Picture China. Depending on where your from, a collage of pandas, red flags, chopsticks, tea, rice bowls, Mao portraits, and bamboo groves may pass through your mind.
Yup. Vineyards. Since at least 7,000 BCE, China has been making alcohol from grapes. Yet wine remained a fringe product, more an exotic treat for the elite than a mass produced, daily beverage for the masses. It took until 1980 for French wine to crack into China, but public interest only swelled by 2000 with China’s global rise. Production has hovered around 7th place worldwide, sandwiched between Argentina and South Africa at 11.5 million hectoliters. Continue reading
Be honest with yourself: it has been a long day. You deserve a drink. But the last thing you want is more work. It can be interesting, sure. But complexity, tannins, grip, and food pairings sound horrid.
Let me whisk you to Italy. Specifically, Tuscany: land of rolling hills, Chianti, Renaissance palazzi, and rustic food. But leave the sweat, art, dust, gelato, and tourists of Firenze (aka Florence) behind. Head northeast, into the mountains, and you will find Pomino DOC: a few miles from where I use to excavate an Etruscan temple. Continue reading
A new Mourvèdre makes it into our glasses. The rare grape of Bandol and Southern France has found a small niche in warm Central California. After trying the light Croad (here) and plump Terry Hoag (read here), it is time to turn to one of the smallest AVAs with the oldest Mourvèdre: Lime Kiln Valley. Continue reading
Our Mourvèdre adventures continue. After the lean bright Croad (read here), today we try something a bit more friendly. Former footballer-turned winemaker, Terry Hoag, makes some solid estate wines (read here) even if they’re named after pigskin puns. Only one wine sees Mourvèdre added: “5 Blocks” (referring to five field goal blocks in college…of course).
Mourvèdre plays to type, with more of a supporting role at 28%, Syrah leads with 60%, followed by 12% Grenache that rounds out the blend.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged art, California, culture, drinks, football, Mourvèdre, Paso Robles, Review, Terry Hoag, travel, wine
Most American Nebbiolo sucks. Once upon a time, I loved Palmina’s efforts (read here). But if I am honest with my naive self, Santa Barbara Nebbiolo tastes nothing like the Piedmont, Italy.
So, Oregon wine. You may have heard of our fabulous Willamette Valley Pinot, maybe even warmer Umqua, Rogue, or Appelgate Valleys. But there lies another AVA, East of Portland, East of Mount Hood, along the slopes of the river that brought Lewis and Clarke to the Pacific: the Columbia Gorge AVA. Continue reading