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Jul 31

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: August 1 – August 7

Oh my gosh! The Featured Events are back! Unfortunately, there's not much going on in the line of "special" events. But there are our loyal and dependable recurring tastings, including Party Town, Liquor Direct, Bigg's (my favorites are Delhi and Anderson), and more.

Finally, don't forget you can join us at Harmony Hill Winery tomorrow afternoon. Kevin & I are meeting some friends and we'd love to have you join us!  It's a great opportunity to visit a bunch of southern Ohio wineries, including Kinkead Ridge, Lakeside Vineyards, Meranda-Nixon, and Harmony Hill.

Okay, so I've been pretty much out of town for a month. But I'm back, sort of, and I've updated the calendar with various tastings and wine dinners. If you know if something else, let me know! I'm still wading through a month's worth of emails in my inbox (mostly press releases), so I definitely may have missed something. If you already told me, and it's not on the calendar, please tell me again. 

Oh wait! You mean I'm back from vacation?

For information on what's going on
in Dayton, you can refer to Mark's blog at Uncorked.

Enjoy! Remember, all the recurring events, those dependable weekly tastings, are displayed on our calendar. The few and far between special events are after the jump.

Local Wine Tasting Event Calendar

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Image Credit: Michelle, June 2009

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Posted by Michelle at 3:37 pm in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jul 31

Wine-Girl.net Meet-up/Tweet-up: Harmony Hill Winery

It's been a few months since I've been out to Harmony Hill Winery, but it's one of my favorite places to hang out on a beautiful summer day.

Join me tomorrow – let's call it a Wine-Girl Meetup (or Tweetup if you're on Twitter). Kevin and I are going to be there around 2 pm (when the winery opens) and I'd love to meet everyone there!

Don't forget that this is also your opportunity to partake in the Farmer's Market, which runs from 2 -6 pm.

Harmony Hill is family friendly – no matter who your family might be. So bring your kids and bring your dogs. Furry friends just need to be on a leash and friendly with other dogs and adoring people.

Bring your outdoor chairs or blankets in case there is a crowd and feel free to bring a picnic lunch and complement it with a bottle of summery wine and some great live and acoustic music.

Remember that buying and drinking local wines is a great way to stay "green". If you're interested in meeting the winemaker, he is usually around as well – and incredibly fun and friendly.

We hope to see you there!

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Jul 28

Ethics and Integrity

This isn't a wine post. It's an ethics post.

You see, I just got back from BlogHer, where I was disappointed in a lot of things. In particular, I was a bit floored to find all these women wanting to have sponsored posts. Now, in all fairness, it wasn't everybody, but it was enough to turn me off. In session after session, this topic came up and well, I just don't understand it.

You see, pay for post or sponsored posts mean that someone is being paid (in either product or money or both) to write a positive review post about the product. In my mind, this compromises credibility.  I simply cannot comprehend why anyone would want to do that. With that in mind, I've signed the Blog with Integrity pledge, just to reinforce the Disclaimer & Sample Policy I already have for this blog.

And just so you all know exactly where I'm coming from, here are the key points of my review policy:

1. I do accept samples, as it's a great way to be exposed to new wines. However, I do not guarantee a positive review. I may hate it or just find it okay, not great. It's the risk someone takes when sending free wine into the blogosphere.
2. I may not get to the sample right away, although I'll try to be fairly timely.
3. I will always inform you – my readers – when I'm reviewing a complimentary meal or experience, or a sample wine.
4. I will not take payment for posting a review of any sort.
5. If a winery or company advertises on my site, I will not review their products during the time in which the ad runs. If the ad runs forever, I won't review their products at all.

I'm also a pretty big supporter of Creative Commons. That means that my blog is licensed under Creative Commons – Non Commercial. Aside from the Enquirer, to which I've granted special permission, you can use my content but you cannot edit it and you must credit me with the creation.

I use Creative Commons photos all the time. Previously I used any and all images licensed under CC, but since the Enquirer deal, I'll only use photos licensed for Commercial use. I will always provide attribution to the photographer as required under the license.

This all boils down to Don't Steal and Give Credit where Credit is Due.

Finally, you all are pretty timid in the comments, often preferring to email me. I've never really had any trouble. "Gentle readers" is a phrase that truly applies to you, and I appreciate that. But just in case, a quick reminder that we live by the Bill & Ted Rule here: Be Excellent to Each Other.

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Posted by Michelle at 2:23 pm in Current Affairs, Knowledge, Legislation, Life | Permalink | Comments (5)
Jul 27

Random Wine Tidbits

Lots of quirky little things going on in the greater wine industry right now:

  • I wish I'd known this. Here I just spent 3.5 days in Chicago and didn't visit the Art Institute. They have an exhibition running through September 20 called "A Case for Wine".  Trust me, I'll be heading back to Chicago before this exhibit disappears.

Continuing the celebratory summer mood initiated by the historic
Modern Wing opening, this exhibition marks the first time a fine arts
museum has explored art through the vine.

Wine has played a role at the Art Institute of Chicago almost since
the museum’s inception in 1879. A major European expedition to acquire
classical antiquities for the fledgling collection in 1889 resulted in
the purchase of several pots originally used for serving and storing
wine. In 1890 the Art Institute made its first serious foray into the
realm of Old Master paintings with the purchase of 12 Netherlandish
works, including Jan Steen’s Family Concert which shows
guests drinking out of distinctive Dutch wine flutes while listening to
music. In 1927 the Art Institute purchased half of the Jacques Mühsam
Collection of European glass with funds provided by Julius and Augusta
Rosenwald, providing the museum with superlative examples of
wineglasses from the 15th to the 19th century. This cross-departmental
exhibition presents nearly 300 wine-themed objects, including selected
loans from other institutions and private collectors, tracing this
beloved libation’s surprisingly significant role as a stimulus and
source of artistic endeavor from ancient times through the modern day.

  • You know those oh-so-popular Crystal Light (and similar) powders you can add to your bottled water? You can now get your wine in powdered form. A Swiss company called Katadyn, which makes powdered food for hikers, wants hikers to have access to wine. It's not actually called wine either, as it isn't made from grapes. It is simply flavored to taste like wine (in particular, Italian Chianti). Italian winemakers are all up in arms, but really … how good could this taste?
  • Starbucks is going to try to return to the old-school style of coffee shop, which means offering beer and wine. They're just trying this at three stores in Seattle to see how well it will work. If it succeeds, look to see a glass of Cabernet offered beside a fancy Coffee on the menu. Of course, Starbuck's is still closing around 1,000 stores, so if it does take off, there may not be a Starbuck's near by to take advantage of it.
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Posted by Michelle at 1:26 pm in News | Permalink | Comments (3)
Jul 24

WBC09 – Live Wine Tasting

While Michelle is in Chicago at BlogHer, I'm (Kevin) representing our blog at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Sonoma.

We're about to do a live "speed tasting." 6 Minutes per wine maker to explain a bottle of their wine. Then switch to the next group of 10 attentive tasters. Post will be updated with pics when I get a chance. 18 tables, 3 winemakers are stuck in traffic from San Francisco. We are delayed as IT is called to fix the wifi.

Round 1: Schramsburg 2006 Blanc de Blancs

Winery started in 1965. 4 areas are used for grapes to create the bubbly. Sweet fruity flavor upfront with a little apple. Small amount of yeastines and not trying to be French style. On lees for 2 years and I think our table lucked out with the best way to start a tasting. Retail $36.

Round 2: 07 Lilly Hills Zin from Bella Vineyards. Syrah and Petite Syrah in the blend as well. 15% Abv. Earthy and leathery on the palate and about the opposite of the last thing we tried. Overall it needs  alittle more time in bottle to relax. Retail at $38

Round 3: 2007 River of Skulls from Twisted Oak. Smoother than last year, higher Syrah percentage. Mourvedre. $35 at retail.

Round 4: 07 Barbarra from Northwest Wine Academy. Sweet flavor and little depth. Would work better with food.

Round 5: 08 Fish Eye Pinot Gris. Central Valley grapes. Going for year after year consistency. I am still not a huge Pinot Gris fan, but this has a open and acceptable flavor profile. $6.99 retail for 750. $14.99 for the 3L. I'd bring this to a party without heavy wine drinkers and I think there would be no problem.

Round 6: Pinot Evil. $20 for a 3L box. Nice basic Pinot. Would recommend for when hosting a party or to have an everyday red available for drinking.

Round 7: 07 Cab Sauv from Cupcake. 2 different vineyards combining for 85 CS, 12 Syrah, Petit Sytah for the rest. Going for an adult treat. Good again this year a little warm on the finish, but plenty of fruit to balance. Used Cab Sauv to make cupcake frosting on the paired cupcakes for after the tasting.

Round 8: 05 Snows Lake 2 Blend. Nice tannic, CS shows through, needs time to open up a little. Very deep wine with great food potential. $45 retail and worth it. 14.2% AbV doesn't overwhelm and is very nice.

Round 9: 07 Petite Syrah from Line 39. Very light with alot of tannins. At $10 this would be a great introduction to the varietal to anyone who is starting on red wines.

Round 10: 07 Ancient Vine Mouv from Cline Cellars. Nice spicy and earthy. Cline has nice sandy soil that lends to growing this varietal. 25% new American oak keeps the flavor pure. 15% AbV does not overwhealm the rest of it. 10,000 cases made yearly. $16

Round 11 (two left): 07 Chard from Tandem. Very buttery and subdued oak. Chewy flavor and a nice example of Cali Chard. 2000 ft elevation Dijon 809 clone used in making the wine. Balanced, but not my style of chard. $54 retail.

Round 12: 07 Estate Chard from Foggy Bridge. Winery to open in San Fran next year. Balanced and 1/2 malo and 1/2 stainless. Crisp finish and good acid. 190 cases and $18 a bottle. Malo balances the wine and makes this a nice value Chard.

This will be prettied up later, but another great tasting at the WBC!

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