Oregon’s Willamette Valley – blessed with fertile soil, gentle microclimates and natural boundaries - has a magical recipe for making world-class Pinot Noir. The warm summer days, tempered by the cooler evenings, thanks to three openings in the Coast Range which bring cool air in to the Valley from the Pacific, provides a perfect setting for the early-ripening Pinot Noir, allowing it to concentrate flavors and develop bright acidity.
Last summer, I had the good fortune to experience the Oregon Pinot Noir phenomenon in person when I was invited to attend the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC), in McMinnville, Oregon. Over 70 wineries – with more than 35 coming from Willamette Valley – are featured during a three-day tour de force where Pinot Noir lovers get a chance to enjoy a vast array of Pinot Noir wines from around the world through tastings, tours and seminars.
But on April 2, 2014, residents in and around Washington, DC can enjoy many of these gems when Pinot in the City brings the wines of the Willamette Valley to the Nation’s Capital. 54 winemakers are coming to Washington DC for the first time to tell their stories of the growing region, and share their wines… a lot of their wines! Winemakers, owners and representatives will be on hand to pour over 160 different wines.
Pinot in the City takes place from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Long View Gallery (1234 9th Street NW) in Washington, DC. Tickets ($75) are available online at willamettewines.com/event/pinot-in-the-city.
Click Here to read about a few of the wines that will be featured at the event
Click Here to listen to my recommendations on WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week
What is a proud parent to do when his son’s college makes it to the NCAA Basketball Tournament for the first time? Why, invoke the “Personal Choice” right-of-wine statute, of course! Good thing that this particular child chose an institution of higher learning located smack-dab in the middle of one of the fastest-growing wine regions in the country; San Luis Obispo.
Yes, my son is a freshman engineering major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (Go Mustangs!). And aside from being an incredibly difficult – if not almost impossible – campus to get to from the east coast, I can tell you that the wines, like the school, are well worth the effort to hunt down.
CLICK HERE to read about my favorite wines from SLO Town
CLICK HERE to listen to my picks on WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week
PS – I am aware that the Mighty Mustangs did not get past Wichita State in the first round, but I am a proud Cal Poly Dad nonetheless!
On a recent trip to the beautiful Vinho Verde region of Portugal, I learned that there is a lot more to the white wines of this renowned appellation. I discovered that in addition to the rolling green hills, fantastic food and friendly people, the white wines of Vinho Verde have much to offer for the money.
Click Here to read about four wines available in our area that will take your palate on a crisp, refreshing adventure on a budget.
Click Here to listen to my recommendations on WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week segment.
New Year’s Eve is almost here – and no wine is more fun to welcome in the New Year than Sparkling wine. But just how should one go about finding the right sparkler for their particular palate? Well, price is always a factor, but how a wine gets its sparkle can also be important – since the bubbles impact both the flavor and the mouthfeel. The bubbles can be tiny or effervescent. In addition, wines can range from bone-dry to wonderfully sweet. They can be white, red or rosé. They can be fresh and lively or older and mellower. But it all adds up to a good time whenever a sparkling wine is in the glass.
Here are a few Sparklers from around the world that put the “pop” in popular.
Click Here to read this week’s recommendations on Sparkling Wines for New Year’s Eve
Click Here to listen to WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week segment (3.3 mins)
Have a happy and healthy New Year’s Eve – and please drink responsibly!
Given the fact that the Thanksgiving holiday is rife with leftovers, why should wine be any different? The ensuing marathon weekend of inventive leftover creations would do well with a few of the prized wines that just might be – but shouldn’t be – leftover. So, here are a few interesting suggestions – culled over the years from personal experience, friends and colleagues – that you can employ to make the best use of your “leftovers.”
Click Here to find out how to keep your leftover wine fresh for days, even weeks
Thanksgiving is by far and away our favorite holiday since Cindy and I get an opportunity to spend the day together cooking great food and then sharing it with family and friends. But it is the same wonderful food that can also cause a little heartburn when it comes to selecting the right wine to enjoy with dinner. The traditional Thanksgiving meal includes so many different types of dishes that end up competing for space on your plate and on your palate.
From tart cranberries to sweet potatoes, there is a plethora of complex flavors that makes picking the right wine a genuine challenge on “Turkey Day.” So versatility is the name of the game when it comes to pairing wines with the one meal that just might be the most important one of the year.
To help alleviate the stress on this important decision, we have assembled a few wonderfully versatile wines that we think will give everyone at the table something to be grateful for. Retail prices are approximate.
Click Here to read all of our recommendations
Click Here to listen to the recommendations on WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week
Half bottles are not as easy to find as you might think. Many wine shops carry limited quantities of quality wines in the 375ml size either because demand is low or supply from wineries isn’t readily available. In addition, many of the half bottles that do make it to the wholesaler are often offered to restaurants first and wine shops second.
The good news is that diligent wine shoppers can pick up some great half bottles if they keep an eye out for them. Here are a few you should keep an eye for, too.
Click Here to read about some terrific wines that you can find in half-bottle sizes
Click Here to listen to WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week recommendations for half-bottles
When I think about transitioning my wine palate from the hot summer months into the cool, crisp season of fall, I traditionally think of pinot noir as the ideal grape varietal to gently take me back to the red wine end of the spectrum. After all, pinot noir can be subtle, charming and mellow. But it turns out that Pinot Noir is not the only light-styled red in the wine kingdom that plays the role of palate shifter.
Click Here to read about several other lighter-styled red wine varietals that will provide your tongue with an easy evolution from whites to reds that you should consider when both the leaves and the temperatures begin to fall.
Click Here to listen to this week’s WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week
Where did the summer go? How did we get all the way through the heat and humidity of the August – which actually wasn’t as torrid as usual this year – and slide so quickly into September and the hustle and bustle associated with deadlines at work and homework at school? With demands on our time piling up like cars on the Beltway at rush hour, sometimes the best course of action one can take to regain some modicum of relief is to simply order a pizza and open a decent bottle of wine.
Click Here to read about four affordable and delicious wines you can kick back and enjoy with pizza
Click Here to listen to my recommendations on WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week