A World of Flavors in Marseille

The Southern French port city of Marseille has been the entry point for the world since the Greeks settled there around 600 BC. The second largest city in France is home to people of scoping nationalities and this diversity makes Marseille the world’s kitchen. Marseille is also in an excellent wine neighborhood, with the best…

5 Italian Easter Dishes and Wine Pairings

A robin made a nest in the wreath on our front door. She’s been out there, fluttering from the edge of the roof, to the twigs in the planter, to the shrub…constantly moving about. My husband called it: she’s going to lay eggs.  New Life and A New Season Now there is one delicate blue…

Champagne avec Les Winophiles Français

Champagne is the focus of this month’s Winophiles treatment. The Winophiles are a group of wine writers and bloggers that love French wine. Each month we focus on an area or aspect of French wine. Topics include regions, routes, food, travel, history, profiles, tastings…we expand widely and seek to learn. Champagne! Just the sound of…

A Time + A Place for Champagne

Champagne is… …home to a 15,000-strong team of highly skilled winegrowers. …an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC that’s been in place since 1927. …comprised of four main growing areas: The Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs et the Côte de Sézanne, the vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Bar. …situated at a northerly latitude…

Winemaker Rendezvous: Lucio Matricardi Ph.D. of Stemmari

TODAY WE WELCOME A RENDEZVOUS WITH WINEMAKER LUCIO MATRICARDI, Ph.D. WINEMAKER AT STEMMARI ON THE ISLAND OF SICILY. LUCIO IS ALSO THE WINEMAKER AT ROTARI TRENTODOC AND MEZZACORONA IN ITALY. I’ll tell you what I was thinking, in the days leading up to my call with Lucio. Have you ever heard someone say to a young mother -several…

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…

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…