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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

Spring Releases and Club Shipments

After the year we have all had, Spring is a welcome time of year. Flowers are blooming, trees are greening, vineyards experience bud break, daylight lingers further into the evening, and it’s time for wineries to ship their Spring releases. What more can a sunshine-craving wine guy ask for?! (Other than the end of the pandemic.) So sit back. See what has arrived. And see what is keeping us busy. Wineries will release wines each year in the Spring and Fall. Spring wines are typically whites and rosés, along with previous vintages of red wines. Fall releases are usually wines…

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Grape Juice by Castello di Amorosa – Really!

It’s Spring Break. You have a house full of 19-year-olds. And it is too cold to go to the beach or pool for the day. Fortunately for us, this group wanted to hang out with the “older folks,” and I had my samples of Castello di Amorosa non-vintage, non-alcoholic grape juice. These juices are from grape varieties traditionally used to make wine. When I asked if they wanted to do a “wine” tasting sans alcohol; they were all in. So Gary and I set it all up out on the balcony. Side Note of Grape Juice: I have to be…

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Helioterra Wines Virtually

I first met Anne Hubatch, proprietor and winemaker of Helioterra Wines, at a wine tasting during the WWET Willamette Conference in 2019. She was presenting at the “Other Varieties from Willamette” Seminar and Tasting. She presented her Melon de Bourgogne and an Arneis. I loved them both and subsequently ordered wine from her to enjoy and write about. (There are two posts -The first, her wines were included in my Boutique Winery Must Buys, and you can Oregon Wine in My Glass.) I felt an immediate kinship with Anne, and I knew I needed to promote her wines as best…

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Temperature of Wine For Maximum Flavor

I first wrote a post about the serving temperature of wine back in the summer of 2017. This is a subject where I am continually learning, so I wanted to update my advice for you. So, what triggered this decision to write a new post on this subject? First and foremost, I continue to see folks storing wine in their 36° refrigerator. Secondly, because of my own recent awakening drinking a bottle of skin-contact Fiano, a white wine from Italy. Side Note: Skin Contact This is a “rabbit hole” topic that I will save for another time. Suffice it to…

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Sauvignon Blanc (NZ) * Get Out of Your Rut

Recently, I had a neighbor tell me she was in a wine rut. She drinks the same two New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines all the time. They are available everywhere, very affordable, and consistently deliver what she likes in wine. Thus a wine that is light-bodied, low alcohol, bone dry, and high acidity. Aromas and flavors should be herbaceous and preferably grapefruity, but other citrus flavors are fine.  She is looking to expand beyond New Zealand and beyond just Sauv. Blanc. So I chose a bunch of wine that could blast her out of her comfort zone. Oh, and she…

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Kings Hawaiian Custard Casserole

A couple of weeks back, I made a French Toast Casserole for brunch. It was well received and delicious, but I, personally, was hoping for a much creamier custard center that just never materialized with this recipe. As I ate it, I kept thinking about what would give me the custard quality I desired. I knew it was the “bread,” and then that light bulb in my head appeared when I thought Kings Hawaiian rolls! Let me just say I could not get this idea out of my head, so even though I just posted the French Toast Casserole in…

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Unique and New: Dry Brachetto & Assyrtiko

I am always up for trying a “new to me” wine or, better yet, a new wine variety. The more unique, the better. Just yesterday, I picked up a bottle of Monte Rio 2019 Mission, Lodi, CA. I am super excited to try it as it is the first wine grape to be brought to the New World in the 16th century. More on that wine once we drink it. In our last post, you read that we drank our first Uruguayan wine. This week I have two more fun wines that were firsts for both of us. So without…

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Bistronomy by Nico – Born from Pandemic

Charleston has a new french bistro and it’s a great new addition to our food scene. I have been twice and can not wait to go back. It’s called Bistronomy by Nico. There is a story behind it, so indulge me. After you read this make your reservation. We all know that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on families and businesses across this country.  Hundreds of thousands have died, millions sick, and businesses everywhere have closed – many for good. Restaurants and bars have been hit especially hard due to the social and sharing nature of those businesses. With time…

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Under $13 Wine Challenge

A fellow beverage writer and consultant, Justin Koury of Bevfluence, put out the challenge of finding and tasting at least 5-6 wines that sell for under $13.00. This sounded like fun. So, we were definitely up for this challenge. Several other blogger friends also accepted the challenge. I was looking forward to what we each found. Each of us was assigned a different retailer that are regional or national chains. Additionally, I added a requirement to not buy national grocery store brands like Barefoot, Cupcake, Apothic, and others. Bottles, Mount Pleasant, is a 15,000 square foot “beverage superstore.”  There are…

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