Friday, June 14, 2013

Wining with Wes Hagen...

Petit Vendome
The Goddess and JD had the opportunity to hang at the Petit Vendome in La Canada last weekend and do some tasting with winemaker and philosopher Wes Hagen of Clos Pepe from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA near the quiet hamlet of Buellton.

The Sta. Rita Hills is one of my current favorite AVAs. Its east/west valleys pulling in cold, foggy air from the Pacific and the seabed soils create the perfect environment for stressed (in a good way) vines to produce small clusters, small berries, and great flavor and texture. The wines tend to be lean and elegant, with relatively low alcohol; they're food-friendly and unlike wines from any other region.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wining by Proxy...Castilla-La Mancha...

Yes, once again, the Goddess of Wine had to go to the earth job while First Acolyte, JD, tasted his way through a selection of excellent wines...Here is his account of the Wines from Castilla-La Mancha Grand Tasting at the Bazaar by JoséAndrés located at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills on Thursday, June 6, 2013:

Castilla-La Mancha is the largest Spanish wine region with over 1,240,000 acres under vine divided into 9 D.O.’s (Denominaciones de Origen or Wine Appellations) plus the surrounding Castilla areas in the center of Spain. They have taken as their symbol the great literary figure of Don Quixote de la Mancha with a slogan of “Wines from Don Quixote’s Spain.” This area is mainly a vast expanse of flat, dry land with the temperature extremes of a continental climate. There is a lot of sunshine but limited water, necessitating dry farming.

This was the last stop of a three city leg of the 2013 US Tour. Many of the people flew out that evening back to Spain, some for quick turnarounds to then go to other places in the world. This is besides communicating to their companies at odd hours while on the road. These are some not quite so glamorous and quite fatiguing aspect of the wine industry. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wining by Proxy...Taste of the Nation Santa Barbara...

Shawn & JD prepping
Well, not exactly by proxy. The Goddess of Wine was at Taste of the Nation Santa Barbara, but working for Shai Cellars! First Acolyte, JD, describes the day:

This event took place at the Montecito Country Club, a beautiful location just south of Santa Barbara. The venue itself was located on a grassy meadow as well kept as a putting green with an amazing view of the coast all the way up to the cliffs north of the Santa Barbara harbor.

It being primarily a food event with wine, there were a lot of food tables though with plenty of wine tables interspersed. A great opportunity for pairings. This event has been going on for several years and seemed quite well organized. We were able to park very close to the entrance of the venue to unload. Volunteers unloaded the vehicles and carried the wares up the steps and thence to the tables. These two points are very important when you are dealing with heavy and bulky items like cases of wine and masses of food. Nicely done, thank you.