Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wining by proxy...A guest post from the First Acolyte himself...

So many wine events, so little time! Back on March 15th, the Family Winemakers of California came to town, but the Goddess couldn't get there...sob! So I sent my First Acolyte, JD, to cover the event. Here is his report:

Popping up from parking at the convention center I found myself in the conference building. Discovered the Exhibit Hall is on the other side of the Center grounds. I planned on mostly hitting wineries I was unfamiliar with, which would unfortunately mean skipping many known great tastes.

The doors opened and I headed for the end of the alphabet and started with William James Cellars, who had called the Goddess asking to be sure to taste their wines. Started with the “Simply Gorgeous” Grenache Rose, had good cran- & other berry spice, light, a nice start which led to the regular Grenache “Smoke Rings”, a slightly heavier version. “Persuasive” Pinot Noir had some nice earth in it. I found the Cabernet Sauvignon was a little hot on the nose, but would probably quiet down given a little time to swirl. Sampled a couple others too, but was getting a little anxious to move on- so many wineries in this huge room!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wining at Noir...

Dining room at Noir
JD and I were lucky enough to be able to get tickets to a special winemaker dinner at Noir Food and Wine in Pasadena. By special, I mean special. Richard Sanford, the man behind the Sanford & Benedict vineyard, the original Sanford Winery, the current award-winning Alma Rosa Winery, and the inspiration for a generation of winemakers, was bringing his lovely wines to be paired with dishes created by Pasadena's most celebrated chef, Claud Beltran.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wining, wining, wining...the wining never stops!

Grape of the Night @ VWC
Attended an intimate Grape of the Night at the Valencia Wine Companylast Monday, the 7th. Ringmaster Eve Bushman put out the call, per Rusty Dale Sly's command, for Bordeaux wines. You know, from France. JD & I showed up with a chilled 2008 Chateau Tertre de Launay from the Entre Deux Mers region, setting the bar pretty high, if I say so myself. A couple of attendees, who said they never drink white Bordeaux, had to admit it was pretty tasty (technical term, of course); a crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend that had a soft, honeyed finish. Yum!

Other hits of the night were the 2003 Chateau Franc, a lush blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, and the 2006 Chateau Tour Pauillac Cru Bourgeois, a 70/30 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. I do love Bordeaux! Next month, GOTN will feature Petit Sirah, that deceptively named grape that is anything but small.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rhoning in Paso...

JD & I had the opportunity to head up to Paso Robles a couple of weeks ago for the annual Rhone Rangers Experience - Paso Robles chapter - seminar and tasting. We sweet-talked our cousins in Los Osos to put us up for a couple of nights, and headed up the coast.

Saturday morning, got on the road early, stopping in Solvang to break our fast at Paula's Pancake House. This time we had contacted our friend Lee Tomkow, a brilliant photographer and videographer, to meet us. Over breakfast, we chatted about wines and wineries. On hearing that we were headed to the RR, he suggested that we look up Ambyth Estate and try the wines there. He couldn't say enough about them - biodynamic, organic farming, great location at a high elevation in Templeton. I said we'd keep it in mind, time permitting.