Yearly Archives: 2013

2013: A Year in Wine Travel

What a year of travel around the West Coast and the world in search of vines and wines. The year started out with a trip to Napa and Sonoma, where I visited the CrossBarn winery in Sebastopol. I got to meet globetrotting winemaker Paul Hobbs and enjoy some fancy wines. But one white wine under [...]

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2013: Reviewing My Year in Wine and Food Books

Taking a look back at all the blogging I did this year, I sure plowed through some thoughtful and thought-provoking books about both wine and food. And non-eating/drinking related books also inspired me indirectly and even directly. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane: I enjoyed Graham Greene’s sweaty, atmospheric The Power and the Glory [...]

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An Affordable Sparkling Wine For New Year’s Eve and 364 Other Days

A sparkling wine this good and this affordable cannot be confined to this one blog alone. So I was tickled to get a chance to chime in on The Reverse Wine Snob and ease all your New Year’s Eve bubbly anxiety. Just go to your local wine shop and demand a case of this racy [...]

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How to Destroy Wine and Food Stereotypes and Embrace Sweetness

Wow, what a fantastic podcast I have for you. How about a one-two punch of Natalie Slater from Bake and Destroy followed by the CakeSpy herself, Jessie Oleson Moore. Whoa! Buckle up. I was inspired to ring Natalie after receiving a free copy of Bake and Destroy: Good Food For Bad Vegans. I totally made [...]

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Considering Champagne in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

I’ve been pondering this passage from Ernest Hemingway’s seminal Lost Generation novel, The Sun Also Rises. Here are my thoughts: “I say that is wine.” Thank you, Brett. For many, Champagne exists in a separate category from wine. People think of it as a special outlier. You can listen to my conversation with David Speer, [...]

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An Easy Mulled Wine Recipe That’s An Aphrodisiac With a Twist

The only thing better than meeting Mark Sexauer on a recent gloomy and chilling evening was to sample his mulled wine. It banished memories of of sickly sweet, unbalanced, and nearly unpalatable versions I’ve had the displeasure of sampling in the past. He was kind enough to share his recipe, and answers a few of [...]

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Label Lust: Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling

I promise an upright picture is forthcoming, but I enjoy wine labels that are head-turning. They fill me with Label Lust. Like this one for the 2013 Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling. I love how the pyramid of words creates and reinforces the vineyard on a hill and gives you a nice tidbit [...]

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Ambonnay’s David Speer Explains Why Champagne is Way Better Than Cable

This immortal quote (“Champagne is way better than cable.“) about budgeting, entertainment, pleasure, and the pinnacle of sparkling wine came from an interview I conducted with David Speer, owner of Portland, Oregon’s most excellent Champagne bar, Ambonnay. What prompted me to contact David (via e-mail) and query him about all things Champagne was a post-International [...]

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Champagne Offers Sparkling Variety: Reflections on 31 Bottles

What’s it like tasting 31 Champagnes in one afternoon? Well, part of it stinks because you have to spit them out. I am, after all, compelled to maintain my professionalism at an industry event. But just because it’s not a boozy experience doesn’t mean it isn’t compelling, if not captivating. If you think Champagne is [...]

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A Wine More Irresistible Than A Sea Otter Stacking Cups

What, you haven’t seen this video of a cup-stacking sea otter at the Pt. Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, WA? If you are in need of an overload of adorableness to get you through the day, this is the video you need to watch over and over again. It will permeate your thoughts long [...]

Posted in Rhone | Tagged , | 6 Comments