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Wine Tasting in Bordeaux – Day 4 – Blaye and Cotes de Bourg

Blaye Fortress

The Approach to Blaye Fortress

Blaye is not as known for its wine but it is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its centuries old fortress.  Like much of old Europe, it’s built upon layers of history.  The 17th century fortress was built upon a 14th century fortress that was partially destroyed during the 100 years war with England.  It in turn, was built upon a fortress and basilica dating from before Charlemagne, sometime in the late 7th to early 8th century.  Before that, it was a Roman town.  Read More

Bordeaux Wine Tasting – Day 3 – Medoc

Medoc Chateu

One of the Many Chateaus in Medoc

Happy Easter everybody. Granted, it’s probably not Easter when you’re reading this because I published it a couple of days late so unless you get lucky and read it next year on Easter, just ignore this bit. I mentioned it because as we walked out in the morning, the cruise company, AMA Waterways had put small Easter baskets outside of each guest room. Nice touch. I’m not a big chocolate fan but Karen was already predatorily eyeing my chocolate bunny with such fervor, I actually felt sorry for the little rodent…pretty pathetic when you think about it. Read More

Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Tasting

Is it ironic that the region that’s become one of our favorites is best known for making Varietals that aren’t our favorites? OK…that was a touch awkward. Let’s try it this way. Our favorites tend to be really well made Bordeaux style wines…Big Cabs, well balanced Merlots, earthy Cab Francs and of course, the blends that can be sublime. The area in question however is known for complex but delicate Pinot Noirs, balanced Chardonnays and deeply flavored cold weather Syrahs.

Santa Lucia Highlands Wine

The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA

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Livermore Wine Tasting, Part Two

Ready for Wine Tasting at Eckert Estate

The Wine Tasting Room at Eckert Estate

Welcome to part two of our Livermore wine tasting blog.  It’s unusual for us to dedicate a blog post to a single winery but Eckert Estate Winery is doing something a little unusual, but we’ll get to that in a minute.  First, let’s talk about the wine.  They make three whites which is a little rare for Livermore.  I was utterly shocked to find that I liked the Semillon the best.  I find most Semillons, which Australia seems to have embraced as its national white wine, to be pretty tasteless and lacking character…kind of a Ben Stein of wine.  Don’t know who Ben Stein is?  Google him and listen to him talk and you’ll find the most boring speaking voice known to mankind.  He can actually be kind of funny but the juxtaposition is “interesting” to say the least.  Eckert’s was served just a little warmer than most and perhaps that was the difference, or theirs was just better.  It had layers of flavors that normally aren’t found in Semillon. 

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Wine Tasting In Livermore, Part 1

Autumn in the Livermore Valley

Livermore Valley Wine Tasting View

December 15th, 2013

Wine Tasting in Livermore – Wineries Visited:
Cuda Ridge – production 1,600 cases
Thomas Coyne – production 3,000 cases

Some wine regions have lyrical names – Santa Lucia Highlands, Moon Mountain or the Santa Ynez Valley for instance, echo with the promise of adventure and romance. Then there are the ones that are playful. The Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara evokes a whimsical feel. And then – there’s Livermore. Liver – more. It doesn’t really sound any better backwards – more liver. Nope…no romance, no poetic overtones…just organ meat…lots of organ meat. However, as the saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover and the quality of a wine region shouldn’t be judged by the romance of its name. Read More

Rose Wine Tasting Challenge


The FanTASTEtic4, Ready For Another Hard Day At The Office – The Hosts Of The Santa Clara Valley Rose Challenge

If there’s a Rodney Dangerfield of wine, it’s got to be Rose. It just gets no respect and unfortunately, the US wine industry has given the public plenty of reasons why, but two big ones overshadow the rest. Read More

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