Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

Lest I forget…

October 25, 2008

After being shushed more than once, I have to give a shout out to Table 11 at dinner because we were:

  • The Loudest
  • The Goofiest
  • The Twitterist
  • The Funnest

table at dinner!

Love to El Jefe of Twisted Oak Wines, Sonadora aka Wannabe Wino, Russ The Winehiker, Josh the Pinotblogger, and the new friends made at dinner!

Incidentally, Josh and Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours deserve a massive thank you for a great tasting of Long Island and Oregon wines last night. Palates smashed, I still found some Long Island and Oregon wines to love. Too bad I didn’t push Randy in the pool thought 😉

How much fun did we have? We’ll let’s just say that I was laughing so hard I forgot to take notes and there was nearly a wine spit up accident every 5 minutes.

Now that I am relatively well rested and full of a Bacon Omlette from Hank’s Creekside Cafe,


Wine Bloggers Conferenece Day 1 Recap!

October 25, 2008

Yesterday was the first day of the first ever American Wine Blogger’s Conference, held in Santa Rosa at the historic Flamingo Hotel. You can catch up on the action by using Twitter Search and the hashtag #wbc.

It started out so well, with a welcome lunch at Kick Ranch, a lovely piece of property just east of Santa Rosa, overlooking the valley.
While there, we were given the opportunity to taste several wines grown on the property. Yummy!

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for the Live Blogging Session. Let me just say, madness ensued! One we got past the technical glitches, 14 wineries played round robin running from table to table. They had 5 minutes to talk, and we had a minute or so to respond via Twitter, our Blogs or some other method. Here is my rundown of the tasting:

  1. Bonterra Organic The McNab Menocino blend 60% Merlot, 26% cab, 14% petite. Dark fruit. Loganberry with chocolate on top! Dusy spice easy drinking.
  2. 2007 Lionheart Roussanne has a very carmellly characteristic. Creamy custard, lemon, tropical fruit…guava and peach
  3. Yellow + Blue = Green Malbec in a Tetrapak 1 liter container. Thin but a lot of spice. Leather dark blue frut.
  4. 2007 James David Dry Muscat honey floral melon with tangerine quite refreshing actually
  5. 2005 Clos LaChance Estate Cab quite a sweet note to the Clos La Chance Cab. This wine could use decanting. Cassis and spice. Only 1200 cases made! Classic cab. Rich velvety. A little dry, needs some time chocolate, coffee
  6. Four Bears Cabernet smoke, tobacco, earth. A little merlot and Petite Verdot blended in. It has a lot of cedar, and menthol to it. but the price point is RIDICULOUS as in CHEAP for this level of quality.
  7. Small Vines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is concentrated deliciousness. Very rich biodynamically farmed, with very limited production. It is concentrated smoky earth, with a healthy Dr. Pepper zing followed by pomegranate…leather…baking spices. Stands on it’s own. Lingering finish that i adore. So named Small Vines because most vineyards are planted 1000 vines per acre but Small Vines only has 250 vines per acre.
  8. Kanzler Estate Pinot Noir as the classic richness of RRV pure cherry cola – fizzes like a wild cherry pepsi! Kanzler Estate Pinot rich style, Russian River / Sebastapol Hills micro AVA.
  9. Cupcake Central Coast Chardonnay is so nice and not overly oaked. 50% new american oak gives it such a light crispness and well balanced acidity on the finish, very French in style.
  10. Dark Horse Zinfandel treborce Vineyard spicy rich raisens
  11. 2006 Twisted Oak The Spainard Smokey deliciousness! I cannot say enough great things about Twisted Oak. Not only am I twisted by nature, I am now addicted. Egads!
  12. Boho Central Coast Chardonnay Bag in Box funk on the nose creamy lemon not very oaky. LEMON.
  13. Bink Pinot Noir Weir Vineyard is not a shy wine. This is a BOLD wine not for the faint hearted. Spicy cinnamon, candied apple, strawberry. Yorkville highlands rich cheery and red fruit.

After the marathon live tasting, some of us went to the New Zealand tasting (not me) and some of us went ot a Dry Creek Zin tasting (me!). While I pretty much knew all of the zins being poured, it is always fun to get ot know the people of Dry Creek.

After the tasting sessions, dinner finally arrived. The Winegrowers of Dry Creek generously provided the wine being poured, and we slurped our way through a very nice Dry Creek Vineyards Sav Fume blanc, Quivera Grenance (mmmmmm), Truett-Hurst Red Rooster Zinfandel, and Michel-Schlumberger Cabernet. There was also a Pedroncelli port. Yowzer!

My only complaint of the entire day was that dinner was…less than satisfying. Dear Flamingo folks, when someone asks for a V-e-g-i-t-a-r-i-a-n option, that odes NOT mean bring them dry overcooked fish swimming in cream sauce! Grumble.

Special thanks to Gary Vay-ner-chuck for taking time out of his crazy schedule for coming to talk to us, FOR FREE. More to come from Day 2 ahead!

After such a full day, I neglected to get up in time for the Vineyard Walks so i am drinking gallons of coffee in preparation for this afternoons lively discussions and tonights tastings.


Tweeps, Eats, and East Bay Drinks!

September 14, 2008

Wow what a busy week this has been! Where have the last two weeks gone? I can’t find them. Have you seen them? Hmm might have to look under my chair, or in my stair, over here, over there. In recent happenings, fellow wine bloggers met to taste through several delicious wines. From left to right: Marshall & Brittney of WineQ, (@wineq, @wineqt), Ward of WineLog (@drxeno), Farley, late of Behind the Vines and currently of Rosenblum Cellars (@WinePoet), Megan of Wannabe Wino (@sonadora) and Russ of California Wine Hikes (@winehiker). Togeter, we had some great wines and great dinner and talked blogs, politics and wine!

The following day, Brittney, Megan and I headed up to Michel-Schlumberger in Dry Creek Valley, where we were treated to a tour of the vineyard and an amazing tasting afternoon. Judd led us through the organic garden out back, before taking us up the hill to admire the grapes as well as the view. After scrambling down a few hills (yes I’m a girl, and wasn’t wearing hiking shoes), we headed in to the luxe Club Room to taste through their current offerings.

Highlights for me were the Pinot Noir and the Syrah, but the library reserve vertical of Cabernet Sauvingnons was amazing too! I confess, I was being lazy, somewhat induced by a cold, so i didnt’ take great notes. Head on over to Wannabe Wino for a complete report shortly!

Amazingly, we spent over 2 hours enjoying our day, and were somewhat remiss in keeping our lunch date with Patrick of Iridesse Wines (@oenophilus) at Bovolo in Healdsburg. Once there however, we were all drooling over the multiple forms of bacon offered. Three of us ordered the decadent Carbonara, which was served with black pig bacon. And of course, we had a side of bacon to go with that!

After lunch, the girls and I headed across the street ot Stephen & Walker, before heading to the south end of town. After Stephen & Walker, we headed south to Longboard Vineyards, where we were fortunate enough to hit a clearance sale on their 2005 Syrah which was only $15. For a daily drinker, I really enjoyed this wine with a rich & earthly character, balanced by dark fruit and spicy cola. I also picked up a bottle of the Dakine Syrah, which is the reserve offering. I especially enjoyed the Dakine for winter sipping in front of the fireplace.

After Longboard, we continued to the south end of town to the Front Street Five, a collection of small wineries. Here we stopped at Huntington and Camelia Cellars.

I have always enjoyed Huntington’s Petite Sirah, but this time I purhcased a reserve Merlot for fall sipping. At Camelia, they had a lovely soft Sav Blanc called First Kiss, so I brought some of that home too.

You can find all of these wines by using Vinquire my favorite search tool!

After two full days of tasting and laughing, I was ready for a good rest! After all, I needed to be perky for my next few wine activities!

Stay tuned for reports on those. Happy drinking!

Red Wine & Brews Festival – Carmel Valley

June 17, 2008

I was recently in Carmel Valley wine tasting, and was happily impressed by most of the offerings, particularly from Parsonage and Bernardus.
My friend just told me he would be manning his hand crafted woodcrafts booth (Green Tree Designs) at the festival, so why not come down and check it out?