Posts

Showing posts from November, 2014

Wine Review: Hamilton Cellars 2008 Bona Vita @hamiltoncellars

Image
"The Good Life" - As of this post the winery still had six cases of the 2008 Bona Vita. Strongly Recommended.

Last week I visited Hamilton Cellars at their new location on Red Mountain. Previously they had a tasting room in South Richland. They have closed the original location and moved all operations to a beautiful new facility on Red Mountain. The new winery is just past Fidelitas Wines on Sunset Road. I'm not surprised if this is news to you, the new location only opened in late September.



Hamilton Cellars new tasting room is solar powered. They are powering their winery and even selling back to the PUD when they generate extra electricity. They expect to break even with the solar power system within 5 years. From the tasting room there is a beautiful view of their 10 acre estate vineyard planted this year by Dick Boushey; planted to Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. With pretty landscaping, gazebo, fire pit, kitchen and a bridal ro…

The Perfect Cocktail? Fox Run Vineyards Hedonia Port @foxrunvineyards

Image
Serve on the rocks with an orange slice. Marvelous.

I  was advised by Fox Run Vineyards to serve the Hedonia over ice, in a rocks glass, with a slice of orange. A wine cocktail if you will. Loved it. My first exposure to this fortified Traminette based Hedonia made by Fox Run Vineyards was during a Finger Lakes wine tasting last year, "Finger Lakes Sparkling, Dessert and Ice Wines", I was impressed.

You may not have noticed my comments about the Hedonia last year, at least I've worried that you missed out, so this year I wanted to showcase the Hedonia by itself. For me, this is a favorite cocktail. In my top five and presently my cocktail of choice.

Note: Traminette is a cross of the French American hybrid Joannes Seyve 23.416 and the German Vitis vinifera cultivar Gewürztraminer made by Herb C. Barrett ca. 1965 at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Traminette was found to have excellent wine quality, combined with good productivity, partial resistance to sev…

Thanksgiving Wine and Food Pairing Ideas

Image
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.It's the holiday about family, friends and sharing time and good food together. Of course wine is involved. 

This is the time of year I remember fondly when our family went driving through the woods, over Snoqualmie pass across the Cascade mountains, down I5 to Aberdeen, Washington and my grandmothers historic 1906 home. Fireplace roaring, full table setting with delicious turkey and all the fixings. Pumpkin pie with ice cream for dessert. Thanksgiving was family time. Being together was important. My grandmother wanted us to have wonderful experiences; perhaps she was thinking that these would be memories to cherish. They are. I think of my grandmother Claudia as the archetypal grandmother, for me she is the very definition of "grandmother."

On our Second Annual Thanksgiving #WineMuse wine podcast on Minstrel and Muse Audio Art Magazine, we spent some time talking about Thanksgiving wine pairings. I rambled and reminisced a little whi…

New World Pinot Noir Featuring Lenné Estate @lennewine

Image
Minstrel and Muse #WineMuse Podcast 
New World Pinot Noir Show - Part 3

This month on our featured #WineMuse podcast show Linda Reznicek and yours truly, have focused on New World Pinot Noir. We have tackled the question of "What's so great about Pinot Noir?" As we wrap up Part 3 of our discussion on Pinot Noir, we had to include Oregon. We were fortunate to enjoy a tasting of three Oregon wines made by Stephen Lutz of  Lenné Estate as well as an engaging conversation with this talented winemaker and vineyard manager.

"Steve Lutz is a genius!" Tina Morey, Certified Sommelier, Protocol Wine Studio.
This month we have focused on New World Pinot Noir. Specifically, Pinot Noir from Carneros in California, Oregon Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley and a Pinot Noir from Chile. This special podcast series is divided into three episodes. My posts with tasting notes are also in three parts.

We have explored the aesthetics of Pinot Noir and the cultivation and winemakin…

New World Pinot Noir Featuring Bouchaine Vineyards @BouchaineWines

Image
Minstrel and Muse #WineMuse Podcast 
New World Pinot Noir Show - Part 2
"The uncertainty of life is there in front of you in the glass."  - Michael Richmond, winemaker Bouchaine Vineyards
This month we have focused on New World Pinot Noir. Specifically, Pinot Noir from Carneros in California, Oregon Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley and a Pinot Noir from Chile. We are dividing the podcasts into three episodes. My posts with tasting notes are also in three parts.

We are exploring the aesthetics of Pinot Noir and the cultivation and winemaking processes with Francois Lurton of Hacienda Araucano in Chile, Michael Richmond of Bouchaine Vineyards in California and Steve Lutz of Lenné Estate in Oregon. These three interviews are part of our continuing Winemaker Conversations Series.

This is Part 2 of our featured #WineMuse podcast show. Our discussion of New World Pinot Noir had to include California. We were fortunate to enjoy a tasting of three Napa Valley Bouchaine Vineyards …

Featuring 2013 Hacienda Araucano Reserva Pinot Noir #WineMuse

Image
Minstrel and Muse #WineMuse Podcast 
New World Pinot Noir Show - Part 1 

"...the delights of Pinot Noir - without a physical confrontation." William Pollard Jr. 
This month on our WineMuse Podcast we have explored the topic of New World Pinot Noir. Ten years ago Pinot Noir became hugely popular in the United States. You can blame the movie "Sideways"for helping emphasize this trend.

Pinot Noir is associated with the Burgandy region of France and is also a primary variety used in sparkling wine production in Champagne. Recently, other regions of the world have gained a reputation for quality Pinot noir, this includes the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Carneros, Central Coast and Russian River AVAs of California and the Central Otago, Martinborough and Marlborough wine regions of New Zealand.

Linda and I decided to focus on New World Pinot Noir from Carneros in California, Oregon Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley and a Pinot Noir from Chile. The podcasts are divi…

Review: Syncline Cellars Grüner Veltliner 2013

Image
An Austrian Grape Shows Well in Washington.

We featured Grüner Veltliner on the August 2014 #WineMuse podcast "Getting Groovy with the Next Hot Wine Gruener Veltliner from Austria" on Minstrel and Muse Audio Art Magazine. We tasted a lovely Austrian wine on the show. As we were exploring what makes Grüner Veltliner special and how to pair it with food, I wanted to find a Washington Grüner Veltliner to compare.

Linda and I learned that there is precious little Grüner Veltliner grown in Washington. But we did find a Washington winery making Grüner Veltliner. Syncline Wine Cellars in the Columbia River Gorge AVA makes a limited amount of Grüner Veltliner.

You can listen to our podcast on Austrian wine and also taste along as we speak with winemaker James Mantone of Syncline Wine Cellars. My tasting notes for this wine follow.


Tasting Notes Syncline Cellars Grüner Veltliner 2013

Color: Pale straw.
Nose: Delicate, savory, white pepper, dry pear, toasty, spicy.
Palate: Focused, spice…

Virginia Wine Tasting - Monticello AVA @VAWine

Image
“We could, in the United States, make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good”. - Thomas Jefferson
The original colonies were mandated by England to grow vinifera and to make wine. They failed miserably. Even Thomas Jefferson struggled for 30 years to grow vinifera, without success. After a great deal of hard work and experimentation that has all changed.

By invitation, I enjoyed another Virginia Wine Chat wine tasting with host Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like. This Virginia wine tasting featured three different wines from the Monticello AVA. Virginia is an exciting wine region, one I've grown fond of after visiting in 2011.



Jefferson’s vision has been realized by the success of 255 Virginia wineries. Virginia is now the fifth largest wine producing state in the United States. Quality is strong. Producing 500,000 cases annually, Virginia can't produce enough wine to meet demand.

The Virginia wine industry em…

Pair the Holidays with Sparkling Wine

Image
Meals seem more enjoyable when paired with a bottle of sparkling wine.

If you only drink Champagne, then it's time to try something different, Prosecco, Crémant d'Alsace and CAVA. With so much variety to choose from, you can select the perfect wine to entertain friends and family.

These delicious sparkling wines are perfect for pairing with your holiday meals and parties. Many of these tasty sparklers are now available at your local wine shops and grocery stores. Typically, they are reasonably priced between $8 - $20 and are great wine and food pairing alternatives. Loved these sparklers, they are a great ensemble for the Holidays.

Note: The following wines are best served chilled, between 40°F and 45°F. Warm bubbles are no fun.

PROSECCO

Prosecco is an Italian sparkling dry white wine made primarily from Glera grapes. Principally grown in the Prosecco region of Italy, which includes Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, north of Venice in the Vento region. Under European law, only spar…