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Category: About Wine

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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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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