Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Monday, August 31, 2020
Any time we are afforded the opportunity to taste a Cathy Corison wine, we know that we are in for a real treat. The soon-to-be-released 2017 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is absolutely no exception. This bottle was tasted in a line up of other Napa cabs about seven weeks ago and we have purposely held off writing about it until the release date is near.
What immediately struck us was how mature and fine this wine appeared in the glass and on the nose, introducing layers of fresh violet bouquet, cedar plank, dusty spice box and whiffs of tar. The wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvingon and it rewards the taster with black cherry, plum, blackberry pie with a sweet crust and dried spices. The violets are always dancing in the glass. The finesse on this work of art is evident by the long and memorable, effortless finish. You get mesmerized by the amazing fragrances and stunning color of this wine and it is truly one that makes you wish your glass was bottomless. Incredible!
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
- If you're headed to Napa like we are, check out the new health guidelines before you go.
- Bring a mask or several masks. (Nobody wants to wear a wine-stained mask). If you don't have one, stay home. You'll be turned around at the cellar door without one.
- Make reservations because they are required now. Long gone are the days of just "popping into" a winery for a quick tasting.
- Keep your distance and be respectful. Re-opening to the public after being closed for months can be scary and foreign to your hosts. Tread lightly and follow their lead.
- If you like the wine, consider making a purchase and/or joining a wine club. Most wineries are family owned and have suffered greatly because of the pandemic. Show some love and you'll be rewarded with your incredible wine purchases.
- Communication. Seems easy enough, right? You would be surprised. I have reached out to about twenty California wineries during the planning of our upcoming trip. I am amazed at how many of them never even bother responding to an email. We get it; the wineries and tasting rooms are starting to get busy with re-opening in its infancy. But if we have specific needs or your web site scheduling tool doesn't work, we have to email you in order to plan our tasting experience. The lack of communication sends a message of apathy and we could have been your newest and biggest fans. I call this a "don't be a dick rule".
- Create a memorable experience. We understand that some areas and experiences may still be closed, but wineries still have an incredible opportunity to create lifelong memories for their guests. In lieu of a cave tour or super secret hidden gem tasting room that is inaccessible, maybe a sit-down with the vintner or a special library bottle tasting could be an extra-special treat? Or perhaps it is connecting us with the most special wine tasting room host who would blow our socks off with his/her knowledge, personality, humor and kindness?
- Try not to make things too sterile or uncomfortable. We're all scared. And we, as guests, promise to follow all of the rules and breathe the hot summer California air through our uncomfortable masks. We ask in return that the tasting room doesn't smell of hospital disinfectants and everyone doesn't spray us down with Lysol if we clear our throat.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Monday, December 31, 2018
- Galante Vineyards 2016 Wagon Wheel Sauvignon Blanc (See, I do love whites, too!)
- Hedges Family Estate 2013 Red Mountain Blend (6 varietal blend for under $30)
- Dawn's Dream Winery 2016 Pinot Noir Rose (A true visionary wine here!)
- Bookwalter Winery 2015 Suspense Cabernet Franc (This will make you a CF believer)
- Gamble Family Vineyards 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Tastes like an aged wine)
- Krupp Brothers 2015 The Water Witch (This is a perfect pairing with smoked brisket)
- Arns Winery 2011 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (The best 100% Cab of 2018!)
- Jon Nathaniel 2015 Bodacious (If your everyday drinker is $60 invest in this!)
- Treveri Cellars NV Blanc de Noirs (Absolutely incredible bubbly for $20!)
- Mollydooker 2016 Carnival of Love Shiraz (I would drink this every day if I could!)
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Monday, October 8, 2018
I recently found out that someone I used to look up to the world of wine isn't who I thought he was. He is an up and coming wine blogger who I followed on social media sites because his posts were entertaining, colorful and inviting. And one day I felt I owed it to myself (and him) to visit his blog and I nearly puked. I was so put off after reading a couple of entries that I couldn't decide what to do first - punch myself in the head for thinking this guy was something that he wasn't, or just walk away.
I guess I should start by saying that as a wine blogger, you generally get one shot. If you don't connect with a reader with your first article or wine review, they probably won't be back to read your work. And everyone needs something different from a wine blogger. Some people just want to know what they should drink. These are generally the people who want to impress someone at a dinner party, because they typically show up with a half a case of Natural Light and some Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill "wine". Don't get me wrong - we love these people. They know very little about wine and it's great that they generally want to find something "good" or "tasty".
But for most of the other readers, they want to be entertained. They want to connect with a writer that thinks, talks and enjoys wine like they do. If you're only interested in first growth Bordeaux wines, then you should find that wine writer. If you don't want to spend more than $9 for a bottle of wine, I'm sure that wine blogger is out there too. Find them. Sparkling wines only? There's a blog for that. Wines for people that identify as gender neutral, are Vegan and are Crossfit instructors that drive a monster truck? Ok, there may not be a blog specifically for that group, but chances are there is a blogger who matches that description. Find them. Connect with them.
So, let's go back to my blogging "friend" from the beginning of this article. When I use quotes around the word friend, it's not because I don't care for the guy anymore, but we've never actually met in person. We are in a circle of bloggers, a community of vino enthusiasts, connected by wines and vines. Gosh, that was corny. I digress. So anyway, I go to this guy's blog (which will remain nameless) and read a few wine descriptions. At first, I thought he was just screwing with his readers. Here's a small excerpt from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: ".....baby carriage rubber tires and wet diaper aromas, but not the offensive kind. The wine is extraordinarily blue after decanting in a smoke free, deodorant and fragrant-free home for seven hours. It's the most unusual thing I've put in my mouth since my cousin Robert kissed me when we were much younger."
Get the hell out of here. What? Did I read that right?
Thinking this was surely an inside joke towards someone named Robert, I initially shrugged this off and continued reading. I am a HUGE fan of Cabernet (aren't we all?) so frankly, I got pissed when I read this wine description from the same blogger. In part, "......pencil shavings, black currant, red currant, barnyard scraps, licorice, vanilla, bees wax, nutmeg ice cream, coffee, leather and tobacco gently caress your face with the first whiff of Montana air." Uh.................huh? I don't know what the air in Montana has to do with the wine in the glass, but I'm pretty sure this guy is nuts. I think he opened a Wine 101 book and started copying and writing descriptors for the major reds. And these were just the FIRST aromas that he "discovered". Shit. How many more will there be when he actually puts the glass to his mouth?
So, long story short. This guy has great pics and really does drink some fine wines, but his approach is all wrong. He's a snob. Or he wants to be a snob. Even if you have WSET degrees and are a master sommelier at the finest New York City steakhouse, you can't talk to people like this. Well, you can talk to people like this if they too are snobs and if misery loves company. But the majority of the world want to engage and understand how a wine tastes and whether or not it is something they can cellar for years and years and bring out a little Johnny's Bah Mitzvah someday.
The greatest compliment a wine blogger can receive is kind words from a reader. I recently received a couple of emails from wine industry folks, telling me that I was entertaining and they enjoyed my style of writing. For a wine blogger, no matter how large or small, this is what it is all about. It's about making a connection, developing a community of like-minded wine lovers. And I've had a few people tell me how I sucked too. There was this winemaker of a small, boutique winery in Missouri many years ago who had sent samples. They were horrible. All of them. I didn't write about any of them and he attempted to lambaste me to as many people who would listen, which thankfully wasn't many. Obviously, he and I didn't make a positive connection.
There are literally thousands of wine bloggers available to you via the internet and social media. Each one with a different style, some with a different angle but all with the same passion. Some will tell you about "The 1,348 wine terms you must know", some will tell you about Robert's kiss, and some will just tell you about the wine and why it is so damn good. I personally only tell you about wines that I would serve on our back deck to friends. If the wine sucks, you won't hear it from me.
Find your wine tribe. Connect with the writer. Follow them on social media. Become a friend. Get to know them and it makes wine education and enjoyment so much more fun!
Friday, September 28, 2018
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Monday, July 2, 2018
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Thursday, June 28, 2018
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