Random Musings, February 2017

Blame it on the rain. Northern California has been slammed with a series of winter storms, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a years. As much as we need the rain, we’re Californians, and we really miss our sunshine! Or maybe it’s the recent political climate in our country. Nuf said about that. Perhaps most obviously, it could be the life changes I’m going through that, among other things, have caused a change in my wine-drinking habits. The Big D means that most nights, if I’m drinking, I’m drinking solo. A bottle of wine that nicely serves two people in an evening now lasts me 2-3 days; even four days on occasion! Whatever the cause, I’ve been drinking less wine recently, and have also been suffering from a bout of writer’s block.

Don’t cry for me, however. I’ve been active and busy, going to Meetup events, meeting lots of amazing people, and making new friends in the process. Quite frankly, thinks are looking up, and I feel like I’ve got a bit of my mojo back! With that in mind, I thought I’d piece together a few thoughts – blog ideas from the past few weeks that never got off the ground.

Blues Bars, Beer, and Whiskey

powerhouse-pub

One of the Meetup groups I joined is all about the Blues. They meet several times per week at various bars in the area to listen to Blues bands, dance, and have an all-around good time! Interestingly, I was never much of a Blues fan before. However, I’ve learned that this is because I’d only ever listened to the Blues on the radio. Now I know that Blues is a dish best served HOT! Live Blues is amazing! Where do you find the best Blues? Dive bars. Bars that sell beer by the tanker truck, whiskey, and basic (really basic; 2-3 ingredient) cocktails. These are not establishments that have a well-developed wine program. Who are we kidding? Most don’t have a wine program at all! So this has enabled me to get my beer groove on and explore the wide and wonderful world of brewski! Local craft beer, nationally known brands, and yes, even the occasional, ubiquitous Bud Light. There’s no risk (that I can foresee) of me dividing my loyalty and becoming a beer blogger, but there is a lot of great beer out there, and some pretty amazing people who drink it!

On nights when beer doesn’t appeal, I’ve also become better acquainted to the delights of brown liquor. Whiskey is another pleasing libation that pairs well with live Blues. At a more upscale cocktail bar, I’m generally inclined to order an Old Fashioned (which, ahem, I’ve been drinking since long before Mad Men, so no, I’m not just following a trend!) or a Manhattan. At a dive, Jamie and Ginger is my go-to. (Worried about dirty lines feeding your bartender’s soda gun? Most places don’t run ginger ale through the gun, so you get a freshly opened can from the fridge. Smart, huh?)

Of course, if Blues isn’t your thing, there is plenty of variety in the live music scene in most towns and cities. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to get up, get out, and go listen to some live music!

The Old Sugar Mill: Port, Wine, and Chocolate Lovers

Those of you who are longsuffering dedicated readers of my little corner of the Interwebs may recall my post about The Old Sugar Mill. (<– That’s a link, if you want to pause here to get caught up.) The Old Sugar Mill a wine lover’s fantasy destination, currently housing 13 winery tasting rooms in one location! Last weekend was their annual Port, Wine, and Chocolate Lovers’ Weekend. It’s an amazing event that I’ve missed in prior years. Admission gets you tastes at nearly all of the wineries, plus chocolate samples, live music, and access to some of the region’s best gourmet food trucks! This year I attended with a new friend I met through another Meetup group. It was a blast! I was having so much fun; I forgot to take pictures – except this one.

port-wine-and-chocolate

House Parties

I’ve also been attending a few house parties, which is a great way to meet and mingle. One I recently attended was wine themed. Being a wine guy, I naturally grabbed a nice bottle from my cellar. By no small coincidence, it was from one of my favorite wineries at The Old Sugar Mill. The Merlo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2012 was a huge hit! It was the first bottle to run dry, of the 20 or more available at the party. Not pricy by Pinot Noir standards, it retails for $27, but Ray Merlo is a strong advocate for wine education, and a firm believer in the notion that if people can’t afford it, they can’t enjoy it. I’ve had comparable Pinot in the $35-45 range.

merlo-pinot-noir-2012

Here’s my review:

Rich, earthy Pinot Noir, in the classic NorCal style. Purple color with a ruby rim. Aromas of ripe plums and spice. Flavors of ripe plum, blueberry, cherry, and earth with a lingering finish of dark fruit and soft earth tones.

4.0 out of 5 stars (88 – 91 points)

What surprised me about the event was the number of bottom shelf bottles that appeared on the wine table. While they will remain nameless, I am familiar with most of the labels I saw and know them to be “meh” wines in the sub-$5 range. Now, I understand that not everybody is a wine geek like me, and maybe the wine they brought is the wine they drink regularly. Still, when I’m bringing a bottle to an event, I like to step it up and bring something special. Maybe that’s just me.

National Drink Wine Day

national-drink-wine-day

Finally, if you were anywhere within 10 miles of Social Media, or your favorite wine geek, you know that yesterday was National Drink Wine Day. I’m still not sure why someone decided we need a special day to celebrate drinking wine, but who am I to question? Always one to follow the rules, I made my way, with my new wine-loving friend, to my favorite local wine bar where we enjoyed some good wine and great conversation. You just gotta love holidays!

Cheers!

 

The Value in the Obscure – #MWWC30

Monthly Wine Writing Challenge

Obscure…O-B-S-C-U-R-E…I have never heard of the grape or the region from which this wine is made; they are both obscure. Obscure.

Having successfully completed the latest round in the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge Spelling Bee, let me just say that I am a big fan of the obscure. Although there is no conceivable way to taste all of the thousands of different grape varieties in my lifetime, I am committed to giving it my all, and taste as many as possible! Not too long ago, I learned about the Century Wine Club. Yes, it’s a thing! All you have to do to qualify for membership is taste at least 100 different grape varieties. After going through my wine log, I discovered that I was only a handful short, so I hastened to my local wine shop and stocked up on a few more obscure varietals and blends. Yes, blends count toward membership.century_club_seal

As you may have determined by now, this is my entry into the 30th Monthly Wine Writing Challenge, #MWWC30. Last month’s winner, Shez, The Epicurious Texan, had the honor of selecting the topic for the next Challenge. As luck would have it, she selected “Obscure.”

obscureRegular readers of my blog may know just how much I enjoy the pursuit of the obscure. My love of obscure not only includes grape varieties, but regions, too. I am even writing a series of blog posts on “Lesser Known AVA’s” which can be accessed from the tab on my menu. Sure, it’s small now, but wait till I get going! Whenever possible, I like to conduct my research live and in person. But that is perhaps a topic for another MWWC.

lesser-known-avas

Nevertheless, when Shez was kind enough to post a blog offering some guidance into what she had in mind with this topic, she specified that she is interested in reading about others’ favorite obscure wines and grape varieties. My only hesitation is in adhering to Shez’ suggestion that we select “that one varietal that they love…” Just one? As much as I tried, the best I could do was narrow it down to three. I hope that’s OK, Shez.

Many who are “into” wine might not find my first selection to be that “obscure”, but most people I know with limited wine knowledge have never heard of it. In fact, just the other day at lunch, a co-worker was looking over the wine list, and asked if any of us had ever tasted “Gree-natch.”

Grenache is a red grape, and is probably most famous as one of the trio of grapes that make of the classic Rhone blend GSM – Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. (Another obscure grape!) It is also the main grape used in Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines, and is renowned as a major player in Rosé from Provence.  In addition to France, Grenache is also widely planted in the U.S., Australia, and Spain where it is known as Garnacha. One of the things I like about Grenache is its versatility. I have tasted Grenache wines ranging from light-bodied with mineral and gravel notes, to rich and full-bodied with juicy red and black fruit flavors. My favorite Grenache to date falls into the latter category.

navarro-grenache

Navarro Vineyards Grenache 2012 ($27.00 Retail)

Big, bold red. Blackberry, cassis, spice, and oak. Full bodied with firm, smooth tannins.

I’m not sure why I didn’t take more detailed tasting notes on this one. Maybe because it left such an indelible impression on my brain that I knew I would never, ever forget it!

My second obscure grape may be more familiar to those of you in the Great White North. While on my Quebec “work-cation” earlier this year, I came across Baco Noir, a hybrid grape originally developed to resist phylloxera while maintaining a French character. The grape is also quite hardy and can withstand the harsher weather and climate conditions found in cold regions like Canada. Unlike many native Canadian grapes, which display “foxy” aromas, Baco Noir is bold and fruity.

henry-of-pelham-baco-noir

Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2014 ($16.40 CAD, approximately $11.35 USD Retail)

Fruit explosion! Deep violet in color. Aromas of blueberry and raspberry. Flavors burst with blueberry, blackberry, black currant, and cedar. Medium tannins, yet full-bodied, with zesty, tingling acidity. Best with food; the acidity can overpower without. The finish lingers with berry and spice.

Many of the reviews I read prior to purchasing this wine complained of its sweetness, which caused me no small amount of apprehension, since I do not prefer sweet wines. However, after tasting it, I discovered this is not a sweet wine. On the contrary, it is quite dry, but very fruit-forward which many people mistake as sweetness. My biggest disappointment is that I haven’t found anywhere here in Northern California where I can get my hands on more of this wine! If any of you dear readers know where I can find it locally, please let me know in the comments!

Finally, please let me introduce you to my friend, Vranac. Talk about obscure! I just checked, and Total Wine & More, the wine superstore, doesn’t list it on it’s website at all! Vranac is a black-skinned grape native to Montenegro. It is most commonly planted in Macedonia and Croatia. Lucky for me, an obscure winery nearby in the Sierra Foothills has also planted some Vranac vines, and produces this remarkable wine. Now that I mention it, I’m way overdue for a visit to Sierra Ridge Winery!

sierra-ridge-vranac

Sierra Ridge Winery Vranac 2008 (Hmm. I didn’t make note of the price when I bought it. I’m guessing in the $18-24 range.)

Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of Blackberry, cherry, black pepper, and spice with notes of raisin. Medium bodied with soft, smooth tannins and a lingering finish.

One of the common denominators I have found in my exploration of obscure grapes and regions is…value! Since these wines are not widely known, they don’t demand such high prices as their more famous counterparts. Yet, these wines are equally as good, and in many cases (think mass-produced supermarket brands) they are far superior! I encourage you to stretch out of your comfort zone and seek out the obscure. I can promise you will find some amazing wines, and you might even save yourself a buck or two in the process!

Cheers!

 

Dracula Wine? A Review of Recas La Putere Feteasca Neagra 2013

Some weeks back, I received a coupon in my e-mail from Total Wine & More. OK, I get coupons from them all the time, usually $5 off $50 or some similar offer. But once in a while the coupon is special; $10 off $50. That’s 20%! If you are a regular reader (thank you), you know that I tend to hover in the $12-18 range for my wine purchases. So when I get these coupons, I like to use them to expand beyond my normal range, and look for a pricier bottle in the $35-45 range. Then I’ll find something new and interesting to round out the order to get me over the $50 requirement. On this particular occasion, I needed a bottle in the $8-10 range to check out with the coupon. As I browsed the selections, I spotted something I’d never seen before: a red wine from Romania. Transylvania, no less! I immediately knew I had to try it. I checked with my friendly TW&M store associate, who I’ve gotten to know and trust, and she gave the wine two thumbs-up. Into the basket, and away we went!

From what I’ve read about this heretofore unknown (to me) grape, it is best served with smoked or grilled meat. Alas, shortly after procuring the bottle, I found myself temporarily without a grill. So it rested. Now, several weeks later, I have remedied the dilemma and have resumed my meat-charring ways. The time was right to open and taste this exotic and mysterious juice!

According to the Wine-Searcher website, Feteasca Neagra means “black maiden.” The grape is native to Moldova, but suffered during the Soviet era, and is now more widely planted in Romania. It is often used as a blending grape with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

recas-la-putere-feteasca-neagra

From the back label:

“A mellow wine with an intense aroma of dark fruits and plums, a full bodied flavor with fine tannins and a hint of vanilla from fine American oak. Produced from our estate grown, carefully hand picked grapes, this wine is a result of a combination of the most modern viticultural and vinification techniques.  Extended maceration of the skins has given this wine a full bodied flavor with a powerful structure. Serve at room temperature with smoked meats, game or rich cheeses.”

Well, let’s crack that screwcap and see if I go batty for it!

Dracula’s wine? My first from Transylvania! Though I was expecting blood red, I was greeted with a pale garnet color in the glass, with aromas of raspberry and strawberry with a bit of baking spice. On the palate, bold red fruit: raspberry, plum, and strawberry with super soft tannins and light, balanced acidity. As it opens up, leather and tobacco swoop in. Medium body, with complexity throughout, leading to a ripe berry and chocolate-cherry finish.

4.0 out of 5 stars (88-91 points)

$9.99 retail at Total Wine & More

delicious-with-grilled-pork

I don’t know if Vlad the Impaler liked his meat roasted, but paired with Grilled Pork Tenderloin in a simple Olive Oil-Dijon marinade, this wine was out of this world! A great value that I’ll definitely buy again.

If you have tried, or decide to try this wine, please let me know how you liked it!

Cheers!

Happy 2017!

I often marvel at aspects of the human experience. At this time of year, we mark the passing of one year and the dawn of another. It’s really just another day in an expansive chain, yet it marks another full rotation around the sun, and in human tradition, the transition from past to future, and all the hopes and dreams associated with new.

future-past

2016 was, arguably, a very difficult year for many. We lost a number of celebrities, as well as some of our civility, kindness, and spirit. Many suffered personal hardships and tragedies; myself included. However, as humans, we persevere, determined to become stronger and better with the emergence of a new day; a new year.

As we stand at verge of 2017, I would like encourage you to join me in taking a moment to reflect on the good and positive things you enjoyed during 2016. I end the year much as I began it: healthy, of sound mind (though that’s debatable), gainfully employed, and with loving family members. Of course, since this is a wine blog, many of my thoughts are about wine. I tasted a lot of wine in 2016; more than 200 if my records are correct. I will not attempt to identify a “best of” list, though perhaps in future years I will do.

Without doubt, the highlight of 2016 was the five weeks I spent in Québec City, Canada. (If you’d like to read about it, you can find all five posts in the Destinations tab on the menu bar above.) The beauty and history there is spectacular. And the food! Poutine anyone? And there’s wine! Québécois wine, French wine, and many other selections. During the trip, I was able to taste and enjoy many wines that are simply unavailable here in Northern California. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend a visit.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Regardless of what kind of 2016 you had, I hope your 2017 will bring you exceeding happiness and peace. Tomorrow night, as we escort 2016 to the door and usher in 2017, I’ll be joining a group of new Meetup friends for a Rockin’ Blues party featuring live blues bands and dancing. I don’t know what I’ll be drinking at the event, or for the midnight toast, but whatever it is; I know it will taste like HOPE.

2017-toast

Happy New Year to all! May you have a prosperous and joyful 2017.

Cheers!

Review: Intertwine Merlot Napa Valley 2015

As the Merlot revival continues, each vintage of Bridget Raymond’s annual contribution to the NakedWines.com portfolio grows in popularity. I reviewed the 2014 vintage of Intertwine, and it is one of my most-read blog posts. So it was with eager anticipation that I opened the newly released 2015 vintage.

intertwine-2015-1

The Intertwine Merlot Napa Valley 2015 is made with fruit from the Oakville and Carneros AVAs. Both are among the finest, and best known regions in the Napa Valley. Whereas the 2014 showed its youth, and required ample aeration to be enjoyed young, the 2015 is smooth and delicious out of the bottle, although a bit of air allows it to open up, with more flavors emerging, and becoming even more enjoyable. As with most young wines, it will continue to improve with several months or years in the cellar.

This is the fourth vintage of Intertwine that I have had the pleasure of sampling. My tasting notes sum up my appreciation for this delightful juice:

intertwine-2015-2

This could be the best vintage of Intertwine yet! The color is deep purple. On pouring through a Vinturi, this is a blackberry delight! Plenty of juicy fruit on the nose with a hint of oak. Through sheer willpower, I let it breathe for about 30 minutes before allowing the elixir to touch my lips. Patience, rewarded. As the wine opens up, the nose develops some tobacco, black cherry, and cedar notes. When finally tasted, wow! Bold blackberry, Marionberry pie, and black cherry fill the mouth. Full, round, rich mouthfeel coats the tongue. The tannins are firm, but will soften with bottle aging, and the acidity is fresh and lively. The finish is long, with cherry, berry, cedar, smoke, and spice. I even got a bit of dark chocolate at the very end.

Food worthy? Oh yes! Intertwine 2015 took my roasted pork loin with poached pears to an entirely new level! Stellar!

4.5+ out of 5 stars (92 – 95 points)

SRP: $27.99, Angel Price: $13.99

Intertwine Merlot Napa Valley 2015 is available exclusively from NakedWines.com. If this sounds like your kind of wine, you can follow this link to become an Angel, and receive a voucher worth $100 off your first-time order of $160 or more. If you try it, please let me know what you think!

Cheers!

Review: Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc 2013

Last Sunday, December 4, 2016, was the second annual Cabernet Franc day. There are celebratory days for several popular wine grape varietals throughout the year. However, the regal Cabernet Franc grape had been overlooked until 2015. Enter Lori Budd. She and her husband, Michael, are the proprietors of Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles, California. Much more than a winery owner, though, Lori is a champion of Cabernet Franc. To bring attention to this oft overlooked grape, she established December 4th of each year as Cabernet Franc day. You can read Lori’s story about the creation of Cabernet Franc day here.

Cabernet Franc is a grape many wine drinkers have never heard of. Of those who are aware of it, many know it only as a blending grape used in red Bordeaux wines. Surprisingly few people have experienced Cabernet Franc as a stand-alone wine. That is a shame, and Lori is doing all she can to remedy that problem.

While anybody who has taken even a passing notice of wine is familiar with the King of Grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, many do not know that Cabernet Sauvignon is a naturally-occuring hybrid. DNA testing in the 1990s revealed it is a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

So what happens on Cabernet Franc day? A lot! Social Media is inundated with hashtags like #cabfrancday, #cabfranclove, and #lovecabfranc. In the wine blogger community, blog posts about Cabernet Franc abound. The day culminates with a Tweet-up on Twitter, with the hashtag #cabfrancday. I participated in the Tweet-up – my first one ever – and it was a lot of fun, and very informative! I had no idea there were so many producers making stand-alone Cabernet Franc, in so many styles.

I’ve had a few Cab Francs before, but haven’t really explored the grape in depth. All the wines I’ve had have been excellent; medium bodied with black fruit, tobacco, and spice, with the classic bell pepper on the finish. It is a very food friendly wine, and pairs well with basically anything you would serve with Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

dinner-time-cf-loves-beef

Cab Franc Loves Beef Tips and Mushrooms!

To celebrate Cabernet Franc day, I had the good fortune to receive a bottle of Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc 2013, from Beth, the Traveling Wine Chick. The Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc will blow your mind! It is crafted from 100% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% French Oak, and is rich, deep, and full bodied.

look-at-that-color

Look at That Color!

From the Ehlers Estate website:

A beautiful, 100% Cabernet Franc with great structure, firm, mature tannins, and compelling flavors. Black and red berries, black cherry, toasted coconut, browned butter, and slight vanilla, this wine is pure Franc from a stellar terroir. Mouth-filling and built to last, with a long chewy finish, this is a perfect change-up to your best Cabernet Sauvignons. Off the charts.

ehlers-estate-cf-2013

Here’s what I thought:

A delicious way to enjoy #CabFrancDay! Deep purple with a ruby rim. Aromas of ripe raspberry and soft cedar and pencil shavings. As the wine opens up, I got a whiff of bell pepper, too. On the palate, this is a juicy, balanced delight. Ripe raspberry, blackberry, cedar, and spice. Tannins are soft and smooth, with vibrant acidity that makes my mouth happy! The finish is long and satisfying, with black and red fruit. Outstanding!

5 out of 5 stars (95+ points)

Retail: $60

cant-wait-to-open-this

With such famous lineage it is surprising that Cabernet Franc is so often overlooked and forgotten. If you haven’t tried this grape on its own, please go to your favorite wine shop now and buy some. Then join us every December 4th for the annual #cabfrancday festivities!

Cheers!

 

 

My Winestory – #MWWC29

I can’t say exactly when I had my first taste of wine. As a child, Sunday dinner was a formal affair. We’d come home from church and change out of our “Sunday” clothes, only to dress again that evening for dinner. I clearly remember pot roast. Lots of pot roast. I also remember wine. My parents always served my sister and me a small glass of wine with Sunday dinner. I’m sure it was no more than an ounce or two. I assume that started around age 11 or 12. Mind you, this was wine from a jug, from one of the fine estates of E&J Gallo, Almaden, or Carlo Rossi, but wine it was.

Skip ahead a few years to junior high. In health class we studied a unit on alcohol, including a section on alcohol abuse and alcoholism. In one lesson, we took a quiz and to my shock, my parents’ drinking habits ticked almost all the boxes that indicate possible problems. Around this same time, I have vivid memories of my dad, passed out in his recliner after dinner. His normal habit after coming home from work was to toss back a couple of gin & tonics, then have a few glasses of wine with dinner. After dinner he’d retire to his recliner to watch TV, and within minutes, he was sawing logs. My sister and I laughed at it this first, but as I got older, it stopped being funny. One night, I tried to wake him up so he would go to bed, but I couldn’t, so I turned off the lights and went to my own bedroom to read.

I don’t know if my parents met the clinical definition of alcoholic, but with that kind of upbringing and exposure to excessive alcohol consumption, by high school, I had pretty much decided I was never going to let that happen to me. Whether alcohol abuse is an inherited genetic trait, or learned behavior (nature vs. nurture) I do not know. However, I do believe that children of alcoholics are much more likely to become alcoholics themselves. My sister is an example of this. She is a recovering alcoholic who, with the support of her AA friends and family, recently celebrated 18 years of sobriety!

So how, then, did I end up here? Not only drinking wine (and beer and liquor), but blogging about it? Glad you asked.

Monthly Wine Writing Challenge

John Taylor, author of Pairs With: Life, won #MWWC28, and his Major Award was to select the topic for #MWWC29. He chose: Winestory. An opportunity for us to share our personal stories about how we got here, and why in the world we decided to start writing a blog. Having sufficiently (I hope) set the stage, here is my

winestory

Like any other kid in living in a college dorm, despite my convictions, I occasionally succumbed to peer pressure. That’s when I first learned about the joys of the sweet elixir. I’m referring, of course, to White Zinfandel. In the early 80’s, this fine juice was in its heyday, and priced right for starving college students! It was everywhere! Kool-aid with a kick, and all the cool kids were drinking it. But I still wasn’t hooked.

In our early married years, my wife and I were pretty much teetotalers. st-innocentWe might have a glass of wine when we went out for a special occasion dinner, and would buy a bottle for home maybe twice a year. However, one fateful December when we were living in Oregon, we attended a company holiday party at St. Innocent Winery. At first I demurred when the hostess offered me a glass. Sure, I knew Pinot Noir is what put the Willamette Valley on the wine map, but I truly subscribed to the (untested and erroneous) belief that red wine gives me headaches. The hostess assured me that St. Innocent’s wine would not give me a headache. She was right, and the wine was delicious. The rest, as they say, is history.

I started buying wine regularly, and joined a wine club, receiving quarterly shipments of wines from all over the world. My journey of discovery and adventure had begun! Soon, friends and family were asking me for advice: wines to buy, pairing suggestions, anything wine related. I was hungry for knowledge about wine. I subscribed to magazines, and enrolled in web-based classes. Then one day, I received a voucher in the mail. My wine journey was about to change, and go in an entirely new direction.

If you have read my blog before, you probably know that I am a member, and ardent supporter of NakedWines.com. (If you are unfamiliar with NakedWines.com, please follow this link to their FAQ page.) When that voucher arrived, I was skeptical. I had been disappointed by many of the wine clubs I’d tried, but I figured $160 worth of wine for $60 was worth the one-time risk. Once the wine arrived and I had my first taste from the first bottle I opened, I was hooked.

not-the-original-bottle-it-was-so-good-i-bought-more

Not the actual First Bottle. It was so good, I bought more.

One of the things that sets NakedWines.com apart from traditional wine clubs is the social media aspect of the company. Members, known as Angels, are encouraged to post reviews of the wines they drink, and interact with each other…and the winemakers…on the website. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed writing the reviews of the wines. Even more surprising was the fact that other Angels were reading them, and commenting on how much they liked them. New Angels were starting to seek out my reviews and opinions. They were looking up to ME! I’m no sommelier, no winemaker, or any other sort of expert. I’m just a guy who drinks wine, with a new passion for writing about it.

The natural next step, then, was to figure out this whole blog thing, and start writing. So I did. My main focus is on sharing those wine reviews, expanding them beyond NakedWines.com, to include all the wines I enjoy. More than just reviews, though, I like to tell a story about the wine, the region, and if possible, the winemaker. My goal is to engage my audience, and if I may be so bold, perhaps educate them a little. Keeping my childhood in mind, and cognizant of my family history, and remain vigilant on my consumption. Nevertheless, wine has become my true passion, and sharing it brings me joy.

Wi.Nes

The diary of a winemaker; vineyards, wineries and kitchen

Oz's Travels

Watch Me Get Lost

Social Vignerons

The World of Wine's Got Talent

one foot in the grapes

Jane Clare, journalist, loves wine, likes gin too. More eyebrow than highbrow.

Got Legs

An International Wine Girl

SAHMmelier

Stay at home mom, lover of wine

World and Wine Getaways

The World and Wine Getaways website provides clients with a central location to learn more about traveling to wine country areas worldwide.

Pairs With: Life

Meanderings on life, posing as a Wine Blog

The Swirling Dervish

Wine Stories, Food Pairings, and Life Adventures

Pairs With: Life

Musings on Life, Love and Wine

The Wine & Food Concierge

Sharing Wine + Food enjoyed in Vancouver and around the world

Winona the Wineosaur

Just your average Mesozoic girl, livin and drinking her way through the modern day world.

Wine Sipper

One Wine at a Time

Have Wine, Will Inspire

Passion, People, Wine

The Vigneron's Wife

The thrills and spillage of an Aussie girl living with a French winemaker

MyWine Channel

“Either give me more wine or leave me alone.”

Topochines Vino

Exploring the World of Wine

ROCKIN RED BLOG

A Song in Every Glass

The Primlani Kitchen

Love is My 'Secret' Ingredient

wineglitz

share your wine story

Wining with Mel

Living life, one glass at a time

El meson del Vino

The online reference for Spanish wines in Quebec, Canada

The Diagonal Oenophile

Looking at great wine from a different angle.

Frankly Wines

A Wine Blog with a Focus on Fizz, Alsace and Australasia