Too Much Wine Too Little Time

Welcome to Too Much Wine Too Little Time.

We hope you enjoy our site and find the information interesting. If you wish to share your stories or ideas feel free to contact us. We try to provide you with an interesting site that will send you off on a journey to learn all you can about wine. Don't forget to check out our Too Much Wine Store for our latest offerings!!

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Sediment in Wine

Have you ever taken a sip of a really outstanding wine that you have thoroughly enjoyed and get a mouthful of sediment? I call them bugs because that is what it reminds me of, but they aren’t really bugs, they are Tartaric Crystals which form over time and are actually not harmful at all. It is just so strange to drink a solid when you are expecting a liquid. It does make you want to spit the wine out; which is just instinct when you think something strange is happening and you are about to swallow a foreign object. I don’t know exactly what causes the crystals to form and have never really researched it much; however, I am no longer grossed out by it. I am starting to find the crystals somewhat fascinating in a strange way as far as the shape they take on. Imagine drinking a really good wine and you are down to the last sip you want to savor and poof, your wine is suddenly crunchy…yuck! That is the part that upsets me, I really wanted that last sip and don’t want to swallow the bugs! I have seen a pattern in some older wines and of course unfiltered wines that tend to have more crystals than other wines and in those cases I make sure to strain the wine so I capture the bugs in my imaginary net (strainer). The fact of the matter is sediment is a natural occurrence in some wines, and generally in the ones that are made for aging. While sediment can be pretty unpleasant to drink it will not harm you. Carefully pouring wine from a bottle can capture the sediment in the rim of the wine bottle prior to the neck or using a strainer and decanter can also capture the sediment. It is just another part of the learning experience for me; sediment is a natural part of wine and should not ruin the experience.
Check out the link below to purchase a wine sediment strainer of your own:

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Napa Valley Lighted Tractor Parade

The 14th annual Napa Valley Lighted Tractor Parade will be held in Calistoga after dark on December 5th. Vintage and modern tractors, antique trucks, human powered vehicles and construction equipment from small to gigantic, decorated with dazzling lights, bearing everything from kids to Santa will parade down Calistoga’s scenic main street. A great holiday event that continues to grow every year is perfect for everyone!
When: Saturday December 5th after dark (6:00pm) Where: Downtown Calistoga, main street
For more information call: 707-942-6333 or visit: http://calistogachamber.com/eventscalendar.html

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Winter in the Wineries in Calaistoga

Located at the top of beautiful Napa Valley and known as the hot springs resort and spa destination is Calistoga, California. This week begins Calistoga’s Classic Christmas Season with almost 20 local wineries inviting “passport holders” to tour their wineries and tasting rooms, meet the winemakers and taste some great wines. Discounts at several Calistoga restaurants and lodging venues will also be available to passport holders over the celebration weekend.
Winter in the Wineries will be held December 4-6 from 10am -5:00pm with a $40.00 fee charged for passports which can be purchased in advance.
For more information and participating establishments call: 707-942-6333, or visit: http://www.calistogavisitors.com/winterinwineries.php

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Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of our loyal visitors we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! You are what keeps our little site going and we are thankful for that! We also would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all of our soldiers who are away from home and their families this Thanksgiving. We greatly appreciate your sacrifice and pray for your safe return. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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3rd Annual New York Wine Expo

DON’T JUST ENJOY WINE – EXPERIENCE WINE at the
3rd ANNUAL NEW YORK WINE EXPO.
NY_main_image 

The 3rd Annual New York Wine Expo, February 26th – 28th 2010,
(28th for trade only) is an opportunity to swirl and sip wines from around the globe.
French wineries and vineyards will have a significant showing this year,
and as always, attendees can continue to look forward to Italian,
German, Australian, and South American favorites. Not to be missed of
course, local New York, Oregon and California wines. In all, the Grand
Tasting offers attendees a chance to sample more than 600 wines from
over 170 winemakers from around the world.

Attend the Expo not just for the sampling, but for the learning
experience as well. To date, seminar presenters include Gloria Maroti
Frazee and Leslie Sbrocco.

WHAT: 3rd Annual New York Wine Expo
February 26th – 28th
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City

WHEN: Friday, February 26, 2010
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday, February 27, 2010
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Trade Only
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
PRICE: Save $10 on tickets purchased before February 19
Friday admission: $75 in advance
Saturday admission: $85 in advance

TO PURCHASE: Go to: http://www.NewYorkWineExpo.com
Check web site for regular updates on Seminar schedules and special
guests.

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Boston Wine Expo 2010

Touted as the largest trade and consumer wine event in the country, the 19th annual Boston Wine Expo will be held January 23-24 2010. Over 450 international wineries will be pouring 1,800 wines for sampling. Over 15 celebrity chefs will be in attendance cooking gourmet samples for tasting along with recipes to take home. Guided tastings and seminars will be available too. There is also the Grand Cru Wine Lounge, located in a private setting away from the floor, you can relax and sample in an intimate setting. A Meet and Greet the winemaker will allow you to mingle with your favorite winemaker. The event donates money to local charities. The event will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center and tickets are on sale now. For more information visit their web site at: http://wine-expos.com/boston/

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Holiday Wine Trail Weekend

Now is the time to plan special day trips to New Jersey’s many wineries, November 27, 28, & 29th. The annual New Jersey Holiday Wine Trail weekend will be held over Thanksgiving weekend. Plan your own trail, pick your start and finish point. Enjoy some great award winning New Jersey wine! Pick up some holiday wine and gifts along the way. For maps to winery locations and more information visit http://newjerseywines.com .

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Beaujolais Noveau

The month of November always signals the annual arrival of a special wine from France. Yes, November 19th once again Beaujolais Noveau arrives here in the United States. While in years past this would always be a rather big event, but Beaujolais Noveau has lost much of its shine in recent years. I can remember the excitement the arrival of the wine brought and rushing to the store in order to be the first to purchase it. In my mind the quality of the wine has dramatically gone down, but I still purchase one bottle each year just to see if the wine somehow returned to its original luster of yesteryear. I assume this year will be no different and I will go to purchase that one bottle. As I open it, I will hope that maybe this is the year they get it right!

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The Holiday Season

The month of November is a big month for me, it signals the wind down of another year and the unofficial start of our holiday season. The hectic pace of getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to make time fly by with shopping, parties and gatherings. It is a time when there is much excitement, fun and of course some stress. During these times wine plays an even bigger part in our everyday life. What Thanksgiving Day dinner would be complete without wine and I find it a lot of fun to pick the wines I will serve. I like to select a pre-dinner wine and take great care in selecting a wine to serve with dinner, something that will complement the flavors of the traditional turkey dinner. Some special Ports and dessert wines are always a part of the after dinner spread as well. Next up after Turkey day is the gift giving of Christmas where I get to shop for some really nice wine I would not normally buy. I give to those special people in my life that appreciate wine as much I do. Some of these special bottles are somewhat pricey and I may not have sampled them previously, so I rely on reviews and recommendations when purchasing them. My local wine store manager can usually point me to something special also. I guess I am a little selfish in thinking I may get to taste some of the wines I have gifted to the special people in my life and it sure makes the selection of the bottles easier!

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Island Summer Nights……

Pondering the week’s adventure ahead of me while crammed into my American Airlines economy seat, the last thing on my mind was wine. No, I was dreaming of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, warm tropical breezes and gently swaying palm trees. I had just under an hour to go until touch down in beautiful St. Lucia, West Indies.  The week prior, in fact I’d say the last 6 months prior to the trip had been a complete blur.  I was preparing for my wedding and this trip was our honeymoon. 

As anyone who as ever planned a wedding can attest, the stress involved seems to peak around the last month and a half to month before the actual event.  That is when you realize that all the procrastinating you have done has finally caught up with you and oh by the way; the final payments to the DJ, photographer, florist, etc, all are due.  So, with the wedding ceremony complete and the reception a huge hit, it was now off to St. Lucia for a much needed honeymoon. 

As we approached the island of St. Lucia, I was amazed at the mountainous landscape of the island and the deep blue ocean waters surrounding it.  I had been to the Caribbean before, but never this far south.  As a frame of reference, St. Lucia is approximately 1,300 miles south of Miami.  It is one of the Windward Islands and is located within a chain of other Eastern Caribbean islands.  Its closest neighbors are Martinique which is 21 miles to the north and Barbados which is 90 miles to the southeast.  St. Lucia is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide with a combination of high mountains, forests, low lying lands and beaches. A central mountain range runs the length of the island, with peaks ranging between 1,000 and 3,145 feet. The two towering volcanic cones on the southwest coast, Gros Piton (797m) and Petit Piton (750m) are one of the Caribbean’s most famous landmarks.

Pitons too much

Landing at Hewennora International Airport in Vieux Fort takes you back to a time when air travel was simpler.  Passengers disembark down air stairs and then walk across the tarmac to the open air customs queue.  Once you have checked in with customs and received the proper stamps, it’s off to grab your bags and look for a taxi.  Fortunately for us, we were staying at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort in Gros Islet, so they had already arranged for the transfers to and from the airport.

The ride from the airport to the Grande St. Lucian took just over an hour and a half.  It took us through small seaside villages on the Atlantic Coast, up over the central mountain range and rain forest and finally through the capital of Castries on the Caribbean Coast and on into Gros Islet.  Sandals Grande St. Lucian is located on Rodney Bay on a man made causeway which was built in the 1970’s to connect the mainland with Pigeon Island.

Pig Islan Too web site

Sandals has three resorts on St. Lucia, The Regency, The Halcyon Beach and the Grande.  The Grande is the largest of the three resorts, but by staying at any one you have access to the other three via the daily shuttles that run in between each of the resorts.  Arriving after our hour and a half ride to the Grande, we were assisted by the concierge service for our check in and in no time found ourselves in our Honeymoon swim up room.  The concierge had placed a chilled bottle of champagne in the room so we immediately popped the cork and toasted to surviving the long taxi ride to the resort.  Champagne consumed, it was time to find something to eat.  If you have ever been to an all inclusive resort, you know that there are plenty of food options to choose from.  Being new to the resort, we decided to make it easy and stop at the first restaurant we came too which ended up being the Bayside Grill.

room too much

This is where wine came into the picture, while preparing to order a couple frosty tropical drinks; the hostess informed us that Sandals resorts had recently partnered with Beringer Vineyards to provide premium house wines and higher end wines found on the Managers and Chairman’s wine lists which are available for purchase. Aside from partnering with Beringer they also started an innovative educational program – the Platinum Wine Certification by Beringer. Restaurant and bar staff undergo this certified training program to give them more tools and information about wine. This new certification program aims to greatly enhance the wine experience for resort guests.  For house wines, Sandals offers Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay under the Beringer Stone Cellars label.  For Managers or Chairman’s the offerings are even greater.  So we decided to forgo the tropical drinks for the evening and try the Beringer Stone Cellar Chardonnay. 

As I stated earlier, you may not think of wine when you are traveling to the Caribbean, but you should.  Many resorts have developed wine programs and offerings in an effort to “raise the bar when it comes to luxury,” as the Sandals site states. Wine offerings at resorts have become just as important as the size and number of pools offered, or the location of a beach in relation to a resort. 

sandals too much

For the remainder of the week we bummed around the resort partaking in free flowing tropical drinks during the day and the Beringer Stone Cellar offerings during the evening.  We also took in the local sights through the many tour offerings provided by Sandals.  Like all good trips, this one ended too soon.  After 8 days on the island it was time to brave another taxi ride back to the airport and the 5 and a half hour flight (including layover in Miami) back home. 

If you are planning on taking a trip to St. Lucia, there are several things that you can do while on the island:

Take a land or sea tour to Soufriere where you can visit the Caribbean’s only drive in volcano.  When you take the sea tour you will travel from Castries harbor on a catamaran down the coast past Anse La Raye a quaint fishing village and into Soufriere passing under the majestic Pitons, Gros and Petit.  In Soufriere you visit the volcano and visit the Diamond Botanical Gardens.  Following lunch, you board the catamaran again for a trip back up the coast where you stop in at Marigot Harbor to take in the scenery. 

marigot bay too much web

You can visit the rainforest and zip line through the tops of the trees, rent ATV’s or even take a horseback ride.

 Check out the following sites for more information on tours and resorts:

St. Lucia Island Website- http://www.stlucia.org/default.asp

Sandals Web Site- http://www.sandals.com

Until next month Salude!!

sunset too much