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Showing posts from March, 2015

Wine of the Week - a Personal Favorite Barnard Griffin 2013 Chardonnay @BarnardGriffin

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Crowd pleasing style, but not gimmicky. My go to white wine.

The Washington Chardonnay I continue to return to is one I have enjoyed over many years. That is, the Chardonnay made by winemaker Rob Griffin of Barnard Griffin Winery in Richland, Washington.

I've been a fan since, well, at least before they opened their tasting room in 1997. Rob Griffin was the original winemaker for Preston Cellars, 1979 - 1983, and I started drinking those wines in 1986. Then he was the winemaker and GM for Hogue Cellars 1984 - 1991, which I also started drinking in 1986. Rob and his wife Deborah Barnard created their Barnard Griffin label in 1983, which I started drinking in the early 1990's. For me, Barnard Griffin is synonymous with Washington Wine.  I even worked for Barnard Griffin Winery 2005 - 2007. We have a history.


Today Rob is still the winemaker, his older daughter Elise is now the tasting room manager for the winery. His youngest daughter Megan, is the winemaker for Preston Cellars.…

A Season for International Expressions of Rosé @pasternakwine

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There is no better time to embrace the color and flavor of Rosé.

Spring always seems to remind me of Rosé. Or is it the other way around? I am feeling the excitement as the countryside turns green, the trees are in bloom and flowers are ready to reach for the sky. These five wonderful Rose's each express some of that jubilation of Spring time renewal. Is not wine also like renewal?

“What is the scent of water?" Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew.” ― Elizabeth Goudge, The Scent of Water
These are wines to enjoy with food and friends. Their lovely shades of pink, orange and red hint at their food friendliness. Time to clean the grill and start cooking outside. Bring along some of these rose' wines to pair with your BBQ and Spring celebrations. Tremendous value in all five of these wines.


1. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rose

Color: Pale pink.
Nose: Light toast, delicate raspberry.
Palate: Soft bubbles, raspberry cream, delicate yeast, crisp and dry top…

3 Fabulous Wines of Fabbioli Cellars, Call Me a Fan @FabbioliWines

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Excellent wines of tremendous quality and value from Virginia. 

It is time for you to discover Virginia wine country. As with any rising winery destination, the best wines receive the most attention. Evidence Fabbioli Cellars and the wines of Doug Fabbioli. If you are planning to visit Virginia, put Fabbioli Cellars on your itinerary.

"Yes, call me a fan of Fabbioli Cellars!"
The largest concentration of wineries in Virginia is Loudoun County. Doug Fabbioli returned to his roots in Virginia 18 years ago after making wine in California for 10 years. He notes that making wine in Virginia is different; collaboration is the key word for success.


Since March 2013, my friend Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like has been collaborating with Virginia winemakers via #VAWineChat. He brings them together with savvy social media wine influencers to share the treasures of Virginia wine country. One such tasting was with Virginia Winemaker Doug Fabbioli. I was impressed by the video wine tas…

A Special Oregon Pinot Noir with Eastern North Carolina Inspired Ribs #OTBN #winePW 10

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Open That Bottle Night - A great excuse for a Wine Pairing Weekend. 

February 28th was Open That Bottle Night- I selected a bottle of wine I helped blend using barrel samples of Pinot Noir from R. Stuart winery in McMinville, Oregon. I was saving this bottle for a special occasion and knew it was likely time to open and drink. I hoped it had improved.

"Blending wine is no task for mere mortals." - William Pollard Jr. 
Our Wine Pairing Weekend group decided Open That Bottle Night would be an appropriate occasion to pair our selected bottle of wine with something special as well. After some consideration, I decided North Carolina ribs would likely pair well with my special bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. For this post I'll review the wine first, then provide the recipe, and wrap up with the results of this wine + food pairing.

*Note: What is Open That Bottle Night?
Wife and Husband columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher invented Open That Bottle Night, the world-wide cele…

ANEW Riesling 2012 a Project by Wendy Stuckey and Chateau Ste. Michelle

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Zippy Washington Riesling Discovery 

How do you choose a bottle of wine? I hope you use this blog to find a bottle or two to purchase and enjoy at home. Myself, I rely on wineries reaching out to me, invites to taste, samples to try and review at home, twitter wine tastings, wine festivals and events and the occasional media visit in wine country. But what about local wine stewards? Do I trust them and their recommendations?

This week I stopped by Mid-Columbia Wine and Spirits in Richland, Washington. I have mentioned before, I have a terrible time selecting a bottle of wine. There are so many, many possible choices. Some of the bottles represent people and winemakers I've met, tasting rooms and personal experiences. Other bottles are international temptations, mysteries awaiting discovery. I wandered the store and looked at every bottle of wine they had on display. Then went back to where I started. Undecided still.

Perhaps I'm a bit jaded when it comes to expected service.…

Your Wine of the Week from Red Mountain - Fidelitas 2012 4040 Red Wine @FidelitasWines

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Brace yourself, pretty freaking tasty. 

My first exposure to the 2012 Fidelitas 4040 was August last year. I stopped by the tasting room on Red Mountain for a special tasting of Cabernet based Fidelitas wines. Chelsea opened and poured for me and did a wonderful job. The wine showed well even though it was opened when I arrived. I've come to realize that my palate, of late, prefers the depth and complexity of red blends. My curiosity about how this vintage would continue to develop the longer it was open was piqued.


Red Mountain AVA and Charlie Hoppes are both well known for producing stunning red wines of depth. Don't miss any opportunity to sample wines made by Mr. Hoppes. And put his Red Mountain Fidelitas tasting room on your must visit list. You owe it to yourself.


Tasting Notes Fidelitas 2012 4040 Red Wine

Color: Dark, black cherry skin.
Nose: Broad, soft, red and dark fruit, rich background.
Palate: Pow with the fruit, cherry and black currant ran down the palate front to b…