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Category: Wine tasting

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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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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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 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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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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Slovenian Wine Tasting at EO Exchange

Thursday evening was a great night to be a wine and food blogger. My friend Karen and I started our outing with a stop at Edmunds Oast Exchange for the Thursday evening wine tasting. This is a super deal and should not be missed. You make a $5.00 donation to the charity of the week, and you taste four wines in a walk-in style tasting. Ask all the questions you have running through your brain. Then buy some wine. They have excellent volume discounts. This week they were tasting Slovenian Wine from Movia. After the tasting, we headed to Felix Cocktails et Cuisine for…

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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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Tasting Recap, Little Big Thing & A Recipe

Wine Tasting Recap, A Fantastic Little BIG Thing, and A Bonus Recipe This past week was absolutely amazing. The week started with a birthday brunch and drinking bubbles. And because you asked, I also have a bonus recipe for you.  I am posting the Frittata recipe at the end of this post.  Next, I have a Little BIG Thing that is a  fantasmagorical find. I am super thrilled about it because it allows me to move towards no longer using plastic storage bags. Then on Thursday, we had the Pinot Noir Wine Tasting that was a raging success at Monarch Wine…

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Monarch Wine Merchants * Pinot Noir Tasting * 01/18/18

Whew! Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, New Years, and then Snow-mageddon. I need a drink! Good thing the January SC2RW wine tasting and social is set for January 18, 2018, at Monarch Wine Merchants.  Justin, owner and wine man extraordinaire has put together a great line up of five fabulous pinot noir wines to taste and share. This tasting is that is not to be missed. Did you see the article in the Post & Courier last week about the “‘new’ wine school train of thought” and how Charleston has jumped on board? Monarch Wine Merchants is central to this story, so there is no better…

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