Category: Grape


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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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 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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You Like It “Lean & Mean”? Ode to Old-School Pinot Noir.

One day a wine merchant said that it sounded like I preferred that “lean” style of Pinot Noir. Hmmm, I did not know that it came in a “fat” version at that time. Since then, I have learned about the modern clones that produce that cola-cherry flavor, which, quite frankly, does not taste like Pinot to me. I tried one recently and on the nose was stung by the strong scent of over-ripe fruit; to no surprise, my palate was not pleased when it met this Pinot – someone later extolled its virtues to me because they love how “big” ...

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Question: When is a Pinot Noir more like a Cabernet Franc?

Answer: When it comes from Erich Weber of Hofgut Falkenstein vineyards in the Mosel region of Germany.

I have confessed my love of Pinot Noir recently but Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley is an old love – I adore both its aromatics and its tantalizing leanness (and yes, there is such a thing.)

When I bought this bottle of German Pinot Noir (the domestic name is “Spätburgunder”), it was because I had not tasted Pinot from Germany before. I am a big fan of trying-the-one-I-haven’t-tasted before. You know my mantra: find the one you love but don’t stop there. ...

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Week 9 of 52. Holiday Rituals & “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!”

My husband and I have come to realize that we need rituals in our lives. We don’t do the normal holiday thing and so it used to be lunch at Chez Panisse. Then we moved to dinner at Chapeau and so for the last 4 years we have dined at this well-known and delightful eating establishment in San Francisco. On this recent occasion my husband started with the salmon “three ways.” I suggested that he pair the dish with Chardonnay. They had by the glass a wine from Macon, that part of Burgundy known for its good value white wines ...

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Posted in: Grape, Region, Uncategorized  |  Tags: , ,

No, Not the Wine Tasting Test!

“I don’t know anything,” she said.

“You don’t have to, it’s not a test – what do you like?”

I decided to share my love of wine with people I have never met at a party hosted by a new work colleague. To make it fun, I brought two different wines with only one thing in common: they’re both uncommon. One was from the South-west of France and the other was from a place South of San Francisco, Santa Cruz. Here’s the book on them:

Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Quinta Cruz 2009 Souzão 

A rare Portuguese variety. The aromas and ...

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Week #5: Know Your Producer/Know Your Importer! (Relationships Matter.)

Certainly one vital way to get to know your producers is through the importers who have deep relationships with them. Kermit Lynch is one of those importers; and knowing good importers is a shortcut to choosing a good wine in this era of a dizzying amount of choice. Relationships matter, and I wish I could have direct relationships with winemakers in France but since I do not, I am grateful that importers like Kermit Lynch do.

I wrote about Cru Beaujolais for week #3 and so obviously I have a “thing” about it. So what better way to spend a ...

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Week #4. Shooting for the Stars in Seattle: Aligoté Redeemed!

Shooting Star on Brooklyn’s copper bar

I had a great plan to gather juicy content for this blog: hit 3-4 wine bars in Seattle on a quest for a memorable wine experience and share the results with you. Alas, I was blindsided by the flu – woe to my taste buds and general interest in wine. You know I am sick when I am not interested in drinking wine!

On the mend, I saddled up to the bar at the Brooklyn in Downtown Seattle for the famed Happy Hour. I am an adventurous wine lover, as you may have noticed, ...

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