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Wine Bloggers Conference

Amalie Robert Estate, Making Pinot Noir in Oregon

Dena Drews at work, courtesy Amalie Robert Estate

It was a pretty basic interview Anne was doing with Lisa Rigisich regarding the recent Pinot Days Los Angeles festival that happened at the end of January. Rigisich asked us to help Dena Drews and Ernie Pink pour wine from their winery Amalie Robert Estate at the festival.

Like we were going to say no. But not only did we get a chance to pour some insanely gorgeous pinots with Dena, and learned a lot about what they’re doing with their wines, we got to know Dena, especially, and just

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Open That Bottle Night – February 25, What Will You Open?

Maybe it was the fact that John Brecher and Dorothy Gaiter were writing their wine column for the Wall Street Journal, rather than a specific wine magazine. Maybe it’s the fact that Brecher and Gaiter, a husband and wife team, were (and still are) not snobs about wine and were totally into making it as approachable as possible, all the while sharing their special love story with us. Or maybe it was simply that they touched a nerve, when they first suggested Open That Bottle Night in the late 1990s.

The idea is to open a significant bottle –

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Pasadena Pinot Fest Tasting Fun

Event organizer Mike Farwell, of Noir, chatting and enjoying pinot noir

As grand tastings go, this was a relatively small one, with less than 100 wineries represented. But what it lacked in size, it made up for in elegance. And we also discovered another fun story in Phantom Rivers winery – four guys who made wine at home got drunk one night and decided to go pro together. Can’t wait to do that profile, although if we’re going to interview the whole crew, we think we’re going to have to go out there.

A big shout out to

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Our Latest Tasting at Webster’s – Check Out Our Notes

What a fun time we had last Friday night with our good friends, Lori and Scott Webster at their store, Webster’s Fine Stationers, in Altadena. Not only did we have three wonderful bubblies to try, Lori provided us with some amazing chocolates to go with them. And we had poetry from Aldonia Bailey and several of her friends and students.

But mostly, we had sparkling wine, aka bubblies. These were not champagnes because the wines are not from the Champagne region of France, and yes, we’re being a little anal about that. Well, heck, if you’re going to try

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Pasadena Pinot Fest – Time to Get Your Wine Geek On

Winemakers at last year's Pinot Fest, courtesy festival organizers

Yes, it’s another Grand Tasting Festival for the pinot noir grape, but this time it’s happening in our backyard, at the Altadena Country Club.

It’s the Pasadena Pinot Fest, from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11. You can go to the site www.PasadenaPinotFest.com to get tickets and more specifics, but it’s looking like it’s going to be a good one.

We had to ask Mike Farwell, one of the festival founders, just what is it about pinot noir that gets folks not only so excited, but why they get so

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Wine Class – Why Learn About Wine?

Welcome to a new feature on OddBallGrape.com: Wine Class. These are posts dedicated to all those who want to learn more about wine, or even refresh what they already know. Feel free to comment and ask questions.

People ask us all the time what’s the big deal with wine? Why are people so obsessed with this nose or that flavor or this grape or who makes the best and 100-point scores and all that stuff?

So the first thing we want to point out is that you do not have to be “into” wine to enjoy it.  If

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Face Time with the Grape Herders – Upcoming Wine Events in SoCal

People ask us all the time where can they go to learn about wine. Well, aside from reading OddBallGrape.com on a regular basis, wine events, such as Grand Tastings and festivals, are a great opportunity to learn. You can taste all sorts of different wines and better yet, at many of these events, you can talk to the winemakers and learn what went into the bottle.

Now that may seem like a lot of work when you just want to taste something. But as we were reminded over the past weekend, the more you learn about wine, the

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