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Showing posts from August, 2017

Wine of the Week: 2010 Mario's Vineyard, Trinchero Napa Valley

Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are... ~ RW Emerson
It was just two and a half years ago now when stepped out from behind the keyboard of this now ten-year-old blog and onto the playing field as it was. I became the wine steward for Vons in San Diego, one of their top ten flagship stores. So many others came before and failed, swept aside by wave after wave of bone-crushing work. Pallets stacked to the rafters with miscellaneous bottles, vendors ordering in case stacks to hit their goals, and shelves of full of massive disorganization. 

In that position, I was no longer simply making recommendations from the lofty ivory tower of my blog, twitter, Vivino, delectable; [soapbox] but I was also taking those opinions to the sales floor, making key buying decisions. Those decisions catapulted my store into the top five for overall liquor sales, 75 percent of which was wine. In the two-plus years, I was there, I changed the e…

Bordeaux Uncorked: An Evening with Chateau Thieuley

"Let’s just stipulate that in the hierarchy of pleasures, people come first. Now that we agree on that, good food and drink can help make any party better." -- Eric Asimov
The dog days of summer are upon us, end of summer activities are mixed with back to school hustle and bustle. It's midweek, hump-day, I trust everyone had a wine-tastic weekend. Because I know I did, in fact, I had a relaxing evening hanging out with Mrs. Cuvee's [work] colleagues, residents new and former. My task for the party preparations, bringing a couple of bottles to share for the evening's festivities. Sadly even after the delightful sound of the cork being "popped" few had any interest in the vino, mostly due in part [I suspect] to their lack of familiarity with Bordeaux, someone even asked [surprisingly] "what is Bordeaux?".

But that question made for a unique springboard opportunity to dive into a conversation about what Bordeaux is and the many types and styles of …

Champagne Blanc de Blanc: Mumm is the Word

"Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector. It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully." -- Graham Greene
It has been said, "Grease is the Word," but in this case, with this brilliant Champagne I think someone may want to rewrite the song. Here's my suggested rewrite, what-do-ya think?
"They think our love is just a growin' pain….Why don't they understand? It’s just a cryin' shame…..Their lips are lyin', only real Champagne is Champagne…...stop the fight right now, we all know how it makes us feel - Mumm is the word!"
Today's Wine of the Week: G.H. Mumm "Mumm de Cramant" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne is one beautiful Blanc de Blanc, which quickly shows off its luxurious lacy texture immediately, mad sex appeal found here. I'm so glad I avoided enjoying this Champagne in a flute, and instead, I poured it into one o…

Babcock Winery and Vineyard: The Cutting Edge of Vine Evolution [Part 2]

Great wines don’t make statements, they pose questions. To end with an exclamation mark is easy; when a question mark, perhaps not more difficult, but far more interesting.  - Hugh Johnson
I couldn't state it better myself, great wines don't just make statements, they pose questions. Like the one, I have about the conference that was just last month, in Santa Barbara County. The question I have is this; should we as wine bloggers consider, what is the purpose of the SBC Wine Bloggers Conference? Is it, to merely go to parties to the wee hours of the morning, sing a few songs, dance on tables, self-aggrandizement or should we take the opportunity we are given by the host of the region to drill down a bit deeper, beyond the superficial surface of the moment? And give our readers something a bit more substantive to ponder? I'll leave the answers for each of you to digest.

Now that said, here is the promised part two of the afternoon I spent getting to know Babcock wines a bit b…

7 Health Benefits of Drinking Red Wine

As Benjamin Franklin said: "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria."
Many folks who find themselves for one reason or another firmly ensconced in the "No booze for Me" camp may also be surprised to find that potentially intoxicating liquids like wines and even more so distilled spirits do have their benefits as well. That being said, moderation is the operative word when it comes to consuming adult beverages.

It’s not that imbibing is bad per se, but we can run afoul of any benefit when get too close to the edge of overindulgence. I know this may sound like way too much common sense, but as we all know common-sense isn't a flower that grows in everyone's garden.

The way some folks behave after having more than their fair-share has undoubtedly contributed to many of the negative stereotypes which have been associated with consuming wine or spirits. As some ne'er-do-well's in a knee-jerk response, believe abuse aut…

Babcock Winery and Vineyards: The Cutting Edge of Vine Evolution

It’s time to let gravity and winds sculpt the vines for a change. It’s time to let the shoots fall down naturally like a curtain. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for “Canopy Pivoting!” ~ Bryan Babcock


Another Wine Bloggers Conference in the can, the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association pulled off a great event and should be congratulated, well done, kudos. It was great to see so many new faces entering the wine blogging fray and also getting reacquainted with old friends.I believe the focus of the blogger's conference is two fold; one is to provide an environment for new and old wine bloggers to grow, learn, experience and make new contacts, but more importantly, I think it's about telling the story of the region we visit. That said, I think that is done by putting a big spotlight on one or more of the producers from this wildly diverse region. So instead of focusing on what did or didn't happen at the conference, I wanted to spend my time talking about Bryan Babcock a…

Santa Cruz Mountains Uncorked: 2011 Thomas Fogarty, SCM, Pinot Noir

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” ― Ernest Hemingway
What can be taken away from this quote by [arguably] one the twentieth century's most influential novelist? I think his message was clear, but here's my impression or take away. The beauty and depth residing in a great glass of wine, at the right time can be a fresh breeze to the dreary beat of everyday life or hearing a fresh new lyric which gets your toes a tapping, putting a soul loving smile on your face. 
Many folks would argue that it was a combination of beer and wine, which saved civilization from sure doom, before other ways of keeping water sanitized was introduced. So yes indeed I would have to say I heartily concur with Mr. Hemingway, wine is one of the most civilized things in the world.

Rioja Uncorked: 2008 Bodegas Sierra Cantabria "Cuvee" Especial

If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and loving, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer. ~ Sir Clement Raphael Freud
Thinking a moment about his statement, I find a surprising amount of common sense for everyday vino-sapiens, everything should be taken in moderation, whether it's love, cigars or wine drinking, you need to know your limits and learn to just say, "no thank-you." Which to my mind is an entirely acceptable reply to even the most gracious of hosts.

Now that said; when most vino-sapiens think about where the wine comes from, they are thinking about the French term terroir [tare-wahr]. It's a term that describes the climate which the grapes grow and thrive in, plus the various soil and sub-soil types which are often ultimately [and I say hopefully] reflected in wine swirling about in your glass.

Meandering as I did, through the captivating La Rioja wine region a couple of years ago, in many cases, I had the opportunity to see various s…

Travel Tuesday: The Pithy Little Wine Co.

“Throw off the bowlines, catch the trade winds in your sails, explore, dream, discover!” ~ Mark Twain
Looking to make some end of summer travel plans for the upcoming weekend or maybe a quick mid-week get away? If you are, may I recommend a great little getaway, to help you get away from it all, that destination is called Paso Robles. It's a quick little jaunt up on the freeway, especially for you folks in Los Angeles or even Orange County.

I know I've talked up Paso Robles quite a bit; but I've so much more to share about this great little town, connected to one of the best wine regions in the state, a place which is known for Rhone-Zone varietals, both white and red; but there are always few other surprises to capture your interest right around the corner.

One of those other great surprises is a visit to one of Paso's newest downtown tasting rooms. They're called the Pithy Little Wine Co. a fun stop with some great wines to sample. The reason PLWC caught my eye, …