Black-Owned Wineries to Try

Black-Owned Wineries to Try

The wine world has a problem. It’s too white. Like starkly white. The US has very few Black-Owned Wineries or wines made by the hands of black winemakers. In addition, there are only a small amount of black wine professionals in positions of leadership in wine sales...

Travaglini Gattinara: A Commitment to Nebbiolo

Travaglini Gattinara: A Commitment to Nebbiolo

  Driven by a passion for exceptional Nebbiolo, the Travaglini family has been producing remarkable, limited-production wines from their estate in Gattinara for four generations. They are the foremost producer and largest vineyard owner in this northern region of...

Virtual Fundraising Events. Yay or Nay?

Virtual Fundraising Events. Yay or Nay?

Since March, we have all become Zoom masters. Depending on our line of work, and connectivity with our family/friends, Zoom is now something we say and do daily. I know some in the corporate sector who have no fewer than five to seven Zoom calls per day, and that does...

Nonprofit Events: Now What?

Nonprofit Events: Now What?

For the last couple of years, nonprofit events have been on a high. Many event producers were fat and happy: lots of clients and growth in event budgets. In many ways, the economy was booming, and events rode the wave. Specifically, I work in nonprofit events, and...

Kick-Ass Rosés

Kick-Ass Rosés

No need for an introduction here. These are the best rosé wines I’m loving at the moment. If you so choose: find them, drink them, the end.  Tomorrow is National Rosé Day and may I suggest you grab a glass! Personally, I prefer dry rosé wine, and all of my...

Temecula: Not All Valley Floor

Temecula: Not All Valley Floor

The first full day of our Temecula press trip began with a precarious drive up to the Wild Horse Peak Vineyard. Of course, I was sitting on the side of the bus with the mountain drop off views. Deep breaths. I kept my head down and prayed for a safe ascent. Mind you, I have climbed Machu Picchu in Peru, and that bus ride up is much more precarious. But I find as I get older, the things that never scared me, have started to.  Alas, we reached the top and enjoyed fresh air and sunshine, surrounded by vines and trees. 

How Does Bubbly Get Bubbly?

How Does Bubbly Get Bubbly?

I’m revisiting this topic from an earlier blog post, because I recently hosted an “All Things Bubbles” #VirtualVino class and I thought it was worthwhile to come back to it. Wine education can be a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! I like to take wine concepts...

Really Rioja

Really Rioja

Today we virtually travel to the la Rioja wine region of Spain. I have never been there, but oh how I’d love to visit. Last fall I participated in a month of Wine Studio Twitter chats featuring the wines of Bodegas LAN in Rioja. While we can’t engage in wine country travel at the moment….alas we can dream through the glass.

Dreaming of Austria

Dreaming of Austria

Exciting trips on the books? Wine tasting excursions to wine country? Reservation at your favorite restaurant?  Nope…me neither:) As we are stuck home in quarantine, I enjoy writing about the most fabulous food and wine pairings I have been lucky enough to enjoy. ...

Food and Wine Pairings to Dream About

Food and Wine Pairings to Dream About

Sitting here on my laptop at my dining room table as I work from home. Which, mind you, is a normal occasion for me as I am self-employed and frequently work from home. However, the tone of “work from home” is quite different now that I have just entered week 5 of quarantine with a maximum of one trip outside of the house per week. My mood changes daily. It’s almost like that “fire danger” scale with the arrow moving across the scale of colors. I’m somewhere in the “orange” range. Mental health is ok and my energy levels and moods vary throughout the day. And I am ok with all of that. Not aiming for perfection here. Just focusing on making each day the best it can be. 

Louis Lucas: A Grape Calling

Louis Lucas: A Grape Calling

It’s a convivial atmosphere in the Lucas & Lewellen tasting room in Santa Barbara wine country one weekday afternoon. The tasting room is busy, staff pulls bottles from the shelves, and I am in the back of the tasting room with Louis Lucas as we taste our way...

Domaine Carneros: A Touch of France in the Napa Valley

Domaine Carneros: A Touch of France in the Napa Valley

Last year I was invited to a wine pairing dinner at Avra Estiatorio in Beverly Hills featuring the wines of Domaine Carneros. Joining us for dinner was no other than winemaker, Zak Miller. I have only ever tried the widely distributed opening pricepoint sparkling from Domaine Carneros, so I jumped at the chance to taste other selections from their portfolio.

Wine at the Crossroads: Golan Heights Winery

Wine at the Crossroads: Golan Heights Winery

The Holidays are my favorite time of year. I grew up decorating a Christmas tree with my Grandma, making certain foods, and enjoying the “chilly” California nights. About five years ago I converted to Judaism before I got married, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I now identify with a culture and a people and it has opened up my world in ways I could never imagine. The benefit of being a convert to Judaism around the holidays is that you can easily split up the family visiting duties! We spend Christmas time with my family and Hanukkah with Aaron’s family. A perfect balance! As we get ready to light the Hanukkah candles this weekend, I am remembering my trip to Israel in 2017.

Bourgogne Wines 101

Bourgogne Wines 101

I really, really, really wanted to call this piece “Burgundy Wines 101”. BUT the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne is pushing for the region to be called Bourgogne vs Burgundy in international markets. Ok, I’ll oblige.

Valle de Guadalupe Never Disappoints

Valle de Guadalupe Never Disappoints

I’ve said it a few times, and I’ll say it again. As a SoCal resident, the Valle de Guadalupe winegrowing region in Baja California, Mexico is THE most exciting thing happening on the West Coast in wine. Where else can you go and enjoy the Mexican flavor and...

Harney Lane: Love, Laughter, Family, Wine

Harney Lane: Love, Laughter, Family, Wine

A couple of times a week I receive wine sample invitations from various PR firms. I reply to the requests, and within a week or so, the wines are delivered to my house. When I received the Harney Lane shipment, I was struck by the personal touch. In addition to the...

Kudos Sonoma. Now What?

Kudos Sonoma. Now What?

Earlier this year I attended a press dinner put on by the Sonoma County Winegrowers. The purpose of the dinner was to share updates from the destination – ranging from the status of their 5-year plan to become the first 100% sustainable wine region in the United...

New South Wales: Wine Country

New South Wales: Wine Country

Next month I am traveling to Australia for the second time. My first trip in 2012 was purely for pleasure. I went with two girlfriends and we explored Sydney, the Hunter Valley, Brisbane, Cape Tribulation, and Uluru (Ayers Rock). It truly was the trip of a lifetime....

Discovering Italy: The Wines of Emilia-Romagna

Discovering Italy: The Wines of Emilia-Romagna

Emilia-Romagna is known as the stomach of Italy. Why? Because so many famous foods are from the region including Proscuitto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Grana Padano. I had the opportunity to attend a seminar on the wines of Emilia-Romagna, presented by...

Vintastic Voyage: Napa Valley

Vintastic Voyage: Napa Valley

There is no shortage of articles/blog posts related to the Napa Valley. BUT, I wanted to share a tested and approved Napa itinerary that I’d recommend to the wine novice and the wine geek alike. This itinerary has something for everyone. I visited the region in early Spring with my friends Neal and Alyse of Winery Wanderings and found this itinerary to be relaxed and easy to follow.

New Zealand Standouts

New Zealand Standouts

I taste a lot of wines day in and day out. Recently, I seem to have lots of New Zealand in my glass. Here is a round-up of some standouts that I highly recommend. Cheers! Neudorf Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $26  This wine has a spicy and vegetal note on the nose that carries...

In Wine, Is Sugar Bad?

In Wine, Is Sugar Bad?

There is sugar in any bottle of wine. Period. The question is, how much is the sugar content in wine? In the wine world, we talk about “gateway” wines that people tend to start within the beginning of their wine journeys. When people start drinking wine, they tend to...

Picks for National Rosé Day

Picks for National Rosé Day

Disclaimer: These wines were all received as samples. I’m not normally one to celebrate and capitalize on any National _______ Day. BUT, today is National Rosé Wine Day and if ever there is a day to celebrate, today it is! I won't open this piece by boring you with...

Rioja: The Motherland of Spain

Rioja: The Motherland of Spain

When you think of the Rioja, you generally think of red wine. But did you know that Rioja wine region wines can be white, rosé, or red? Also, every bottle of Rioja carries an official trust seal (classification) located on the back of the bottle. Be sure to look for...

Odfjell Vineyards: The Best of Chile in a Bottle

Odfjell Vineyards: The Best of Chile in a Bottle

It is not often that wine crosses my desk that possesses the holy trifecta: affordable, organic/biodynamic, and delicious. This was the case with the wines of Odfjell Vineyards of Chile. I wanted to speak to the winemaker and learn more about Odfjell and about making wine in Chile. Arnaud Hereu, chief oenologist/winemaker was kind enough to answer a few questions as I explored and tasted their wines.

Chatting with Somm Cristie Norman

Chatting with Somm Cristie Norman

If you are into the social media wine scene and follow all the hip and cool somms, then chances are that you know Cristie Norman. Cristie is a bikini athlete, a sommelier at the world-renowned Spago in Beverly Hills, and today is launching her Online Wine Course. One...

Wine Tasting in the Columbia Gorge

Wine Tasting in the Columbia Gorge

As the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla, Washington came to a close, my post-conference excursion was just beginning! We headed off to the beautiful Columbia Gorge to visit Maryhill Winery and Cathedral Ridge Winery. The Columbia Gorge, 60 miles east of Portland is part of two AVAs, the Columbia Valley AVA and the Columbia Gorge AVA. The unique climate of the Columbia River Gorge earns it the title “Mediterranean of the Northwest”. I will say that we visited in October and it was sunny and the weather was beautiful. Insert gratuitous scenery shots!

Spotlight: Salice Salentino

Spotlight: Salice Salentino

Within Puglia (the heel of the boot) lies Salice Salentino, the very bottom tip of the heel. Founded in 2003, the Consorzio di Tutela Vini D.O.P. Salice Salentino is dedicated for the protection of PDO Salice Salentino wines. Salice Salentino, which was granted DOC...

They Make Wine? Maryland Edition

They Make Wine? Maryland Edition

When you hear “Mid-Atlantic” do you think of wine country? Me neither! But alas, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac, lies Big Cork Vineyards. Big Cork is a family farm in Rohrersville, Maryland started by David Collins, who spent many years making wine in Virginia (see my Virginia wine post HERE). David Collins formed a partnership with Jennifer and Randy Thompson (owners of the land), and Big Cork Vineyards was born. The first 22 acres were planted in May of 2011 and they have now surpassed 5,000 cases in annual production.

Exploring New Zealand Through Wine

Exploring New Zealand Through Wine

There is a lot more to New Zealand wine than Sauvignon Blanc. Nothing wrong with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, there is just a lot of it! The style can be homogenous, but there is some good juice coming out of New Zealand. I attended a fascinating luncheon and wine tasting in which Cameron Douglas, MS guided us through quite a flight of wines, paired expertly with a menu courtesy of Napa Valley Grille. This luncheon and tasting reminded me of the wide range of wines from New Zealand. Yes, there is plenty of basic and uninteresting Sauvignon Blanc, but there is also a wide selection of honest, regional wines available at many different price points.

Uncovering Uruguay

Uncovering Uruguay

When I think of wine from South America, I think of Malbec from Argentina. Argentinian Malbec is quite ubiquitous, but what you may never have heard of is Tannat from Uruguay. Uruguay is a small country in South America (about the size of Washington state) that...

Crocus: Elegance in Cahors

Crocus: Elegance in Cahors

Not too long ago, I was delighted to attend a tasting of Crocus wines at A.O.C. restaurant in Los Angeles with special guests: internationally renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs and 4th generation Cahors vintner Bertrand Gabriel Vigouroux. His family has been making wine...

Got Pineau?

Got Pineau?

Over the summer I had the opportunity to attend a Pineau des Charentes tasting at Lucques in Los Angeles. And I can confirm that I had no idea what Pineau des Charentes was before this MasterClass! But, I am VERY glad I went as I am now looking to integrate Pineau in...

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