruce!! yummy!), I scavenged at my favorite wine store, Big Lots and came up with some interesting wines: a mysterious Tistyra 2000 merlot in a very impressive bottle (hope it tastes as good!), Artisan’s 2005 Napa Cab, and Parson’s Creek Old Vines 1999 zin ($3). Nothing like the steal of the Jamieson Canyon 2002 Napa Cab for $4 which I found for sale on the web for $25. Next I tried Smart and Final; I came home instead with a few bottles from clearance: Chateau Greysac 2001 Medoc for $14, a BV Chard for $14, and two bottles of Bonterra Chard for $8 each.

Lots of interesting wines for under $20 but still no Chilean Red. I am going to try the Ventura Wine Company once more. I might even be making a road trip…