Lodi Grapes

Loving Lodi

By Catherine | On Aug 21, 2016 | 1 Comment

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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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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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…

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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…

wine glasses

How to Enjoy Wine 101

By Catherine | On Jan 24, 2015 | No Comments

It is easy to make the enjoyment of wine overcomplicated.  Remember, to a large extent, personal preference matters the most.  Following are some basic recommendations that can enhance your experience: Temperature:  Because most people don’t have the luxury of a temperature controlled wine cellar, white wines are typically served too cold and red wines too warm.  White wines almost always…

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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,…

Francine 2

Certified Specialist of Wine

By Catherine | On May 29, 2014 | 1 Comment

Francine Lubera of Baltimore, Maryland, recently earned her title of Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), an internationally recognized certification denoting a high level of wine knowledge and expertise. The Society of Wine Educators, a non-profit organization, founded in 1977, authorizes the certification, publishes the materials, and administrates the testing. Francine had been interested in wine for years and became the…


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