All posts filed under: Wine

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 …

Featured Wine of the Week – Greek Wine!

I stood in front of the Greek wine selection at the wine shop.  I didn’t know where to begin.  I had a few recommendations of Greek wine I should try, but as fate would have it, they were nowhere to be found.  The sales clerk wasn’t any help.  He was clearly out of his element when it came to Greek wines, as was I.  Just when I was about to give up and grab the wine with the label I liked best, I was greeted by a passing customer. He asked if I was looking to buy a Greek wine,  and when I responded that I was, he seemed surprised.  “Why would you want to do that,” he asked? I laughed and responded that I was told I should try some, and as a wine blogger and occasional educator, I thought I should.  He then told me he was Greek and could help me.  Then he told me something I will never forget: “The Greeks basically make wine to GET THE JOB DONE.  Most of …

Featured Wine of the Week – White Pinot Noir

One day I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, when I stumbled onto a review of a White Pinot Noir.  I paused and read through it.  A White Pinot Noir?  I pondered it and wondered if it was in the style of White Zinfandel.  If it was, I was not interested.  But if it wasn’t…well, if it wasn’t, this would be a very unique wine! I’ve noticed a trend lately of taking traditionally red varietals and making them into white wines.  To create these wines the winemakers need to ensure minimal contact with the color giving skins of the grapes.  In the case of the White Pinot Noir I tasted from Left Coast Estate, careful attention was taken by fermenting the grapes in stainless steel at a cool temperature.  No oak was used.  This produced a Pinot Noir that is very clean and is, in fact, a white wine. Left Coast Estate’s White Pinot Noir was created when the overcast and chilly “Bummer Summer” of 2011 produced slightly unripe grapes.  On the bottle they say, …

Featured Wine of the Week – Four Vines “The Willing”

It seems I’ve been having a lot of conversations about Chardonnay lately.  Who knew one wine could be so polarizing?  People either love it or hate it.  Honestly, I think those big, over-oaked California Chardonnays have given it a bad rap.  In recent years there has been a trend of lesser oaked, more food friendly Chardonnays.  Then there are the stainless Chards. Stainless, or naked Chardonnays are an expression of the grape in its purest form.  There is no oak manipulation, so you really get to see what this varietal is like.  Recently I revisited this type of Chardonnay and was not disappointed.  It was lovely and so quaffable.  I could drink it all day (something you will not hear me say about a Chardonnay very often). Details: Four Vines “The Willing” Chardonnay 2016 Monterey County California, USA Tasting Notes: On first glance, this wine is a gorgeous bright golden hue.  A bouquet of tropical fruits awaits: papaya, guava, lychee and pineapple.  It’s telling of what is to come.  On first taste, this wine is …

Featured Wine (Glasses) of the Week

Let’s talk about wine glasses. I have a coworker who loves to drink wine out of a small water glass because it makes her feel like she’s in Europe.  I understand – for me, wine is all about the experience.  A big part of that is how it makes me feel.  However, a water glass is restricting the full experience of the wine.  Don’t believe me?  Try drinking wine from a water glass and then try drinking from a wine glass.  You will notice a difference. Wine glasses are shaped in a way to help deliver the aromas of the wine.  They are also designed so you can swirl the wine to release the fragrance.  It doesn’t matter if the wine glass is stemless or has a stem.  It is the shape of the vessel that is important. I recently got to try some beautiful red wine titanium crystal glasses from ROD Wine Co.  First of all, I will admit, I am completely enamored by the shape of these glasses.  They are curvy and sexy.  …