The Elevation of Cava: Cava de Paraje Calificado

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Areas of Cava Production Late last year, the Cava de Paraje Calificado designation was signed in to reality when 12 qualified estates passed the rigorous debate and refinement process. First announced in 2016, this new designation elevates Cava that have a greater personality, more complexity and more expressive terroir – than other Cavas.  The intention – read full article –

Coastal Spirits – a Gin & Tonic to remember

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Recently, I had some friends visiting from Australia.  One of the requests they made was for “one of Thea’s famous cocktails”.  As a hostess who aims to please, I couldn’t let them down! Luckily for me, my local BevMo carries Coastal Spirits Farallon gin, a local product that I happen to really enjoy.  Paired wit – read full article –

Summer Water

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Some may say that Labor Day is the unoffical start of summer; here however, we havne’t quite started summer.  Socked in by a thick blnaket of fog, these are days of thick socks and sweaters.  There are sweet spots howeve,r when the sun breaks through and we see the true lght of the late summer – read full article –

Cariñena of Aragon – A Queen of Spanish Wine

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While most people know of Rioja, and Cava, fewer people know of the secret delights of DOP Cariñena.  Cariñena is not only just a town, it’s a varital grape, an appellation, and a region.  Located in Aragón (yes, that Aragón), it sits just about halfway between Madrid and Barcelona in Spain’s northeast tip. It’s one of the – read full article –

Riesling Revolution – Exploring Germany’s keystone grape, one bottle at a time

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It’s hard to believe that September is already here, particularly with temps breaking records all over the Bay Area. What do you do when it’s 85 at 7am in a city that rarely reaches 80 in general?  You reach for some fun white wines!  One of my favorite white wines that often gets a bad – read full article –

Alsace Wines – Beyond the aromatic whites

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Alsace is probably most well known for the aromatic whites – Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewertztraminer.  It is also well known for their sparkling wine, Cremant d’Alsace, amde in the classic champenoise method.  But, Alsace also produces some lovely Pinot Noir’s will excellent QPR. Tucked away in a corner of eastern France, Alsace has long – read full article –

Rodney Strong Rosé

Rosé Colored Glasses – Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noir

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There is something about this time of year that is magical; cool foggy mornings and evenings are tempered with the mild warmth of daylight.  The days are a touch longer, and we can be languid in the sunshine of the late afternoon. This is rosé season.  Frankly, it’s always rosé season, but right now, in – read full article –

Winesense, nonsense, Riesling sense!

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When I was studying for my Certified Specialist of Wine credential, one of the most challenging regions for me was Germany.  Not because of the wines specifically, as while there are some unusual varietals, most German wines are fairly well known, but for the simple reason that deciphering a German wine labels is an exercise – read full article –

How Green was my Valley

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Driving along highway 116 in western Sonoma County, you may have driven by the former River Road Vineyards, now the Rubin Family Wines complex – a sprawling, aging wood complex including a restaurant and bar patio, as you head towards Forestville. This area of the Russian River Valley has been home to some of the – read full article –

On the Left Coast, we do things a little differently

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  Here on the Left Coast, we do things a little differently.  We may lean a little left, we may be innovative.  And we certainly approach wine with a creative verve. Left Coast Cellars has been making world class wines in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon since 2003.  I was first introduced to Left – read full article –

Troon Vineyard: Surprises from southern Oregon

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When industry blogger and General Manager of Cornerstone Napa announced he was leaving California for the wilds of southern Oregon and Troon Vineyard, my first reaction was “what the heck?”.  Craig Camp had been instrumental in exposing a luxury Napa Valley brand to a new world of wine drinkers, launching a sister label (Stepping Stone, – read full article –

Tastemakers: El Dorado’s Founding Families

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In the late 1970s, a group of upstart winemakers and like minded wine lovers, left the confines of traditional winemaking geography, and headed up to the hills.  While winemaking was just coming in to the golden era in Napa Valley during this time period, a few renegades decided that it was time to head to someplace – 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 –