Every Monday and Thursday, we discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
My wife’s conference brings baby and I to Virginia. We stay in Alexandria: namesake of our ten month old and posh tourist excursion from Washington DC.
Now, with a week to kill, between eponymous photo-ops, I explore Alexandria’s wine shops and bottle bars. Years have passed since I last sold or tried wine from Virginia. I remember liking it. Lean and structured, like Bordeaux, Baboursville Octagon Red seemed solid.
But a concern slowly creeps in. Alexandria’s shelves and lists feature fab Sancerre, German bubblies, Rhône growers, interesting South African Chenin Blanc, Langhe Nebbiolo, and Californian classics. Heck, every shop has at least three Oregon Pinot Noir, even unseen single vineyards, and I come from Oregon. Continue reading
Think of Argentinian wine. If Malbec comes to mind followed by a shrug or shudder, I feel your pain. Argentina has tumbled down this monovariety’s path, much like Australia did with Shiraz decades ago. Malbec became the recession’s answer to find a big red for less. But it is a race to the bottom that backfires. The grape, and Argentina by association, are now caged by their success. They exist in most minds as a cheap alternative. Continue reading
Our Napa Valley tour continues. After an extravagant whole day at Opus One (read here), we continue to dip our toes into this gilded pool with a stop at Jarvis Estate.
William Jarvis went from the Navy, to college and much travel, to found his own telecommunications company (you may have heard of HP) in Silicone Valley. Loaded, living part-time at his Chateau in France led him to wine. As one does, he bought an 1,320 acre retreat in SE Napa Valley, near Coombsville, and planted 37 acres of vines over ten years. Continue reading
With our house a block of ice, I turn to southern climes for sunnier respite. This manic Monday’s glass travels to Paso Robles AVA: California’s hot hills of heritage Zinfandel vines and huge Syrah wines. Continue reading
Last August, while killing time in a never ending sea of weddings, Wayward Wine toured Paso Robles, California.
Paso is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) a three hour drive North of Los Angeles (without traffic…so, five hours). For us it took twelve hours from our home in Oregon. To overgeneralize, Paso is a large, hot, dry, sunny, inland plain. Continue reading