Holiday Gift Guide for Wine Lovers

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Baby it’s cold outside!  Yes, even in the San Francisco Bay Area, we get chilly.  Fountains freezing in Napa, car windows frosting over in Berkeley.  That can mean only one thing – it;s time for the annual wine gift roundup! From wine lovers, to wine snobs, there is something for everyone on your list, from – read full article –

Risky business at the Marques de Riscal hotel

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       After spending a leisurely morning horseback riding in the high tableau above La Rioja and her vineyards, the intrepid travelers were treated to a luxurious after noon at the Marques de Rical Spa. Opened in 2006, this stunning art piece stands high on a hill, well hidden from the prying eyes of road warriors, in the town of Elciego, Spain.  Master – read full article –

It’s so good – Elyse Vineyards

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Elyse Winery started in 1987, with a classic California varietal – Zinfandel.  Over the last 25 years, they have grown, but have remained focused on creating vineyard driven wines that pair with food.  While you may think that a Napa winery can’t make quality Rhone varietals, but with the help of some great fruit from – read full article –

Where in the world is Rioja?

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Rioja is a vast region of Spain, and one of the most well known wine regions from that country.  While you can make similarities to Sonoma County, as La Rioja is also a community (or county), the wines from that area can be from Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Baja, and even the surrounding regions – read full article –

A Spanish Castle stands guard over Rioja

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On a bright early summer day, as our jet lagged bodies were drug out of bed to meet Rioja sun, we were off on our first visit of the trip, to Bodegas Castillo de Sajazarra. This beautiful castle was purchased in the 1960s and restored by the Libano family as their family home.  Investigating the – read full article –

Battle of the best: Cocktail Wars

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Are you over turkey and cranberry sauce?  Done with wine pairings?  Well, Dishcrawl is at it again!  Bringing cocktail deliciosuness everywhere!  This season, they are launching Cocktail Wars, where North American mixologists from all over the country compete for the best, most creative, most delicious cocktails in 11 cities. Here in the Bay Area, the – read full article –

Jordan Royalty

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Sitting on the mountaintop overlooking Alexander Valley, Dry Creek and Geyserville, you might feel like doing your best Leonardo DiCaprio impression from Titanic.  I’m the king queen of the world! Jordan Vineyards & Winery was founded in 1976, with a passion for world class Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, made in the heart of Sonoma.  Today, that – read full article –

When good wine gets…better

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Ah vermouth, that mystical beverage that started it’s life as wine, and was elevated with aromatics and botanicals.  Vermouth varies so widely, it might as well be called the gin of the wine world! While there are two distinct types of vermouth – dry, or white, and sweet, or red, the flavor profiles within each – read full article –

Bubble, bubble, toil and Trouble-maker!

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What’s better on a dark and storm haunted Halloween than a bold red wine with a name like The Troublemaker?  With all of the goofy holiday wines out there, the Troublemaker brings you a solid wine at a great price.  And it’s fun! The Troublemaker, a zesty little blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, – read full article –

Naramata Bench adventures

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 On the first full day of the 2013 Wine Bloggers’ Conference, while I was doing some last minute rehearsal and logistical planning for my discussion on Saturday about positioning your blog(more on that later however), the rest of the attendees were enjoying some interesting insights on podcasting, the use of photography, and other digital media – read full article –

Cocktail of the week: Gintonica

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Put on your yalmulka, here comes gin-tonica, Its so much fun-akkah to celebrate gin-tonica! With all due respect to Adam Sandler and his holiday chuckles, a well crafted Gin & Tonic is one of my favorite cocktails.  The wide variety of gins available these days is far reaching, and goes beyond hte bathtub varieties of – read full article –

Tinhorn Creek

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On another gorgeous early Summer day in the Okanagan, in the general direction of Covert Farms, I made a beeline for Tinhorn Creek Vineyards.  Founded in 1993, Tinhorn Creek has been growing grapes and making wine for 20 years in the south Okanagan.  A driving force behind the beauty of the Okanagan, Sandra Oldfield, has been – read full article –

Painting the story

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The morning sun rises over the mountains, casting light on the lakes below.  The thin light of morning almost seems like moonlight, as it peeks through the thin curtains in my room.  It was 4:30am, and I groaned as I looked at my iPhone with disdain.  This was a summer morning in Penticton, British Columbia. – read full article –

Battledish: 2013

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Have you heard of Dishcrawl?  It’s a craze that’s sweeping the nation, where like-minded foodies get together on a themed “dish” crawl.  Much like the traditionally bar crawl, each Dishcrawl stops at several locations; typically themed around a food or a neighborhood, it’s an amazingly fun way to meet new people, discover new restaurants, and – read full article –

Covert Operations at Covert Farms

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Tucked away in a corner of British Columbia that is a well kept secret, Covert Farms evokes an earlier time in North American history; a simpler time, a slower time. Exploring the south Okanagan Valley before the 2013 Wine Bloggers’ Conference began this June, I took some time to savor some of these special treats. – read full article –