Skip to content

Category: Red 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…

1 Comment

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…

1 Comment

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…

4 Comments

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…

4 Comments

Wine Dinner – Innate Wines & Edmund’s Oast

Innate Wine Dinner at Edmund’s Oast If you are a wine enthusiast, one of the best value’s in Charleston is a Wine Dinner at Edmund’s Oast. I have attended at least five or six of these dinners. Each time they blow me out of the water, and I think that this is the best they have ever done. The reality is that they do the pairings so perfectly that your senses are in high gear. While last night was amazing, fun, delicious, perfectly paired, quenching, unique, and fantabulous. They all have been. You should make a point of getting on…

Leave a Comment

Tastings, Wine Dinner, More Tastings: Pt. 1

Tuesday Wine Tastings Last week, we had my sister’s two dogs for eight days while they went skiing. If there were ever a time that we “needed” wine as much as we wanted wine, this would have been it. Don’t get me wrong; we loooovvvvve these puppies, but a 14-week-old can be a holy terror, and Aspen is no exception. Thankfully, Breezy is very patient with her, as are we.  The scheduling of the puppies and the wine events was a coincidence because we could not have planned this if we tried. But having several wine events, including two tastings…

Leave a Comment

Varietals Are the Spice of Life

Let’s Talk Varietals I have told this story hundreds of times. Years ago, while at a winery in France the host poured white wine for all, but I stopped her and said: “I don’t like white wine.” She was gobsmacked and responded with “No, that is not true. You have just not found the white wines that match your palate.” I was taken aback. How could that be? I frequently tried the white wines other folks were drinking and I was not a fan. Then she handed me a glass of Family Quiot Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. It was a blend of…

Leave a Comment

Favorite Wines of 2019

Our favorite wines of 2019 offered a few surprises. For me, the biggest surprise was that two of the top four are California Chardonnays. Let me be clear; Gary loves Chardonnay but prefers French. But for me, of all the white wine varietals that I have tasted, Chardonnay is (was) one of my least favorite. Now that does not mean I am an ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) drinker. It’s just that my history with Chardonnay has been fraught with too much oak and, or too much butter. Both Gary and I are thrilled that the trend is moving away from…

1 Comment