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Wine Bloggers Conference

Sangria – For the Shear Fun of It

What some folks think Sangria is.

The photo to the left is what some folks think Sangria is all about – an elegant wine punch for parties made from a ruby red wine slightly sweetened with a nice brandy and loaded with all manner of citrus and other fruits.

Now, when Anne read the admonishment that you really should use a good wine for your base, she sniggered. Somebody obviously had his snob on. Sangria is basically a wine punch that originated in Spain. Nobody knows who invented it, mostly because the practice of adding fruit, sugar, spices

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A Toast to Moms for Mothers Day

Wine is not usually associated with Mothers Day, which we think is rather odd. Most moms we know like wine a lot.

This is Anne writing now:

Part of the problem is that Mothers Day is one of those times that we’re expected to buy into the stereotypes of what a mother is. We’re supposed to get into the warm, fuzzy persona of a woman who has time and love and cookies to give to everyone, was always there to wipe away the tear, kiss the boo-boo, then serve up a piping hot dinner of comfort food and sage

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The Non-Gift List for 2012 – Or What Wine Lovers Really Want

A not-at-all useful item for wine lovers.

This is the time of year when we get all kinds of pitches for wine accessories that almost unilaterally underwhelm us. There are so many products out there that are supposed to “enhance” the wine experience. Trust us, they probably don’t.

You know what really enhances the wine experience? Good friends and/or a really good meal. That’s it. Aerators, custom glasses for each variety of wine, drip shields, wine chillers, fancy cork pulls, fancier wine stoppers, all this stuff doesn’t do nearly as much for the wine as the folks pushing

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Trapiche Winery Shows The Other Down Under – Argentina

As much as we deplore the whole snob thing, let’s be real. It is fun, sometimes, to lift your nose a tidge higher and prove you know something that no one else does.

And when you’ve got a guy like Joey Tensley working on a cooperative project with somebody, along with making his own snob-pleasing wines under his name’s label, plus making wine for Fergie (yes, the singer), you know there’s something good going on. And guess what? In this case, not a lot of folks do.

What we mean is Argentinian wine. We got to spend a morning

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Friday Foto: Harvest at Pomar Junction

Today’s picture comes from our recent trip to Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery, right in the middle of harvest. In fact, we had just harvested almost 200 pounds of viognier, ourselves, from our friends at Sculpterra Winery, for our own home winemaking efforts.

These guys, however, are inspecting the merlot they just picked as it goes into the fermenter bins, and they’re using a machine because they’re harvesting tons, not mere pounds.

Harvest season has wound down around the state, and winemakers are finishing their first ferments, and doing a hundred other tasks before letting everything settle down for

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Pomar Junction – Saving the Planet and Drinking Good Wine

Matt Merrill in the Pomar Junction tasting room with OBG mascot Fred. That’s Fred’s good side.

In today’s super-crowded marketplace, wineries are looking for any marketing edge they can find. And since most winery owners are decent human beings, fumbling along trying to survive as best they can and trying to do the right thing, anyway, it sometimes makes sense to slap a “We’re green” label on their product and hope consumers agree and buy their wine instead of the other person’s.

The problem, as Matt Merrill, of Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery, explained to us recently, is

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Friday Foto – Always Bring Your Corkscrew

Fred and the Corkscrew (click for bigger image)

Seriously – Fred says that it doesn’t hurt to keep a corkscrew in the glove compartment of your car. You never know when there’s going to be that impromptu picnic or when someone else forgot theirs.

Of course, you don’t want any open containers of alcohol in your car and designated drivers are important. Problem is, we can’t let Fred drink – he’s such a mean drunk – or drive. He can’t reach the pedals and see over the dash, and then there’s that problem of no opposable thumbs.


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New Face in Old Town

Everson Royce's main floor

We were aghast, horrified, really sad when Heritage Wine Company in Old Town Pasadena, California, suddenly closed its doors for good last winter. Anne’s mom got turned onto sparkling Vouvray at that store – which goes to show just how important a good wine merchant can be.

Which is also why we’re quite pleased with the wine store that has opened in that space – Everson Royce. Actually, the ironically named Everson Royce, since the store is named after the 2-year-old twins sons of co-owners and life partners April Langford and Randy Clement, who

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Food Counts in Tasting

Anne here. Normally, we write as if Mike and I are both in on the composition of the piece, which is why it’s always we, then Mike or I in the third person. However, this was kind of a personal thing, and Mike will be commenting below in his own voice.

We were lucky enough to attend the Pasadena Pinot Fest earlier this year (sorry, but the day job got in the way of actually covering it here). Anyway, something happened to me that I found really, really interesting.

As some of you may already know, I have a

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Blind Chardonnay tasting at Webster’s – the Results!

Truth be told, the point of this blind tasting was to outfox some of our friends.  Why not? As noted in our previous post, those of you with less experience are often more likely to guess what’s what than those of us who “know.” So we had our guests pick the French chardonnay from the two Californians.

When it comes to learning about wine, the important thing to remember is that it’s about accumulating knowledge for the sheer joy and interest of it. It’s not about showing off to your friends how much better a palate you have than

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