Ryan Snyder found a free moment on Friday and made a quick drive into the Willamette Valley. Join him as he shares brief highlihts from his drive, and some of his favorite pictures, including some great shots of Pinot Noir clusters hanging from the vines.
The days are growing shorter and the summer rays will soon be giving way to the changing leaves and bone-chilling breezes. Labor Day may be our last chance to light up the grill without having to put a snow suit on first, so with that idea in mind we asked the Winegeeks writers what they would be grilling up and chugging down this holiday weekend.
Hello there fellow geeks! I thought I'd pop in and tell you a little bit about what's going on here at Foodgeeks.com and Winegeeks.com. We've done a little tinkering with the discussion board to make the interface cleaner and removed a lot of the stale areas and postings. Now, we essentially have a clean slate to work with... So hop on in and start talking food and wine!
As a continuation of our Winegeeks' opinions series, we recently asked all of the Winegeeks.com contributors to write about their favorite summer wines. What follows is a geeky summary of all of our favorite summer quaffs: Napa Cabernet, Shiraz, Port... just kidding. Here's our whimsical approach to the world of wine, a bunch of opinions about grape juice and not a darn bit of stuffiness.
Typically, we here at Winegeeks.com wait at least a decade for a winery to dig its roots firmly into the ground before featuring it as our Producer of the Month. But this time, we had no choice. The simple fact of the matter is that Isenhower Cellars is the most exciting winery in Walla Walla, even though Brett and Denise Isenhower founded the winery just 7 years ago.
When it comes to the world of wine, everyone has opinion and every opinion is valid. This is the first of a series of monthly articles that will showcase the opinions of each of the Winegeeks.com writers, in order to provide numerous sides of a single topic. We recently asked each of the Winegeeks.com writers to sound off on their favorite wine region, and each had a different response.
You’ll find our April Producer of the Month, Elyse Winery, on a 1-1/2 acre vineyard just south of Yountville in Napa County. For nearly two decades, Ray Coursen has scoured vineyards across the county, from Rutherford to Howell Mountain, in order to find quality grapes to make his luscious red wines. Join us as we discover that Coursen’s fatherly presence in the winery is what allows his wines to truly grow into their own.
Since 1985, Steve Edmunds of Edmunds St. John winery in Berkeley, California has produced the unfathomable – American wines that speak of the earth. Eschewing the practices praised by wine critics, Edmunds creates wines in the truest expression of the grapes, the vines and the landscape from which they were derived. Bring your shovel along as we explore the wines of our March Producer of the Month, Edmunds St. John.
Woodward Canyon is a small winery located outside of Walla Walla, Washington. Since 1981, they have produced excellent Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, but there’s one simple reason we’ve chosen to feature them as our Producer of the Month: Woodward Canyon has set a new standard for Washington Cabernet Sauvignon.
We’ve just rolled out our first phase of winery and appellation maps utilizing Google Maps. This new technology will pinpoint the location of any U.S. winery and will show where it lies in reference to other wineries in the same appellation. Switch to the satellite view, and in certain parts of the country (those closer to metropolitan areas), you can zoom in to catch a close-up view of the winery and vineyard.
For some time now, the Willamette Valley has been showing off its true colors, i.e. burgundy, magenta and purple, and its fabulous Pinot Noir continues to turn heads around the globe. One of the wineries responsible for Willamette Valley's notoriety is Bergström, whose opulent, terroir-driven Pinot Noir has earned them the status as our Winegeeks.com Producer of the Month.
Seghesio has produced wine from its Sonoma County vineyards for over 100 years. While they've received a hefty amount of publicity in recent years, you'll still find the Seghesios out in the vineyards with sweat covering their brows, constantly striving to make grow better grapes and make quality wine. This dedication has encouraged us to make Seghesio our September Producer of the Month.
Arguably the best sparkling wines produced in the United States are coming from a winery in... California? Nope. Oregon? Huh-uh. Virginia? New York? No and no. To-die-for sparkling wines are being produced by a little winery called Gruet in New Mexico. Yes, they actually grow grapes in the land where the state flower is the yucca. And we’re not kidding about the wine either. It’s damn good.
When Domingo Catena returned from France in 1974, he was convinced that Argentine Malbec could compete with the great wines of the world. While much of the wine world has scoffed at Argentina’s attempts to put this Bordeaux blending grape back on the map, Bodega Catena Zapata is beginning to silence its critics. Catena's wines have proven not only that Mendoza is the rightful home for Malbec, but that Malbec has earned its place in the world of wine.
Years ago, the thought of organic vineyards may have brought the image of smelly hippies making really bad wine. But today there are many wineries that are raising successful organic vineyards by applying enological principles to crop and soil maintenance. This month we are focusing on Morgan, a winery from Monterey County, California that is producing delicious Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah from its organic vineyard.
While just one of many steps necessary to allow shipments of wine to every state, the Supreme Court overturned the law banning out-of-state wineries from shipping to specific states. But who was affected, and where do we go from here?
Let’s face it – the world of wine can be intimidating. There seems to be a perpetual barrier between the wine elite, who seem to have complete access to wine and a plethora of knowledge on the subject, and the rest of us. Many times we’ve felt it would be much easier to simply throw up our arms in disgust and pop open a can of inexpensive and unassuming Bud Light. But all it takes is just a little knowledge about wine to make informed purchases as well as intelligent conversation.
Have you ever noticed that each bottle of wine seems to have its own unique personality? Cabernet Sauvignon from California tastes different than Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia. The 1999 Napa Valley Merlot may have tasted much better than the 2000 Merlot you bought a couple months later. You find American wines have a stronger bite than Italian wines and French wines always seem to have a subtle taste of soil that you can’t quite place. The fact is that there are many variables in winemaking that can make wine completely change from region to region and from year to year.
While choosing the wine is certainly important, one of the most-overlooked areas of wine consumption is how to serve the wine. It’s not as simple as other beverages where you can simply pop the top of a can or bottle and chug directly from the lip, at least not without the paper bag surrounding the bottle. With good wine, you’ll notice each sip provides a different taste or sensation, and how we serve the wine can directly affect our experience with that wine.
The sheer thought of starting a wine cellar can be daunting. You may never need a cellar of grandiose proportions, but with the right space you can create your own simple mini-cellar in no time. Here are a few bottle storage tips and recommendations for determining which styles of wine require a little time in the supine position.