Friday, July 22, 2011

A lot of wining in a very short time...

Panini @ VWC - Yum!
Headed up to the Valencia Wine Company for the monthly meeting of the Grape of the Night back on the 11th. This month's grape was Cabernet Franc, and we had 7 wines to sample, ranging from inexpensive 'supermarket' wine to seriously overpriced.

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine and contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, and cassis, sometimes even violets. Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century; it was planted in Loire long before that. DNA analysis indicates Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between it and Sauvignon Blanc.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wining and whiling away the time...

Time goes by so fast. Fortunately, we're doing a lot of wine tasting while it's going by!

Shai @Santa Barbara
6/25 - Santa Barbara Wine Festival at the Natural History Museum - At the very last minute, Shawn Shai Halahmy pinged me to ask if we could help him pour his wines in Santa Barbara. We said 'Sure!' and headed North. We weren't familiar with this particular festival, but it was huge! More than 70 wineries - most of whom I knew - lots of fun food, a gorgeous setting, and a really enthusiastic crowd. Shawn was pouring his 2008 Shai Cellars Adome, plus doing a sneak preview of his just-bottled 2009 Adome and 2009 Grenache. With all the great wines being shown, a significant number of guests came back to us to tell us how much they like Shai! What's not to like? Oh, and the photo of Shai is courtesy of Bob Dickey, a great photog and wine lover in Santa Barbara. No relation to JD.  Just a fortunate name.