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Wine Bloggers Conference

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Wine

As we noted in our last post, our favorite wine for Thanksgiving dinner is the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau. From the Beaujolais region of France, it’s the first wine to appear from the current harvest. In other words, yes, that is a 2013 you see on the label (or should see), and yes, that wine was grapes a mere few months ago.

It’s basically new wine – made to be drunk, like, now, and as such is usually very light and fruity, which is why wine snobs love looking down their long bony noses at it. But that’s

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Riedel’s Variety-Specific Glasses? Busted, Baby!

The Riedel Burgundy glass (standing) and malbec glass. (The cabernet glass broke before we could get a picture of it.) Yep, busted.

We love Riedel glassware. The stuff is gorgeous. It’s light and beautifully crafted. It just feels elegant sipping wine from it.

However, we’ve always been rather skeptical about their claim that their variety-specific glasses actually make a significant difference in the flavor of each different wine. So we decided to test the glassware and found out one rather interesting thing, but overall? To quote one of our fave TV shows, Myth busted.

The tasting came about

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Nine Wines Nine! Library Tasting Notes

Last Friday, we were again asked to help out at the Altadena Public Library’s Art Salon – part of the library’s fabulous Art on Millionaire’s Road annual art show.

If you were at last spring’s fundraising wine and cheese event, then you’ll probably recognized most of the whites. We did have leftovers from that event and wanted to use these delicious wines up. When you add the four reds we found, we poured a total of nine wines for a truly expansive experience.

Segura Viudas Cava Brut Reserve NV

Type: Dry sparkling white wine What

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Flying Goat 2007 Pinot Noir Salisbury Vineyard

Type: Dry red What makes it special: A pinot noir that’s not from the Santa Rita Hills. Plays well with: pork, lamb, salmon, cheese.

The 2007 Flying Goat Pinot Wine comes from San Luis Obispo, a little farther up the California coast from where Norman Yost makes his wines in Lompoc.

The nose has a spicebox aroma – think asian five spice powder ingredients such as licorice and cardamon. The color is the same gorgeous ruby red of a certain pair of shoes made in Oz (or more accurately the MGM costume shop). But just check out the

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Longoria 2009 Pinot Grigio

Type: Dry white What makes it special: Italian grape finding a great home in Santa Barbara county. Plays well with: Salads, seafood, creamy sauces. We are celebrating this humble, but lovely treat of a wine for a couple reasons. First up, we do want to make note of the TAPAS Grand Tasting in San Francisco this weekend, one of the wineries pouring is winemaker Richard Longoria, who made this pinot grigio – even though it’s not one of the wines featured by the Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society. TAPAS is, of course, about the Spanish grapes –

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Sawtooth 2007 Viognier

Type: Dry white Made with: Viognier Plays well with: Cheese, light sauces, chicken dishes

We’re always on the lookout for grapes in unusual places.  So Michael was pretty stoked when he found the Sawtooth 2007 Viognier from Idaho among the bottles he’d won in a silent auction to benefit the Southern California chapter of the Rhone Rangers. The Sawtooth vineyards are in the Nampa region along the Snake River.  They’re fairly new and there is a lot of interest in finding out what will do well there as time goes on. So keep Idaho on your radar screens and

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Dancing Coyote 2009 Verdelho

Type: Dry white Made with: Verdelho Plays well with: Cream sauces, sharp cheeses, non-oily fish

If folks know about verdelho, they know it  primarily as a blending grape in its native Chianti, Italy. But winemakers in Portugal have been making a pretty tasty white out of it for…  Well, a really long time.  And several California growing areas are starting to include it in their own blends or as a varietal of its own – including the nice folks at Dancing Coyote, in Acampo, California, part of the Clarksburg appellation.

The 2009 Verdelho has a nice floral nose. The

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La Motte 2007 Shiraz/Viognier

Courtesy La Motte

Type: Dry red Made With: syrah and viognier grapes Plays Well With: Chili and other hearty fare

Shiraz.  Syrah.  It’s the same grape, just a different name.  The Australians made the shiraz term familiar to us in the U.S., and according to La Motte Winemaker Edmund Terblanche, the South Africans are just as likely to say shiraz as not.  Which means the following is going to get a little confusing unless we chose a name and stick with it.  And, by gum, we’re sticking with syrah, since we’ll be referring to the grape as it’s

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Rideau 2007 Mourvedre

Type: Dry red

Made With: the mourvedre grape

Plays Well With: Hearty meats, such as herbed leg of lamb.

Call the mourvedre grape the stinky cheese of the wine world.  While it’s a good, hearty wine that does pair well with strong cheeses, like they do about some cheeses, folks will complain about funk in the nose or taste.  Which is probably why it’s getting more and more common to see US. wines blended with the lighter grenache and fruitier syrah – the GSM you sometimes see on labels – like they do in the Rhone valley of France.

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Dos Cabezas Wineworks 2008 El Campo

 

red wine stock pic

Type: Dry redMade with: Tempranillo, Mourvedre and a field blendPlays well with: Southwestern cuisine, grilled meats

There are several different points in the winemaking process where different varietals can be blended into one wine.  Many winemakers prefer waiting until right before bottling, then combining all the young, single grape wines into different formulations to hit on just the right taste – and, damn, that’s a fun process.  We know.  We’ve been doing it for the past several years with all the different wines Michael makes at home.

But the Dos Cabezas 2008 El

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