Tag Archives: travel

Wine Review: Domaine Tollot-Beaut Chorey-Les-Beaune Rouge 2011

Now trapped at home, my cellar (aka crawl space) lights up the end of this dark tunnel. Each bottle holds a glimpse into the world before this plodding, boring present. I would rather open wines too early than too late for the sake of some palate time travel. So, yes, let us crack open another Burgundy. Continue reading

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Extreme Wine Trip: Okanagan Valley BC Canada Part 1

Stuck at home? Grab a glass of something nice. Since we can’t travel, stray with me to the edge of wine-making. With so many “important” wine regions out there, I had set aside Canada’s Okanagan Valley. It was too far, … Continue reading

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Balkan Merlot Wine Review: VukojE, Galerija, Bosnia-Herzegovina 2016

Wow. Hi internet, I missed you. Toddler distractions notwithstanding, let us turn our sails back toward the wine dark sea. Many leagues ago, I started to review Balkan wines my mother-in-law smuggled back with her. The tannic, native grape, Vranak made for some puckered and challenged palates (read here). But, how does Bosnia-Herzegovina handle the stereotyped grape of plush pleasure and ease: Merlot? Continue reading

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Hard Apple Cidery Review: Sea Cider, Vancouver BC Canada

Hi Internet. Too much time has passed us by. It turns out that toddlers and bloggers mix like oil and water. My apologies.

Time to scratch the itch and wrap up our Vancouver Island drinks tour with one last review. To recap: Canada is not the Mediterranean.  Wine grapes struggle to reach ripeness in this cool, marginal climate. Yet Vancouver Island, oddly, shelters enough microclimates to encourage some to try their hand at wine-making. Results range from enamel-etching bubbly (read here), tart Chardonnay (read here), decent but pale Pinot Noir (read here), a fine Gamay (read here), a solid hybrid white (read here), to a mixed-bag winery that distills great gin and vermouth (read here),

Maybe we’re going about this all wrong. Let’s drop the grapes and give cold-hardy apples a chance. We roll from Victoria North into the rolling verdant farm hills of Saanich Peninsula. A gravel road bends up a cliff overlooking gleaming Cordova Channel.  Short apple trees for hand picking lead up to the white, decked, cidery and tasting room. The view stops us. Continue reading

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Don’t Balk at Balkan Wine: Montenegro Wine Review Plantaze’s Vranac Pro Corde 2013

Be good to your mother-in-law. You never know when she might share wines smuggled from the Balkans. After our New Year’s Eve Serbian bubbly (read here), today we try a serious red wine from Montenegro: a country sandwiched between the Adriatic Coast, inland Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia to its North, Albania and Kosovo to its South.

This wine’s producer, Plantaze, today makes 40 different wines, from 26 grape varieties, and four brandies totaling 17 million bottles. They are Montenegro’s biggest deal, wine-wise, but started humbly with a 1963 agricultural merger that planted an “infertile wasteland” (their words) of rocks and shallow soil around Skadar Lake: Continue reading

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