Mumm Napa Wine Blogger Brunch

February 28, 2012

Bubbly is a beautiful thing. Sparkling wine has always been considered a wine of celebration; its intriguing bubbles rising up to toss forth a froth of scented effervescence, enlivening spirits at any accompanying event. For me however, bubbly, bubbly, and more bubbly is the way that I prefer to shimmy through life. My lady Elizabeth Fontaine, the beguiling star behind the brightness of my life, would only agree, with a most sensible of nods. Bubbles are her vinous companion, and at times, her artistic muse. We go through stretches where there is a bottle of bubbly to accompany each day…the other nice thing about sparkling wine is its low percent alcohol. ­čśë

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#Navarra5 Day 2: Lost in Iru├▒a, Mal├│n de Echaide, & Bodegas Finca Albret

January 11, 2012

Our second full day in Kingdom of Navarra (Twitter, Facebook) (day 3 if you’re counting our travel day) started off a bit scary, due to the usual amount of stupidity that I tend to afford myself. As you’ve probably noticed from my previous post about Day 1 in Navarra, I love to go on a run in the cities that I visit around the world. I feel that it is one of the best ways to get to know a new foreign land and its people. Like an idiot always, I only carried my hotel keycard and a bit of cash in case I got into trouble and needed a taxi. I then headed out way before dawn at about 5:50am to streets unknown. Oh, and did I neglect to mention that I have absolutely no sense of direction?…I’m a total Marcus Brody. An hour later, my 20 minute jog has clearly turned into the definition of a lost tourist, replete with Spanglish as my only tool to communicate…no phone to call for a taxi, nor to even let my #Navarra5-mates know why I wouldn’t be in the lobby at 7:45am!

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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 ├╝ber-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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#Navarra5 Day 1: D.O.ing Navarra, Inurrieta & Ochoa

October 9, 2011

The #Navarra5 team hit the ground running (not yet drinking) at the start of our first full day in the great Kingdom of Navarra (Twitter, Facebook) with our trusty guide and F1 driver Michael “Miguel” Mantilla (ARGOS Wine Consulting/Kraynick & Associates, Inc.). Technically I ran the day before, through parts of the glorious and small city of Pamplona, capital of Navarra/Navarre and the setting of many a famous scene in the writings of their adopted son, Ernest Hemingway. I ran past some of his favorite haunts during that afternoon jog, past the tolling bells of the Church of San Lorenzo, and through the ruins of the Citadel. One of my favorite ways to get to know a new city, neighborhood or surrounding land is to take a run through it’s fresh splendor.

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Back across the pond: Navarra, here I COME

September 15, 2011

It is with no small excitement that I am able to announce a new trip to vino heaven, once again this year. Navarra, Spain is both an autonomous region (Navarre) as well as an ancient wine region, whose wine roots date back up to 1,200 years. It was once a great and proud kingdom and sits between what is now the Spanish wine appellation of Rioja and the French wine appellation of Bordeaux. Consequently, it has grows an awesome mix of grape varieties from both regions that have been approved by the Navarra Denominaci├│n de Origen (DO): Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia, Moscatel, Viura, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. It also has a long history as an approved DO (the Spanish equivalent of a wine AVA or appellation that has strict, government-regulated quality control and approved grape growing and winemaking methods), celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2008. And it is to Navarra that I have the great fortune to fly, this coming Saturday!

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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 JeffersonÔÇÖs 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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5 Questions with Aron Ezra of MacroView Labs

July 19, 2011

MacroView LabsThere are many a wine app for iOS and (growing) on Android. Wine+Tech w├╝nderkinds VinTank, have done extensive research on iOS apps (iPhone) over the last few years with the most recent count at 450+, as of 04/14/2011. Indeed, my own content is distributed on two mobile apps, Hello Vino and Wine by the Bar. With that many apps out there for a very specific genre, you can imagine that there is a lot of noise and a lot of well, mediocre (at best) apps for wine. So, it is a refreshingly rare circumstance when one comes across an app that kicks some serious vinous booty. And the new app (iPhone, Android) from Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery (Twitter, WineLog) by MacroView Labs (Twitter) gets my vote for kickin’ that booty.

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TasteLive! – Grillin’ Some Chard(onnay)

July 11, 2011

TasteLive!Backyards and BBQ’s are known as tha bomb during the summer. Indeed, there should some sort of official right of passage, whereby one has enjoyed a tasty, home-hosted BBQ by the time one comes of age. And it becomes that much better when paired with wine. Trust me. I mean, microbrews and certain import beers are cool and all, but BBQ beef with a great Rhone or Syrah and BBQ chicken (beer battered!) with a tasty Chardonnay pretty much makes my day…or my week, even.

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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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