KAY'S WINE BLOG
TO SNOB OR NOT TO SNOB
There are four types of wine people. Wine guzzlers, who’ll happily gulp down anything you hand them. Wine geeks, who care deeply about the science behind a great glass of wine. Wine enthusiasts, who want to know more, learn more, drink more and just revel in anything wine related. And then there are the wine snobs. Ah, the wine snobs. You know who they are. They only drink certain vintages. They know more than everyone else about anything wine-related. And, they look down their upturned noses at the amateurs who swallow at a wine tasting rather than snootily discharging each sample into ... Continue reading...
AVENSOLE WINERY - RICH HISTORY, VIBRANT REINCARNATION
Pop quiz. What do you do after you have served as California’s Assistant Attorney General, written westerns, and run a motion picture production company? The obvious answer: you open a winery. Well, at least that’s what you do if you’re Sheldon Lytton, the proprietor of Avensole Winery in the Temecula Valley. Sheldon, his wife Susan, and his sister Maribeth discovered Avensole, then named Van Roekel, in 2013. They immediately fell in love with the hillside estate winery with park-like grounds. Most people do. But the difference with the Lyttons is that they had the desire and the ... Continue reading...
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WINE COUNTRY
One day the rain will stop. We have to believe that, just like we had to believe that eventually the drought would end, right? Well, whether or not we eventually get to put our rain boots away, I have two, fun one-time-only-so-you-better-book-today events lined up that should help distract you from the endless gray.   TEMECULA VALLEY BARREL TASTING Usually the wine you sample at wine tastings comes from bottles. Have you ever wondered what it tastes like straight out of the barrel or the tank? Wonder no more! I have the ‘in’ for a special little event for everyone looking for a slightly ... Continue reading...
The Multitudinous Flavors of Wine
This morning, I drank orange juice. If I had to describe what it tasted like, I'd say "orangey." Period, end of story. Wine is not like that. Right now, I'm seeking creative inspiration from a reliable muse - a slightly chilled glass of 2015 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay. A vigorous swirl and then a deep, measured inhalation liberates aromas from a back-road fruit stand - green apple, ripe melon, and bright citrus. And also from grandma's kitchen - creme brûlée, baking spices, and a touch of melted butter. On the palate, this creamy gold concoction reveals flavors of tropical fruit, apple ... Continue reading...
Put a Cork in it? Screw That!
Last weekend I showed up to a party, proudly presenting to the host an exceptional bottle of Four Vines Zin from a recent tasting foray in Paso Robles, only to be met with a raised-eybrow when she noticed it had a screw top. Wine snob, amiright? And not even a legit wine snob. If you’ve been geeking out on wine closure technology lately, you know she was revealing not just her snootiness, but her ignorance too. When screw top bottles were first introduced back in the 1950’s, they generally topped the kind of cheap jug wine that was better suited to the stewpot than the wine glass. But a ... Continue reading...
The Word on Wine
"Life is too short to drink bad wine." That is on my wall at home. It's painted in bold all-caps on a piece of reclaimed wood in a fun crafty way that's really trendy right now. I can't say it's my favorite wine quote. But it comes in handy when I'm pondering an exceptionally satisfying Pinot at a ​winery I'm discovering in my constant quest to... well, discover more wineries. I bought the wall art in a tasting room that had plenty of clever wine sayings to choose from. At the time, I was on my third winery, and so it's probably understandable that my "Life is too short..." sign only ... Continue reading...
The More Fun Harvest Festival
In November, I will be in Temecula Wine Country for the annual Harvest Celebration. Again. I do it every year, and It is a LOT more fun than starving myself, trudging up an incline burdened with supplies, and constructing a shelter to sit around in and be miserable. I'm not being random, people used to do that. Humans have celebrated harvest since our species' earliest recorded history. Ancient Greeks worshiped Demeter as their goddess of all grains, and honored her each Autumn in a festival called Thesmophoria. The ritualized three-day event included a strenuous ascent up a hill ... Continue reading...
The (not) True Story About Champagne
A blind monk named Dom Perignon invented Champagne. OK, not really, but that's the legend and it's a much better tale than the historical fact.  First - spoiler alert, it's kind of boring - let's talk about what really happened, and then I'll tell you how a brown-robed cleric discovered effervescent delight in a bottle.   The first recorded sparkling wine was Blanquette de Limoux, created by monks in 1531 at the Abbey of Saint Hilaire, near the Pyrenees Mountains in the south of France.  They bottled wine before it finished fermenting, and the carbon dioxide that releases during ... Continue reading...
Food and Wine Love Affair, Part Two
In a previous post, I reviewed the dining available at Lorimar Winery, Wilson Creek Winery, and Robert Renzoni Vineyard and Winery. And I promised to return to the subject of Temecula winery restaurants. You can guess why -- I wanted an excuse to sip and savor on the company dime, which is exactly what I did. Thomas Edison famously said "There is no substitute for hard work." Well, I think if he tried my job, Tom would have added "...except getting paid to nosh on insanely tasty food."   Bel Vino Bistro at Bel Vino Winery Kanan Road's lead singer is wearing flip flops and a plaid shirt, ... Continue reading...
The Accoutrements of Wine
"Can you show me where your accoutrements are?" is a question I don't normally ask when shopping. Accoutrement is a fancy word, indicating that you're a person of class and distinction. I use it because it sounds better in my blog title than "wine stuff." But it means the same thing, and that's what is on my mind today - the "wine stuff" you should have if you want to drink wine like a boss. Wine is a topic that for many people inspires a fanaticism bordering on lunacy. And so, the world is full of useful accessories and whimsical gadgets that purport to make your wine experience more ... Continue reading...