Tastemakers: Madrona Vineyards, Excellence in Cabernet Franc

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Earlier this year, when I was in El Dorado wine country in Northern California, I had my first experience with Madroña Vineyards.  This family run business is in an idea climate for Rhône and Bordeaux varietals, and the elevation in Apple Hill gives it a special terroir that stands out from the rest of the pack. […]

VinoMax – an aerator with a twist

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I’ve written about several aerators over the years, and have rarely seen a new one that is unique and functional enough for me to actually use frequently.  The Vinomax is one such gadget however, that I am finding myself using more and more.  Vinomax is different because of it’s patented triple aeration system, which focuses on […]

The Artful Wine Lovers Journal

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As a wine writer, blogger, and social media junkie, I’m often attached to my phone for hours on end, clicking my thoughts in bits and bytes.  There are times, however, that I like to have an actual notebook. When that happens, I look to a compact, purse size notebook, that can fit in my hand […]

Now back to life as we know it…

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  2015 is finally here!  I think I join a large contingent of people that agree, good riddance to 2014 and it’s bumps, bruises, pitfalls and elated highs.  Personal challenges were a common theme in my circles, and for me personally – a major career shift, family health issues, focus on personal relationships and a […]

Hello stranger!

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I’m here, hanging on, muddling through what is theoretically Fall.  Given that it’s in the high 70s/low 80s, it’s tough to stay inside and stare and the computer, but I’m trying. You might be wondering why I’ve been so silent recently:  well I’ll tell you.  Earlier this year, I took the California Wine Appelation Specialilst (CWAS) […]

Writerz Block…I haz it!

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  It’s funny how life can take a turn sometimes.  This year has been one of major change, a crazy work schedule, a bit of life’s most unhappy moments thrown in for good measure, and pure mayhem. Somewhere on the way, I lost my focus and my passion for this blog.  I am not sure […]

A cool dry place – Avalon Bay Wine Cooler

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With summer finally arriving here in Northern California, it’s good to know that my wine is stored in a cool, dry place.  While it’s only ooccasionallyover 80 degrees in San Francisco proper, there are plenty of days outside of the city limits that can stretch well in to the 90s.  When  my Avalon Bay AB-WINE27DS […]

Roaming the El Dorado Foothills: Pleasant Valley Wine Trail

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It was a warm Spring weekend, when I took my new car out for it’s first road trip, up to El Dorado County, and some delicious Rhône style wines.  The Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, just outside of Placerville, California, is a sleepy little road, meandering through gold country and rough and rugged mountain landscapes.  The Rocks and […]

Live Blogging: RIOS de Chile Carmenere

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After tasting the value priced Sav Blanc yesterday, I’m excited to try the Carmenere today.   The vineyard is just at the foot of the Andes, and the vines struggle.  The nose on the wine is very spicy and green, which is different than the palate.  The palate has black pepper, earthy and spicy, and would […]

Live Blogging: Vineyard 511 Diamond Mountain Cabernet

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The 2010 Vineyard 511 Cab is distinctly Diamond Mountain.  I love hillside fruit, and this is no exception. Rich and lush, but with a beautiful bright note hiding under the blackberry, this cab has dusty notes of coffee and chocolate. The tiny production of 160 cases will not last long, so go get this lush […]

Live Blogging: Garnet Vineyards Monterey Pinot Noir

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I happen to be very lucky and I know Alison Crowe well.  She is a vibrant, energetic and influential winemaker as well as blogger.  I am happy to call her a friend. This $15 pinot, is a fun, fresh and youthful wine made from Central Coast fruit.  As a Santa Barbara County native, Alison was […]

Live Blogging: Consilience Syrah

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I have been exposed to Consilience for over 10 years, and it’s been so wonderful to be able to taste the development of these wines.   This 2011 Santa Barbara County Syrah is under $30, and is a blend of Tierra Alta and Estelle Syrah, as well as a touch of this and that. This […]

Live Blogging:

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Wines with a accent!  The Brecon Estate tasting room is only 3 months old and we are tasting the Cab Franc, which is also brand new. Classic Cab Franc flavor profie, full of green leafy vegetables and hard spices.  Black pepper, green pepper corn, and mouthwatering lavendar.  You don’t typically see Cab Franc from Paso […]

Live Blogging: Labyrinth

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Based in Santa Maria Valley, Labyrinth Presqu’ile Clone 667 Pinot noir is a Santa Maria classic. The winemaker from Australia, has been making wine here since 1997.  His wife was the original winemaker for Hitching Post. The clone 667 is from the south side of Santa Maria Valley, which is the cool zone and you […]

Live Blogging: Taken Wine Co Red Wine

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Taken Wine Company is based in Napa and has 3 blends. This one is Taken Napa Valley Red Wine, a Bordeaux style blend, made from Cab and Merlot. This is a rich cab based wine, with deep purple fruit, blackberry, and smokey dried blueberry. The budget friendly $30 makes this an everyday enjoyable wine from […]