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September 21, 2020
Vintastic Voyage- Southern Oregon

One of my last wine country trips was in December on a self-guided press trip to Southern Oregon wine country with Neal and Alyse of Winery Wanderings. We met a few years ago at the Wine Media Conference and became fast friends! This was our second trip together, the first one being to Napa Valley […]

August 31, 2020
Vintastic Voyage: Wine Tasting Paso Robles

I spent the first 5 months of COVID daydreaming about when I’d be able to “get out of dodge”. Finally, just after my birthday (in late July) I took a weekend trip up to wine tasting Paso Robles. Shockingly, I had never been there. Crazy how I have been all around the world, but never […]

August 3, 2020
Breaking Down Willamette Valley Wine

F Last summer, I took a lovely trip to explore Willamette Valley wine on the Wine Writers Educational Tour (WWET), which was organized by Fred Swan.  The trip was 3 days long and consisted of multiple vineyard and winery visits with about 20 other wine writers. Oh, how I miss trips like this. The trip […]

July 21, 2020
Wine and Food Pairing: Chalk Hill Estate

On March 6th, I hopped on a San Francisco-bound plane to work with a client on an upcoming event. That weekend I spent some time with friends in Marin, and our visit to Chalk Hill Estate was my last public outing before COVID got serious in California. I flew home on March 8th and woke […]

June 9, 2020
Temecula Wine Country: 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. 

March 10, 2020
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 through their portfolio and I write up […]

February 25, 2020
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.

December 10, 2019
Irvine & Roberts Vineyards: A Southern Oregon Standout

There is something to be said about people in the wine business. They’re a great group and it's very rare to find a dud in the bunch. If you make wine or you own a vineyard, chances are you’re a happy person (my personal opinion with no statistics to back it up!). Some people studied […]

October 16, 2019
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 Winery shipment, I was struck by the personal touch. In addition to the wines and tech […]

Mexico

October 21, 2019
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 Mexico 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 hospitality that we all love BUT […]

August 7, 2018
Vintastic Voyage: Valle de Guadalupe (Part 2)

This is my second installment (first one HERE) of Vintastic Voyage featuring the Valle de Guadalupe area of Baja California. And it won’t be my last! Valle de Guadalupe is my new favorite weekend trip from LA. For one, the food scene is insane….trust me. You will eat VERY well while you are here, and will […]

July 22, 2015
Vintastic Voyage: Valle de Guadalupe

About a month ago, my husband and I were going on a staycation to San Diego for the night. It was Thursday and we were getting on the road the next morning. That day at work I read this article in the LA Times. It suggested a few different road trips from LA and one suggestion was the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja Mexico.

South America

May 7, 2019
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.

January 2, 2019
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 borders Argentina to the North/East. Like Argentina, Uruguay is […]

October 23, 2018
South America: It’s Not All Malbec

Disclaimer: These wines were received as samples for review. My family is from Argentina. I spent many summers and school breaks there as a child/teenager and one thing I remember is how there were always tumblers of wine on the table for lunch and dinner. Soda water and “cubitos” (ice) are generally added to red […]

Australia

August 24, 2020
Tamburlaine: Hunter Valley Wine

Today we go down under to Tamburlaine Organic Wines, Australia's largest independent organic producer with over 300 hectares of organic wines in the Orange and Hunter Valley wine sub-regions of New South Wales. Independent meaning that they don’t sell to big-box retailers. Quite impressive for a 120,000 annual case production. Tamburlaine’s Entry into Hunter Valley […]

January 7, 2020
Tyrrell’s: The First Family of the Hunter Valley

“Our wine business has been in the family for over 160 years, which is an amazing thing. We are lucky enough to make wine from vines planted by our great great grandfather in a time when they had no electricity or any of the luxuries we have today. It is an honor to work with […]

September 9, 2019
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. In October I will be there for the […]

November 3, 2016
#WineStudio and Two Hands Wines

Disclosure: I received these Two Hands Wines samples for review as part of the #WineStudio program. What is #WineStudio? #WineStudio, the brainchild of Tina Morey, is an online Twitter-based educational program. Each month a different producer is selected, along with a lineup of wines from their portfolio. Anyone can participate in the weekly Twitter chats, yet only […]

Austria

December 3, 2018
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 my cocktailing wheelhouse...and I think […]

October 11, 2018
Oh Sherry Baby

Sherry is an adult beverage that is a victim of the past. The word “sherry” conjures up images of elderly ladies sitting in a living room (doilies on the tables!) drinking a sweet cream sherry. Harvey’s Bristol Cream anyone? What people do not know about sherry is that it is made in a wide variety of styles. Sweet and dessert wines are less popular these days, which has made sherry naturally fall out of style. However, today we will talk about two DRY styles of sherry that may be more up your alley.

November 30, 2016
Drink Like a President

I had intentions of drinking this wine on election night and going live with this blog post the following day.  However, the unexpected outcome of the election had me in a state of shock that no amount of fortified wine could get me out of.

October 31, 2016
No Tricks, Only Treats

Happy Halloween to everyone out there! Last night I had a few friends over to carve pumpkins, share a meal, and try out some Port cocktails. When I received these samples, I knew that I wanted to do something different instead of standard tasting notes. It is the Fall season (though I’m in LA and it’s about 80 degrees out) and Port cocktails felt appropriate for All Hallows Eve!

September 2, 2016
Hallelujah, We Have Been Fortified!

Forgive me if there are a lot of exclamation points in this post, but I have received word that I passed the Fortified Exam I took back in June!  Whoo hoo!!!

France

April 14, 2020
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. 

November 13, 2019
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.

December 11, 2018
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 in Cahors since 1887. And in 2011, he and Hobbs started Crocus. Crocus is named after the crocus sativus flower which […]

Germany

April 14, 2020
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. 

Italy

November 16, 2020
Lugana Wine: Italy's Alternative White

Italy does not have one ruling white or red grape. In fact, Italy is home to over 1,000 indigenous varieties, many of who you might never have heard of. Frappato? Molinara? Cortese? Turbiana? Lugana Wine: Fresh and New Turbiana is the white grape used to make Lugana wine, a refreshing and dynamic white wine from […]

October 5, 2020
Ricasoli: Classic Chianti Classico Wine

In January I had the privilege to participate in the WineStudio program featuring Chianti Classico wine from Ricasoli 1141. WineStudio is an online Twitter-based educational program produced by Tina Morey, a Certified Sommelier who’s been in the food and wine industry for over twenty years. Each month a different producer is selected, along with a […]

September 30, 2020
Fontanafredda: The Beauty of Langhe Nebbiolo

The history of Fontanafredda (and Langhe Nebbiolo) is a noble one and began in 1858 after the unification of Italy, when the country’s first king, Vittorio Emanuele II, purchased this beautiful estate in Piedmont’s Langhe region for his mistress. Quite the scandal! Here he started producing wine from local varieties, Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo, which […]

August 10, 2020
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 Piemonte, Italy.   Travaglini Gattinara: The Bottle  Travaglini Gattinara wines have a distinctive bottle shape, featuring […]

July 25, 2019
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 chance to attend a seminar on the Italian Wines of Emilia-Romagna. It was presented by Giammario Villa, as part of the Gambero Rosso event. His company, Vinomatica, […]

May 10, 2019
Sella & Mosca: Simply Sardinia

In my wine journeys, I have the opportunity to experience fabulous wines and attend events where I get to taste these wines and meet the winemakers. One such occasion was when I was introduced to Sella & Mosca, the largest winery on the island of Sardinia. Sardinia lies south of France near the island of […]

Portugal

October 12, 2020
Goodbye Sauvignon Blanc, Hello Albariño

Sauvignon Blanc, I love you. You were there when I needed a break from Chardonnay. You were there when I wanted a crisp, clean, high acid white. Thank you. Thank you for being a constant in my life. But Sauvignon Blanc, I need a break. It’s not you, it’s me. You have been lovely, I […]

June 26, 2018
Tradition Meets Modernity in Alentejo

In February I had the opportunity to attend a Masterclass on the wines of Alentejo, Portugal led by Evan Goldstein, MS. It was a wildly educational session and we tasted some stellar wines. In the class we got an overview of the Alentejo region, explored the sub-zones, and learned about the leading varieties and classic […]

April 16, 2018
Portuguese Night in LA

Last Saturday, the hubby and I decided to have a fun day around town. The plan was to venture out during the day, come home that afternoon, cook dinner, and enjoy a bottle of Portuguese wine I received as a sample. What to pair with a Portuguese wine, than some Portuguese bites, called Petiscos. Petiscos […]

Spain

January 13, 2021
Vega Sicilia Memories

I have not been lucky enough to step foot on the Vega Sicilia property, considered to be one of the top luxury wineries in the world. Situated in the Ribero del Duero DO in Spain, Vega Sicilia is a gem among gems. About a year ago I was invited to an exclusive collectors’ dinner at […]

October 12, 2020
Goodbye Sauvignon Blanc, Hello Albariño

Sauvignon Blanc, I love you. You were there when I needed a break from Chardonnay. You were there when I wanted a crisp, clean, high acid white. Thank you. Thank you for being a constant in my life. But Sauvignon Blanc, I need a break. It’s not you, it’s me. You have been lovely, I […]

April 28, 2020
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.

May 28, 2019
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 this label on every bottle. […]

March 19, 2019
Bodegas LAN: Rioja in Three Letters

At the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla last October, I attended a seminar about the wines of Bodegas LAN, led by Doug Frost, one of only four people in the world with both the MW and the MS certification. The thought of that seriously makes my head hurt. I digress...... Bodegas LAN was “born” in 1972 and is named […]

August 2, 2018
Exploring Rías Baixas

The Wine Bloggers Conference is a combination of geeking out about wine, socializing, and learning a bit along the way. This session was an incredible study into the Albariño grape and the wines of Rías Baixas, Spain.

Israel

December 20, 2019
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.

New Zealand

June 18, 2019
New Zealand Standouts

I taste a lot of wines day in and day out. Recently, I seem to have lots of New Zealand wine 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 through on […]

January 15, 2019
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.

April 10, 2018
Event Recap: New Zealand in a Glass

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is as ubiquitous as Napa Cab. You can find it at any store and on any wine list. Now I love New Zealand Sauv Blanc as much as the next girl, but the style does get a bit homogenous. That “Marlborough Lift” (which I speak about HERE) gives you big aromatics, big […]

January 8, 2018
Lunch with Erica Crawford of Loveblock Wines

Early in 2017 I had the opportunity to attend an intimate lunch with Erica Crawford of Loveblock Wine at Wolf Restaurant in Los Angeles. There were 10 attendees in total, and it was one of the most well-executed wine lunches I have attended thus far.

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