We’re moving from Typepad to WordPress on Thanksgiving. That means the blog might be unavailable on Thanksgiving, and if things go poorly, on Black Friday as well. I will do my best but tech issues are tech issues and well … It may also disrupt your RSS feed.
There is a backup plan: you’ll still be able to access the site at http://writegirl.typepad.com/wine. Ideally, you won’t have to do that, and ideally, you’ll be able to always use Wine-Girl.net.
When we launch the new blog, you’ll notice the design is more complete than it is currently, more vines and clouds and butterflies and such … for this you can thank the wonderful amazing design skills of John @ 520Red. Hire him. He designed “cartoon me” and all of her derivatives …
So, deep breath … and wish me luck!
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!
I'm now in Chicago at BlogHer. I'm lucky enough to speak on a panel on Saturday on Food Blogging (and Wine Blogging, dammit) in a Recession.
So if you ran into me at BlogHer, well, let me show you around the site a bit.
Wine Events: I am speaking on Wine Blogging in a recession, and one of the best ways to enjoy a wide range of wine types (and prices) during a recession is to go to a wine tasting. In Kentucky, the recurring tastings are generally free and in Ohio there is a small charge (sometimes as low as 25 cents, sometimes as much as $5). Additionally, there is a wide swath of special events that occur. Maybe they coincide with one of your own special events so you can justify the cost of a winemaker dinner.
Food & Wine Pairing: My friend Natalie MacLean developed a pretty cool wine/food pairing tool and I embedded it on the site. You can access it anytime from the toolbar at the top. It works in two ways – what kind of wine do you want? and what sort of food do you want? (There's also an iPhone version of the tool in the iTunes Store.)
Recession Wines: Sticking with the theme, whenever I come across a wine that is both a great deal and gets a great view, I tag it as a Recession Wine. Feel free to check out the category and see that you can add good wine to your home-cooked meal for a rather affordable price.
Wine Maps: If you're anywhere near the Cincinnati area – even within a
few hours – it's worth a visit to come learn about our amazing
Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana wineries. You can access all sorts of local
winery trails (and wine tasting trails) on our maps page.
Thanks for visiting!
This is a week of news. I have a couple of announcements here and there. We'll start with the least of them.
If you haven't visited in a while, there's a new look and feel as of today. This is really the half-way point in the Big Redesign. I'm still on Typepad, but when time permits, I'm switching to WordPress. The new WordPress template has Cartoon Michelle (seen above), but a lot more grape vines a little bit of everywhere. It's a little cleaner too. But we're halfway there.
My graphic designer for all this awesome vineness and cartoon me was John Rizzo, who as far as I know doesn't have a web site showcasing his amazing art. I love his penchant for swirly bits. And cartoon me is pretty darned cool.
More news a-comin' down the pike, so hold on to your hats.
If you're in the blogosphere, and female, you know that BlogHer is sort of the end-all be-all of blogging conferences. It boasts an amazingly huge number of attendees (not all women, by the way) and a wide range of topics.
This year, I've been asked to speak on the Food Blogging in Time of Recession panel at the July BlogHer conference in Chicago. I know, I'm not a food blogger. But what's food without wine? I'll be speaking, I think, on both finding Recession Wines as well as how to be a wine (and food) blogger during a recession. It sort of cuts back on fancy dinners and such – unless you're a bit creative.
Being asked to sit on on of these panels is a big honor, and I'm thrilled to have the chance!
Because the other bloggers on the panel are more specialized in home cooking, I'm hoping to talk about both how to find those recession wines, but also (with a little coaching from Julie at Wine Me Dine Me), I hope to offer some ways to eat out on a budget – including finding a sweet spot on a wine list.
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