P.S. I Love You kicks it Dark & Delicious

February 9, 2011

P.S. I Love You: Dark & DeliciousYou can walk up to any wine-o-phile and ask them about the wines that they love the most and they’ll probably toss out some famous name from Napa, Sonoma, Bordeaux, Burgundy or what have you. But if you were to pour them another glass, compliment their good looks and expound upon their precise palate, you might just find that they’ll open up a bit more and tell you about their “pet wines:” wines that they seek out and which light their face up whenever they successfully discover a new one. One of my pet wines are none other than the true Pet, ie. Petite Sirah. While a professed fan of cool climate, balanced wine I can’t help but fall over my feet (before AND after) whenever I spot a Petite Sirah within close proximity of my glass hand. It is with this in mind that I’m foaming at the mouth at the return of PS I Love You‘s Dark & Delicious annual Petite Sirah fest at Rock Wall Wine Company, Alameda CA on 02/18/11.

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A Grahm of the Bonny Doon

January 21, 2011

Bonny Doon VineyardEarlier this month, the smashingly charismatic founder and leader of Bonny Doon Vineyard (Twitter) wrote an article that got me thinking…again. Randall Grahm (Twitter) is as much a household name as can be found in the wine biz, as the founder, longtime winemaker and quixotic leader of the alternating huge and boutique Bonny Doon winemaking endeavors over the decades. Part devoted vigneron, part Biodynamic cheerleader, part shaman and part brilliantly funny and educational writer…it is difficult to try and put Grahm in a box. Indeed, if you were to try, he’d probably try and find the best, most neglected grape variety in which to grow in that shaded box. One thing that cannot be said about Grahm is that he isn’t willing to risk everything in order to find the best place to grow the best grapes.

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The Broke Wino Looks at Value Bordeaux

January 10, 2011

A new vinopanion of mine, Sam Klingberg, has been making waves in the vino writing webernets over the last year or so with his wine blog, The Broke Wino. Sam contacted me recently to gather my thoughts on affordable Bordeaux wine. As one of Le Wine Buff for Enjoy Bordeaux for the CIVB, I have been involved in a lot of great Bordeaux-centric wine activities over the last 1+ years, including a truly spectacular trip to Bordeaux this past summer.

The dichotomy between the high prices of First and Second Growth chateaux and the remaining thousands of much more affordable, yet still high quality wine producers and chateaux is a hot topic. With the declaration of “vintages of the century” at least 3 times this decade alone combined with the increasing Asian markets, the prices of the high end Bordeaux have skyrocketed. Happily however, quality has also taken a great leap forward, all across the board.

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VinTank Deals Wines from the Vines

December 23, 2010

Deals from the Vines - Facebook Group - VinTankCrazy-smart wine biz innovators VinTank (Twitter), have successfully launched a new route on the Direct To Consumer (DTC) superhighway with their Deals from the Vines Facebook Group (DFTV). A relatively new feature on Facebook, closed Groups are an elegant yet simply powerful new component of the social media behemoth. VinTank has seized upon this new feature to form their version of the popular flash sales site phenomena that has taken over the interwebs during this Great Recession. While many of these sites have proven to be quite the boon to the budget-conscious wine consumer, they are not always so profit-friendly to the wineries, chateaux, Bodegas and Quintas that have participated in the various sales. VinTank’s DFTV has already effectively smacked that paradigm with vigor, creating a sweet win-win for wino’s and wineries, alike.

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The Mutineer Magazine Holiday Comedy Festival

December 7, 2010

The Mutineer Magazine Holiday Comedy FestivalThose loco wit’ the cake kids at Mutineer Magazine (Twitter) have rounded up some holiday misfits and done it again: set the stage for yet another massive blowout of fine beverage festivities! Ever resourceful in the comedy department (witness Editor & Loco Alan Kropf’s (Twitter) brilliant 2010 American Wine Blog Awards presentation (sort of) alongside compat Ben Morrison (Twitter)) The Mutinous crew has assembled an A-List of comedians to entertain your mind as your palates and gullets are treated to a regular bevy of fine beverages.

The tasty drinks provided in quantities surely above any 2 drink minimum, will be courtesy of Don Roberto Tequila and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards (Twitter, WineLog), the awesome location for this event. I had the pleasure of visiting Jacuzzi and tasting their well-made Italian varietals back in 2008 on the Pops & Son 4th Wine Trip. Good stuff and a beautiful Carneros AVA estate. The lineup of guests include Jonathan Goldsmith, Natasha Leggero, Bryan Callen, Ben Morrison (of course), Daryl Wright, Greg Wilson and Ben Gleib.

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Jordan Winery: A 2010 Harvest Estate Stay

October 27, 2010

DSC06300Two weekends back, the Lady and I had the very fortunate experience of a tour, a tasting and an overnight stay at the breath-snatching estate of Jordan Vineyard & Winery (Twitter, WineLog) in Alexander Valley. Blessed with a perfect harvest weekend of weather, we we able to visit courtesy of Communications Director (and photographer/videographer extraordinaire) Lisa Mattson. After dropping off the Pug with the parents in Napa, we headed across the valleys in the brilliant morning sunshine. The weather really was tremendous that weekend, sunny, a few puffy clouds and about 80 degrees at its peak. I really had no idea what to expect for the next couple of days however, since the Jordan site didn’t really have a whole lot of information about the four suites or homes that were available for overnight visits.

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Clos LaChance, the PGA & Original Wine

October 13, 2010

Frys.com Open - PGA TourYes, yes, yes…I *know*! It’s been some time since my last post. Well, that’s just what going on vacay for 2+ weeks to Carmel Valley, Spain and Portugal will do to you. Actually, I take that back. It’s what going back to work AFTER that vacay, that will get ya! Anyhow, I’m back and ready to reengage my fellow vinopanions and boy do I have two cool pieces of vino news to disseminate!

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Wild Horse Dinner with Winemaker Clay Brock

August 30, 2010

WIld Horse Winery & VineyardsI’ve been a fan of the good value found in third label wines of Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards for some time now. Their baseline Wild Horse line of wines are always a good bet for high QPR every vintage, particularly the widely available Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. I had yet to ever try their two high end labels however, so when I was invited to have dinner with their Director of Winemaking and taste through their top wines at the tasty Local Kitchen in San Francisco, I jumped on BART and headed over.

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Guest Post: 4 Must-Have Wine Accessories

August 16, 2010

Wine Accessories

I’m debuting a new series of guest articles on Vinopanion today, starting with this fine wine accessory intro article by Zsa Zsa Bacaling of Grotto Cellars. These free guest posts will provide a bit of a fresh voice every now and then for you devoted readers who, like my family, get tired of hearing me blather on and on about my vino obsession. This first article by Zsa Zsa delivers some great advice for the newbie wine fanatic, something that I have somewhat neglected over the ~3 years of my Vinopanion writings. Cheers!

Let the right accessories add to your wine appreciation experience

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Hello Vino & @drXeNo!

May 25, 2010

Hello Vino iPhone AppFollowing a dizzying string of new partnerships between WineLog, myself and other fine and fun wine partners, we are now part of a very cool and useful iPhone app that has been newly relaunched. Hello Vino takes the hard part out of picking a wine while on the go to whole ‘nother level. Choose a pairing based on the food on the menu in front of you, choose the food for the glass you just ordered at the wine bar or just search for a distinct wine style or producer…all taken care of very quickly. It’s also all dialed in to your favorite social networks (their on Twitter themselves) so that you can brag to educate all of your friends about your synergistic food and wine choice. If you pairing is a match made in digestive heaven, you can even buy the wine straight from your iPhone.

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