tercero’s Larry Schaffer, Rhone specialist: part 2 red wines


Whether you are a red wine fan or a white wine fan, whether you are an adventurous wine drinker or a more traditional one, a visit to Santa Barbara County’s tercero in Los Olivos is well worth a trip just off the main drag (2445 Alamo Pintado Ave, suite 104).

At the end of our late February visit, Que Syrah Sue bought seven bottles of tercero and I bought six. We were both tempted to buy more and we both look forward to going back. And here’s why:

tercero owner and winemaker Larry Schaffer  has a wonderful philosophy and personality, and we appreciate his approach to wine to really showcase the fruit and not mask it with oak. We appreciate his playfulness and willingness to take chances with and play which is refreshing in a wine industry that can be so pretentious.

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Mr Versatile: Ojai Vineyards 2007 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir

The right Pinot Noir can indeed pair with dishes as diverse as pork, fish, and fowl. Continue reading

A Selection of Rodney Strong Wines: Symmetry, Sauv Blanc, Chard, Knotty Vines, Alexander’s Crown

2013-08-12 18.59.54One of our Wine Predator summer 2012 highlights was a twitter tasting that featured Rodney Strong wines. I’m guessing that this summer Rodney Strong wines will be a highlight as well!

Last summer, we tasted several Rodney Strong wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Knotty Vines Zinfandel, and Symmetry. Getting in the mood for Wednesday’s blending party with Rodney Strong wines at the Pierpont Inn, I opened their Chardonnay one night and their Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon on another night.

To Rodney Strong Vineyards, “place matters.”  One of the oldest wineries in Sonoma County, it was started by the charismatic and handsome Rodney Strong, a retired dancer. Family owned and carbon neutral, their certified sustainable practices start with the earth with soil and water conservation and reach toward the sky with solar power (one of the largest by any winery in the world!). They are also one of the rare businesses that are committed to the Triple Bottom Line of Planet, People and Profit, meaning they are not just concerned about making money but taking care of the planet and their employees through social equity.

Below are notes on each of these wines from Rodney Strong. And watch for an upcoming post with pictures and stories from our experiment in blending! Continue reading

Today’s #LambruscoDay: Time for Summer’s Fizzy Fun Red Wine!

Will Lambrusco, that delightful bubbly red wine from Italy, be the next Prosecco, that delightful white bubbly wine from Italy that took the US by storm nearly 10 years ago?

Kitten Likes LambruscoWe’ll see!

In the meantime, the perfect time to check out Lambrusco is today Friday June 21, 2013–the first day of summer and Lambrusco Day!

I was sent a sample of the IL Mionetto Lambrusco so Annie and I opened it up yesterday in anticipation of Lambrusco Day. Annie said,

“This is a lot of fun for 10 Bucks!”

And I agree! Continue reading

Speed Tasting at WBC13 Part 1: White Wines

Speed tasting wine at a Wine Bloggers’ Conference is not for the faint hearted. Continue reading