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Category: About Wine

Smith Madrone Vineyards and Winery

Legendary Boutique Napa Valley Winery I first met Stuart Smith, Founder and Managing Partner of Smith-Madrone Winery at WWET 2018 in Napa Valley. He was a presenting winemaker at a couple of seminars sharing his POV, his wines, and his history in the Valley. If you are from Napa, I will venture that you know Stu, as he is known. After the conference, Gary and I stuck around for a couple more days. We intended to make our way up Spring Mountain, where the winery resides. But the road can be treacherous during inclement weather, and the clouds were not…

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Boutique Wine Must Buys – Part One

With the shutting down of tasting rooms throughout US wine regions, small family wineries are taking a hit. Yes, they have their club members and some other loyal fans, but the tasting rooms bring in new customers. So allow me to introduce you to some of my favorite family-operated wineries and the incredible boutique wine that they make.  There is something for every palate in this list. Please give them a try. And tell them that Strong Coffee to Red Wine sent you. Methven Family Vineyards Does Gamay and So Much More I had the pleasure of visiting Methven Family…

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Questions About Shipping, Shock & Heat

Did you check out the last post on Barbacoa? If you skipped it, you missed a bunch more “Memes and Funnies”, so you may want to head back just to give yourself a laugh. In the meantime, let’s get to these questions that readers and friends have recently asked me about wine. Questions about Shipping Wine, Bottle Shock, and Heat Exposure I was recently on a Facetime call with friends in Ohio. We were discussing how much they were loving the Acquiesce Grenache Rosé they were drinking. It is a wine I introduced to them as well as arranged an…

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Brooks Winery: The Passion of Wine…

… Especially Riesling About one month ago in the post In These Times of Covid, I highlighted several of the wines we had been drinking so far during the lockdown. I also asked if there were any that you’d be interested in learning more.  A reader commented and asked about the Brooks Winery 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir.  Brooks Winery has such a compelling history. So, in addition to sharing my notes of their rosé, I thought there might also be interest in the winery. So without further adieu, this is Brooks Winery… “I’m not afraid to die, but I’m…

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In My Glass & Some Covid Laughs

Sheltering at home has become monotonous.   It is not that these days are much different than most other days, except for the fact that the choice to go out or not has been made for us. We have even continued our neighborhood happy hours, albeit at a social distance of 6 feet apart.  But it is a mental game that has been playing with my head. My ability to focus is limited by the ongoing distraction. To get out of my head, I need/want two things, laughs, and wine. So this post is some funny memes I have collected on…

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In These Times of Covid

In these times of Covid-19, we are day drinking, evening drinking, night drinking, binge-watching, and binge eating. We are supporting our favorite, now empty restaurants with takeout, curbside, and deliveries while we stress eat in between those deliveries. We are stressed about running out of toilet paper even though this is not a gastrointestinal disorder. As we fret, we wonder what people used before the advent of TP, only to be disgusted by the custom of “eat with your right hand, wipe with your left.” We are standing in line to get into Costco and Trader Joe’s. Kudos to both…

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DTC Winery Tasting Rooms Are Empty…

Gary and I purchase a significant amount of wine from direct to consumer (DTC) wineries that we have visited, been referred to, or worked with doing local tasting parties.  Wine region economies are built on the backs of the DTC winery, and this pandemic is suffocating entire swaths of California, Oregon, etc.. Some of these wineries make less than 2,000 cases a year. For those, 100% of their business usually comes from sales in their tasting room and from consumers who join their wine club. (Winery wine clubs are super cool. But that is another post for another time.) Tasting…

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Local Wine Shopping…

… in the Time of COVID-19 Since Gary and I typically buy wine 12 bottles at a time (for the case discount), we are never out of wine. The current inventory stands at 60 bottles of white and rosé and 70 bottles of red. But where we do our local wine shopping is super important to us. As we manage our way through the quarantines in this time of COVID-19, it is essential to support our friends locally.  Each of these stores is doing curbside pickup and phone orders. Supporting Your Local Wine Shop Locally, we are big fans of…

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