Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
1. If the focus of the event is far from the wine, or pairings (and weddings really are) then don't over do it. Most people in attendance are not focused on the wine and just want something pleasant to drink.
- A dry riesling - This wine represented a local choice from the Pacific Northwest, and the chilled, crisp wine was a popular and approachable option. It also was bound to go with almost any of the banquet food (no beef) that people chose to eat. A safe and smart choice.
- A simple chardonnay - Many guests are going to feel comfortable with a chardonnay. This one had a touch of oak, but some nice fruit and was quite inexpensive to offer the guests as much as they would like.
- A soft fruity red blend - In general while mingling and eating a variety of appetizers, salads, and main dishes, heavy tannins and complex tertiary flavors are not welcome. A simple but delicious table wine will do the trick and keep your red wine drinkers happy.
Well that does it. If the selection is antagonizing or overwhelming to you as the planner it may very well have the same effect on your guests. So relax, go a little bit budget, and make the wine as fun as you hope the party will be.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
I am not artistic. I am not visually creative. I am not gifted when it comes to shapes, colors, fonts, nor obviously photography. But I do have great friends who have more talents than I. Today the long overdue redesign of The Vino File goes live, with a simpler, more modern, more individualized look and feel. A HUGE thank you goes to my lifelong friend Peter Walker for putting in the hours to make this happen.
For those of you who are reading this through a feed reader please for today click through and check out the changes. Let me know what you think, unless you do not like it and then I probably don't really want to know. And for those who have no idea what the blog used to look like, consider yourselves lucky.
Friday, July 16, 2010
L'Ecole No41 2008 Semillon Columbia Valley - This wine is 89% semillon and 11% sauvignon blanc, and offered a completely different profile of honeydew melon, pear, and an interesting minerality. All of this combined with a slightly oily viscocity and crisp acidity that made the wine stand out from many of the other whites being poured. This wine is an absolute outright bargain at $13, and was one of the wines that I have subsequently purchased for friends and family.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The story: Winemaker Tony Leonardini does not have a lot of time to mess with his wine. This allows the wines to develop their own character uninterrupted. Part of the reason Tony remains busy is because he serves as a volunteer firefighter for the city of St. Helena, smack dab in the middle of the Napa Valley. He started Little Lion Wine Company, and has put out cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, chardonnay and syrah from both Napa and Sonoma fruit, since the 2006 vintage. His largest production wine, the volunteer Cabernet Sauvignon, is named for his dedication to the fire department, and a reminder that it is sometimes more of a sacrifice to give an hour of one's time than it is to write a check, but can often be more meaningful and helpful.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Fielding Hills 2007 Cabernet Franc - With very small production from vineyards on the Wahluke Slope this little winery regularly garners rave reviews. This wine was very berried, with some blueberry shining through. The more earthy elements, including coffee were buried a little deep but came through on the finish, all in balance with some nice acidity. This bottle sells for $30 and you will have to call the winery to find out if they have any left. If they do not, don't worry - the 2008 vintage is going to be released in early Fall.
However, for my palette cab franc shines as the Bordelais discovered long before Washington was here, and that is as a magnificent blending grape. One of the highlight wines of all 300+ wines I tasted while in Washington was a cab franc predominant blend:
Andrew Will 2007 Ciel du Cheval - 45% cabernet franc, 40% merlot, and 15% cabernet sauvignon this beauty offers dark berry flavors, and some beautiful milk chocolate. In blending I think that the winemaker was able to make a gorgeously structured wine that displayed some aging potential but is absolutely delicious right now. This one has a bit of a following, and shows it in the $68 price tag, but certainly shows why a Right Bank styled blend may just be one of Washington's greatest opportunities.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
- I got a free education that has enabled me to go on to higher education and given me great choices in my career path
- I feel safe, and feel that my family is safe
- I am thankful that as my nieces and nephews are born into the worst economy in a generation this does not mean that they want for food, shelther, or health
- I have neighbors from every race, blue collar, white collar, gay and lesbian, and all ages and we all feel welcome
- I can write whatever I want to on here (with 1 or 2 exceptions) and the consequences are only the reactions of my peers
- If we don't like it we can vote on it
- The beauty of the land in this country rivals anywhere I have been in the world
These are things that instantly came to mind. For one day I sit back and celebrate America, and wish all of you a relaxing and safe 4th of July!! What are you thankful for today?
Friday, July 2, 2010
Collaborative - Wine bloggers are on each other's side, and while they are certainly up for a good hearted (and occasionally heated) argument, they tend to see each other as collective owners of their craft. If one blogger is doing something great it is good for all of us. This sets up a mood of open and willing collaboration. If I know something that you don't know, or have access to information that would enhance your site there seemed to be an unwritten code of wine blogger conduct to help and share. This collaborative spirit is currently being harnessed by Rick Bakas in an all out effort to make wine blogs better, more accurate, and more fun for people to read. I'm all for it.
Sincere - The wine bloggers had no reason to be anything but authentic. They spend their days putting their voice, their spin, their opinion out for the world to read and nearly across the board they were personable and sincere in their 'real' lives as well. I may be getting redundant but there was this strong sense of an openness to be 'who you were' and bring your view of the world to the table. This sincerity is exactly what I think makes the diversity of wine blogs so appealing to read and to interact with.