Category: Region


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 Tasting for the ABC Crowd: Make-up on Your Chardonnay?

Last Friday I went to a Chablis tasting at Bay Grape featuring the wines of superstar producer Patrick Piuze. When I began to taste the first pour of the flight, I noticed a woman looking at me. So I smiled. She mentioned that she does not like Chardonnay because of all the oak and butter.

A teachable moment.

I empathized, sharing how I know there are a lot of ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) wine drinkers out there. I also shared with her how the Chardonnay she described is just one  style and so she should not give up on it ...

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In Defense of the Maligned: Announcing Wine & Soul on the Road!

As some of you know, one of the topics I blog about is the “maligned” in wine. Sometimes it takes the form of a grape like Merlot (thanks to the film Sideways) or Gamay. Other times it takes the form of a region as when a person recently proclaimed to me that they have only had bad wine from Portugal or all the folks who scream bloody murder when Australian wine is mentioned because of Yellowtail.

I don’t believe it, and not just because I am a starry-eyed optimist but because it simply cannot be true. Above all, it’s patently ...

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WineSong: Pinot Powered Good

Last week trekked to Mendocino with my dear colleague Cailan to pour at the annual WineSong charity auction. I have always known wine is good but it was great seeing it be used for good.

We had a blast pouring for Lambert Bridge Winery during Saturday’s Grand Tasting in the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg.  With its cool climate, Mendo is perfect for Pinot and so there was a lot of Pinot pouring. I got a chance to taste some terrific Pinot from Waits-Mast Family Cellars, which I highly recommend. My taste of the Oppenlander Vineyard was hauntingly beautiful. We ...

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The Tasting Room Goes …

Lounge. Yes, as we all tire of the in-n-out tasting room experience, some wineries are creating a new experience for wine lovers. It favors slow over fast, conversation over banter, and mindfulness over mindlessness in tasting (I hope).

While in West Sonoma County, please check out:

Paul Mathew Vineyards in Graton.

Cartograph Wines in Healdsburg.

Wine Guerilla in Forestville.

And let me know what you experienced. I plan on checking these places out as well, hoping they will charm and delight my weary tasting room soul. Thank you Sonoma Discoveries magazine for spotting this trend.

While at it, please remember ...

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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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A NIGHT IN NAPA (BY WAY OF OAKLAND)

Last week, I attended a workshop at Bay Grape in Oakland titled, “Napa Valley Terroir and the Evolution of Napa Style.” This event featured producers Jill Matthiasson of Matthiasson wines and Stuart Smith of Smith-Madrone wines who shared their stories. The common themes that threaded their story were challenging the norms, finding their own style, and committing to wines that do “have a sense of place.”

A few memorable takeaways/reminders:

  • In the 70s, Napa was hot but starting in the 80s it began to lose its way
  • Don’t let labels fool or mislead you
  • Wine should be fun and challenging
...

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

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: , ,

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 3: I’m Batman! (And yes, this is the obligatory Thanksgiving post.)

Jean Foillard Morgon “Cote du Py” 2011

There is something no-nonsense and straightforward about Foillard’s wine. It seems to say, let’s cut straight to deliciousness. Deliciousness with class. It has a wonderful texture going down. The finesse from start to finish seems almost offhanded. – Kermit Lynch

I am Batman! Here to save you from the uninspired Thanksgiving wine Beaujolais Nouveau (BN). A product of exceptional marketing, it is found on the tables at almost every feast on that holiday. Fine and dandy but you deserve something more thrilling.

I have a story to tell first: I was in Paris ...

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