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Category: Wine tasting

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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Acquiesce Winery and Vineyard

A Virtual Tasting Opportunity Over the past couple of years, Acquiesce Winery kept popping up on my social media feeds. I am a big fan of white Rhône varietals so I was always intrigued by the glowing recommendations. One day in the midst of “sheltering-in-place”, I needed a mood booster, so I took the plunge and became a club member. This club is a six (6) bottle shipment, but if you bump it up to a case (12 bottles) you get free shipping.  As a result, I got at least one bottle of each of the nine single varietals and…

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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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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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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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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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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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