Hall Wines Cabernet Cookoff tastes great, gives help

August 22, 2015

11855799_868280449915926_2336774847356483997_nWe’re a little late on our coverage of this fine event, but we did want to send out hearty Vinopanion props to Hall Wines (WL, FB, Tw, IG, YT) and their highly enjoyable 6th Annual Cabernet Cookoff charity #foodie and #wine event this past April. Fifteen Napa Valley and San Francisco based chef teams competed to see which one could most favorably pair their small bite with the 2012 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvigon and the 2012 Hall Napa County Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon red wines.  To whet the almost 700 attendees’ palates, the festivities were kicked off with a glass of the delicious 2012 Hall Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  On this particularly hot April day, the SB was quite a treat, with its juicy citrus acidity, rounded out with some tropical fruit and floral notes, and finishing with some zingy minerality.  Following the SB intro, the Lady and I headed into the array of tents to taste through the many culinary delights on prep.

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#Napa: Here comes the rain again (finally)

February 26, 2014

Jerry Brown, Governor of CA, declares a drought - Governor of the State of CAWhile not everyone pays attention to the crazy going-on’s on the Left Coast in California, you might have heard about the quickly accelerating and unprecedented drought that is beginning to devastate its traditional agricultural backbone.  Contained within that agricultural spine are vineyards and winegrowing, of course.  It is here that we get to the crux of why I felt it was so important to share the weather going-ons here in the NorCal: the weather, this third winter in a row, is beginning to severely impact our precious wine grape vineyards here in wine country.

More news after the jump!

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Le Wine Buff Teaches Wine Finance

November 7, 2011

My super fine readers would have to be asleep not to know about my longtime wine project as Le Wine Buff (WineLog) for Enjoy Bordeaux (Twitter, WineLog). Well, recently I sat down to lunch with reporter Ryan Flinn alongside my fellow ‘Buff Rebecca Chapa (Twitter, Facebook) and we discussed our efforts to get the word out about the quantity of affodable, high quality Bordeaux wine. Lo and behold, Ryan Flinn put together a great article discussing just how relevant affordable, high quality Bordeaux wines within the context of the sky-rocketing prices of über-premium wines due to the rise of fine wine culture in China. The article has already been picked up by Bloomberg, BusinessWeek and SFGate, so check it out at any of the prior links. Cheers!

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In Pursuit of Balance: Pinot in the Spotlight

March 24, 2011

Pinot Noir grapes at Chehalem Ridgecrest Vineyard, Newberg, OregonFollowing on the heels of my panel workshop at the very successful 9th Pinot Noir Summit this past month, I’m involved in another new, rather exciting Pinot adventure this month. California Pinot Noir: In Pursuit of Balance (Twitter) is a revolutionary new partnership intending generate dialog about balance in Cali Pinot. The partnership was founded by Jasmine Hirsch (Twitter) of Hirsch Vineyards and Winery (Twitter) and Rajat Par, longtime wine director for the Michael Mina family of restaurants including his own Rn74 (Twitter). As a well-respected family winegrower and an international restaurant wine director respectively, they are knee deep in the world of Pinot each and everyday. It is through this dedication to a single varietal that they realized a conundrum: is California Pinot becoming too big and unwieldy?

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5 Questions with Three Thieves

February 24, 2011

Three ThievesIt’s not every day that we as wine lovers get to stumble upon a truly good show about wine. I’m not talking about something that involves some guy dressed in tails and swishing aged, thin wine in his mouth and spitting…no, I’m talking about three renegades digging deep around the world to find new wines to grow, to sell and to chug by the bottle: Three Thieves (Twitter) aren’t here to mess around.

Already known around the wine biz as the triumvirate to buck any stodgy trend with their affordable and tasty jug wine, Bandit Tetra Pak wines for that on the go tipple among many other fun and innovative wine brands, the guys have fully branched out with their first tv gig, Three Thieves now on The Cooking Channel. I managed to hunt down thief Charles Bieler (Twitter) to chat about his Cooking Channel adventures with his fellow vino amigos, Joel Gott (Twitter, WineLog) and Roger Scommegna.

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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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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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WineLog and Ward on Wine Biz Radio!

May 21, 2010

Wine Biz RadioThis afternoon, deep within the bowels of biotech in my secret hidden laboratory, I will Skype in and delight the fine listeners of Wine Biz Radio in the Sonoma Valley with tales about wine exploits with my fellow Vinopanions! From 4-5pm PST, you can catch “this episode…” on KVSY-FM 91.3. Herein, we chat about the harrowing exploits of the Napa River Terroir Project, Le Wine Buff‘s, Bordeaux and it’s attack by surprisingly lazy wine writing, Brixr and their Tiny Bottles and of course, WineLog (Twitter, Twitter2)!

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Le Wine Buff Returns

May 2, 2010

Le Wine Buff - Enjoy BordeauxMany of you delightful readers may remember a very cool pilot project that I worked on late last year called Le Wine Buff, part of Enjoy Bordeaux (Twitter, Facebook). Sponsored by the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB), it was an innovative re-introduction of affordable Bordeaux wine to the American public. As one of the six original “Le Wine Buff’s”, I helped spread the word about the great value and QPR that can be found in red, white and dessert Bordeaux wines at all price points below $25 via email, FAQ and live video chat. The program took a winter break to expand and get even better and we’re now ready to relaunch our BDX mission!

Look for an expanded schedule of live video chat from our team of six ‘Buffs. I’ll be starting off the new program 05/03/10 with my time slot every Monday night, 7-10pm PST. If you need a refresher, check out this great Preview of previous footage by Le Wine Buff Mollie. Simply sign up and become a member to participate in any of our video chat sessions. You can follow the Twitter feed of with the hash tag #LeWineBuff.

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Brixr + TinyBottles + Me = Tasting Video Fun!

February 28, 2010

BrixrWhat is the single biggest problem about wine clubs for both the wine producer/wine store and the consumer who receives the wine? The wine itself! The wine producer or wine store owner usually has to send out new wine releases blind to their wine club members and the members just have to hope that they like the wine that they receive, even though it might be very unfamiliar to them as an average wine club member. What does all of this mean? A lot of wine bottles that are sent out are not the style of wine that a member enjoys. This results in frustration, wasted money and sometimes even the cancellation of their membership. Now there is a solution, one that actually solves the REAL problem that plagues wine clubs…and it’s called Brixr!

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