KAY'S WINE BLOG
Celebrating the best Grapeline tour host at Peltzer Winery in Temecula, CA
Happy Birthday To A Wine Tour Host
Mike Miles had a birthday this week. Who is Mike Miles? He's a hard working, unassuming family man who is respected and loved by his family, friends, and coworkers. And he's a guy who makes the world a better place for a LOT of people. I joined some of my Grapeline cohorts at Peltzer Winery in Temecula on Mike's actual birthday to surprise him with some Bundtlets with lit candles, some festive balloons, and a ear-punishing rendition of the Birthday Song. But Mike wasn't at Peltzer to celebrate his birthday. He was there to do his best to make sure others have a really fun and memorable time. ... Continue reading...
Girlfriends joyfully heading to winery with Grapeline shuttle in background
Football or Wine? The Ladies Who Lunch Movement
I'm a minority. I'm among the 25% of U.S. consumers who DO NOT consider themselves an NFL fan. Interestingly, 70% consider themselves fans, which means some people are in neither category. The remaining 5% chose "I don't know" as their answer. Really? You can't commit on that subject? How do you choose an outfit to wear each day, or an ice cream flavor, or a spouse? Sorry, I lateraled. 70% of you know what I just said. Back to America's football obsession. For all you pigskin peepers, I'm going to give you two reasons to give up your fan-dom. The first relies on inescapable logic. The second ... Continue reading...
Girl in cowgirl hat and boots lays on her belly pouring wine with many California wines to choose from
WINE IS A DECISION
The other night, as I sipped on a satisfyingly crisp Birichino Vin Gris, I wondered about the type of grapes that go into making Rosé, which led me to ponder how grapes transform from fruit to wine. And although I know more on the topic than the average person, I realized that my curiosity exceeds my knowledge when an image of Lucy stomping grapes was the main thought coming to mind. Know what? People still do that! But when they do, they are more likely to become an internet meme (a la “The Grape Lady”) than to produce a drinkable beverage. OK, so, we’re all clear on the concept that wine ... Continue reading...
Castle like winery in Napa Valley California - Stag's Leap Winery
The Golden Child of Napa Valley - Stag's Leap
Have you ever really enjoyed a bottle of Napa wine if you’ve never heard of Stag’s Leap? Questionable, really, since Stag’s Leap Winery is one of the pillars of the international wine scene. What else could it be with the Golden Child of the area at its helm? The winery itself is so famous, in fact, that it inspired the formation of the Stags Leap viticultural district in 1989, nearly 100 years after the winery was founded. But let’s get back to discussing the person who’s currently in charge of keeping the legend alive. French winemaker Christophe Paubert settled in Napa after first working ... Continue reading...
Vintage red car from the movie Tucker in Francis Ford Coppola Winery in California
The "Wine Wonderland" of Francis Ford Coppola
There are two kinds of wine-loving celebrities. The kind that start a winery, or buy one, and then pour tons of energy and money into making really amazing wine. And the kind that are really into having their name on a wine bottle. Guess which ones annoy me. Go on. Everyone who is (or was) anyone has a winery these days: Drew Barrymore, Sting, Jason Priestley, even the now detached duo of Brangelina. But let’s not go there; it’s too soon. If we’re going to talk about celebrity winery owners, we have to start with the celebrity winery owner, the one everyone associates with wine. Francis Ford ... Continue reading...
Girl in cowgirl boots holding glass of white wine from Ponte Vineyards while sitting on a tractor in Temecula Valley Wine Country
Harvest Tours: Celebrate the Grapes!
Harvest is upon us, and it’s time for grapes to come off the vines and take their next step on their journey to your wine glass. Throughout history, harvest has been marked by two distinct and diametrically different activities. First is a barrage of hard work - a keep-at-it-until-you’re-bone-tired effort. The crops are ready, but the window of time in which to reap the bounty is unforgivingly limited. Second is a party. Throughout the ages the celebration of harvest has included dubious activities like feasting, dancing, and the performance of sometimes bizarre rituals. It has also included ... Continue reading...
Guests explore Benziger Family Winery in Sonoma's Wine Country
The Tram Tour at Benziger Family Winery
Wine grape vineyards. Oak barrels. Stainless Steel Tanks. Scottish Highlands Cattle. Which one of these doesn't belong? If you guessed that this is a trick question, you're right. And if you answered that they all belong, then you've probably been to Sonoma Valley's Benziger Winery. Benziger Winery, located in the Glen Ellen neighborhood of Sonoma Valley, has a great winery tour. You can take my word for that, or you can check with the Sonoma Index Tribune, which proclaimed it the People's Choice for The Best Winery Tour 2018. Or Winecountry.com, which lists it in the first spot among The 7 ... Continue reading...
Girl smells glass of red wine before tasting
The Five S's of Wine Tasting
To all of you holier-than-thou wine snobs who say there is a specifically correct way that we should be tasting our wine - and consequently any other way is wrong - I say: Hey, turns out you’re right! I enjoy wine. To do so, I used to follow a simple three-step process: I pour some wine in a glass. I put the wine in my mouth, and then... I enjoy it. It really is that simple. No fanfare, no commentary, no intricate procedures. Wine is actually very easy to enjoy. So I don’t need some bow-tied, French-accented Master Sommelier telling me how to do it. As a human being, I instinctively know how ... Continue reading...
Several bottles of Napa's Rombauer Chardonnay with glasses of wine ready to taste
Take Cover, it's a Butter Bomb!
When you ask her which is her favorite wine, my best friend Tiffany does a shoulder shimmy and uses a Juliette Binoche accent to say "Rrrroommmbaaauuueeerrr." Even uttering the name of Napa's Rombauer Chardonnay is an intoxicatingly happy event. Rombauer Vineyards, located in the St. Helena area of Napa Valley, produces what might be the defining Butter Bomb. Secondary Malolactic Fermentation converts the tart malic acid, naturally present in grape must, to the smoother lactic acid with the buttery natural byproduct diacytl. When a sophisticated Oenophile says about their Chard that they ... Continue reading...
Several bottles of Cashmere Wine on a picnic table in a California Winery
The Types of Wineries I Like
It's easy to describe the type of wineries I like. Some wineries are small, boutique wineries that are only open with a reservation. I like those wineries. Some wineries are big touristy wineries. They are open every day, and in addition to wine tasting, they offer other entertaining stuff, like behind-the-scenes winery tours, gourmet food, live music, and major events. I like those wineries. Some wineries are somewhere in between. I like those wineries. It's important to be unbiased. What's not to like about spending the day sipping the intoxicating liquid masterpieces crafted by passionate ... Continue reading...