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Jan 25

WBW Roundup: It’s Snowing Across the Internet

While participation for this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday wasn’t at an all-time high, the quality was pretty fantastic. I was thrilled with what people came up with – from all over the nation – when faced with the idea of a Snow Day wine. It was equally entertaining to read not only about the havoc some atypical weather is causing, but how our various locales deal with it. So let’s get to it!

We’ll start with the basic reds, which were a favorite over on the rather rainy West Coast right now.

Ryan at Oe.no.phile, who recently transplanted from Ohio to Oregon dived into a Spanish blend from Bodegas El Nido (Jumilla) to keep warm.  But Ryan wasn’t the only one to turn to Spain. Neil from Wine Expedition, experiencing a slightly damp week in Los Angeles, turned to the Priorat region for the 2005 Cellars Capafons Oso “Sirsell” blend.

In Washington, our favorite Walla Walla Wine Woman Catie enjoyed the Tranche Cellars blend and a lovely view of snow-capped mountains. (I can’t wait to visit Walla Walla this summer!) In Oregon, Mary at Vindulge indulged in an Oregon wine that reminded her of a past Oregon blizzard – The Pines 1852 Old Vine Zinfandel. Down in stormy and wet San Francisco, my friend Thea of Luscious Lushes popped open a 2005 Petroni Syrah she got as a gift and imagined a fire in her fireplace.

Locally, Tim from Cheap Wine Ratings felt the need for some Italian comfort food and opted for an Italian-style wine with the Luna Vineyards Sangiovese.  Kevin, from the Under the Grape Tree blog and Dep’s Fine Wines described his perfect snow day, which included one my own favorite syrahs – Montes Folly.

Now on to the sweeter wines that were brought out at the prospect of a snow day. I have to admit, I expected more Ports. Kevin & I indulged in a port here in the Cincinnati area, where snow is no stranger. Gary and Allison, recently of Cincinnati but now in sunny Florida, chose their old favorite Sandeman’s Twenty Year Old Tawny Port.

Wine (and Art) Predator’s Gwendolyn, from southern California, wrote a wonderful post about a special, rare, and homemade drink. Then she zagged and actually reviews a nice little Gonzalez Byass Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce sherry.  Our international entry, Bob in Vancouver, reviews a wine fitting of the Great White North as he tackles the 2005 Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Sparkling Riesling Icewine on his 2001 Bottles: A Wine Odyssey.

Sparkling wine made two appearances. Michael at Undertaking Wine (what a great title!) in New York tried a New York sparkler, the Pindar Vineyards Cuvee Rare. In one of my two favorite Wine Blogging Wednesday entries, Tom at Louisville Juice explains his hatred of winter and his need for the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs to help him with a hallucination of springtime.

Then there were those who took me up on the offer of breaking away from wine and indulging in a different sort of spirit. Sort of straddling that line, Tanisha at the Grapevine, recently stranded in the great December blizzard in Washington DC, recommends a semi-homemade mulled wine to keep you warm.

Liza of the Bay area Brix Chicks took this opportunity to talk about her favorite (and mine!) vodka from Hangar One. She even includes some creative decorating tips! Wrapping it all up with my other favorite entry, Adam at Wine Zag writes about vacationing in Puerto Rico and introduces us to some fantastic boutique rum.

My thanks to everyone for their creative entries and to Lenn for letting me host! I encourage you to visit all of these great blogs and learn a little about what everyone is drinking on a snow day.


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Posted by Michelle at 8:00 am in WBW, WBW #65 | Permalink | Comments (3)
Jan 21

Best of Cincinnati

So, this blog has been nominated for CityBeat’s annual Best of Cincinnati  – Best Blog. Don’t worry, I won’t campaign too much. When you start reading through the categories, and some of the entries in some of the categories, you’ll understand that this is all in good fun. In some cases, incredibly silly fun. That said, a Best of Cincinnati certificate would be pretty cool hanging on the wall over my little wine fridge. 😉

Just go to the link, scroll down to Public Eye, and you’ll find My Wine Education under the Blog section. Of course, you’ll also find some of my best friends in the same category. You also don’t have to vote in every category – just the ones that interest you.


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Posted by Michelle at 1:01 pm in Cincinnati | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jan 20

WBW #65: Snow Day Wine

When I think of a snow day,  I think about curling up in front of a roaring fire. Let’s face it, I’m not a winter girl. In fact, one of my friends recently called me a Sunshine Girl and he was right – I love to be warm. So when faced with this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday theme (which I chose), all I could think about was port.

Port is the type of wine that warms me up from the inside. Port was originally a Portugese style of  fortified wine. Under EU Guidelines, only port from Portugal may be called Port or Portugal. However, everyone makes it and outside of the EU, you’ll often see “Port” used to denote a fortified wine. And no wonder port wine warms me up. It is fortified. Winemakers add a neutral grape spirit that stops the fermentation, leaves residual sugar in the wine, and ups that alcohol content.

So the other night, after braving some rather biting wind, I popped one of our Duraflame logs into the fireplace and we poured out a bottle of  Lilly Pilly Estate 1995 Shiraz port.

This particular port is from Australia, not Portugal, but it honored the “Port” name well. At 18.5% AbV, it has a lower alcohol content than many of the ports we drink (which often top out around 20%). But it certainly went down fast and easy. Port, with the sugar and alcohol content, is a sipping wine, but the 375 ml bottle still disappeared quickly.

The Shiraz port had a lot of raisins and, surprisingly, rum on the nose. It’s an obviously heavy wine and it was dark, almost chewy. We caught flavors of raisins, plums, and figs, as well as the obligatory dark cherry.

It was the perfect wine on a bitterly cold evening – a great way to round out a snow day!

Stay tuned for the Wine Blogging Wednesday Round-up – the complete list of everyone who participated – to show up early next week.

Still want to participate? Get your link to me by Friday, Jan 22 and I’ll make sure you’re included in the WBW round-up!


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Posted by Michelle at 11:11 am in WBW, WBW #65 | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jan 19

Blue Plate Diner (Salt Lake City)

On a recent trip to to Salt Lake city, the first time I had ever left the SLC airport, a friend and I stopped at the Blue Plate Diner for a quick bite to eat on the way to a conference. Blue Plate Diner was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

I had a vegan burger and cajun fries. The burger is assembled with beans, cooked oatmeal, onions and plenty of other non-meaty goodness. The burger was served on a toasted fresh bun and was fantastic.

The Blue Plate Diner is a collection of restaurant artifacts from the Salt Lake area. Booths from an old diner, a soda fountain from a general store up the road.

The test of any restaurant is if you would go back. To answer that question, on the way back to the airport, we stopped in again for a pre-flight meal. This time it was Chicken Fried Steak for me.

Served with home fries and 3 eggs over easy, this was an amazing end to a trip to my trip to Salt Lake. I’d recommend the vegan burger over the breakfast, but I was not disappointed in either.

– Kevin

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Posted by Kevin at 8:28 am in Beer-Guy.net, Food and Drink, Travel | Permalink | Comments ()
Jan 17

Wine for Haiti

Wine lovers have figured out a way to donate what we hope is a large amount of money to the American Red Cross, earmarked for use in Haiti.

Palate Press (to which I’m an occasional contributor) and Brother, Can You Spare a Bottle? (with which I’m also tangentially involved) have teamed up to create a Wines for Haiti auction. There are two ways you can participate. The first is by donating a really nice bottle(s) of wine to be sold at the auction. The second way to participate is by bidding on the donations.

There are some great lots already, and there is always a need for more. The auction is being held online, of course, in the comments section of the Wine for Haiti post on Palate Press. Please promise your contribution in the comments over there, and then contribute your bottle for the auction. The next step is to bid, bid, bid.

Bottles should be sent to:

Wine for Haiti
Palate Press: The online wine magazine
9425 Meridian #201
Indianapolis, IN 46260

Here is how the auction will work. As we create individual lots, they will be posted here with a link to the individual lot. Just place your bid in the comments. We will not close any of the bids for a while, but once we do, the auction ends when we go 24 hours without a bid. If we get into a bidding war between two or three people at the end we won’t make everybody wait a day, we will schedule a bid at a set time the contestants (and anybody else lurking and waiting, but interested) agree to.

Please direct all inquires to WineForHaiti@palatepress.com

I hope everyone can find a way to contribute to this, or bid. What has happened in Haiti is tragic, but I’m always touched to see how the world pulls together to help a country in need. If you can’t contribute via the wine auction, consider donating directly to the American Red Cross for Haiti Relief and Development.

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Posted by Michelle at 10:44 am in Charity Benefits | Permalink | Comments ()

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