A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Y. Rousseau, Antica, Failla

About this series: After years of loving (and semi-seriously studying) wine, I finally took my first trip to Napa and Sonoma this summer. It was a wonderful week of sunny days, cool nights, beautiful views, and beautiful wines. These are the impressions, discoveries, favorites, and surprises from my journey.
Read Part 1: Chateau Montelena, CADE, Pride
Read Part 2: Frog’s Leap, Heitz, Mumm Napa

Day 4 – Tuesday Aug 2

If Monday focused on well-known wineries in the middle of the action, Tuesday was the opposite. From a tiny boutique outfit tucked away in an office park south of downtown Napa to the little-known Atlas Peak outpost of a storied Italian wine family, this was definitely a day of discovery!

Continue reading “A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Y. Rousseau, Antica, Failla”

A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Frog’s Leap, Heitz & Mumm

About this series: After years of loving (and semi-seriously studying) wine, I finally took my first trip to Napa and Sonoma this summer. It was a wonderful week of sunny days, cool nights, beautiful views, and beautiful wines. These are the impressions, discoveries, favorites, and surprises from my journey.

Day 3 – Monday, Aug 1

We spent our first two days in Napa at wineries that were a little off the beaten path. I assumed the weekend crowds (which turned out not to be so large after all) would thin out on Monday and that we could safely venture into the heart of the valley, where wineries seem to dot every inch of the roads.

Continue reading “A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Frog’s Leap, Heitz & Mumm”

A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Part 1

About this series: After years of loving (and semi-seriously studying) wine, I finally took my first trip to Napa and Sonoma this summer. It was a wonderful week of sunny days, cool nights, beautiful views, and beautiful wines. These are the impressions, discoveries, favorites, and surprises from my journey.

Continue reading “A Florida Oenophile in California Wine Country: Part 1”

Missouri Wine Country holds secrets of America’s wine history

Independence Day is a great time to celebrate American wines. But I’m not going to talk about California or Washington or Oregon. No, I’m going to talk about … Missouri.

Believe it or not, the Show-Me State was America’s second largest wine producer in the 19th century, thanks to the know-how of German immigrants who settled near the town of Hermann.

Hermann Church
Echoes of Germany in Hermann, MO

Missouri provided much of the rootstock that saved Europe’s wine industry from the scourge of phylloxera in the mid 19th century. The state is also home to home to the country’s first federally-designated AVA (American Viticultural Area).

Prohibition and anti-German sentiment after the first World War decimated the state’s winemaking industry in the early 20th century, but it’s been making a comeback in recent decades.

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Canadian Wines for Victoria Day

Americans are heading into the Memorial Day weekend today (stay tuned for some holiday beach wine reviews), but Canadians celebrated their national holiday this past Monday.

Neither I nor my British husband had ever heard of Victoria Day. They don’t observe it in the U.K – I guess the Brits aren’t as excited as the Canadians about that particular monarch.

Canada lantern
Maple leaf lanterns festooned Orlando’s Victoria Day celebration

But that didn’t stop us from celebrating with Orlando’s Canadian community at a heck of a party organized by our friend Faiyaz Kara, food critic for the Orlando Weekly  … and proud Canadian.

The event – which benefited Orlando chef Kevin Fonzo‘s charitable foundation – pitted local chefs against each other to see who had the best take on Canada’s national specialty, poutine.

For the uninitiated (or un-Canadian), poutine is a dish comprised of french fries drenched in gravy, topped with cheese curds. The chefs at this event added meat and a whole lot more. This was not a low-fat affair.

But what excited me most – as you might imagine – was that the evening’s festivities also included a tasting of five Canadian wines, all from the Niagara region! We don’t get many Canadian wines this far south of the border, so this was a real treat. And no, they weren’t all icewines!

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Bodegas Valduero – Transcending Spanish Wine

Winemaker Carolina Garcia Viadero refers to the wines she creates for Bodegas Valduero in Spain’s Ribera del Duero region as “little pieces of art.” 

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Carolina Garcia Viadero with her Valduero 12 Anos

I don’t drink a lot of Spanish wines, but when I do, the ones from Ribera del Duero in northern Spain are often my favorites.

So I was thrilled to be invited to meet Viadero and sample some of her most prized masterpieces at a recent tasting for wine collectors and wine professionals in Orlando.

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Terlan pinot grigio: Proof that an open mind is key to enjoying wine

Before I get to the main topic of this post, I want to take a moment to rejoice with four (that I know of so far) friends from my blind tasting group here in Orlando who passed the Certified Sommelier exam in Tampa today! I’m so proud of them and of Orlando’s growing wine scene!

One of the things I love about wine is how often it surprises me – now that I’ve learned to let it.

A few weeks ago at my Tuesday night blind tasting at Swirlery Wine Bar in Orlando, we tried a lovely white wine, with apple and white flowers on the nose. The palate was expressive with peach, pear, and mineral notes, a round mouthfeel, and good, balanced acidity.

I liked this wine a lot.

Continue reading “Terlan pinot grigio: Proof that an open mind is key to enjoying wine”