Category: Booze

Wine reviews, pairings, events, and getaways

Crux Winery: GSM Blending Trial

GSM is a classic red wine blend from the South of France, namely the Rhône valley. The acronym “GSM” comes from the grape names that make up the primary ingredients: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre. It also indicates the percentages of each wine that makes up the final blend; although exact percentages will vary from year to year (depending on a particular vintage’s quantity and quality of yield), traditionally there will be the highest amount of Grenache, followed by Syrah, and finally Mourvèdre.

But because wine blending (and winemaking in general) is equal parts art and science, vintners will spend days, weeks, maybe even months perfecting their final blend. If you have a chance to participate in this art project/science experiment, do it. It’s an opportunity to learn about the importance of vintage and terroir, harvest and winemaking methods, individual grapes and final blends.

Blending trial at Crux Winery, February 2017; Photo by: Emily Davis, Pure Light Photography

(more…)

Passaggio Wines 2014 Grenache

When a wine is good. No. When a wine is outstanding. Full-on, stop eating, stop talking, focus all senses on the wine in hand — outstanding. It makes you want to understand where it came from, how it was produced, and — most importantly — who made it. This. This Passagio Wines 2014 Grenache. This is one of those wines. Thank you to Cindy Cosco, owner and winemaker of Passaggio Wines, for sharing this with me. I honestly can’t wait to meet you in person so I can hear (and taste) your story in person and share it with my little wine-loving world. Cheers!

(more…)

Rutherford Ranch 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

I’m not a huge lover of Sauvignon Blanc. Except when I’m craving it. Then I have to have it. It’s big flamboyant floral aromas and fruity flavors that borderline stink of pineapple. Like a gore-y movie that keeps you squinting and squirming through the whole flick and makes you wonder “Dear God, why, am I watching this???” Because sometimes you just want to watch something awful. And sometimes you really want to drink something stinky. It’s just a fact of human nature. And so, if/when you find yourself craving that stereotypical Sauvignon Blanc stink, I do believe that Rutherford Ranch has found a way to present that in a most palatable way.

(more…)

Luna Vineyards 2015 Estate Pinot Grigio

For me, Pinot Grigio can be a hard wine to like. It can be so dominantly fruit forward — with its lemons, limes, apples, and honeysuckle — that it’s hard not to consider the typically dry white wine as, well, sickeningly sweet. Conversely, there are those Pinot Grigios that are so subtle, lacking any real mouthfeel whatsoever that, at that point, I may as well just be drinking water. Admittedly, my notion of Luna Vineyard Pinot Grigio fell into one of these two categories. I won’t even tell you which one because it’s a current non-issue now that I’ve tasted the Luna Vineyards 2015 Estate Pinot Grigio. Life with P.G. just got real.

(more…)

Odonata Wines 2014 Syrah

Oh how I love discovering boutique wineries. There’s just something special about the personalities behind them — and I, inevitably, feel a certain camaraderie even if our only communication is through wine.

Odonata is owned and operated by winemaker Dennis Hoey. He has a lifetime worth of experience in the wine industry working with vintners big and small throughout California. In 2005 he started his own label, Odonata, and as of 2014 he’s focused, full time on his boutique winery, located in the Salinas and Santa Cruz area. He is a winemaker who sources his grapes predominantly from the Central Coast region, but is looking forward to planting his own 2 acre estate vineyard this year.

(more…)