Spit or Swallow August 2009
Watch for the Trend
If you can’t keep up with the wine industry, just keep up with reading our monthly Spit or Swallow. It seems like more and more wine bar/restaurants are starting to produce their own wines from juice trucked into their facility.
Back in 2005 a place in San Fran stole the limelight and started their own winery, called CrushPad. Now a couple of handful of others has sprung up. NYC has City Winery. Heck, even down here in Naples, Fl we have a new flea market, Big Cypress Market Place with their own winery.
Yes, they all buy the juice and make the wines at their establishments. Combine this with many insider articles that are bemoaning the stagnant market in high priced California wines and the flood doors will be opening soon. My insider tip would be visit a site like winepress.us and see if anything is happening in your area. Maybe you could be making your own wine in the near future.
Still looking for a great bottle of wine at an affordable price? Well, look no more. Several outstanding web sites have sprung up to offer superb wine purchasing opportunities. From winetilsoldout.com; the wineliquidator.com and winewoot.com you should be able to steal some classy wines. Not just end of the batch runs. From what we’ve seen they normally post only one wine at the site until sold out. Mark downs average 50% or more. Yes, names like Roederer, Caymus and Silver Oak have made their way to these type of sites. Shipping is sometimes FREE when you buy multiple bottles.
Varieties vs. Varietals
Great article we ran across from Kent Benson (email@example.com) about using the term varietals and varieties interchangeable. His solid comments are a hoot. He preaches about the overuse of HOV, Human Overuse of Varietal. So true.
So if you are still wondering about the difference in the words, it is pretty simple to remember. Grapes come in varieties. Wine may be a varietal when it is made predominantly from one type of grape. Thus, it gets it name from the name of the grape; like “Chardonnay.” So there…….
Central Coast Wine Classic
It is difficult to think that other wine festivals could top this classic. Most importantly, this classis is also classy. Attend next year and see why we are enamored the Central Coast Wine Festival. It was their 25th year and it shows. It runs smooth and everyone seems to be having the time of their life.
Our rating is a 4.8 only because we are never give a perfect 5.0, but this festival is real close. Why? Well the fellow who spearheads this is Archie McLaren; not only a real dynamo, but fun and appears laid back at the same time. He must have more elves than Santa in the background to make this weekend special.
Than take the vinagora. Shell Beach, California and the very impressive Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa. The folks working the west side of the barrel tasting tent adjacent to the hotel kept saying that they could not turn around, the view was that spectacular and it was! Nothing but Pacific Ocean. Nearly fifty wineries were pouring on Thursday afternoon. The handful we fell in love with were Anglim, Cass, JK, Jada, Orchid Hill, Stephen Ross and Windward. Not a bad wine in the house but these were just a little better on our palate.
The gala dinner at Hearst Castle on Thursday once again blew the socks off of the attendees. Not only is it the setting but the enormous effort to make this one of the finest charity wine dinners anywhere clearly showcases this event.
Friday symposiums were informative and upscale. The local wine makers/owners were casual, funny but still shared education tidbits along with their wines making the sessions very informative. If you ever get a chance, stop and talk to Jim Clendenen from Au Bon Climat. He’s one hell of a grand cru type of person!
My Friday night wine dinner, through the combined efforts of Windward and L’Aventure wineries, was a culinary delightful. The talents of Chef Jeffrey Scott beamed through with superb food pared with some of vineyards’ best bottlings.
Saturday’s auction luncheon at The Avila Beach Golf Resort was a fantastic venue. Wine everywhere, great silent auction lots along with a plethora of interesting and artsy live auction items. The over the top auction items were the hand painted wine barrels gifted for this charity event by some very renowned and talented artists. Be on your best behavior if you attend next year. The tall, good looking and SPOUSE of the guru of this festival, Archie McLaren, wondering around the auction taking pics is really the bon vivant of this affair, none other than Carissa Chappellet (and yes, the last name should ring a bell!)
Overall, this festival has something for everyone. Great location with great wines. This festival will attest to just how many interesting and lovely wines are being produced in the Central Coast. Plan now for next year’s festival. Check out a map and see why this festival allows a great way to visit both the Paso Robles and Santa Barbara wine areas.
Total tons of grapes processed for wine in 2008 was just over 4.3 million tons. Leading state was, of course, CA with about 93.5% of this production, followed by WA with 3.5%. Bet you can’t guess 5th place! PA with 13,200 tons……
PMS may stand for many things; like, Psychotic Mood Shift or Pardon My Sobbing or Pissy Mood Syndrome but it came to our attention recently that the best one for us men to remember = PMS – Pour More Syrah……djb :~))
Upcoming Wine Festivals
If the festival is in color it means we visited it in the past or are planning on attending this year’s festival!
Okanagan, BC, CDN
San Francisco, CA early Aug (we’re attending!)
Columbus Wine Festival
Columbus, OH early Aug
Vintage Ohio Wine Festival
Kirkland, OH early Aug
Stellenbosch Wine Festival – Early Aug, long flight, hurry
Stellenbosch, So Africa
Atlantic City Food
and Wine Festival
Atlantic City, NJ early Aug
Southern Food & Wine Festival at Gaylord Opryland
Nashville, TN early Aug
Auction of Washington Wines
Woodville, WA early Aug
Grapes to Glass
Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA mid Aug
Wine in the Pines
Sunccadia, WA mid Aug
Simply di Vine
Beverly Hills, CA mid Aug
Swiss Wine Festival
Vevay, IN late Aug
Yorkville, CA late Aug
Soweto Wine Festival
Johannesburg, So Africa early Sept
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
Nadur 7th Delicata
Classic Wine Festival
Nadur, Malta early Sept
Harvest Wine Festival
Las Cruces, NM early Sept
Budapest Intl Wine Festival
Budapest, Hungary – maybe see ya there!!!
So, as you can see, no matter where you live or where you want to travel in this great USA or the world, you can attend a wine festival. Make reservations NOW! 7 states from coast to coast plus 3 countries!