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…

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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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Finger Lakes Day Two and Its Viticulture

By Catherine | On Aug 24, 2015 | 1 Comment

This is a complex subject to condense down to a blog post.  Nevertheless, let’s give it a try. Regardless of the growing region, there are hybrid grapes and Vitis vinifera. Hybrids are crosses between two grape, or vitis, species and Vitis vinifera are crosses between the same grape species. The Concord and Niagara are examples of well known hybrid grapes…

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Introduction to the Finger Lakes

By Catherine | On Aug 19, 2015 | No Comments

The 2015 Wine Blogger’s Conference began on Wednesday, August 12, with a pre-conference excursion. But first, a little geography lesson: About two million years ago, the first of a series of glacial flows began advancing and retreating across what is now New York State. The ice gouged out the land, creating deep trenches and steep inclines. Because of the changes…

Vini Culture

Dining in Maryland, Wining in Virginia

By Catherine | On Jun 28, 2015 | No Comments

Last week, I spent several delightful days with my daughter in Maryland.  As always, it involved lots of good food and wine!  Of note was our visit to a wonderful wine bar in Frederick called Vini Culture.  They feature three enomatic systems (also known as “cruvinets”) that dispense more than two dozen wines.  Customers load money onto a card and…

Bliss

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…

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Charleston Wine and Food Festival 2015

By Catherine | On Mar 22, 2015 | No Comments

This year I returned to the Passport to Pairings event that I found so enjoyable in 2014.  It was at the Thomas Bennett House, again, and – can you believe it – almost identical weather with overcast skies and a high temperature in the 40’s.  Not normal for early spring in Charleston!  The format was different this year in that…

Basil Panna Cotta

Wonderful Winderlea!

By Catherine | On Aug 6, 2014 | No Comments

The centerpiece of Friday’s agenda was a summer wine pairing luncheon at one of my favorite Oregon wineries, Winderlea, that is in the heart of the Dundee area.  On the way out of Salem, we stopped at St. Innocent, a winery I have never visited that came highly recommended.  We enjoyed one of the wine flights offered and I particularly…

Hilliard Bruce Winery

Wine Bloggers Conference 2014 Begins!

By Catherine | On Jul 16, 2014 | No Comments

Some of my friends and I chose to skip the opening reception Wednesday night and instead had dinner at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos.  It is a charming restaurant housed in a building that used to be a stage coach stop dating to 1886. We shared a variety of dishes including grilled avacado, beet and peach salad, grilled wild salmon,…

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