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 ...
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.
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 ...
“I heard the call, “Go East, Birthday Girl!” So I did.
First stop, the not at all scandalous tasting, which was wickedly good. I sat on a stool at Broc Cellars in Berkeley and had a leisurely, dare-I-say, mindful tasting of wine. Took home a Valdiguié (can you say the Gamay of Napa?) and a Vine Starr Zinfandel (thinking ahead about Labor Day BBQ) .
By the way, I was out of usual tasting mode and swallowed – it was a wine drinking day and a fine one at that.
Second stop, happy birthday to Bay Grape! I had to ...
Heat wave, woo hoo! Yes, I love warm weather but live in a city that rarely tops 65 degrees. Saturday, it was warm across the Bay and I headed east to taste an Italian flight at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants. When I arrived I saw a gentleman with a wine sack. “What did you buy?” I inquired. He then pulled out a White that he could only find at the Spanish Table as well as a 2001 gran reserva Rioja. He was beaming.
I was a little early so I stepped into the shop and decided it was a good ...
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 ...
Everything. Wine tastes better when you are in the company of new or old friends. Sounds hokey but it’s true because tasting wine is more than an act, it is an experience.
Last Saturday I attended a Bordeaux tasting at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants on a freakishly sunny and warm day – the tasting was on the patio of the café next door, Bartavelle. I tasted solo and so took a breath, slowed down and embarked on tasting. Standing at the bar, I was taking notes when someone from a large group of women, also at the bar, spoke. “I ...
So this blog is called “Wine & Soul” but I rarely spend much time pondering the “soul” elements. Make no mistake though; they are very important inspirations for this blog. For me the “soul” part conjures up the spirit that is in the wines themselves, our relationship to nature and our relationship to ourselves. Can we live with mindfulness and in wisdom? Can we bring that way of being to our relationship with what’s in the glass — and our relationships with those that make sure the wine gets to the glass.
I would like to start with one simple ...
“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 ...