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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The Value-Delicious White Wines of Vinho Verde

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.

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Wine Friendly Restaurants

We are always talking about all sorts of different wines on Wine of the Week, but it’s tough to taste a bunch of wine at any given time… so I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the wine-centric restaurants in and around town that offer tasting flights that give dinners a chance to sample small tastes of different wines…. click here to read more on some great wine friendly restaurants

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The Port Side of Wine

main_variation_na_view_01_204x400I am hunkered down, trying to stay warm during these constant visits from the Polar Vortex. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely ready for winter to be over.
But as long as it insists on hanging around, I guess there is only one thing I can look forward to: warming up with a glass of Port – that delicious Portuguese elixir that has warmed other countless souls for centuries…. Click here to read more about some fantastic port wines

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Winter Olympic Gold Medal Wines

dryrieslingThe 2014 Winter Olympics, also known as the XXII Olympic Winter Games, is THE major winter-themed international multi-sport event, held every four years and usually hosted by a different country each time. This year, the games are being held in Sochi, Russia. Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session and is the first Olympics to be hosted by Russia since the breakup of the USSR in 1991…. Click here to read more about the gold medal wines

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Wine and Chocolate For Valentine’s Day

Piper-Heidsieck_Champagne_BrutValentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air. Or is the sweet smell of chocolate? Given the age-old tradition of giving heart shaped boxes of goodies to your loved one on February 14th, it’s probably a combination of the two…. click here to read more about the best wines for valentine’s dayclick here to read more about the best wines for valentines day

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Super Wines for the Super Bowl

jan 31The game of champions is upon us this weekend, and since I do not have a proverbial dog in the upcoming football finale, I have been nominated to pick out the wines for a big bash hosted by friends for this year’s Super Bowl festivities…. click here to continue reading about the super wines for the super bowl

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White Wines for Winter

jan 24thLast week, we reviewed how Syrah can warm the soul on a cold day, but winter isn’t only for red wine. While big red wines are an expected accompaniment for cold weather fare, such as stews and chili, some white wines can be tongue-warming as well. Like wool scarves and flannel sheets, big white wines can provide warmth and contentment. Pair them with comfort foods such as white bean chili or roasted chicken and you have a match akin to red wine and steak…. click here to read more about some fantastic white wines for winter

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