Monday, June 21, 2021

Not just any Port in a pandemic...

The very first time I tasted tawny Port, I was in a wonderful seafood restaurant overlooking Puget Sound. After a delicious and very filling dinner, everyone at the table decided to order dessert - actually a rarity in my family, but that's another story. I read the dessert menu, and as full as I was, everything seemed too rich, and then I saw an entry for a glass of Tawny Port with dark chocolate truffles.

Honestly, ordering that dessert was one of the better decisions I've made in my life. "Life-changing" is a bit overused, but it was certainly an eye-opening moment. And I've enjoyed many glasses of Port, both Ruby and Tawny, ever since.

Classes Return in 2021!

 

WE'RE BACK!

Back to Basics, that is!

It's the return of Wine 101!

Does wine jargon confuse you? 
Do sommeliers intimidate you? 
Does reading a wine list make you sweat? 
This is the class for you!


Join us at Fossil Wine Bar on August 2nd!

Monday, May 31, 2021

Back to wining...

One of the great joys of my life in wine is that people actually send me wine! And then I get to assess it and write about it. Things being what they are these days, I'm a little behind in my reviews, so here we go:

Al Scheid first saw potential in Monterey County in 1972 when the wine region was in its infancy. What started as a grape growing operation that sold 100% of its production to other wineries evolved into a family business that makes wines under several labels, including Scheid Vineyards, Sunny with a Chance of Flowers, District 7, Ryder Estate, Metz Road, VDR, and Stokes’ Ghost. They also produce many regionally distributed brands for specific clients and distributors.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Living in the time of Coronavirus...moving forward...

I went to the doctor this week. Just for a checkup. We hadn't seen each other since December 2019, and being conscientious about my health - and getting nagging phone calls from his office to come in for a checkup - I finally felt it was time to go. I like my doctor a lot. He really listens, and responds. Rare to find. 

So, we caught up, and we talked about the last year and the lockdown and our reactions to it. And I talked a bit about how depressed and frustrated JD and I have been. He was immediately concerned, so I reassured him that we were basically OK, it wasn't chronic depression that required drugs and counseling. 

And I was reminded of the times in my life when I was stymied by depression.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Slowing wining back to 'normal'...

JD & Larry
The Goddess of Wine and JD took a quick trip south to Los Olivos and Solvang. First time since December 2019. It felt good. And odd. JD's been running errands and making the occasional foray down to Ellay, but I haven't been anywhere south of San Luis Obispo.

We stopped in at Tercero for a too-short visit with the irrepressible Larry Schaffer. He's got some new and interesting wines available. And he's been keeping busy doing Zoom tastings, both public and private. Admirable. You should check them out. Chatted briefly with a young couple who were just learning about wine. Always good to see bright faces light up with those 'aha' moments. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A new year of wining...in San Simeon...

A bucolic scene at San Simeon
(photo by Rico Mandel)
This past year has been so challenging for everyone. I am pleased and amazed to see how so many of my wine colleagues have pivoted (the latest buzz word) and adapted to the new normal. Many event planners have created online events, virtual tastings, all designed to keep their base engaged. Others, like myself, stepped back a bit, waiting to see how things would develop. I tried not to give in to depression, but there were days that my major accomplishment was getting the bed made. 

Meanwhile, vaccines were being made and distributed! Hope on the horizon! Grownups in the White House! I started feeling a bit better, and after getting my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine, began to feel that I could return to the world. Carefully.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

2020, the gift that keeps on giving...

I was really excited about 2020. After a pretty darn good year, I was going to take advantage of the momentum from 2019, increase the number of my wine classes, work more hours at various venues, and travel. Yeah...JD and I were supposed to spend a few weeks in England and France this year, but that was not to be.

What a disaster 2020 has turned out to be. Global pandemic. Global shutdown. Families and friends lost. Businesses closed. So much anger, misinformation, fatigue.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Tasting outside your comfort zone: Part Deux...

This does seem to be the year where we're all out of our comfort zones. And the wines I've received recently reflect that. So when I opened a box and discovered three different sherries, accompanied by a big bag of Halloween candy, I thought it was just par for the course!

Sherry is a wine that many folks think is old-fashioned, found only in Agatha Christie mysteries, or meant to be drunk by self-important elder statesmen after dinner is finished, and the ladies have retired to whatever ladies retire to, while the men light up cigars and discuss world matters.

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Tasting out of your comfort zone...

The Goddess of Wine gets crazy when a person says, "I don't drink xyz wine," or "I only drink xyz wine." I always ask, "Why would you limit yourself to what you already know?" So, when I'm approached by a wine rep or marketing person to try a wine that may not be something I regularly drink, I have to step outside my own comfort zone to taste it. 

Folks who know me well, know that I rarely drink sweet wines. I'm not talking about dessert wines such as Port or Sherry; I'm talking about sweet, low-alcohol porch-pounders. I received a package of 3 charmingly-packaged, partly-fermented, sweet, frizzante wines from the Mack & Schuehle Wine and Spirits Family, an international importer. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Serving wine in the time of Coronavirus...

As some of you know, JD and I work 3 days a week at a winery tasting room. The wines are very reasonably priced, and our tasting fee has been $12 per person, waived with a wine purchase. Up until this weekend, we would waive tasting fees for everyone in a group if even one person bought one bottle of wine. You might say we have been very generous in this regard. 

We had 2 groups of guests on Saturday; one group of 6, the other of 4. Both were scheduled to arrive at 2 PM. The air temperature was fairly comfortable, and the smoke level was low enough that I wasn't concerned about serving outdoors.