Lodi Grapes

Loving Lodi

By Catherine | On Aug 21, 2016 | No Comments

The 2016 Wine Blogger’s Conference was held in Lodi, CA from August 10-14.  Lodi is located in the Central Valley and has been growing wine grapes for over 150 years.  Fourth and fifth generation wine growers have been joined by newer vintners and the area, which enjoys a Mediterranean climate, produces a wealth of grape varietals. Best known for Old…

Sulfur dioxide

Let’s Talk About Sulfites

By Catherine | On Jul 21, 2016 | No Comments

Countless wine drinkers blame sulfites for headaches or allergic symptoms after consuming wine.  What are sulfites, anyway?  Chemically, sulfite is sulphur dioxide (SO2), an antimicrobial and antioxidant compound that occurs naturally and is also added to numerous foods and wines to retard spoilage. Examples of foods containing sulfites include dried fruit, some canned fruits and vegetables, condiments and many others….

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Stone Tower Windswept

Stone Tower Winery

By Catherine | On Jun 30, 2016 | No Comments

A visit with my daughter in May provided the opportunity for another wine tasting excursion to Loudoun County, just south of Leesburg, VA.  She had visited Stone Tower Winery in the past and highly recommended it for both its gorgeous setting and excellent wines.  The drive was beautiful, through rolling hills, farmland, and eventually, vineyards.  Stone Tower is located on…

108

Ballard Canyon

By Catherine | On May 26, 2016 | No Comments

During the 2014 Wine Blogger’s Conference, I was introduced to Ballard Canyon and the world class Syrah that is produced there. While traveling in California recently, I wanted to return to the area and have another opportunity to taste the Syrahs. Ballard Canyon is one of the newest and smallest AVAs (American Viticultural Area).  It is made up of 7,700…

Barrel Room at Hilliard Bruce

California’s Glorious Central Coast

By Catherine | On Apr 5, 2016 | No Comments

My daughter, Hilary, and I recently returned from a wonderful week in California.  Ever since the 2014 Wine Blogger’s Conference, I have been wanting to return to the Central Coast and this trip presented the opportunity.  After meeting in Los Angeles and spending a relaxing evening in Marina del Rey, we headed up the coast.  Our first stop was at…

041

Viticulture: Organic? Sustainable?

By Catherine | On Feb 7, 2016 | 2 Comments

Lots of people are making the effort (and spending the money!) to consume more organic foods. But what about wine? Let’s take a look at the various farming techniques and philosophies that include organic, biodynamic, and sustainable viticulture. First, some definitions. Organic Viticulture This is defined as grapes grown in accordance with principles of organic farming which typically exclude the…

Blending

Bordeaux Style Blending at the Grand Bohemian

By Catherine | On Jan 24, 2016 | No Comments

The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Charleston holds red wine blending classes several times each week. Yesterday, on a blustery January Saturday, I attended a class, expertly led by Wine Director and Sommelier Scott Newman. The classes can accommodate up to 12 guests; ours was a group of 7, some locals and some visiting from other states. We were greeted with…

Color

Color Counts

By Catherine | On Nov 6, 2015 | 2 Comments

How many of you pay attention to the color of the wine in your glass?  Often, the first instinct is to smell the wine and then quickly move on to tasting.  But the color and appearance of the wine can tell us so much!  In terms of color, wine is described so simplistically – red, white, or rosé.  As we…

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Finger Lakes Finale

By Catherine | On Sep 14, 2015 | 1 Comment

Saturday was the last full day of the conference, another busy day of breakout sessions and tastings.  In addition to immersion in the local region’s wines, there are opportunities to attend seminars and receptions hosted by international producers.  A session entitled “The Spectrum of Dry Riesling” was presented by Wines of Alsace.  After three days of learning about and enjoying…

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Wine Blogger’s Conference 2015 – Opening Day

By Catherine | On Aug 29, 2015 | 3 Comments

The first full day of the conference opened with an inspiring keynote address from Karen MacNeil, wine expert and writer, who is most well known for her book The Wine Bible. This sentence captures Karen’s philosophy: “For Karen, wine is more than a beverage; it’s a communal passage into the business of living well.” Among the points she made that most…


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