The Lone Ranger no more! **WINNER – The Wine Hiker**

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Rhone baby.  That is the word of the month!  Happy March 1st, and happy Rhoning.  If you haven’t guessed by now, you should have your wine glass packed, and your taste buds ready for a Rhonetastic celebration! On March 24-25th more than 100 producers of American Rhone wines will be on hand in San Frnacisco to pour over 500 wines to delight your taste buds. The Rhone Rangers tasting is the largest gathering of American Rhones in the country, and you and 1999 oif your closest vinopanions will be able to taste some pretty stellar examples of the Rhoney juice. This year, there are several swoon worthy events: Saturday, March 24 Rare Wines – Taste the Unusual  It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone…It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone Oh sorry, Tom Jones just popped in to my head.  But really, when you think about the unusual Rhones, I hear Picpoul to Counoise screaming out.  This seminar will be an indepth tasting and discussion about the whackiest and rarest Rhone wines you can think of.  Bourboulenc anyone? Wine & Swine, A pairing of American Rhones with Bacon – ba-ba-bacon?  And wine?  Say no more.  I mean really.  Wine bloggers are known for their obsession with bacon.  I don’t know why, but somewhere in the bylaws of wine bloggerdom, it states “thou shalt have bacon” and “no bacon shall go untouched”.  And since everything tastes better with bacon, especially chocolate and caramel covered bacon, and with wine, this is going to be an amazing seminar.  Trust me, I’ll be there. Finally on Saturday night… SATURDAY night! SATURDAY night! SATURDAY night! SATURDAY night! Gonna keep on dancin’ to the rock and roll On Saturday night, Saturday night Yes, the Bay City Rollers will be appearing live on stage at the Firehouse! Ok fine, not really, but a girl can dream.  In reality, 17 wineries will be hosting the Winemaker Dinner at the recently renovated and oh so swanky General’s Residence at Fort Mason.  My friends at The Girl & The Fig (drool) will be catering this debauchery laden event, and you can meet & greet those winemakers brave enough pairing their wares with the scrumptious vittles. After diner, a live auction aka Fight Club will be featuring wine, unique wine country experiences and travel packages donated by the host winemakers.  Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to help educate the next generation of American Rhone winemakers. Sunday, March 25 If you have survived Saturday, Sunday’s seminar will be showcasing Love, American Style, aka Syrah.  Cool climate, warm climate, 10% co-fermented with viognier, no viognier, purple die, que syrah syrah.  People do strange things with syrah in there here parts, and you can figure out what you like (or don’t) for yourself. Teeth purple yet?  Well hang on because it’s time for The Grand Tasting.  Over 500 Rhoney wines from American producers will be poured, spilled, swirled, and sniffed at the Grand Tasting.  Food trucks and vendors will be around to […]

The spark within – WBW 73

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Ahh, Wine Blogging Wednesday.  Once upon a time, WBW was a monthly spark for wine bloggers to collective think about a particular topic, and form the gestalt of the blog. The sum of the many is the one. Sadly, WBW all but disappeared over the past few years.  Formed in 2004, WBW is having a resurgence thanks to a new committee and new life behind it. I for one, am grateful to have a guided post every month, as I struggle to be inspired and write posts that are both thoughtful, but also interesting to my readers.  This month, as we kick off a new year, January’s theme reminds us to think about what make us start blogging int he first place.  The Corkdork asks us what sparked our interest in wine, but more why we decided we needed to write about it. For me, I actually have to thank my wine loving friend, and fellow blogger Liza Swift of the Brix Chicks for challenging me to put my money where my mouth was.  There was never one wine, or a specific experience that made me put pen to paper.  I had always been involved int he wine community one way or another.  But Liza, whom I encouraged to blog before I even started my own, asked me why I wasn’t writing when she was. Good point!  Wine fascinates me.  the fact that it is alive, and forever changing, inspires me.  I have been drinking wine since before I was 21, and I have been entrenched in wine, while maintaining a techie career, for the better part of (*gasp*) 17 years.  I felt compelled to share my favorite wine discoveries with friends via word of mouth, but then in a newsletter.  That newsletter, which was filled with wines that I had consumed and fallen in love with, as well as tips on events that were up and coming in the Bay Area, and stories of my adventures in wine, are what sparked this blog. Why do I write?  To write puts thoughts on paper – or on the internet – and shares them with your audience, however selective that might be.  To share the joy that I have experienced drives me.  My tastes have changed from zinfandel to pinot, and further more to the complex wines of the Rhone.  Starting out with my so called newsletter, I had the overwhelming feeling that to keep such knowledge to myself would be indulgent and selfish.  Beyond that, writing is cathartic, regardless of whether it’s in a personal journal or in a public format.  This blog, Facebook, and Twitter act as a life coach, therapist and best friend. Wine is alive.  Wine changes.  Both time and place can turn the same wine in to very different beasts.  What happens when you taste a wine 5 years after the initial release?  Is it better?  Is ti worse?  Is my taste just different?  All of these are true, all of these are not.  Wine also changes in the glass.  What other tangible and consumable object has this much life to it.  It sound like I am quoting Maya from […]

Are you a Rhonely heart?

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And the winner is: Congratulations to Valerie, the WineDog and Helene! If for any reason you cannot go, the runner up is Beau and Brandye. These results were randomly generated by Random.org. ps if you didn’t win here, please check out: There’s a Name for My Condition: Rhone Ranger OR The Rhone Rangers Ride Again!   ________________           It’s that time of year again!  Time for one of my favorite of the big tastings here in San Francisco, Rhone Rangers.  Rhone wines are diverse which is one of the reasons I love them.  At this tasting, you can taste over 500 wines from more than 100 producers all in one place. The Rhone region of France is one of the oldest cultivated areas of wine.  Here in California, a similar climate has spawned a plethora of producers that specialize in the Rhone wine varitals.  Did you know that they were 22 distinct grapes that are Rhone?  There are both red and white Rhone grapes, and they create some delicious wines.  The region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is in the Rhone region, which is a classic blend of up to 13 variteis. Since you are reading this, you probably know a little bit about the area.  If that’s true, I have a challenge for you.  If you can correctly name TWO of the lesser known Rhone Grapes (there are 22 in all), you will be entered in a drawing for a free ticket to the public tasting on Sunday March 27th here in San Francisco.  I’ll give you a hint: Syrah is classically co-fermented (and sometimes blended) with Viognier.  Grenache is also known as Garnacha in Spain.  Mouvedre can be called Monastrell but not if you call it Mataro.  Marsanne and Roussane are best friends.    Those are six of the 22 grapes – can you name two of the other 16? Give it a shot!  If you name 2 of the rest of the 22 grapes correctly, and they can be Red or White, then you will be entered in a **random** drawing to win a pass to the Rhone Rangers Public Tasting here in San Francisco on Sunday March 27th.   Tickets are $40 each, so you can always buy one for your bestie to come with you!  Out of all of the correct answers, I will randomly pick TWO WINNERS. While you’re in town, check out some of the Rhone Rangers seminars!  You could learn about the Green Rangers, growing things sustainably, or maybe Mouvedre on the move (one of my favorites). Next up in Rhone News, is the world class and world famous Hospices du Rhone in Paso Robles April 28-30th.  This 3 day extravaganza of all things Rhone has been going strong for 19 years with tastings, seminars, and parties galore.  But more on that later, I just wanted to tease you a little bit – because I can. Good luck and I hope to see your comments here, and I’ll see YOU at Rhone Rangers! […]