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Showing posts from April, 2013

Wine of the Week - McKinley Springs 2010 Viognier

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McKinley Springs makes wine from their 2000 acre estate vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. They make wine in a style I appreciate and price their wines competitively. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I continue to be impressed by McKinley Springs wines. My first exposure to McKinley Springs was February 2012 after a recommendation by a gentleman I met at a local winery; it pays to visit with your fellow wine tasters. Thank you friend.

R. Stuart & Co. Twitter Tasting - Bloggers Blend

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Tonight at 5:00 pm PST - a group of fellow wine bloggers and I will be opening our custom blended bottles of Oregon Pinot Noir. We'll be tweeting our tasting experiences using #bloggersblend - you can already find conversations starting.

We created our custom Pinot Noir blends last year at R. Stuart & Co. winery in McMinville, Oregon after the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference.

*For a good read on our wine tasting and blending experience at R.Stuart & Co., read the article by the Wandering Wino: R. Stuart Bloggers Blend Pinot Noir.

Event Review: RESERVE

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Guest post by Juli Crompe.



Woodinville is home to almost 100 wineries, and one of the biggest weekends of the year to highlight them is Passport to Woodinville, happening this weekend (April 20-21st, 2013).
This year, they started a new tradition, a kickoff event to Passport of sorts, called RESERVE.











RESERVE was held at Columbia Winery and highlighted all 90+ point rated wines and limited bottlings. The list of wines available at this event was quite impressive, and I definitely found some new gems!



Review: Two Mountain Winery 2011 Chardonnay

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This Washington Chardonnay delivers the goods.

Today it's raining and the wind is threatening the Columbia Valley. That's okay with me, I know that sunny skies and warmer weather are just days away. Which means it's almost grilling season. Today I'm dreaming of grilling up some brawts and enjoying another bottle of Two Mountain Chardonnay. Yes, this white wine is for grilling.

Two Mountain Winery is located in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA, one of many wineries in the area. My last visit to Two Mountain Winery was in 2007, when I attended Two Mountain Vineyards “Vineyard Management” class taught by Matt Rawn. They are producing some kick-ass wines. I must get back and visit again.

Wine of the Week: 2012 Rosé by Charles & Charles

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I crave savory food, especially Asian food, almost as much as I crave wine. This weeks wine of the week is the Charles & Charles Rosé 2012 a good mate to my home prepared Asian inspired meal.

This wine is a collaboration between Charles Bieler and Charles Smith. Eschewing the aesthetic of the well-known Charles Smith black and white label design, they have opted for a broad swipe of pink stripes on this label, creating an eye catching, difficult to ignore bottle of wine. A bottle you and your friends will not be able to resist.

Review: McKinley Springs 2009 Horsepower Proprietary Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills

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Horsepower Proprietary Red Blend - A great match to roasted leg of lamb.

My previous post I shared my recipe for Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb. The wine I paired with the lamb was the newly released McKinley Springs 2009 Horsepower Proprietary Red Blend. It was a very good pairing.

Wine and food pairing can be tricky - I don't always succeed. The meal and wine should compliment each other - neither should overpower the other. There are many variables that come into play in the dance of wine with food at home; in this context I wanted a food friendly, Syrah dominant red wine. At 43% Syrah, the 2009 McKinley Springs Horsepower was a good match.

Recipe: Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

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We're enduring cold evenings in the Columbia Valley - freeze alerts for the third night in a row. Everyone in the state is praying the grapes and cherry trees survive this cold snap. Weeks like this I crave comfort food to help warm the spirit. One of my favorite comfort foods is lamb. I did a quick search on this blog and discovered I often cook lamb. This time I decided to share my recipe.


Day Three – Wednesday Afternoon and Evening Acitivities

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2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival.



After the morning Blind Tasting Challenge, the kind people at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts called a taxi for me. They bundled me up with a bag and a bottle of Mission Hill wine. Away I went, back to my hotel. I dropped off a few items in my room, put the bottle of wine in the fridge for later and prepared to meet a BC wine friend for lunch.

Weeks before the Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF), I began engaging with Canadian bloggers and wine tweeters. Specifically, those going to the VIWF, those going to the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton, BC and those tweeting about BC Wine.

Alternative Wine Closure - Nomacorc Oxygen Management System

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"How can we expect outsiders to understand that we have the best barbecue in the country when we can't even agree among ourselves what good barbecue is?" 
Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue - page 44.

They take barbecue seriously in North Carolina, east vs. west, vinegar or ketchup, tradition vs. innovation. I see some parallel divisions in the wine industry. Have wine closures come to symbolize another split in winemaking tradition vs. innovation? That of natural cork vs. synthetic cork?



Taste Washington 2013: Day Two

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Guest post by Juli Crompe.

Day two of Taste Washington was a crazy frenzy of playing catch up of everything I didn't get a chance to hit on day one; and everything I still had left for day two.

Planning Ahead

Every year Taste releases a floor map of where each winery, restaurant, business, special section, etc. will be, and I wouldn't get nearly as much done without mapping out my route pre-event. This year I spent about 90 minutes looking over the wineries and planning out where I wanted to go. I also made a spreadsheet and a corresponding map for each day (I split the map in half; half the room on day one, and the other half on day two).

While I definitely take it to the extreme, I do suggest looking over the map before the event; it allows you to maximize your time and see who will be there! The biggest advantage to this is to ensure you can make it to some of the more popular wineries early in the day before they pour out. For example, Col Solare poured out by 3:10 pm (the …

Taste Washington 2013: Day One

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Guest Post by Juli Crompe.

Taste Washington. If you love wine, and live in Seattle (or follow the Washington wine scene), these two words can't help but bring a smile to your face. In its 16th year, Taste is the nation's largest single-region wine and food event, showcasing Washington state wines. This year the event attracted more than 3,000 attendees, 225 wineries with more than 750 different bottles of wine, 65 restaurants and a long list of extras, including: seminars, a vineyards section, Chef demonstrations, special VIP additions and even hotel discounts and packages for attendees.

In all honesty, Taste has become so big you can't possibly do it in two days, let alone one. Until recently Taste was only one day; I believe it was the best decision ever to make it two days. Now, I'm just waiting for it to be three...or seven days long...as I leave every year wishing I had far more time; despite my being there from the second the doors opened until the second the doo…

Taste Washington Seminar: Intro to the World of Wine

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Guest Post by Juli Crompe.

Another year has come and gone at Taste Washington Seattle (Taste). I feel so lucky and grateful for the opportunity to attend for the third year in a row. On top of the wonderful event itself, Taste now offers seminars before the event, four on Saturday and three on Sunday, on a variety of extremely interesting and educational topics (check them out here).
On Saturday, I chose to attend "Intro to the World of Wine", with moderator Sean Sullivan of Washington Wine Report, and panelists Dr. Kevin Pogue of Whitman College, Thomas Henick-Kling of Washington State University, Thomas Price MS of the Metropolitan Grill and Linda Murphy, author of "American Wine, an Honest Drink." Quite the caliber of experts for a 90 minute synopsis on the world  of wine. Luckily, they chose to focus mainly on Washington and a few basics. I thought this would be the perfect seminar to share with you; regardless of if you're new to wine or knowledgeable, the…