Fresh American Wines for Brunch

When I was a young mom in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood (hands up if you are from Chicago) the place to be seen with your family was John’s Place for brunch on the weekends. It was a right of passage, you were now adult enough to be up before noon, but were young enough that…

Cool Wines For The Adventurous Wine Lover

My April column at California Winery Advisor is dedicated to unexpected varietals in California Vineyards. I’ve featured Clenenden Family Vineyards – Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria, Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz and Markus Wine Co. (a subventure of Borra Vineyards) in Lodi. California is a state rich in vineyard microclimates and terroir. With over 800 miles…

Wine as an Investment: Burn After Reading by Jerry Clark

Today we welcome my friend Jerry Clark. Jerry has been a guest on L’occasion when he shared his thoughts on big dollar investments in Napa. Jerry  is a wine writer and president of Winemaven Enterprises in Mystic, Connecticut. Jerry and I are both contributors to Provence WineZine and we had the good fortune of meeting…

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…

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…

Between the Barrels: 3 Top CA Wine Clubs to Join or Give as Gifts

My friend Megan joins us on L’occasion today to share her wine club recommendations. Aside from having a ridiculous amount of wine in her basement, Megan is not an aficionado. She’s a writer, but not a wine writer. Her bias is simply memories and taste. These suggestions come from her heart (which is evident in her…

Books for Winelovers

November is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo in writer-code. During this month, writers are challenged to write a 50,000 word book. The NaNoWriMo community provides support, inspiration and tracking functionality. There have been several years that I’ve participated, and I’ve gone on to complete a partially-prepared-during NaNoWriMo story, the one that has emerged as my favorite…

Evenings with Merlot

This article is all about Merlot, in conjunction with #MerlotMe and #WinePW, featuring two bottles from the Napa Valley. When I was a younger gal, an early wine drinker, my go-to wine was Merlot. I still remember walking into a Champagne bar and ordering a glass of Merlot instead of bubbly. Merlot proved, and still…

Famous Line From Jerry McGuire Film Works Again in Napa

Today we welcome a guest post from Jerry Clark, wine writer and president of Winemaven Enterprises in Mystic, Connecticut. Jerry and I are both contributors to Provence WineZine and we had the good fortune of meeting in Lodi, California earlier this year. Susan Manfull, founder of Provence WineZine, was there as well as we all…

Oysters & Sauvignon Blanc from Proud Pour

This story tells about the efforts of Proud Pour, a company working to restore oyster beds from the proceeds of their sustainably-produced Sauvignon Blanc from North Coast, California. Learning About Oysters Last January, during a southbound drive on I-55, I heard a story on the radio about the cost of checked airline baggage. A guest on…

Sonoma’s Rosé Revolution

I’ m certainly not one of those people that think rosé is just-for-summer. I drink rosé all year and in fact, have had some meaningful wine discoveries from rosé-producing winemakers, most of them Provençal. I’m excited, now, for this opportunity to learn more about rosé from an American wine region: Sonoma County. Sonoma has been a…

Cooking with Wine: Chipotle Pinot Noir Enchiladas

One of my husband’s favorite food memories of growing up in Chicago was the tamale lady. She was a neighborhood mother who made a huge batch of tamales on a certain day of the week. She’d sell them hot and ready to any family that opened their door in time to catch her. So when I…

Sustainable Wines for Earth Day

April 22, 2016 is Earth Day. Ask any winegrower the number one ‘ingredient’ in their wine and they’ll answer: terroir. The land. The Earth. This post is a round up of some of the recent sustainable and biodynamic (biodynamique in French) wines that I’ve highlighted on L’occasion. (And one recommendation for the beer lovers.) Profile…

New Wines from Wineries You Know

Last summer my husband and I were invited to join friends to roam around an outdoor a car show, part of a Route 66 collection of hundreds of vehicles from all over the country. We don’t know a thing about cars, but on that sticky summer night we learned a few things from talking to the folks…

Thirst for Knowledge: Ladera Vineyards

I’m not sure when I had my first glass of wine, probably in college and it was probably cheap gunk. It’s likely that I shared it Megan, that much is probable. Even if we weren’t each-other’s first, many of the glasses I have since enjoyed have been with her. For full disclosure here, I love Megan. We…