Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wining with the Santa Barbara Vintners' Association...

Some of my favorite wines in the world come from Santa Barbara County. So you can imagine my delight when I received the notification that the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association annual celebration of spring, the Vintners' Festival was scheduled for April 21st at a new venue called The Carranza on Zaca Station Road.

We drove up Saturday morning. It was cool and foggy along the coast, but when we emerged from the Gaviota tunnel, we knew we were in for a scorcher. After a hearty breakfast at Mother Hubbard's in Buellton, we headed to The Carranza. It was already almost 90 degrees when we arrived at noon. We were happy to get in early with the media, and immediately discovered there were significant problems with the venue.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Miscellaneous wining...ZAP & Family Winemakers & some random thoughts...

In January, JD and I went north for ZAP - the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers 4-day event. Well, we didn't go for four days, we went for the Grand Tasting. It was immense - over 200 wineries all pouring Zinfandel from all over the world.

Some wineries, like Ian Blackburn's Beekeeper Cellars, poured one wine; others poured anywhere from 3 to 9 wines - all Zins! We were grateful to have been included as media, so that we were able to enter the tasting at 10 a.m., and we still tasted only a fraction of the wines by the time we left at 3:30 p.m. There were writers who reported within 24 - 48 hours that they had tasted hundreds of wines. By my reckoning, we tasted the fruits of around 40 wineries, so maybe we tasted 80 - 100 wines.

It was fascinating to taste the regional differences among all those Zins. I discovered that if I'm going to just sip a Zin, I want Zin from Paso Robles or Lodi, but if I'm going to pair it with food, I want a Zin from Dry Creek. I also realized - well, I knew this already - that I would rather taste fewer wines and have a bit more quality time with the winemakers to get the inside story about their passion and process.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Come and wine with the Goddess on May 12th...

I'm really excited. Why? Because I've chosen the wines for my Old World versus New World class on May 12th and I can hardly wait. For those of you who are afraid it's going to be too geeky - don't worry! The very reason I'm providing this kind of education is to take out the mystery and pretentiousness and provide clarity and ease.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wining with the Wineaux of the Goddess...Merlot...

The April meeting of the Wineaux of the Goddess Marching Band and Chowder Society took place Wednesday evening at Fab's, our home away from home. In attendance were the usual gang of picky palates: Marya Glur, Shawn Shai Halahmy, Rico Mandel, Xochitl Maiman, Debra Bizek, John Dickey, and myself, the Goddess of Wine. Our mission: Merlot!

There's so much information about Merlot, much of it obscured by the unfortunate scene in 2003's Sideways in which the hapless Miles, trying to sabotage a situation to disguise his discomfort at Jack's actions, blurts out, "I'm not drinking any fucking Merlot!" Rex Pickett, the author of Sideways, says he was surprised at the venom with which actor Paul Giamatti said the line - and doubly surprised at the immediate reaction in the wine world: Consumers stopped buying Merlot-based wines, and growers ripped out their Merlot vines and planted Pinot Noir! Heavy sigh...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wining with the Goddess - Old World vs New! Join us!

Wine with the Goddess
Saturday, May 12, 2012, 1 PM

Let's talk about wine - Old World versus New World.
It's not a battle, it's fun!
It’s the Old World versus the New!

  • What's the difference between a Red Burgundy and an Oregon Pinot Noir?
  • Do your French-wine-loving friends make you feel inferior because you love California Chardonnay?
  • Do Old World wines come from classic wine-making regions?
  • Is New World wine from everywhere else?
Join Goddess of Wine Denise Lowe as she leads you from the Old World to the New!
  • Learn about terroir and how it styles wine.
  • Discuss wine-making techniques through the ages.
Class fee of $45 includes 4 flights of wine, small munchies, tasting notes.


About the Goddess of Wine: Denise is certified through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the Wine Academy of Spain, and LearnAboutWine. She is a Professional Member of the Society of Wine Educators, and is a Wine Educator for LearnAboutWine. Her blog, Goddess of Wine, details her adventures in the wine world, accompanied by her faithful acolyte, husband John Dickey.

Join the Goddess for an educational - and fun - experience!

For more information, email or call 818-903-6397.