Arbanta Rioja 2010, around $11.99
I usually drink white wine in the summer, but the other day the weather reminded me so much of Fall. I was eyeing the red Rioja that has been in my wine rack for a couple of months now. So I decided to give it a try. I was really tempted to start a fire in my fireplace, but that would’ve been pushing it.
Rioja is named after La Rioja in Spain. This wine is made from the Tempranillo grape – a variety of black grape – often referred to as Spain’s noble grape. Wines from Rioja are known to be aged in a barrel.
Spanish wines are about the place they’re from, and Rioja offers silky wines. Silky is a great description because this is a smooth wine. I was surprised how much I liked it. It has spicy floral aromas with a full-bodied yet bright flavor. It’s somewhat sweet on the tongue at first but then it’s a bit spicy. The solid fruit flavors of this wine remind me of cherries and plums. Delicioso!
I drank a glass…OK, two…solo, but the Rioja pairs nicely with roasted chicken and pasta. Yum.
This is completely off the topic of wine, and for that I apologize. But it’s also something I sort of let slip through the cracks in the midst of a dozen other things.
In the real world, I’m an instructional designer and trainer with a soft spot for gadgets and mobile devices. I’ve never been to South by Southwest (SxSW) even though it’s really right in my bailiwick.
This year, I partnered with a colleague at Yahoo! and we submitted a presentation to SxSW. It’s about designing content that works as learners move from device to device to device. For instance, I can seamlessly access and continue what I’m doing on Facebook or Yahoo Messenger as I move from my iPad to my mobile phone to my laptop. But imagine having to design mobile learning for multiple devices? What design considerations go into that? And that’s heart of our proposed session.
At SxSW, the audience gets 30% of the vote on what will be at the conference. So you get to vote! You’ll have to create a free account (which is very quick) and then just click the Thumbs Up button on our panel. That’s it! It will take 5 minutes or less.
Thanks so much and know that I appreciate your vote on this!
Last night I went to the Swiss Wine Festival, it had a little of everything. The setting was a quaint little town rested on the Ohio River and everyone was so friendly. I had a lot of fun there were local artists selling their work, great food booths, rides, some interesting contests (I entered in the grape stomping contest – lost), live music, parades, beer garden, and of course the wine pavilion.
There were over 12 wineries that participated and there were over 100 wines to choose from. Most of the wines I tasted were very sweet and overdone. (I tried a few and then I’d get something to eat or stroll through the art booths and come back to try others.) If you like sweet wines then this is your Mecca. But…with that being said there were a few wineries and wines that towered over the rest and knocked my socks off.
Buck Creek Winery http://www.buckcreekwinery.com/ was a great winery that showed potential. These guys started planting their grapes back in 1991, very young winery. Their Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grady’s Hard Cider were all very good. In fact I bought a few bottles to take home, this is a winery worth visiting and watch blossom in the future.
French Lick Winery http://www.frenchlickwinery.com/ another great young winery that was established in 1995. I tried a variety of wines that will stand up to some California wines. Their sweet wines were not over done that didn’t linger on your pallet like others. (Their Cherry wine is divine) The dry wines were the ones that could stand up against the California Reds. The Chambourcin (a dry red hybrid) was very nice, aged in American Oak barrels that didn’t leave your mouth bitter. Honestly I bought 8 different bottles of wine from them, they know what they are doing.
The Ridge Winery http://www.theridgewinery.com/
The Black Jack – Blackberry/Apple wine – tasty
Blush – only 2% residual sugars – crisp and clean finish
Powers’ Winery http://www.powerswine.com/
White Cranberry Pinot Gris – not tart and light to the taste.
The overall experience was great, if you don’t have any plans tonight or tomorrow check it out. http://www.swisswinefestival.org/
I’ve been invited to be a “celebrity” grape stomper at the Vevay Indiana Swiss Wine Festival this weekend.
If you want to see me pulling a Lucille Ball, barefoot in a tub of grapes, this is your chance. I’m stomping at noon on Saturday.
It’s a contest to make the most juice from those squished grapes (I just know this is going to be gross). But on the off chance I win, $1000 will be provided to the Freestore Food Bank. If I place second, they get $500. I have a one in twelve chance of winning.
I soooo want to go to this.
Raise a glass to fine Australian wines this fall at the Mollydooker Blending and Wine Tasting Celebration! Held on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Morton’s The Steakhouse Cincinnati, the event will feature Sparky Marquis, the award-winning winemaker and owner of Mollydooker Wines.
During the event, Marquis will lead guests through a tasting of several 2010 Mollydooker Leftys, named playfully after the fact that both Marquis and his wife Sarah are left handed. He will also invite patrons to participate in a fun wine blending session, where they will create and vote on their favorite blends.
Guests will also be treated to a three-course dinner and both Marquis and wine expert Michael Brown from Vintner Select will be available throughout the event to answer guests’ wine-related questions. The evening starts at 6:30 p.m. and the cost is $100 per person, including the tasting, blending, dinner, wine pairings, tax and gratuity. Space is limited. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.mollydookerwines.com.
The Mollydooker Blending and Wine Tasting Celebration Dinner Menu:
Miniature Crab Cakes
Blue Cheese Tenderloin Crostini
Beef Filet with broccoli and mashed potatoes
Double Chocolate Mousse
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