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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

Wine Country Tasting Vacation * Dos & Don’ts

So you are planning a wine country tasting vacation. How exciting! I love visiting tasting rooms, and I never grow tired of it. My mouth and taste buds, on the other hand, have experienced fatigue to the point that I could no longer smell or taste the unique characteristics of the wines.  Don’t do that for sure. Besides killing your palate, there are a few other “do’s and don’ts” that you may not be aware of, so for this post, I compiled a list of tasting room guidelines and etiquette to ensure that you have the perfect trip. Wine Country…

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Life Recently * Wine * Food * Puppy

My life recently has been flying by at the speed of light and it is all a blur. Perhaps because there is a new 10-week old “family dog” that I help raise, and that takes a lot of time and energy. There have also been pop-up wine tastings at restaurants and wine bars, meals with friends, happy hours, out of town guests, and of course, planning my next Signature Tasting. So in the spirit of life in a blurred state, here is a random mix of what is happening recently. Let’s get started. Life Recently – A Puppy In my…

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Le Cadeau Vineyard * Exceptional Pinot Noir

It was a beautiful and warm day on Parrett Mountain in the Chehalem AVA of Willamette Valley, Oregon. I, along with about ten others, was walking the Le Cadeau Vineyards property before we sat down to sample four of the Pinot Noir wines made from the fruit from the various blocks on the property. In total the property is twenty-eight acres of which sixteen are planted. From where we started the walk at the top of the slope you could see the entire property. It is amazing how large and how small sixteen acres are. One the one hand, we…

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Drinkable Pink This Autumn

Yes, Gary and I are still drinking rosé this fall, and we will continue to do so through the winter.  Our journey of drinkable pink wines has been a blast, and I want to share some of the bottles that we have sampled and loved.  Some of these new wines we now buy by the case as they are that good. Drinkable pink – two different tastings. First, I taught a rosé class at Edison James Island as part of my educational wine tasting series. (Sign up here) A second tasting then happened a couple of days later when we…

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Martin’s Tennessee Whole Hog BBQ

Barbecue holds a special place in the hearts of cities all over the country. And yes, each city thinks of theirs as “the best.”. There is Kansas City BBQ, Memphis BBQ, Texas BBQ, etc., etc. Of course, South Carolina has its style of barbecue with its mustard-based sauce as well. Fortunately for those that live in Charleston, we are lucky enough to have a couple of styles come to us, including Lewis Texas BBQ,   The most recent entry into the market is Martin’s Tennessee Whole Hog BBQ. Now we have Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog Barbecue, and he is South Carolina…

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Wine Tasting Expansion

After much encouragement from friends and family, I have put considerable effort into creating new tasting opportunities. The wine tasting expansion is in full swing, and I hope that I will see my local readers sometime soon at one of my events. Wine Tasting Expansion via Signature Tasters Continues After three successful Invitation-only Signature Tasters parties, I am moving forward with the concept and recruiting other DTC (direct to consumer) only wineries to present their wines. While these wineries do not have local distribution, they are licensed to ship directly to the consumer. So the only way to taste these…

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Hurricane Dorian Spared Our House but…

I know this is a wine, food, and “love of life” blog. But I thought a first-hand account of the hurricane was a great way to get back in the swing. When dealing with a hurricane, unlike any other catastrophic storm, it is a hurry up then “wait” situation. The path of uncertainty, coupled with the constant barrage from the local news makes us wary and unconcerned. So we wait. The state is always in a hurry to call for an evacuation. This year was no different calling it on Sunday with the storm “arriving” until Thursday. So we wait.…

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Tasting Willamette – Damnit

Last week, I was part of the Wine Writer’s Educational Tour (WWET) to Willamette Valley in Oregon. Four intensive days of classroom, tasting, touring and wining & dining throughout the northern section of the Willamette Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area). Each day, I would rise at 7:00 am to be on the bus by 8:00 am only to return to the hotel around 11:00 pm. Over these four days, I tasted upwards of 140 different wines from wineries all over the AVA. The wines were mostly Pinot Noir, but we also had a session on Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and…

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Clif Family Does Wine Right

I dare say there is not an adult in this country that has not eaten a Clif Bar at some point in their life. Thanks to the success of those bars, Clif Family has also ventured into winemaking in Napa Valley. And like anything that they do, they do it incredibly well, and they go big. Many successful wineries in Napa may offer five wines. At Clif Family, I counted 24 on their website. As I said, they go BIG. Clif Family Winery On A Whim During my May of 2018 trip to Napa, we made a last-minute stop at…

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