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Category: Wine tasting

Croatian Wine Tasting * Part 1

My friend’s John and Irene have an online wine store (Topochines.com) that sells Croatian wine as well as wines from a few other countries. The wines are always unique and from off the beaten path wineries. I had sampled some of the Croatian wine and knew that I needed to introduce these wines to others in Charleston. I decided to put together a wine tasting and invited some of my wine pals to partake. Happily, I ended up being 15 folks who heeded the call. It turned out that we sampled a total of 12 wines: six Croatian wines, four…

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Charleston Wine and Food Festival

Surviving Sunday in the Culinary Village At this year’s Charleston Wine and Food Festival, I attended the Culinary Village in Marion Square. This is my second year. And like last year, I chose to go on Sunday because they offer a “local resident” ticket at just $95.00 versus the regular price of $135.00. I may decide to pay the extra $40.00 and go on Friday or Saturday next year to see if I am missing anything. Start with a Hearty Breakfast One of the things I learned last year is that the food lines are obscenely long. And when you…

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Roussillon & Jura: Bottle and Background

Two Lesser Known Wine Regions in France One of the things that I love about wine blogging is that it forces me outside of my familiar. Before writing Strong Coffee, I drank pretty much just one varietal. I would drink that varietal from different countries and different regions, but it was always the same grape. In the last two years, I have opened my eyes to wines of every color (I tried a blue wine once. Yes, blue, real blue; it did not go well.), and style. From countries that I had no idea made such great wines. And the…

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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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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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Life Lately: A Balancing Act

Life lately has been a crazy, crazy period for me. Kind of like walking a tightrope and balancing plates on sticks. My blogging has been more sporadic, and I want to explain.  My plan is to post three times a week. Occasionally, it might fall to twice a week, but that would be rare.  But this Spring/Summer it has become the norm with some weeks only posting once (like last week), and that is unacceptable.  So I want to apologize. I am sorry, and I will continually try to do better. Life Lately – Photography One activity that has taken my attention…

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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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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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