Westerly 2010 Merlot (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara)

Cocoa, exotic spices, lavender blackberries and blueberries on the nose with blackberry jam and spice flavors, this boutique 2010 Merlot from Westerly in Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara makes a fool of anyone who pulled their Merlot vines after “Sideways.” Rich, seductive and perfect with a New York Strip. I wish we had a case of this. It is a fabulous Merlot. At $30 it’s an absolute steal.  Go get some. NOW! Alcohol by volumes […]

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Eating Calçots: Deep Throat in Barcelona

Barcelona is a food lovers’ paradise — where supper starts at 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening and can go on well past midnight. You will not leave a restaurant hungry, and can sample multiple dishes in the form of world-famous “tapas” (small plates). The Swine is King and one can even find Jamón serrano in a cone along the streets near the tourist centers. I have been here since late Monday on a media […]

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Celebrate 2015 with a Host of Bubbles and Sparklers!

Salud! Cin-Cin! 干杯  Skål!  Santé! ΥΓΕΙΑ!  Živjeli! Prost! What better way to say “Cheers” than with Champagne and sparkling wines from around the world! What makes a wine “sparkling?” Sparkling wine is different from “still” wine in that it contains significant levels of carbon dioxide which makes it fizzy. The CO2 may result from natural fermentation in a bottle or tank, or as a result of carbon dioxide injection. While the classic example of a […]

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Handwritten 2011 Stags Leap Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Decadently dark and sultry with aromas of black currant, cassis, tobacco and leather, the 2011 Handwritten Stags Leap Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon boasts seductive flavors of blackberry, smoked cherries, and offers virile tannins that suggests an executive boardroom tryst. We tasted this one along with some other Handwritten Wines releases in their lovely Saint Helena Tasting room on a recent trip to Napa for the 2014 Harvest. We liked this and their other wines so much we had […]

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The “F” Word and Mother Nature’s Lady Parts: VINTAGE 2014

If you think you know what someone means when she says “the ‘F’ Word,” you probably have not spent much time with a winemaker. Talk of Lady parts and Mother Nature’s ass — it was not quite was I expected when Wil Fernandez sent me a sneak preview of VINTAGE 2014: the stories behind the vines. I have seen some of the initial filming, and the photography is stunning, but I was not prepared to […]

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Cornerstone Oregon 2012 Willamette Valley Chardonnay

Lemon zest, whipped pineapple, slate and toasted vanilla on the nose, the straw-hued 2012 Cornerstone Oregon Willamette Valley Chardonnay tastes of Meyer lemons, vanilla and a tiny hint of plantain. Crisp acidity balanced with a creamy malo mid palate and lingering finish.  A lovely example of a cold-climate Chardonnay, or any-climate Chardonnay, for that matter! 13.5% Alcohol by volume (ABV) Bottled by Cornerstone Cellars in Gaston, Oregon. $40 Pairing: We paired it with Turkey and […]

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Cornerstone Cellars 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

An incredible steak companion, the Cornerstone Cellars 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon vastly exceeds expectations in a vintage that challenged other wineries. No challenge here. A beautiful wine that hints at Bordeaux but delivers California. Opulent dark fruit aromas with notes of lavender and cocoa, a palate of blackberry, cassis and perfectly balanced tannins. Drink now or cellar. We paired with a cocoa-rubbed, oven-broiled rib-eye, rested in bacon fat. 14.3% ABV. SRP $65. Well worth the […]

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WineWonkette on Kitchen Party Tonight for #UnCorkChocolate

Want to learn a bit more about wine and chocolate in a fast and fun on-line atmosphere? Another Wine Blog’s own WineWonkette Amy Corron Power will join Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes, the fabulous Wine Harlots‘ Nanette Eaton and Scharffen Berger Chocolate Expert Cy Olney on BakeSpace.com‘s Google+ Hangouts KitchenParty, hosted by Rene Lynch (@renelynch) & Babette Pepaj (@BakeSpace) tonight at 7 p.m. Houston Central Time (5 p.m. Pacific and 8 p.m. Eastern!) KitchenParty is produced by […]

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Fortant de France 2012 Coast Select Muscat

The 2012 Fortant de France Muscat Vin de Pays d’Oc Coast Select is an aromatic white from the South of France. A nose of apples, rose petals and honeysuckle leads to flavors reminiscent of Star jasmine, Fuji apples and orange zest. 100% Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains or “white Muscat with little berries” which is considered to be the best of the Muscat grape variety. Texans would recognize it as Muscat Canelli. 14% ABV Suggested […]

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