New Zealand’s Martinborough

New Zealand’s Martinborough

VINUM, ET AL My husband and I just returned from a two-week trip to New Zealand’s North Island. My roots are Kiwi – my dad was born in Wellington and I lived in Nelson (located on the South Island) for a handful of years. The biggest reason for the journey was to see family, have a break from winter and soak up an easy-going, subtropical climate. The entire trip took place on the North Island….

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White Wine Profiles

White Wine Profiles

VINUM, ET AL White Wine Profiles Most white wines of the world are stainless tank fermented and aged. They should be consumed within 18 months after bottling. That in mind; make it a habit to look at the vintage every time you buy a bottle of white wine.  In this consumer-tip column, I am taking Chardonnay that is moderately to heavily oaked out of the lesson. Note:  Chardonnay that is mid to bottom shelf is…

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Speaking of Wine…

Speaking of Wine…

The vernacular of wine is like any other profession or hobby that has its own language.  If you’ve ever sat in on an environmental engineering meeting or tagged along to band rehearsal, the acronyms and clipped technical terms can leave you feeling a bit isolated in the room.   Below are some common terms that are used in the wine industry. They run the gamut from winemaking words to hospitality references to grape varieties. There’s…

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VINUM, ET AL THE EMERALD, WINE & SPICE

VINUM, ET AL THE EMERALD, WINE & SPICE

Winter cuisine in my house means a constant parade of spicy concoctions – soups, stews, and goulashes made with any number of foraged fridge, veggies and various leftovers that are usually on the brink of heading to the rubbish bin. What can I say? My mom was a WWII generation Scott and nothing went to waste in her busy kitchen. She was an accomplished and thrifty culinary technician. I began taking mental notes at a…

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VINUM, ET AL: FESTIVE FIZZIES

VINUM, ET AL: FESTIVE FIZZIES

Champagne, real Champagne from the Champagne region of France est très chère — it’s very expensive. In my experience, Champagne priced under $50 is money down the drain. New baby? Huge career promotion? Yeah, fork out the cash and buy the good stuff, otherwise don’t bother. The good news is that there are heaps of inexpensive and equally satisfying alternative sparkling beverages. November is a great time for consumers to stock up for holiday occasions…

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VINUM, ET AL: Wines, Waves, Wilderness…Weed

VINUM, ET AL: Wines, Waves, Wilderness…Weed

Wine ~ Waves ~ Wilderness.  That’s the Slogan You See on a Billboard on Highway 101 Near the Sonoma / Mendocino County Line. When I drive by the billboard, I can’t help but verbally augment the slogan with Weed.  It sounds so much more poetic with the added syllable. It just begs the excess of alliteration and I am sure I’m not the only one to have the same thought. The era of marijuana prohibition is rapidly…

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Wine Distributor Dump

Wine Distributor Dump

A good wine list doesn’t have to be long, it just has to be, well, good. It’s a lot to ask for in most towns and cities across the country. Exceptions include world-class wine regions like Sonoma and Napa Valley. Otherwise, most wine lists are “distributor driven.” A distributor is the middle man. Some distributors are small operators who carry a portfolio of small production wines and others work for mega beverage sellers like Young’s…

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Humboldt’s Craft Beverage Highlights

Humboldt’s Craft Beverage Highlights

Humboldt County gets a lot of tourists coming to Northern California this time of year.  Many come to get away from the heat, while many come to get away from general urban madness.  As I like to tell folks who have never visited the area:  “There’s not a lot of people or traffic, and we have loads of free parking.” We also produce loads of hand-crafted wines, hard ciders and micro brews.  The following are…

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Vinum, et al: Château Two by Four

Vinum, et al: Château Two by Four

  Yep, Château Two by Four. That’s what we in the industry call a wine that is over oaked.  The subject of oak treatment and oak barrels is complex and can be hotly debated among winemakers, sommeliers and schooled enthusiasts alike. As a wine educator, I often bring the conversation around to the role oak plays in the aging process of wine. It’s key to understanding and recognizing oak’s impact as you develop your palate….

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Make Mine Pink

Make Mine Pink

Big, Beefy Farmer Dudes Drink Pink Wine.    I snapped this photo in Burgundy, France in a rural hamlet holding their annual summertime ‘vide-grenier’ which literally means ‘free the attic.’ It translates to what we call a yard sale. In France the whole village has a yard sale – it’s a collective activity.  My travel partners and I went to many over the course of several weeks. The scene overflows with rows of the usual…

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