Competitive Wine Blending with Rodney Strong Vineyards

By Catherine | On Nov 28, 2017 | No Comments

Having attended a wine blending class in Charleston in January 2016, I was eager to try my hand, again. On the first official day of the Wine Bloggers Conference, Hilary and I joined the Rodney Strong team for a Meritage blending class. Meritage can be a red or white wine, crafted solely from two or more specific Bordeaux grape varietals….

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…

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…

Urban Wineries on Treasure Island

By Catherine | On Apr 20, 2015 | No Comments

During my travels on the West Coast last month, I was introduced to Treasure Island and the growing collective of urban wineries that have made the island home.  The site of a former U.S. Naval Base, Treasure Island is a man-made isle set between San Francisco and Oakland, accessible from the Bay Bridge.  The first winery began operations in 2007…

Mira Winery’s Aqua Aging Experiments Continue

By Catherine | On Dec 1, 2014 | 1 Comment

In February of 2013, I posted an article about Mira Winery and its experiment with aging wine in the ocean–which happened to be right here in Charleston Harbor.  Those first cases of Cabernet Sauvignon were retrieved in May 2013 with excellent results.  The wine tasted like it was two years into the aging process, not a mere three months.  A…

Paso Robles Day One

By Catherine | On Jul 11, 2014 | No Comments

The 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference kicked off July 9 with a pre-conference excursion to Paso Robles, an area I have never had the opportunity to visit. The rolling countryside is absolutely beautiful, planted with vineyards and other crops. Our first stop was a seated seminar hosted by Niner Wine Estates and included Castoro Cellars, Hug Cellars, Giornata Wines, Eberle Winery,…

May Musings

By Catherine | On Jun 3, 2013 | 1 Comment

May has been a tasty month.  A friend, who also has a May birthday, and I celebrated our special days at McCrady’s.  Once again, the four course chef’s tasting menu did not disappoint!  Lee was in the mood for Merlot and we couldn’t resist ordering the Velvet Devil.  The Velvet Devil is made by  Charles Smith, an interesting character who…

Aqua Aging?

By Catherine | On Feb 28, 2013 | No Comments

An unusual experiment is taking place right here in Charleston Harbor.  Mira Winery of Napa Valley, CA, submerged four cases of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon to test the effects of “ocean aging.”  The bottles were treated with additional wax seals and placed in specially designed steel mesh cages that allow the water to circulate around the bottles. The wines are in…


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