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Category: About Wine

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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Smith-Madrone 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

I have always heard that if you love what you do, it will never seem like work. No surprise… and a loud duh, I love drinking wine. More than that, I love trying new wines. One of the benefits of blogging about wine is that it forces me out of my comfort zone. I can not become complacent and drink the same style and variety of wine, bottle after bottle. It is essential that I branch out. That said, it has been ages since I purposefully drank a California Cab. My experience with these Cabs. have been challenging at best, finding them to be a…

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Blind Tasting : A Mutiny and a Game

This is the second of three posts from the Dinner Party for Ten. In this post, I will share with you the blind tasting game that started the evening. Oh, in case you are wondering? Throwing a dinner party during March Madness from some is a crime. What do I know about “the sports.” So yes, the semi-finals of the basketball tournament had to be on for the Loyola game.  My female guests all politely requested that they be able to check in on the game. And it had nothing to do with the nun. Meanwhile, all the guys were…

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Bistro À Vin and Pannakakor

Oy, what a delightful but packed full weekend. It started on Thursday with the soft opening of the newest wine bar in Charleston, Bistro À Vin located at 40 Archdale Street in the heart of the shopping district just a block or so off King Street behind Charleston Place Hotel. On Friday, I had to begin preparation for my Dinner for ten on Saturday evening. Then I had my Saturday morning wine class which was awesome learning about several regions in France and blind tasting two wines. I am getting better at this but still not great. Saturday’s dinner party…

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Annual Survey Time & A Couple Wines

You know, the longer I am blogging, the more I love it.  I sure hope you love it as much as I am.  It has been a while since I sought out more information from my readers. What are you enjoying the most? What needs improvement? Have your wine buying habits changed? What about my recipes?  So it is time for my annual survey.  Please take a few minutes to answer these 13 questions. Your answers are anonymous. Your participation will help me provide you with the posts you most want to read. And it should only take about five minutes. Below…

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Charleston Wine and Food Festival – Part 2

I know it has been a couple of weeks since the Charleston Wine and Food Festival ended but I still wanted to share my experience in the Culinary Village because it is such an essential aspect of the festival. So here is my take on the Village. Let me say from the outset that I had a blast on Sunday and I will definitely be back next year. There are a few aspects of the Culinary Village where I offer what I hope is seen as constructive criticism. That by no means is a bad thing just my humble opinion…

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Charleston Wine and Food Festival – Part 1

The Charleston Wine and Food Festival (CWFF) has been a mainstay event in town for the past 13 years, but I had yet to attend.  The event tickets are pricey and can add up quickly if you want to dig into the festivities. I decided this year I would stick my toe in the water and go to a couple of events and I am sure glad I did.  Much of my experience this year was through connections with passes, but that will change next year because this was an absolute blast. This year’s festival started on Feb. 28th and ran through to March…

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Confessions of a Wine Geek

I am not exactly sure when this happened, but it has been confirmed by family and friends that I have become a wine geek, aka wine nerd.  This transformation was not intentional, but like most things I do, I went “all in” so I should not be surprised.  For the record, this confession does not also translate into me being a wine snob.  The term “wine snob” implies a condescension of others about their wine drinking habits. Should I ever become a wine snob, I hope someone will take me behind the barn and give me the proper whooping I deserve. I…

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Bottle Shock: Let it Rest

It’s Alive Yep, wine is as “alive” as any other agricultural product and can be affected by temperature fluctuations, movement, oxygen and many other factors. Think about it, wine changes as it ages so why not because it got jostled around on a ship as it crossed the pond from France or even after a week in a UPS truck from California to Charleston. There have been several times when we have purchased a new vintage of a wine that we have traditionally really liked. We pop the cork on that first bottle and think, “WHOA! what happened to this vintage?”…

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Wine Round Up: Winter

The other night at a dinner party a dear friend thanked me for turning him onto dry rosé wines. He said, At first, he only bought the brand that I shared with him but has since branched out and is trying and finding a slew of new rosé wines he loves.  Additionally, the other day in a conversation with another friend she told me a similar story but then added that since she has started to go to the Strong Coffee to Red Wine wine tastings, she has learned that her wine palate is much broader than she ever imagined. As…

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