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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 Wisdom of the Stones OR Georgia On My Mind

The Rolling Stone’s song offers, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want…”

 I had purchased a bottle of Georgian rose´ and could not wait to taste it. As much as I like Orange wines, I have never tasted a wine from Georgia, the birthplace of orange wines. I poured a glass for me and my partner but on the first sip detected an unpleasant level of acidity and the feel of having vinegar poured down your throat. I wanted to make sure that the wine was not simply in need of a good airing out. Don’t know why I doubted ...

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A Case of True Love: A Toast to Wine’s “No Shame” Zone!

I sat down to write about my first wine app Vivino. I got it only because when I am in dire need of wine and hit the local market, there is no one who works there who knows about wine. The wine they carry comes in prepackaged blocks. A few posts back I shared my dread of heading down the hill to get a bottle of wine.  I prefer talking to people but my grocery store is not a fine wine shop. Last time I struck gold but what about this time? More on that later when I review the ...

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When “Mindless” Wine Shopping Get Results

Wine shopping brings me such joy. I always take the time to slow down and check out the wines – stopping to smell the flowers, if you will.  Viewing the labels, checking to see if any of my favorites are in stock, talking with merchants to find new gems, etc. – I love it all. I call this mindful wine shopping – being deeply present without judgment.

However, that sweet meditative practice comes to an abrupt end with I find myself desperately looking for wine at my neighborhood market. Scanning that selection always fills me with dread. Will I find ...

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When Wine Goes …Weird.

For me, wine is a journey; quite the adventure in which you just never know. This brings me to a recent mind-blowing tasting in which I couldn’t tell what to make of the orange tinted concoction in my glass called Stevenjan (the Slovenian name for the village in Collio that is the home to Radikon and Gravner, and the epicenter of skin-fermented white winemaking) made by the Scholium project.

How would I describe it?

Would I say I liked it?

The words my husband used to attempt to give this wine shape and form seemed incongruent: waxed candy lips, mandarin ...

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On Bordeaux and that Moment When…

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Bordeaux tasting focused on the Right Bank, specifically the Grande Cru Classes of Saint-Emilion.  The room was a familiar one, Terra, located South of Market right near the Freeway, a place that frequently hosts tastings. The last time I was there I had the enviable task of exploring Italian wines.

The room looked exactly the same – a barebones layout with two small but heaven-sent cheese stations.  I approached my taste with my usual combination of curiosity and glee, asking the representatives to share stories of the wines. Many of the ...

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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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“I always say every wine has a story. What’s this one’s?”

Found myself in the enviable position of attending a wine tasting with a focus on grower-producer Champagnes by a wine importer/distributor. I eased into it in my Wine & Soul way trying to find out more about the people behind the wine. Me: “I always say every wine has a story. What’s this one’s?”  My inquiry was clearly not the norm. The gentleman pouring the wine looked at me funny and then handed me an article about the produce rand their method for making Champagne. I was thankful for the story in writing but would have preferred a conversation.

Some ...

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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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I Paid Retail and it was Worth it!

I work in retail. I don’t pay retail! Well, not usually but it was not a usual set of circumstances.

Monday night, I decided I’m going to join the wine club of Bay Grape because it’s such a wonderful shop and community gathering place. It looked like it was sold out and I’d have to wait a month but I sent an email anyway. Tuesday afternoon, I heard back from Stevie, one half of the owner-couple, that there were 3 left and it was a first-come, first-served deal. I was the first to snag one.

I ran home from work ...

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