Corsica: Making Wine on an Island

I’ve read a lot of fiction in my day and I’m always hooked on a great setting. It doesn’t have to be sensational or mythical, but when the author creates a real place –  a patch of filigreed moss in the primordial woods of Virginia or the view of a valley from a crumbling garden…

6 Wine Bloggers Cover Corsica

This month we see Corsica. Our French Winophiles group is scheduled to stop at the French island of Corsica via our blogs and we’ll all meet to share notes, pictures and food-parings on Saturday, February 18th at 10 am central on twitter under the hashtag #Winophiles. According to Provence WineZine: Corsica, as a French territory or,…

Charming Wine for your Sweetie: Toad Hollow Vineyards

Let me count thy ways…that Toad Hollow Risqué is a charming bottle to share on this, the most romantic of holidays: St. Valentine’S Day (Most Romantic? if we are to believe what we are told. And do we believe what are told? Never! But do we like wine to share with someone sexy? Always!) How…

Cooking at Home: Affordable Bordeaux & Homemade Pasta

“Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” ~Sophia Loren Something elemental happened in our kitchen recently. We began to make our pasta from scratch. For years I’d believed this was a practice we weren’t entitled to, not being Italian and having the oh-so-easy bounty of boxed (and even pre-made fresh) pasta available at our local…

Corsica: Where You Don’t Need an Invitation

My first French teacher was from Marseille. I learned Provençal dialects, accents and lifestyle as my first course in “becoming” French. This began what has been a lifelong connection with Provence leading me there many times, introducing me to many friends and helping me to obtain my Provence Wine Master status (exam next month!). While in…

The Test in Life is Unity: G. D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo

“We produce Barolo and wines of our land, the Langhe. We believe in beauty, in work well done, attention to detail, creativity which respects the tradition.” “We are the most modernist of the traditionalists and most traditional of the modernists.” “Layers flipping one on top of the other. This is the story of [the land]…

The Biodynamic Vineyards of Savoie

When I read the story of Jacques Maillet, Savoie vigneron, it echoed the message I’d heard from other biodynamic winemakers. The chemicals, they say, just aren’t safe. They are toxic to our plants, to our soil, to our wildlife and to us. The Tale of Jacques Maillet Jacques Maillet husbands four hectares of vines, most over 40 years…

New Column at California Winery Advisor {and whales!}

This year I’ll be hosting a monthly column at California Winery Advisor. I get excited about this because California is such a diverse and interesting place in our world. There is so much to learn and so much to taste. I start out the year with a look at Monterey County in January. Now, this…

Getting Into Savoie with the French #Winophiles

The French Winophiles You may have noticed mention of the Winophiles group on L’occasion lately. The French Winophiles are a group of bloggers that love French wine. Most of the people in the group have some sort of specialty or favorite region. There are writers that are cooks with an interest in wine, wine writers…

The Wines of Red Mountain

The story of how I became familiar with the Wines of Red Mountain, an AVA in southeastern Washington state, is representative of how most of my wine connections are made: organically. Late November I received a note in my inbox from author Boo Walker. His third novel, Red Mountain, had recently been released and he…

Winemaker Rendezvous: Theresa Heredia of Gary Farrell Winery

TODAY WE WELCOME A RENDEZVOUS WITH WINEMAKER THERESA HEREDIA, CHIEF WINEMAKER AT GARY FARRELL WINERY IN SONOMA’S RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY. I’ve been waiting to interview Theresa for a while now. Her Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays embody such elegance that I have to say I was impressed and intrigued. I’d tasted her wines and done a bit of…

Savoie with the French #Winophiles

Unforgettable Savoie January brings a trip through the Savoie wine region, on the eastern edge of central France. People from all of the world are called to this area for natural beauty, with a crown of Alpine features. It is also home to three wine appellations composed of 20 different geographic districts. Dominant Savoie grapes inclue Mondeuse, Pinot…

The Terraced Vineyards of Liguria

The first time we visited Liguria was on a drive along the French Riviera from Provence. This particular route is one of life’s travel pleasures. One the one hand, there are the stunning beaches, white and sometimes rocky skirts for the glittering Mediterranean sea. On the other hand are the cliffs and towering outcroppings, often…

Lessons for 2017: Wine writer edition

Poised. That’s what we are. We’ve got 2016 buckled to our backs and 2017 about to pop. Does a new year mean anything to you? Or is the completion of a past year more meaningful as a milestone? I’m in the mix, I always stand looking back (and gushing that it has gone too fast)…

Fascinating: Crémant d’Alsace

This piece explores the bubbly wine of Alsace, France: Crémant d’Alsace. It’s one of the best stories in wine: the origin of bubbles. We’ve heard a few tales, such as Dom Pérignon’s famous quote about seeing stars in the bubbles in his glass of Champagne. Down in Limoux, in southwest France, they claim to be the…