Author: TheWineMuse.net

Featured Wine of the Week – Left Coast Wines Chardonnay

It’s Wine Wednesday, and it’s the season to drink white wine!  I had the opportunity to drink and share 2017 Left Coast Estate Truffle Hill Chardonnay last week with two of my closest girlfriends. It was a balmy Southern California evening, and this was the perfect wine for such a night.  We dined poolside, where we caught up and told the type of stories that only close friends relate to each other. We laughed a lot and simply enjoyed the evening. Without further ado, here are the details: Description: Left Coast Estate Truffle Hill Chardonnay 2017 13% Alcohol Rickreall, Oregon, USA Willamette Valley   Tasting Notes:   This Chardonnay welcomes with a deep golden hue and gorgeous aromas of butterscotch, papaya, and elderflower.  Tropical fruit flavors of pineapple, lychee, and papaya are layered with creamy vanilla and poached pear.  There is bright acidity and a luscious, silky mouthfeel.  All in all, this is a delicious wine that is a great complement to any outdoor summer eating.   Estate Information:  Left Coast Wines prides themselves on being environmentally …

Featured Winery of the Week – Ampelos Cellars

I’ve been a longtime fan of Ampelos Cellars, but I had never been to their tasting room at the Wine Ghetto in Lompoc, California.  On my quest to discover more about biodynamic wines and farming, my Partner in Wine, Adrienne and I made a trip there and arrived just as they opened.  There is nothing better than having the tasting room all to yourself if you want to have a conversation with the person behind the bar. The wine lineup did not disappoint.  We tasted through a Viognier, Rose of Syrah, two Pinot Noirs, Grenache, Syrache (Grenache/Syrah – read my review here), and a Syrah.  I hoped to try the new bubbles, but none were open.  The tasting notes provided were fantastic and fun with descriptions like, the Pinot Noir is “your best friend from childhood.  The one who never told your mom.” Ampelos Cellars is known for using organic, sustainable and biodynamic farming techniques, and was the first vineyard in the US to be certified in all three. This means they focus on what …

Featured Winery of the Week – Liquid Farm

Happy Wine Wednesday! Today I’m featuring Liquid Farm and their beautiful new tasting room in Los Olivos. 🍷I first discovered Liquid Farm 7 years ago when I was working for a wine event company. At the time, I swore I would never touch a Chardonnay again. That is, until I tried Liquid Farm. They changed my mind and made me realize just how many ways Chardonnay can be crafted. True to form, Liquid Farm offers up 5 different styles of Chardonnay at the tasting room. The first, White Hill Chardonnay from Sta Rita Hills, a Chablis style, which @adrienneastrology described as “salty lemonade.” The last was Bien Bien Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, a voluptuous, creamy Chard. My favorite was La Hermana Chardonnay, which was right in between these styles. However!! We didn’t just taste Chardonnay, we had 2 delicious Pinot Noirs and my personal favorite, a rosé of Mourvèdre (also known as PC, or “pink crack” to LF aficionados). The tasting room has a delightful shabby/chic vibe with comfy couches, hanging plants, an electric …

Featured Winery of the Week – Story of Soil

  Story of Soil is a hidden gem located in a charming bungalow off the main hub in Los Olivos. It is tucked away and has that feeling of being a special place only few people know about. The rustic elegance inside alludes to the wines this place is dedicated to:  a balance of robust flavor with finesse. The lineup of wines is impressive – not just for their quality, but also for the unusual offering of a few varietals: Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s native grape and a relative newcomer to California, as well as Gamay, a French varietal known for being used in Beaujolais.  All are small batch wines, with grapes sourced from local vineyards.  The average case count is 150 per wine, with a total of about 1,100 cases. It’s clear Winemaker Jessica Gasca has dedicated her life to the crafting of wine.  From vineyard internship to apprenticeship to creating her own, her single varietal wines and winemaking style are undeniably a labor of love. Wines include: 2016 Sierra Madre Pinot Noir 2017 Martian Gamay …

Demeter Certified Beckman Vineyards

My trip to Santa Barbara Wine Country began with a stop at Beckman Vineyards. This has been one of my long-time favorite wineries, but it also had been a long time since I visited. My partner in wine, Adrienne and I were also on a quest for knowledge about Biodynamic farming. So since this is one of the better known Demeter Certified producers, it seemed natural to stop by. We got to sample some gorgeous wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Rosé, a SGMC Blend (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise), and an remarkable 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon that didn’t have the faintest hint of actually being that young. Every one of them was well balanced, expertly crafted and absolutely divine! I had to resist both the temptation to join the Wine Club as well as not buy up every bottle I could (and couldn’t) afford. All told, I walked out with four bottles, but I am highly tempted to order more. And join their Wine Club…what? Yeah… Anyway, we got some information on Biodynamic farming, but really just …

Palate Fatigue

Posts about my quick trip to Santa Barbara Wine Country are coming…but first!! Let’s talk about PALATE FATIGUE. What are your tricks and tips to avoid it? There are a few things I do: 🍷1. The first thing I do is share tastings. I know for most of you this might sound like sacrilege. However, I find sharing tastings not only keeps me honest and clear, but I’m able to taste more before my palate decides it’s done. 🍿2. I like to break up tasting with some food or coffee. It doesn’t have to be a lot. A handful of popcorn helps. It’s just nice to refresh and reset. 💦3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I’m sure this is not news to any of you, but drinking a lot of water helps to keep things fresh. 👅4. When visiting tasting rooms, I rarely hit more than 3 or 4 in one day. Wine events and conferences are a different creature (you will see me spitting at those 😮). At tasting rooms, I like to sip, enjoy and …

Spanakorizo with Garlic Shrimp (*or Chicken)

Nobody said being a mom is easy.  However, nobody said it would be extremely difficult to find any kind of time for myself.  My workouts have gone mostly by the wayside since I gave birth two years ago.  At first it didn’t matter.  Between nursing and constantly running on adrenaline, excess weight dropped right off me.  However, once I stopped the breast milk and started walking with a toddler, all that weight I had so easily lost came right back on.  Grrrrr… Now that I’m beginning to get some sleep back, I’ve decided to get my body and health back too.  I’ve been trying to focus on creating healthier meals that don’t take too long to make.  I have become the queen of one-pot dinners.  Spanakorizo has been a long-time favorite of mine, but it’s only recently that I’ve started to make it myself.  Had I known it was so easy, I would have done it a long time ago.  Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 pound shrimp, unshelled, with tails off* 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons …