Natural Wine

By Catherine | On Oct 1, 2017 | No Comments

One of my favorite new wine shops/wine bars in the Los Angeles area is Stanley’s Wet Goods in Culver City.  Last week, I attended a class on the topic of Natural Wine. There is much disagreement about what constitutes “natural ” wine, but in general, the following characteristics apply: – Grapes grown using sustainable, organic, or biodynamic techniques (see my…

The Cube Project

By Catherine | On Jul 30, 2017 | No Comments

The Cube Project was conceived in 2010 by winemaker Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie Vineyards in Carlton, Oregon, Andrew Brooks of Bouchaine in Napa’s Carneros region, and Leslie Mead Renaud from Lincourt Vineyards in Solvang, California. Each participant chose a single block of Pommard Pinot Noir (Pommard was chosen in order to help control variables between the sites) and sent the…

Oregon Weather and Vintages – It’s Complicated

By Catherine | On Jul 19, 2015 | No Comments

Because of my passion for Oregon Pinot Noir and many friends in that region, I keep an eye on the weather.  During summer visits in 2012 and 2014, I experienced heat waves with temperatures that I didn’t think were common in the Northwest. Oregon averages about a dozen days of 90° or higher per year.  However, the past three years…

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…

Sass Winery

By Catherine | On Aug 1, 2014 | No Comments

I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Sass, owner and winemaker for Sass Winery, about two years ago here in Charleston at a wine pairing dinner. When plans for my trip West were firming up, I emailed Jerry and asked it if would be possible to stop by, as he isn’t open to the public and I wanted to be…

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…

Back to Willamette

By Catherine | On Aug 26, 2012 | No Comments

On Sunday, I packed up and headed south, back to Willamette Valley.  I checked into Ken Wright’s Winery Lofts, feeling like I had “come home.”  Carlton’s Walk in the Park was in progress, so I caught the trolley to the park.  It is an annual festival to benefit local charities and includes wineries, food, art, and music.  The wineries included…

Day Three – Field Trip to WillaKenzie Estates

By Catherine | On Aug 20, 2012 | 2 Comments

Friday got off to a fast start with an Argentine Food and Wine pairing brunch at 10:00 a.m. I wasn’t hungry and I wasn’t ready to drink, but neither of those factors were relevant. My favorite pairing was a Beef Empanada with Raisin Balsamic, Kalamata Olives, and Red Pepper Puree with Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Malbec 2009. The spice and…

Recent Vintages for Oregon Pinot Noir

By Catherine | On Feb 25, 2012 | No Comments

A friend and I made a return visit to McCrady’s for dinner last night and it was another extraordinary, well paced feast for the eyes and palate.  Pictured is the fish course I chose, lupina, with fresh sorrel sauce, fingerling potatoes, and sun chokes.  I took a bottle of Ken Wright 2008 Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir to drink with dinner.  Like Ken’s Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot that was enjoyed with family…

An Excellent Oregon Pinot at a Bargain Price

By Catherine | On Dec 10, 2011 | No Comments

Hello, everyone.  I hope you are all well and enjoying the pre-holiday doings.  Let’s go back to Pinot Noir, specifically Ken Wright’s fabulous 2009 blend.  I have been busy sharing this delightful wine with friends and everyone loves it.  Ken created this blend for the first time in 2009 for the purpose of being able to offer one of his…

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