Lush – A 2007 Napa Valley Red Wine…..eye catching from the first moment you lay eyes on the bottle with a label that stands out enough to make you pause for a second in order to interpret. The label reads much like an eye chart you would see at an eye doctor office, starting out with just one large letter at the top. In this case the top letter is L printed in red ink, followed by CB in black ink, followed by DUF with the U in red ink and all other letters in black ink. The next line provides PSTO with the S being the red ink letter and of course the font size getting progressively smaller as an eye chart would. The label continues with various letters stamped in black in all six rows of the “eye chart” except for the word LUSH set apart in red ink. See what I mean? Clever marketing, now that you have paused for a second to read the bottle you are already intrigued as to what this wine is all about. So, I turn it around to find it has been cellared and bottle by Underground Wine Co. Napa, CA. Ok, still gaining points in my book as I have tried some other wines by Underground Wine Co. They describe the wine as LUSH aromas of wild cherry and blackberry that create a complex red wine with depth and intensity unlike any other. A blend of 85% Merlot, 12% Syrah, and 3% Viognier, a fact I had a little difficulty finding as the wine is not outlined on the web, nor is it detailed on the label. This defined and well balanced red will pair with a variety of food making it an approachable wine for any type of occasion! Wow and price point under $20….I had to buy a bottle, sounded like it would be perfect for pizza night! We did sample the wine later that week and really enjoyed it… I will be picking up another bottle and you should too!
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The annual fair is held at the Napa Valley Expo nestled in downtown Napa. Kicking off Wednesday the 11th of August and continuing through Sunday the 15th. The event includes exciting exhibits, carnival rides, livestock show with auction and vender booths. The Preview Gala and wine tasting will be held on Tuesday August 10th; featuring food sampling along with wine tasting from some of the Valley’s best wineries. For more information and ticket purchase call 707-253-4900. You can also visit www.napavalleyexpo.com and click on Town and Country fair.
The Chardonnay Symposium was conceived to promote the varietal to wine consumers, wine trade, and wine media. Full-day tickets include transportation, a choice of one morning session, a wine tasting luncheon, a Riedel wine glass, and the Grand Chardonnay Tasting. A panel of Chardonnay experts includes a star-studded lineup of winemakers representing the key Chardonnay growing regions in California. Wineries represented on the panel include Au Bon Climat, Talley, Riverbench, Pisoni and more. The Grand Tasting tickets will be sold separately for those interested in only attending the afternoon event.
Visit http://thechardonnaysymposium.com/ for more information.
Sunday’s Grand Festival at Fort Mason in San Francisco will showcase over 220 phenomenal producers of pinot noir. Consumers will be able to sample up to 500 pinots from every important domestic pinot noir region, from the Russian River Valley to the Santa Lucia Highlands, Oregon to Carneros, the Anderson Valley to the Sonoma Coast to the Santa Rita Hills. Come and taste the highly acclaimed wines,and talk with the gifted winemakers who created them. Local specialty food purveyors will serve delectables that pair well with pinot.
Check out http://www.pinotdays.com/ to purchase tickets.
Enjoy wine and food pairing by the participating wineries and vineyards and the local restaurants. There is no cost to participate in the pairing and no tickets. There may be the usual tasting fees at each winery for regular wine tastings.
Visit www.wineroad290.com for participating wineries and restaurants.
Celebrating twelve years in Napa Valley, the V Foundation will hold the 12th annual Wine Celebration weekend August 6th -7th; advertised as “A Magical Weekend Dedicated to Finding Cures for Cancer”. The V Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer, 100% of the net proceeds for this event will go to cancer research and cancer related programs. The two day event will include wine-oriented activities, gourmet meals and premium wine pairings at exclusive Napa Valley wineries, live entertainment as well as silent and live auctions. The Villagio Inn and Spa along with sister property the Vintage Inn will be the event headquarters with rooms available exclusively to V Wine Celebration Guests. Guest transportation will be provided to all hosted events. A limited number of rooms are available so be sure to book early. For more information and tickets visit the web site at: www.winecelebration.org
The 23rd annual Santa Barbara Wine Festival will host 75 premier Central Coast wineries along with savory and delectable delights. The event will be held at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Stroll along the banks of Mission Creek as you taste some great wines. An adult only event, you can save up to $35.00 by purchasing your tickets by 5: 00 PM June 25th. Tickets are $60 for Museum members or $85 for non-members. Tickets will also be on sale at the door on a first come first serve basis at $95. Proceeds benefit the Museum’s exhibits and education programs. For more information and a list of participating wineries visit the website at: www.sbnature.org/winefestival
We had been gearing up for our Memorial Day weekend trip to Wisconsin through the last few weeks of May. Being graduation season, we like many others were on our way to celebrate a college and high school graduation. The last thing on our mind as we touched down in Minneapolis was wine. Well, let me correct that, the last thing on our mind was wineries. We were definitely thinking about wine, we were trying to figure out where we would find a good wine in the land of bratwurst, cheese and miller beer.
Our trip involved a 4 hour drive from Minneapolis through Duluth and on to Ashland, Wisconsin. Ashland is a beautiful lakeside town located along Route 2 halfway from Duluth, Minnesota and halfway to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, otherwise known as the U.P., which houses “Yuppers”…who I was completely unaware even existed…and I am still not quite certain what makes one a “Yupper” (other than the fact that they live in the U.P.) but I digress.
After driving 2 ½ hours north on I-35, we passed through Duluth and stopped in the town of Superior, Wisconsin to pick up some much needed libations. Following the stop at the liquor store it was back to the highway. As we were leaving the town of Superior, I noticed a huge sign advertising a winery. Of course our curiosity was peaked and we decided to take a diversion to the White Winter Winery. Located in the Town of Iron River, the White Winter Winery specializes in Mead. We decided to try a tasting to see what mead was all about. For those who don’t know, mead is an alcoholic drink made from honey, water and yeast.
The White Winter Winery creates its meads from local fruits and honey. I was very impressed by the variety of meads that were available, but having never tried mead before I was not sure what to expect. The flavors were very different from what you would expect from a normal wine, but they were very good. One of our favorites was the Black Harbor which is a Black Currant Honey Wine with Grape neutral spirits added (21% ABV). It is made with black currants and honey. Well balanced with the residual sweetness of honey and toasted vanilla from French oak. If you are interested in visiting the White Winter Winery, they are located at White Winter Winery 68323 Lea St, Iron River, WI 54847 Phone 1-800-697-2006. You can also visit their website at http://whitewinter.com
Wisconsin has 5 separate wine regions, the Northwoods, located in the northern part of the state. The Driftless, which is located in the western portion of the state and borders Minnesota. The Fox Valley and Glacial Hills regions, which border Lake Michigan and the Door County region, which is located on a peninsula that sticks out into Lake Michigan. The state boasts some 36 different wineries, which specialize in all different types of wines. If you are headed to Wisconsin and are interested in taking a wine tour check out the Wisconsin Wine site at http://www.wiswine.org/
The rest of the weekend was a blur, two graduations, parties, food, beer and wine. Too soon we were headed back to the airport to catch our flight home. As I sat on the plane waiting to depart I couldn’t help but think back to the previous few days. Call me naive, but I was completely unaware that Wisconsin had any type of wine making industry. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the art of making wine is alive and well in the badger state, just as it was when I visited Fredericksburg, Texas a few months back.
When we got back to New Jersey that night, we raided the wine cellar and sat by the fire enjoying a bottle of Forefront. It was a great way to wind down a busy Memorial Day weekend. As I look ahead to the summer, there is not much on the horizon in the way of travel. The last few summers I have traveled quite a bit, so in some respects I am thankful to spend time at home. The next big trip is San Diego in September, so we’ll be planning for that over the next few months. It’s been a while since we discussed the world of wine and food on commercial airlines. Maybe we’ll get back to that next month, unless something more interesting comes along. Until next time salude!!
“YeeHaw” ….that’s right, Yeehaw! That is what you exclaim when you taste a bottle of Lamborn Family Vineryards Napa Valley Howell Mountain Zinfandel! The 2007 25th Vintage, Silver Anniversary is the wine I have sampled. I had never purchased Lamborn Family wines before this year, but I came across their website and being a lover of Howell Mountain wines and having a love of Zinfandel wine, I figured it had to be a win-win for me. I could not have been more right with rich ripe berries and the spicy white pepper flavor that you would come to expect from most Zinfandel wines. Hints of oak also accentuate the rich fruit flavors. An outstanding wine with only a little over 500 cases produced, overseen by winemaker, Heidi Peterson Barrett.
So, now that I have told you how good the wine is and you want to buy a bottle, I am sure your curiosity is getting the best of you about the “YeeHaw”. It is a Lamborn Family tradition; another thing I love about this wine…it is a family affair. It seems to me the whole family is active in the winery business and what more could you ask for, family and a passion for wine. The “Yeehaw” tradition was started by Bob (Papa) Lamborn during the 1980’s when he exclaimed “Yeehaw” to signify the beginning of Harvest. Each and every harvest since has begun the same way…a tradition that will continue along with the tradition of family and making great wine.
As previously mentioned, this is a limited production wine so be sure to order today, visit their website at: http://www.lamborn.com