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Category: Red Wine

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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New Wines and Great Food

Even as someone who thrives on trying new places, I still need to visit some of my old haunts now and then. It is fun to see what new wines they are pouring and to try something new on the menu. In this post, I am sharing two such experiences. The first is about the incredible new wines I found. The the second a fantastic take on “Eggs Benedict.” @goat.sheep.cow.north One of my favorite old haunts is the wine bar and fromagerie goat.sheep.cow.north. “Old” here is a relative term because it has not even been open for two years yet. No matter…

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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 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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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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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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Cariñena: Tasting Value Wines, Pt 2

In my last post, I introduced you to the affordable wines of Cariñena D.O.P in northwest Spain. If you missed it, you might want to go back and glance at it now.  I was so impressed by these wines that I have been scouring the area wine shops for these super-value wines.  Having found five wines at Trader Joe’s, I hosted an impromptu wine tasting with some friends and neighbors to help me evaluate these finds. Part Two: Finding Cariñena All of the wines are red. Four were blends, and one was a Tempranillo. Unfortunately, none were strictly Garnacha, but…

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Cariñena: An Unfamiliar Wine Region: Pt 1

Finding Cariñena: Part One At the Wine Blogger’s Conference back in November, I had the pleasure of attending a seminar presented by Lyn Farmer, a James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer about the Cariñena D.O.P. wine region in Spain. Never heard of it?  Don’t feel bad; I am not sure many at the conference had either. Winemakers in the region have been producing wine for thousands of years, but doing so flying under the radar. Some of the larger producers in the area want to change that and have begun a big push for recognition. This seminar was one of the…

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