All posts filed under: Wine

Featured Wine of the Week

Even when I was a new wine drinker, there was something about Rhone varietals that I loved more than anything else.  I would take a Syrah any day over a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot.  Can you believe it?  However, there was something so juicy, so spicy, so lovely about Rhone varietals that I just fell in love with them. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, some Rhone varietals include Syrah, Viognier, Grenache, Grenache Blanc (a different varietal than Grenache – not the white version of one), Mourvedre, and Rousanne, to name a few. Most recently I’ve become enamored of GSMs, or Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre as a blend.  So, when I went to a local wine bar the other day, I asked for one.  What I got was a 2016 Kivel Stadt Cellars “Father’s Watch” Red Blend.  It was a GSM, with one addition:  32% Carignane.  This wine was completely unexpected. Since I went into it blindly at first, I thought I was drinking a wine from France.  It was earthy, with bit of …

Featured Wine (Event) of the Week

Happy Wine Wednesday!  I’m dreaming of bubbles this morning after attending a super fun event put on by J Vineyards at the PaliHouse in Los Angeles.  It was advertised as a wine and cheese interactive tasting led by Winemaker Nicole Hitchcock of J Vineyards and Francois Robin of Fromage France, followed by a cheese and wine soiree. So, let me get this straight…one of my favorite Sonoma wineries was putting on an event with a French Cheesemonger? Um….yes!  Yes please! I’m not sure what I expected, but I did not expect the wonderful cheese and wine extravaganza I got to enjoy!  There was a bar pouring four beautiful wines from J Vineyards:  J Sparkling Brut Rose, J Cuvee 20, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir.  More on those in a moment…  There was a giant table in the middle of the courtyard filled with several different French cheeses, including Brillat-Severin, Tomme de Savoie, Bleu D’Auvergne, and Beaufort.  There were olives, almonds, berries, honey, and of course, the requisite bread. Oh. My. God.  I was in heaven! As …

Featured Wine of the Week

Happy Wine Wednesday!  Here we are again, and I thought it was only appropriate to feature a wine that speaks of Spring, warm weather and the #superbloom!  Today I am featuring another wine from Urban Press Winery, a Grenache Blanc with the name, “Fiore,” meaning flower. This wine has become my hands down favorite white at the moment.  I’ve always loved a good Grenache Blanc, since I was first introduced to it years ago at Bouchon in Santa Barbara.  At that time, I got to try a Tercero Wines Grenache Blanc.  I took a picture of the bottle and went on a hunt for more.  I wasn’t able to find it, but fast forward to a couple of years later, and I was working an event where I got to meet Owner/Winemaker, Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines and taste his other beautiful creations. Grenache Blanc is still hard to find, and when I find a good one, I latch on to it.  Giovanni D’Andrea, Owner and Winemaker of Urban Press, has filled that niche for …

Featured Wine of the Week

I had the most extraordinary experience over the weekend by visiting a tasting room I had walked by time and time again. This time, I went in. I’m so glad I did! I discovered a beautiful space with some succulent wines. I’m going to feature a few wines from Urban Press Winery over the next few posts. They were too good to feature just one! 📚Details: 2013 Urban Press Cabernet Sauvignon Moon Mountain District Sonoma, California Red Wine 🍷Tasting Notes: Deep garnet in color, this silky Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of ripe cherries and red fruits. On the palate it has a smooth, long finish with medium tannins and good acidity. The red fruits are present along with hints of cinnamon and cloves. There is a touch of menthol and pepper.

Featured Wine of the Week

It’s #WineWednesday again!  I’ve been seeing Australian wines and vines all throughout my social media feeds.  It makes sense – this time of year is the end of their harvest season.  Here in California, we’re experiencing the opposite vine cycle, bud break, where all of the vines beginning to wake up from their winter slumber.  In Australia, grapes are being plucked and are in their beginning phases of wine.  So, it seems appropriate to feature an Australian wine today. Details: Yalumba “The Y Series” Shiraz Viognier 2015 96% Shiraz, 4% Viognier 13.5% Alcohol South Australia Red Wine   Tasting Notes: I couldn’t wait to taste this wine after I found it.  With the addition of the Viognier (a white wine varietal) to the Shiraz, I expected it to have some roundness.  Strangely enough, the place I noticed the Viognier the most was in its aroma.  It smelled earthy with a touch of vanilla and lilac.  The wine was a beautiful deep ruby color in the glass and tasted of berries with a dusting of pepper …

Wine Diamonds

Have you ever seen these crystals in the bottle or glass of your wine?  I once had a server at a restaurant try to explain it as sediment in my white wine.  That’s not what these are.  They are tartrate crystals, also known as wine diamonds. These wine diamonds are nothing to fear.  They are a natural occurrence that happens from time to time, and are safe to drink.  They are formed from a natural component, called tartaric acid.  Tartaric acid is found in grapes, apricots, apples, avocados, tamarinds, citrus, and bananas.  You can find it in among spices and is commonly used as cream of tartar that can be added to eggs to increase their thickness. When you see them in wine, it is due to the tartaric acid binding with potassium when the wine is chilled.  They form the white crystals that can stick to the bottom of a cork and can be found in the last pours of a bottle. These crystals can occur in both red and white wine.  However, they …

Featured Wine of the Week

Happy Wine Wednesday!  We’re half way through the week.  Today I’m featuring a Tempranillo from the Toro region in northwest Spain. “Grab the bull by the horns.” Details: 2016 Toro Tempranillo 100% Tempranillo 14.5% Alcohol Toro DO, Spain Red Wine Tasting Notes: This medium bodied wine is reminiscent of crushed velvet in the glass.  Its deep garnet color is reflective of its succulent bouquet of ripe fruit, cherries, boysenberries, smoke, and leather.  Flavors of cherry, smoke, and a pop of unripe plum carry this wine into a long, lingering finish.  This fruity wine would be paired well with chocolate and salty cheeses. Trivia: Toro is a region in northwest Spain that borders the Atlantic ocean.  It is best known for Albarino, a crisp, white wine.  Due to this cooler climate, this Tempranillo tastes young.  It is a lighter Tempranillo, and most likely will continue to taste younger as it ages.