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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Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure Announces 2015 Winemaker Line-up, Plus New Events

Paso Robles, CA – February 17, 2015 – Garagiste Events today announced that tickets are now on sale for the third annual Santa Ynez Valley-based “Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure,” which will feature over 60 of the area’s hard-to-find, micro-production commercial “garagiste**” winemakers. All festivities will take place at the beautiful, Mission-style Veterans’ Memorial Hall in the heart of Solvang, California from March 27th – 29th. Proceeds benefit the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program. Dubbed […]

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Kickstarter Project: Vintage 2015: A year in American wine

After a phenomenally successful Vintage 2014 documentary last year focusing on a challenging 2014 Central Coast growing season, Wil Fernandez has set his sights bigger. In just three days, his Kickstarter project for Vintage 2015 takes off, and you can be a part of it. Wil’s energy and drive make his projects artistic, creative AND educational. He tells stories that are not being told in a meaningful way that creates evangelists for his vision. Vintage […]

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Game Day Cocktail: The Black Luxury

I love a good, dark beer. But sometimes beer brandishing the color and viscosity of used motor oil does not appeal to everyone. Enter The Black Luxury; a game day cocktail that combines the seductive sophistication of Spain with America’s favorite pastime – football. If you’re a regular reader you know we love Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine created in 1872 by Josep Raventós. From the same word in Latin for cave, “cava” is a […]

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Only You Can Prevent Vegetable Abuse

Vegetables often get a very bad name. Sometimes it is deserved, but more often than not it’s your fault. Yes, your fault! Mine too. Here’s one half of the problem; people like me make fun of vegetables, and probably even more reprehensible, we make fun of people who eat them. Particularly so if that is all they eat. Who hasn’t had a vegetarian version of a dish, probably lasagna, that is a watery, bitter perversion […]

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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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Holiday Gifts for Wine Lovers

If you are like me, you purchased your holiday gifts months ago. But if you are more excited by the idea of last-minute gift giving, you started shopping yesterday, and are ready to pay a premium for shipping. Looking for the perfect gift for your wine or spirits lover? If you have a friend into wine or spirits, purchasing the perfect gift can be tricky. Is the person new to wine, or a connoisseur? For serious connoisseurs, […]

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