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A lounge for Wine and Wisdom​, Conversation and Community.
Celebrating the joy of wine and the joy of living a life of Introspection and Inquiry.

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Until then, here are the latest musings from our fearless leader, CJ Callen…


The Wine & Soul Dress Rehearsal

I have read all of Shakespeare’s plays – even the disputed ones. As you can imagine, I am a fan of theatre – all that strutting and fretting on an actual stage.

On Monday, May 22, I felt on stage at Townie Bagels in the Warm Sands neighborhood of Palm Springs where I hosted a dress rehearsal for Wine & Soul. This was my first  opportunity to share more about me, connect to the community, and listen in to what wine lovers in Palm Spring want.

After my stage fright wore off, I found myself in the zone because I ...

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The Magic When the New World Meets the Old

I have been a little silly over a certain wine that is definitely a product of New World fruit –  Willamette Valley, Oregon to be precise – but has a certain Old World sensibility. The result is one sexy wine that keeps me coming back for more.

So what is it about the wine? It is an authentic reflection of its cool climate and proudly so. The wine pops with juicy cherry fruit and violet mingle with earth and exquisite minerality. What’s also intriguing is that it’s a red wine that is only 12.5% alcohol, which is not the norm ...

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Wine Fables & Flashbacks on a Fated Day

Big news – Wine & Soul has moved to the desert, a fitting relocation to a magical place that embodies survival, rejuvenation and adaptability to change.

Now for my ongoing quest for good wines that express place and tell a story. One of the local markets was hosting a tasting of The Fableist Wine Company and so I thought I would get out of the house of never-ending boxes and do something I love: taste and chat about wine.

Important wrinkle to this story: the winery is based in Paso Robles, a part of California wine country that has played ...

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How to Shop for Wine like Eckhart Tolle

[I love technology – give me a new app anytime; however, in Wine & Soul style I believe in “balance in all things” and so knowing when to use it and when to lose it is the golden rule. This was the inspiration for this post.]

Ok, I have no idea if Eckhart Tolle even likes wine. However, I did have the distinct pleasure of meeting him at Wisdom 2.0 and found myself thinking, “what a relief- he is the real deal.”

I also work part-time in a wine shop and encounter legions of people on their smartphones who end ...

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Faith Restored & Another Reason Why You Should “Never Say Never”

My love for Bandol rose has make me a tad intolerant of rosé made of Pinot Noir with the notable exception of one from Oregon that retails for $90. Amazing as it is, I cannot afford to drink it. ( If you can and want to know the secret, please drop me a line. I am a bit of a tease today.)

So I opened the bag that contained my Bay Grape wine club selections for August and low and behold, a rosé from Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon made of Pinot Noir with glowing words to boot on the info sheet. ...

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A Wine You Want to Party With

On tasting my second bottle of a particular California Syrah, I realize that there are wines with a clear identity, a certain authenticity and vibrant personality with whom you want to hang out. And then there are others that just seem “ho hum” and so you opt out of any time spent lingering.

Piedra Sassi “PS” 2014 Syrah is the former: a wine you want to party with. And should.

The grapes come from Santa Barbara County, a lovely cool coastal climate, which shines through the final product. This wine comes alive with flavors of roasted meat and deep black ...

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Winter has Arrived – Gamay to the Rescue!

[Note to my readers: I wrote this post a few days ago when Spring was on the wane.]

It has been been winter in the Callen household in two ways. First, the summer solstice is on its way and so San Francisco has turned bone chilling. Second, sweet Cleo, my husband’s assistance dog has taken ill and seems to be dying. Sadness all around. I even lost interest in food and wine!

Then, the tide turns. Well, not exactly but I move into a state of acceptance; cherishing the time I have left to hug my precious pup. Dogs teach ...

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A Wine Blogger’s Song in 3 Parts. Part III. Wines in the Hands of Crafty Women

Shoop, shoop, shoop ♪♫

So what to do after an all-day meditation retreat on goodness/merit? Visit my favorite wine shop, Bay Grape, especially since they were hosting a special event featuring Italian winemakers – all women who make organic wine.

I believe that relationships matter and so you need to get to know your producers when you can or connect to those (like your shop owner) who have those relationships. I came to this tasting to meet the producers and taste their wines, knowing that later when I would pick up a bottle from that winemaker, the experience would be ...

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A Wine Blogger’s Song in 3 Parts. Part II: Musings on the “Hybrid” Experience

“Where everybody knows your name.” ♪♫

Looking for a place to have a conversation over wine with a colleague and found a florist and wine bar called Rosebowl Florist and Wine Shop. I told my friend, “we have to do this; it’s just weird enough.” Located in Opera Plaza in San Francisco, the wine bar is in the back of the flower shop “plus” (it has a lot of others items for gift giving). The space was intimate as in teeny tiny but that was also part of the charm. The real hook is Deidra O’Meade, the friendly owner and ...

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A Wine Bloggers Song in 3 Parts. Part I: When in a Funk, “Funky Pinot” to the Rescue!

La, la, la, la, la. ♩♫

Music is often on my mind. Maybe that’s because I’m married to an Ethnomusicologist. Lately, it may be even more so because of the passing of  that great musical artist David Bowie.

Wine is always on my mind.

Hence, this post- and the two to follow.

Disclaimer: if you think this post is going to be about Pinot Noir or any other grape with “Pinot” in its name, it’s not. This is a tribute to an “old school” Nebbiolo that my was  renamed “Funky Pinot” by my witty and wise husband.

Once I asked ...

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