Laboring Over Labor Day Wines

Miraval RoseAs we head in to the home stretch of summer and attempt to ease back into the routine of work and/or school, the last thing you want to think about is what wine to kick back with and enjoy this Labor Day weekend.

Good news – I have a few picks to make your weekend just a little less stressful.

Click here to listen to my wine recommendations for this Labor Day holiday on WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week

Click here to read about my wine picks – and a nifty idea about how to keep your wine chilled to the max

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Yes Virginia, There Is A Governor’s Cup – The Best of Virginia Wines

Sunset Hill MosaicThe Virginia Wineries Association, in partnership with the Virginia Wine Board & the Virginia Vineyards Association, recently announce the winners and put together a “media case” of the winning wines for wine journalists and critics. I used my case as an opportunity to see how these wines fare with some wine-loving consumers. I assembled a panel of amateur wine enthusiasts and asked them to evaluate the wines in the Governor’s Cup case. The wines were evaluated based on appearance, aroma, taste and overall quality and scored on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). I kept the identity of the wines concealed until the end of the tasting.

Click here to listen to my top four picks on WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week

Click here to read about which wines my panel picked as their favorites

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Smokin’ Hot Wines for Smoked Food

Omrah Unoaked Chard BottleThis past May, my wife gave me a smoker for my birthday, and I have become obsessed with smoking just about everything from pork products to potatoes. I love the wonderful flavor and tenderness that smoking imparts to various foods. The challenge is finding a wine that can stand up to some of the potent flavors infused by the smoke.

Click here to listen to my recommendations on WTOP Radio’s Wine of the Week

Click here to read about what wine to pair with smoked foods – it’s easy if you follow a few simple rules.

 

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Getting Crabby When It Comes To Wines

Sbragia Sauv Blanc BottleIf it’s summer in Washington, it must be time for crabs.  Whether you like your crabs in cakes, sautéed in soft shells or picking the blues, then there is a wine out there for you!

Just round up a mess of crabs and invite friends and neighbors in to share the treat. Just be sure you have some of these tasty wines on hand to enjoy with your favorite crustacean.

Click here to listen to my Crab-and-Wine pairing recommendations on WTOP Radio

Click here to read my recommendations

 

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Five Years of Wine of the Week On WTOP Radio – 2009 Vintage

Five years is a long time to do one thing – particularly if it is high school… But if it is spent doing the Wine of the Week segment on WTOP radio, then five years passes by in the blink of an eye.

So to celebrate five years of sharing some of my favorite wines with WTOP listeners, I am going to review wines that started their bottle-life out with me on WTOP – the 2009 vintage.

Click here to listen to this week’s Wine of the Week podcast on WTOP Radio

Click here to read the reviews

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Horsing Around for A Worthy Cause

horses-on-pointe-picture-300x200Every two years, the horse-riding community comes together to celebrate the impact that horses have on people in the therapeutic riding community.

On the evening of October 25th in Poolsville, Maryland, I am proud to be the Master of Ceremonies for Horses on Pointean evening dedicated to raising funds necessary to continue the therapeutic riding programs that bring so much joy to children and adults who can find a connection to the world through their bond with horses.

The evening will be filled with musical rides by Great and Small riders as well as some of the best riders, both professional and amateur, in the region. I encourage you to check out the link below and consider attending or donating to this little-but-amazing event.

Horses On Pointe

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Mother’s Day Wine Recommendations

Seifried-Sweet-Agnes-RieslingI know that the old adage about gift giving says, “it’s better to give than to receive,” but this Mother’s Day, I think it would be wonderful to give and receive a “thoughtfully tasteful” gift. After all, having a wife/mother who loves to cook – and occasionally enjoy a delicious glass of wine along with her culinary efforts – I like the idea of giving her a special bottle of wine with a theme (flowers, jewelry, candy). And if it really is the “thought that counts,” chances are good that this thoughtful spouse will receive the benefits of mom’s kitchen creations.

CLICK HERE to LISTEN to this week’s Wine of the Week segment on WTOP Radio

CLICK HERE to READ this week’s column

 

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Spring Clean Your Palate when Pinot Comes to Washington, DC

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

 

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The First Seed Wines of San Luis Obispo

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!

 

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Pairing Wine with Girl Scout Cookies

My Dear Wine Friends –

I recently did something that no self-respecting wine enthusiast should ever do… I paired wines – good wines - with Girl Scout Cookies on live TV! I suppose that it’s a good thing that I am not self-respecting…

Check out the eight minute video of the two anchors (and me) working our way through four pairings (and, I have to say, they actually worked!). Let me know what you think your favorite pairing would be.

Click Here To Watch (8 minutes) Appearance on Channel 8′s “Let’s Talk Live” Show
Let's Talk Live Girl Scout Cookie Wine Pairing 2

 

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