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Balla d of Syrah’s…    Syrah or sometimes called Shiraz is a dark-skinned grape grown throughout the world; Syrah should not be confused with Petite Sirah which is a different grape. Syrah is full-bodied, dark colored with soft tannin, jammie fruit and spice with notes of licorice, anise and earth, which makes it so wonderful paired with rich meats. Here are some we sampled at a resent WLW wine tasting event: Dumas Station, 2012 Walla Walla Rich garnet color, jammie fruit with a hint of floral and smoky spice nose. Ripe fruit, spicy and creamy generously lasting thru to the finish. Pairs well with roasted asparagus, dark chocolate, roasted meat and smoked herb potato. Laurelhurst Cellar, 2012 Walla Walla Intoxicating nose with hint of fruit and spice, long harmonious layered fruit finish. Paired well with caramelized onion, roasted mushroom, smoked potato wedge, triple cheese blackberry melba appetizer and dark chocolate. Dumas Station, 2013 The Excursion, Walla
New Discoveries Spring Forth February 2016 – Denise and I attended the “Walla Walla Wine at McCall Hall” tasting in, Seattle, Washington.  We discovered some wineries that we had never heard of before and really enjoyed their wines.  We decided at that time, in the spring we would make a point to go visit these new discoveries and see if they would become some new favorites. Not long ago Denise and I set off on a spring day to Walla Walla, Washington to visit our dear friends Michael and Coralee.  We were so excited about this visit because we had a list of newly discovered wineries and couldn’t wait to share. We had two full days of tasting and here is just a sample of what we experienced. Tertulia Cellars – 2015 Estate vineyard Rose’ – old world style rose with a light salmon color and dry finish.  I loved the way they described how they got the color for the wine.  “In the time it takes to drink 2 beers, that’s how we determine the press
Wine Tasting and Water During our trip to the Willamette, the tasting room attendant at one of the Winery’s first poured us some club soda upon our arrival.  This was great, we just had a fantastic brunch and the flavors still lingered on our palates.  The club soda worked well at neutralizing our taste buds to receive the grape we were about to taste.  This got me thinking about waters and how to use them to improve our wine tasting experience. Still water or Acqua Panna, which is Italian, these are best for tasting the following: *White wines *Barrel Aged White Wines *Sparkling Wines *Red Wines that are light and subtle San Pellegrino is Italian, Perrier is French and both carbonated water which make for softer smoother bubbles which complement the tasting of: *Rose’ wines with high alcohol content *Young red wines *Red wines that are full and mature *White wines that are full bodied The difference between these bottled carbonated waters and club
Willamette Valley -Fire, Volcanic eruptions, Earthquakes, Floods and coastal effects…..sounds like the makings of a new disaster movie however it is actually the makings of some great soil for one of the largest AVA in Oregon, extending from Portland to Eugene. Many factors contribute to a wines flavor, mostly what happens in the cellar however one of the elements is the soil the grapes are gown in. The Cascade mountains on the East and Coastal mountain range to the West with low hillsides, which make up the 6 AVA (American Viticultural Area) regions in Oregon; Dundee Hills AVA, Chehalem Mountains AVA, Ribbon Ridge AVA, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, McMinnville AVA, Yamhill-Carlton AVA. This trip, we went to Newberg and Dundee area, here are some places we visited that will hopefully inspire you to visit this region too. August Cellars- Family owned with a tasting room situated at the edge of 42 acre farmland of English Walnuts, Italian Prunes and Pinot grapes. August Cellars is
Walla Walla Wine Tasting at McCall Hall Another great year of wine is upon us and Denise and I kicked it off by attending the “Walla Walla Wine Tasting at McCall Hall” on Monday evening (February 8 th ).  This was our first time attending this event and it did not disappoint. Forty-five wineries were pouring.  We sampled a few old favorites but enjoyed new ones we had never tried before.  Five Star Cellars – 2011 Syrah – I tried this Syrah with duck and it was fantastic.  Food really brought out the flavors. Foundry Vineyards – 2013 Chardonnay – This chardonnay was done in steel.  The fruit really shines. Henry Earl Estates – 2012 Malbec – Very unusual Malbec.  Light with little to no tannins. Kerloo Cellars – 2013 Les Collines Syrah – Great Syrah!  Can’t wait to visit them. Tempus Cellars – 2013 Evergreen Vineyard Riesling – A nice refreshing Riesling.  Not too sweet but also not dry, just right! These are just a few of the wineries we tasted at
Good Bye 2015……..Hello 2016 The last few hours of 2015 are upon us….and what an amazing year it has been.  2015 was a fantastic journey for both Denise and I and we are thankful to all of you who support and follow us as we explore the world of wine. We started 2015 at the Seattle Food and Wine Experience in Seattle, Washington.  We love this event and already have our tickets for 2016. If you have never been to this type of event, you need to try this one.  It sets the bar high for all others.  Some of the best restaurants of Seattle are there and the wine, beer and spirits are unbelievable.  Spring 2015 found us headed to Walla Walla.  Our dear friends Michael and Coralee open their home and hearts to us several times a year and each visit is so special.  Walla Walla valley has a rich history in agriculture.  Michael always prepares some of the best meals from local food and we always have amazing wine adventures. If you have never visited Walla Walla before, come an
Screw, Natural, Synthetic and now the Zork and the Vinolok! I have asked wine makers about their choice in corks, most of them use the natural cork because of tradition and the craftsmanship they put into their product they want to see this thru to the cork.  However, with all the choices now and the cost of losing a bottle to “cork” contamination other choices have gained popularity and  are due some consideration. Natural Cork Natural Corks benefits the wine aging by letting small amount of air into the bottle. Your bold wines and reds benefit from the oxygen that the cork allows in development of all the wonderful flavors that make these wines so drinkable and approachable. A natural cork though can dry out, go bad or let too much air into the bottle and the biggest problem…being “Corked” which is a very expensive loss. Agglomerated Cork This cork is made from cork dust and glue….although food safe, do you really want this in contact with your beautiful wi