Underground Cellar: new #wine marketplace, win a #winecation!

April 16, 2014

As mentioned previously on these vinous epages, the Lady and I have happily ensconced ourselves back in the wine country of our roots.  Our move to #NapaMode has been just about as cool as anyone might ever dream…yes, living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, point zero for #wine & #foodie heaven definitely has its benefits, I won’t blathe.  One thing that we’ve come to learn in this fine place is that you can’t get anything DONE during the weekends, however!  Apparently, when one is surrounded by beautiful land to traverse by bike, foot, or DeLorean; wine to sip and food to savor, you just kinda want to do that every day that you’re not in the grind.  Huh…who’da thunk? 😉

That said…what if you were here on a vacation…that’s free…and filled with free food & wine activities? Why, a #winecation is just the antidote for getting your guilt-free glutton-on! The new wine marketplace Underground Cellar (FB, Tw) has you covered!

More details after the leap!

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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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Tasty Beauty: Jordan Estate Tour & Tasting

December 1, 2013

Wine country, almost by definition; is a gorgeous, relaxing, and delicious set of regions to visit.  But how does one choose which region to visit and which wineries to whet one’s vinous whistle?  Sometimes you just want a gorgeous setting, with wine that is at least, enjoyable.  Other times you might just want the best wine that fits your palate, surroundings be damned.  And sometimes you want to go beyond just the wine and have it paired with tasty bites of foodie porn.  Fortunately, you now have at least one destination that takes all of these experiences and wraps them into one 3 hour, vino/foodie heavenly wine timeout from reality: the newly launched Jordan Vineyard & Winery (FB, Tw, YT, Fl, P, WL) “Estate Tour & Tasting.”

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Pisco.

April 19, 2012

Yes, that there in the title is the name of a spirit…a SPIRIT!? You ask such a question since I’ve never written about any spirits in the long history of Vinopanion, except for the occasional mention of Bourbon, after the previously enjoyed wine and Port, ahem, or something. Yet, I am finally throwing down the spirit gauntlet (goblet?), and am excited to talk about the Peruvian grape-distilled spirit known as Pisco. Yet, discussing the fine premium aspects of true Pisco does not put a slash across my wine-writing obsession, it merely adds to the annals of my vinous discovery. For what is Pisco distilled from? Come now…you must have guessed it by now: grapes! Pisco is the national grape brandy of Peru and as such, is as highly regulated for quality and style as the finest and more widely known grape-distilled spirits found across the fine continent of Europe.

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#MFITV: 2011 Harvest Thoughts & the Quiet Winery

December 31, 2011

The 2011 Harvest is done. It has actually been done for the Northern California wine industry for a few weeks, but I needed those weeks to digest all that I have experienced (and re-acclimate to my previous life), before I was ready to write this final post for Man Falls in the Vines#MFITV. Harvest is such a compressed, intense experience. It has proven to be hard for me to sum up in a somewhat, year-end post. Despite such difficulties, I was able to complete my harvest insider feature article for the January edition of Mutineer Magazine, as well as their brand new Mutineer Magazine Beverage Trade Edition, also debuting in January. All of this experience, hard work, and camaraderie demand applause and to be forever thanked for, however. And after the jump, you will see all of the new (and one old) vinopanions that I made during those six weeks in Stags Leap, Napa at Chimney Rock Winery (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog).

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Jet Bag Defeats AA at WBC11

August 3, 2011

I do a lot of traveling for wine. Just the last 6 months has seen me pop up in New York twice and Charlottesville once. Strangely enough, this means that I tend to accumulate a fair amount of wine during my travels (I know, cue the weeping and lamentations). This does tend to present a Conundrum, however. When one needs to fly these days, it tends to be very difficult to hide 750 mL of glass-encased liquid.

OK, but that’s fine, right? I’ll just check my baggage with the bottle of red stashed inside…surrounded by all of my favorite clothes because I just went to NYC for the first time. Hmm…not a recipe for success, especially as I watched the suplex being applied to my suitcase out on the tarmac. Cue: the Jet Bag.

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WBC11 Hits Virginia with Le Wine Buffs in Tow

July 21, 2011

2011 North American Wine Bloggers' ConferenceAt this point, my regular readers should know quite well about my participation in the cra cra known as the North American Wine Bloggers’ Conferences (Twitter, WineLog). We’re coming up on the 4th in this great series, after the huge success in 2008, 2009 and 2010. This year we’re invading Charlottesville, Virginia for our very first time plundering the wine life on the right coast (and East Coast wine bloggers rejoice). The state of Virginia has been exceptionally supportive and I’m looking forward to learning a ton about 5th largest wine producing state in the Union. Between the Keynote from Jancis Robinson (Twitter), the Virginia Wine (Twitter) Reception at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for dinner on Friday, another Keynote from Eric Asimov (Twitter) and the annual Vineyard walks in the local wine country, #WBC11 looks to be just as stunning a time as years’ past.

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Newton Vineyard: A Mountain’s Secret Garden

July 5, 2011

Newton VineyardI have the great fortune of being invited to a number of wine events each year. All of these events have their merits and many are very cool. It is the more rare event that completely rocks my vinous world, however. The annual Garden Party at Newton Vineyard (Facebook, WineLog), 600 feet above St. Helena on Spring Mountain was one of those rare events. Standing atop the mountain, with a 360 degree view of at least 65% of the entire Valley, with some glorious weather to complement the elegantly balanced Newton wines, paired with nibbles from étoile and the Lady by your side, it’s a bit hard to *not* have a brilliant time. I decided to suck it up and a have a great time (tongue comfortably in cheek).

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5 Questions with Gavin Chanin of Chanin Wine Co.

June 24, 2011

Chanin Wine CompanyI had quite a great time while moderating and tasting my way through the very cool California Pinot Noir: In Pursuit of Balance (Twitter) event, back in late March. It was there during the trade tasting at Rn74 (Twitter) that I had the great pleasure of trying two Pinots from a young winemaker by the name of Gavin Chanin, winemaker and proprietor of his relatively new, Chanin Wine Company (Twitter, WineLog). After getting to know a bit about Chanin while at the event, I resolved to find out more about this fresh winemaking personality and his myriad of fine vineyard connections and non-wine, artistic leanings.

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TasteLive!: Pinot Noir & The Influence of AVA

June 21, 2011

TasteLive!Some of my favorite wine events don’t actually exist. Well, that’s not quite right…they don’t actually exist, physically. Some of the most interesting and educational tastings that occur each month take place virtually, over on the rather snazzy TasteLive! (Twitter, WineLog) Twitter-based tasting platform. Just in the last month they’ve had a phenomenal tasting of affordable Bordeaux hosted by Planet Bordeaux (Twitter, WineLog) and an even more comprehensive tasting of Spanish wines from Navarra, hosted by Wines of Navarra (Twitter, WineLog). Join us tonight 6-7pm PST, as we taste through three Pinot Noir for “Pinot Noir & The Influence of AVA.”

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