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Category: About Wine

Ceritas Wine Dinner at Edmund’s Oast

Wine Dinner – What is it? Just because you are drinking wine with your dinner does not make it a wine dinner. Sorry, I had to say that even though it may seem obvious. So what is a wine dinner? A Wine Dinner is a structured meal with a set number of courses (three to four) with wine paired to each course.  Which comes first, the food or the wine? That depends on which is the “feature” for the event. If the food is the showcase, it comes first, and wines are selected from the wine list that best compliment the…

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Ehlers Estate * The Reds * A Chat * A Bonus

Welcome to Part Two from my visit to Ehlers Estate in Napa Valley. If you missed the first post about this experience, you would find it here. Today, I am continuing the Tasting portion of the visit, followed by a chat with the new winemaker and after that, the bonus. But you are going to need to keep reading to find out what it is. Ehlers Estate * Tasting of the Reds Cabernet Franc, Say what? Cabernet Franc is a grape variety that the casual wine drinker may not be familiar. It is an old grape variety and is a…

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Ehlers Estate Tour and Tasting Part 1

Ehlers Estate Wine with a Purpose When on a wine tasting trip in Napa Valley, it is easy to get lost in the blur of so much wine. There are vineyards at every turn and tasting rooms for wineries dotting the valley from top to bottom. It is so easy for several wine tasting experiences to blend into a single event. That was not the case for the tasting we had Ehlers Estate. They knocked it out of the park. Our experience at Ehlers Estate was the first one of the day at ten o’clock in the morning. I am…

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Russian River Valley and Hanna Wines

The Russian River Valley is a designated AVA* that resides within the larger Northern Sonoma AVA. AVAs located with a larger AVA share the characteristics of that AVA but also have a more unique set of attributes that further define that specific smaller portion of the region. It could be the soil type, the weather patterns or any number of things. The AVA that appears on the bottle is always the one that represents where the vineyards are precisely located. As such, the smaller AVA will always trump the larger if the vines all reside within the smaller (or sub)…

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Kelly Fleming Wines * Our Tasting Experience

This post about Kelly Fleming Wines is a collaboration with my friend and fellow blogger Amber Burke of www.winetraveleats.com. She is based in Napa and well connected. Our friendship was online based for months before we actually met, but once we did at the Wine Writers Education Conference (WWET), we quickly went from online friends to family. Gary and I could not have had the magical experiences that we did without her, and we are forever grateful. Now we talk all the time, so it only made sense to share this experience jointly. Amber Comments: One of the things that…

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#WIYG – Rombauer, Luna, Allemand, & More

If you are a wine enthusiast (eh-hem Steven) and you are on Instagram, you will be very familiar with #wiyg. It stands for “what’s in your glass” which is frequently posited on that social media platform along with your post of a glass or bottle of wine.  Hopefully, your “peeps” will respond, and your Instagram engagement goes through the roof. So what’s in my glass?   I am so glad you asked. Luna Vineyards in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley Luna Vineyards was one of the wineries that Gary and I visited when we were in Napa last May. It…

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Frank Family Vineyards * A Celebration

Frank Family Vineyards But first some background When one runs at lightning speed for most of his career in television and movie making, it is no surprise that Rich Frank ultimately became the President of Disney Studios. At that level, it is also no surprise that he would want and need a home away from home that is far enough and close enough to allow for rest and relaxation. In 1990, Napa Valley was the logical location choice with the purchase of a mountaintop vacation home in the heart of Rutherford with fruit already growing on the property. Rest, and relaxation…

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White Wine: Step Out of Your Box

If I had to guess what white wine you had in your fridge right now, I’d say Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. I would also imagine that if you drink Chardonnay, you would only drink a Sauvignon Blanc if that was your only option and visa versa. It is now time to step out on your white wine and try something new, and I am here to offer some suggestions. Aren’t you glad this is not a post on box wine? I bet that is what you thought when you read the title.  I gotcha! White Wine Varieties There are somewhere around ten thousand varieties of wine…

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Napa Valley: A Wine Lover’s Playground Pt 1

Last week, I had the good fortune to be one of twenty-nine writers to attend the inaugural Wine Writers’ Educational Tours conference. It was held in Napa Valley, California. Over the course of forty-three classroom hours in four days we visited nine wineries, walked four vineyards, and tasted over 130 wines. We learned from fifty of Napa Valley’s best and brightest winemakers, winery and vineyard owners, vineyard managers and wine educators. As if that is not enough the sampled wines included 23 grape varieties from all 17 Napa Valley AVAs*. They ranged in age from 40-years old to just bottled. While I was…

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Riesling from Smith-Madrone * Napa Valley

This is the last of my three posts starring the Smith-Madrone family of wines that I was fortunate enough to taste. You will recall that I sampled the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon which melted my heart with its perfect harmony and their 2015 Chardonnay, a fantastic California Chard that goes easy on the “butter” and complexity is king. This third and final bottle is the 2014 Smith-Madrone Riesling. This tasting brought me back to the restaurant gig I had in college where I was first introduced to wine. (other than Boones Farm, my wine of choice in high school.) Ok, sing it with me folks, “Memories,…

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Easy Last Minute Appetizer & Gifts for Mom

Recently I had a couple of situations when I needed to make an appetizer for a party or event. The ask came up last minute, and so I needed to scramble to find something that would be quick and easy.  I have two quickies for you. Sandwiched between the recipes, I figured that some of you may still have some shopping to do for your mom. I have a few affordable wine gifts for your last minute Mother’s Day shopping. Easy Appetizer: Velveeta Sausage Dip I am sure that everyone has seen a recipe like this one. My sister really likes to…

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Score! by Wine Critics

What Does a Wine Score Tell You? At least ten years ago, maybe longer, I was shopping the wine section at Costco. I saw a bottle of wine that was under $20.00 (not unusual for Costco), and it had a Robert Parker score of 96 points. (not the wine pictured below) I picked up a bottle and placed it in my cart. If internationally renowned wine critic Robert Parker liked this wine, it must be fantastic. As you continue reading, you may think I was a bit naive. Well, I was. But at the time I was not schooled nor trained about wine…

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Blue Planet Eyewear & A Napa Wine

At Least Once a Day… … I get asked where I got my glasses or a compliment about my glasses. Sadly this specific frame is no longer available, but the company has other really cool eyewear. Ah, I am getting ahead of myself. The frames you see in this picture of me started out as sunglasses. It was during our annual trip to Provincetown that we wandered into a men’s clothing and accessory store, and I found these (as sunglasses). I put them on and immediately fell in love with them. You see, I have been in search of new frames for my…

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Smith-Madrone 2015 Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most popular wine in the USA based on sales volume. That said, I was very, very slow to the starting gate because I “thought” I did not “like” white wine. I have told the story before when several years ago, I was graciously “slapped around” by a winemaker in France who clarified that I had just not found the style of white wine I preferred.  I was so used to only trying the wines that my husband and sister liked that I had never really given most white varieties a chance. Thankfully, I took the information to heart and…

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