Contest,Wine,Wine Blogger,Wine Writer,Wine-Blog

Why do I feel like I’m prostituting myself?

Once upon a time, I was an artist.  Making very intricate jewelry. When it came time to sell it, I fell short of being able to say, “Isn’t that just beautiful! It would look so GREAT on you.”

I just couldn’t do it. “Buy it or not, it’s your decision; it will find a home.”

That’s also when I realized I could easily cheerlead for others (PR is my calling), but not for any of my own work… How can one judge one’s own work and then really brag about it, unless there’s that bit of narcissism in one’s DNA? (Maybe I have a smidge?)

So, I think this is the fourth email I’ve received from Lisa, and just ignored them, until right now for the above reason ~ How would I do that?

It took a while to find some sense in it; and, then I found an easy way. Some people do like wine blogs and will vote for them. Readers might like to know about their friends on this very formidable list, each of the blogs are fascinating reading, after reviewing them. So more blog options for you, Dear Reader, related to wine).



We recently sent you an email detailing your nomination for Best Wine Blogs Award 2019.

We remain interested in having you as one of our nominees. As such, we would like to confirm if you are still interested in being a participant.

The prize pool worth €300 [$336.77 United States Dollars] will be given away to those who receive the highest amounts of votes on a percentage basis.

Every vote will be counted to ensure that the participants will receive the prize money that they have earned.

Deadline for voting is at 12:00 PM on 3rd of Oct. 2019.

Your participation simply involves you helping to spread awareness of the award by mentioning it in your blog in any way you see fit.

For your choice of banner, you can visit: https://tab.do/fr-ci/banners/banners-for-best-wine-blogs-award-2019

To confirm your participation, please respond via this email. In the event that you are unable to participate this time, we would like to extend you an invitation to join future awards.

Thank you for your time.



Wine Blog

One of the best wine blogs out there, wine-blog.org is worth checking out thanks to the comprehensive and exceptional contents available in it. You’re going to benefit most from contents like “Are wines really seasonal or reasonable, while an equator separates all of it,” “Misleading Move to Monetize Historic Legacy in the Famed Napa Valley?,” “He Asked, What Do You Think… Will CBD Be cutting Into Wine Sales?,” and “Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Nouveau Label Design Now Goes Public.” You check the site out for more of such contents.



This list of talented wine writers is seriously amazing, and you may want to become familiar with their work, too.


Petite Sirah,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Business,Wine Culture,Wine Ed,Wine Education

When Dark & Delicious Returns as the Petite Masters at Copia

Who: PS I Love You

What: Masters of Petite: Petite Sirah Panel, Tasting, & Walk-Around Reception

When: Sunday, July 14, on Bastille Day, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Copia, Napa Valley

Why: Celebrating our French Love Child Petite Sirah’s Heritage

While the carefree days of Dark & Delicious are now but a drifting memory, there’s been a U-Turn, a reinvent, a realization… Petite Sirah is just a really great variety, loved by its own cult following. And we love to party, hear stories, and learn more about our adopted love child from Montpelier France.

This is July, a time of our own American birth, via Fourth of July Celebrations… And for some of us, Like Petite Sirah, we also enjoy any French grandparent DNA we might have.  On July 14, the French will be celebrating their National Day for the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille. On 14 July 1789, this was the turning point of the French Revolution. With Petite Sirah’s French lineage, it’s just a great way to celebrate, especially those with French grandparents and anyone else who might also love Petite Sirah, for its sumptuously beautiful flavors.

On July 14, While France celebrates Bastille Day, we’re so pleased to also celebrate in grand tradition, with our immigrant child… Petite Sirah.

PART I – Seminar & Select Tastings
We’re focused on Petite Sirah education. Attend the seminar, with other devoted Petite fans, to learn about and taste five distinct, Dark & Delicious styles. Each winery has its own story, and each Petite will reflect its own terroir.

  1. Winemaker Tres Goetting of Robert Biale Vineyards
  2. Winemaker Nicole Salengo of Berryessa Gap
  3. Winemaker Randle Johnson of The Hess Collection and Artezin Wines
  4. Owner/Winemaker Julie Johnson of Tres Sabores Winery
  5. Owner/Winemaker Miro Tcholakov of Miro Cellars

PART II – Walk Around Tastings

The walk around tasting has 20 vintners/winemaking stars. The wines will be paired with gourmet bites from CIA chefs.

Participating Wineries:

At PS I Love You, we’re all looking forward to continuing the wine education for this American Heritage variety. According to American’s venerable wine historian Charles Sullivan:

1880 – Dr. Francois Durif, a grape botanist and grape breeder at the University of Montpellier in Southern France, released a new variety that he named after himself. It grew from a seed he extracted from fruit of the old French variety Peloursin. Dr. Durif didn’t know the pollen source at the time, but we now know that it was Syrah. The combination of Peloursin and Syrah resulted in fruit with saturated color and very dense fruit clusters.

1884 – Durif was introduced into California by Charles McIver. He imported Petite Sirah for his Linda Vista Vineyard, at the Mission San Jose in Alameda County. Petite Sirah entered the US through the East Bay. Some growers called it Petite Sirah, which was a name commonly used for Durif in some parts of France.




Argentina,Art in Wine,Sauvignon Blanc,Wine,Wine of the Week,Wine Samples,Wine tasting,Winemaking,Winery,Wines,Women in Wine

Finding “The House at Rueil” in Wine, can it be done?

Connecting Art to Wine, Before Even Tasting the Wine


I’ve wine samples to taste; a lot of samples to taste. Life just backs up the volume, as I work on balancing every to-do. At my present age, my grandmother… and then my mother… were taking long naps during the day. I’m not sure what’s happened in this day and age, but naps aren’t even a luxury. They don’t exist. So, I’m navigating new territory of how to live well, when my elders used to check out for a good part of the day, and didn’t even seem to check back in for the rest of it…

Seeing this house, while searching for something else… The House at Rueil, by Edouard Manet… made me want to go through the wine collection; and, not be thinking about what arrived first, so then (and only then) I will find the art to match it. I’m going to flip the switch. I’m going into new territory, so the joie de vivre takes on new meaning.

I’ve been blogging since 2002. I’ve written over 3,000 stories. By this time, I need new inspiration… I think I may have found a new trigger, at least for this moment.

First of All

Credit for this painting’s current whereabouts:

The color and warmth of this house is what first attracted me. I needed to find a sample that would be as evocative:

  • image ~ label design needs at least some of these colors
  • memory ~ my parents painting my grandmother’s Victorian a soft yellow, before they moved in (and then took naps)
  • feelings ~ enticingly light, breezy, and lovely

But, will a wine hold up to all of that as a first thought, rather than being the afterthought? Let’s see how this one evolved.

Off to Search Through the Wine Collection

IMAGE: Started with the cream color, so red and white both worked.

MEMORY: Next came the bit of Burgundy. Narrowing it even more.

FEELINGS: Sweating in the summer sun, while tasting lemonade, made by my grandmother…

When all was considered and the wines had been pulled for not having exactly the right “it,” I did succeed in finding a match. (I do know all of the wines I pulled have “it,” with another piece of art work, though, yet to be determined.)

Chosen strictly as a process of elimination in the realm of the wine label matching a painting, I’m very pleased with the final selection of a Domaine Bousquet. The culture of the painting and the winery of Domaine Bousquet both have a French lineage. My Bernier/Ouellette grandparents home had many French touches as well. I can connect so many dots. Perhaps my French DNA played a role?

So, where is The House at Rueil actually located?

From ArtsandCulture.google.com

Edouard Manet’s fascination with the effects of light and colour was constantly renewed as he took in the myriad impressions of the infinitely varied world around him. His portrayal of the house just outside Paris belonging to his host, the poet Eugène Labiche, was in no way intended as a faithful view. Instead he restricted himself to a section of the facade, like a detail, much in the style of Japanese woodcuts. It is not possible to take in the house as a whole, both because of the limited view and because of the tree trunk that calculatedly cuts through the aedicule and thus through the functional and aesthetic center of the house, heightening the viewer’s attention and fascination. While the facade is bathed in blazing sunlight, one can nevertheless sense the cooling shade cast by the crown of the tree up above the top edge of the picture. One also senses that there is a slight breeze causing the patches of light to gently shift their position. “A blithe spirit has created this picture with consummate skill” (Hugo von Tschudi) — skill that is evident in the finely balanced play of colours, the powerful contrasts of red and green, and the restrained resonance of tones of yellow and blue.

The blue of the house isn’t represented anywhere here, and just as an FYI – Blue is perhaps one of the few colors used on a label, so the violet takes care of having one of the final shades in the color spectrum, and what I finalized as the winner of this experiment. Still, I wanted to know… WHERE was this  house?

Finding this actual location was like looking for a needle in a haystack, but I persisted. While the house belonged to poet Eugène Labiche, it looks like Manet was there to recover from maladies, where he painted the gardens around the house.


Manet and his wife Suzanne, were spending a period in this small village, just west of Paris.

Unlike Giverny, where the garden was the artist’s creation, the Manets were renting… [Eugène Labiche‘s] house in the hope of improving Edouard Manet’s health.

It doesn’t seem to have been a particularly congenial location for Manet, although he produced a number of paintings of the house and garden and of his wife.

The village was small and quiet, consisting of a number of different squares. There was little company for the sociable Manet although his sojourn at 18, Rue de Chateau was meant to provide him with rest.

You wouldn’t sense from the painting, that Rue de Chateau was a narrow cobbled lane, with no chateau to be seen, and that the house had a small garden.

~ The Wine I Ultimately Found ~


  • French family, French wine – check!
  • Variety from France’s Bordeaux – check!
  • The flavor as welcoming as what I wanted to replicate with this simply delicious view – check!

DOMAINE BOUSQUET is a favorite wine brand for me. I got to meet Anne Bousquet – Al Ameri, who’s a brilliant young woman, a second generation member of this hard working Bousquet family. When she came to California, we had a delicious lunch and time together at Barn Diva in Healdsburg. Her wines matched our menu selections perfectly. The quality of the wines are fabulous, the price is a true value… If the price were to rise, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash, and would happily pay the price, because it would STILL be a great bargain.

Domaine Bousquet


  1. HEART ~ WINERY ~ From the winery

    • In the early 1990’s, Anne’s father Jean Bousquet visited Tupungato, Argentina. Four generations of winemaker history, Jean arrived from Carcassonne, located in southern France. He was searching for exceptional terroir, in order to start a new winery. By 1997, a parcel of land was purchased and the family relocated from France to the foothills of the Andes, when Jean had sold his southern France vineyard and winery property. The land he purchased in Tupungato, was completely developed, with no wineries anywhere to be seen. This is land in the Uco Valley. [For perspective, Tupungato is an hour south of Mendoza City.]
  2. SCIENCE ~ WINEMAKING ~ From the winery
    • Domaine Bousquet’s premium varietal series comprises a blend of estate and purchased fruit from the Uco Valley. The grapes benefit from major diurnal temperature swings, achieving exuberant ripeness while retaining the juiciness that invites a second glass. The wines are vinified with a French sensibility. The wines are un-oaked – an on-trend sensibility of little or no oak to let the fruit shine through and make the wines extremely food-friendly. This wine is100% Sauvignon Blanc, cold macerated to extract aromas and flavors, and is fermented in stainless steel tanks.
  3. SOUL ~ Jo’s notes
    • The pure pleasure of this 2019 Domaine Bousquet Sauvignon Blanc, from Mendoza Argentina, tasted on a 90 degree day just as summer arrived, was so refreshingly delightful. Not only did I satisfying my adventure of finding the right wine to match a piece of artwork (versus the other way around), but the Domaine Bousquet Sauvignon Blanc also quenched my thirst on a hot summer’s day. This Sauvignon Blanc is in perfect balance and harmony, as is this Edouard Manet painting, which delivered its statement of well-balanced, visual art.
    • Domaine Bousquet’s wines are liquid art, and so very easy to enjoy.

Trying any of the Domaine Bousquet wines is liquid art realized. This 2019 Domaine Bousquet Sauvignon Blanc over delivered, per usual.








Argentina,Malbec,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Business,Wine Culture,Wine Ed,Wine Education,Wine of the Week,Wine Sales,Wine Samples

Are wines really seasonal or reasonable, while an equator separates all of it

We read titles like, “Spring into Summer with Great White Wines.” We do eat differently in differing seasons, but do our wine choices really vary, very much?

When it’s time to think about wine choices, I don’t know about you but I think “food,” and then I think “wine,” and vice versa – wine and food. I really don’t think, “We’re headed into summer, so here come all the whites for sipping and reds for barbecues that I need to load into the house.”

Really, if it’s in the dead of winter and I think, “I want a white wine,” I go for it. In the summer, if I think “Sangiovese,” I’m going for that, too.

Why newly released wines happen the way they do

In the spring months, a winery’s white wine is fully fermented, and so it’s being bottled. One reason this happens is to get access to that storage, be it stainless steel fermenting tanks or oak barrels. This gets the white wine moving along in its production cycle. Why? Because the season is about to deliver new white grapes, and they’ll need the units for fermentation and then storage. Once that cycle has been completed, red wines follow the same path.

While it makes sense to come up with “catchy names” to get some wine writer’s attention, the reality is that consumers think “wine and food” or “food and wine.” They never think, “The season is spring, so it must be time for a Sauvignon Blanc,” even though that’s a title’s message.


All wines have a reason, more than a season

To that end, we’re headed into summer, but I’m still going to share a consistent, simply delicious, and beautifully affordable red, versus the expected white or rose right now. Can you enjoy this with barbecued foods? Of course! But, so can you also enjoy it, regardless of mood you’re having… rain or shine, spring, summer, fall or winter. It’s simply enjoyable; that’s what you need to know, above all else. Grilled chicken and Malbec? Mais oui!

Seasonal twists; flipping the seasons via the equator

Whatever we’re doing in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere is six months ahead of us, seasonally speaking. For instance, our grapes are growing right now in June, north of the equator, and our winemakers are headed toward bottling 2018 white wines. South of the equator, it’s about to become their winter. Leaves have fallen from the vines, and the vineyards are going into dormancy. The wine cellars are finishing off their fermentations. When choosing wines and their vintage dates, wines from south of the equator have already been on the market for six months ahead of their northern hemisphere neighbors.

So, let’s cross the equator into South America, for a classic example of a red wine I’d enjoy regardless of the season; perhaps for the food or no apparent reason, this is an excellent example of a wine perfectly fitted and adapted to its terroir, to give us a classic example of a wine that proves itself worthy of your attention.

Let’s review Mendoza, Argentina, via, “The Terroir of Mendoza ~ High Altitude, High Desert and Watchful Vineyard Management,” by Pedro Marchevsky.

“Perhaps the single most important characteristic of the Mendoza terroir is its location in the high altitude Andean foothills. The premiere winegrowing areas average between 3,000 and 5,000 feet above sea level. As altitude increases, the average temperature decreases, in general 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Farenheit) for every 100 meter (328 feet) increase in elevation. Winegrowers can literally climb up and down the mountain side in order to find the ideal temperature and microclimate for each varietal. It is even possible to match desired wine styles of a single variety with different altitudes and their respective microclimates.

“As is typical with mountain climates, Mendoza enjoys a wide temperature difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows. This wide thermal amplitude between bright sunny days and cool crisp nights allows for gradual ripening of the fruit. This factor combines with the typically mild harvest season to allow for prolonged cluster hang-time. The resulting fruit is well balanced with fully ripe, soft and almost sweet tannins.”

Whatever our wine regions are experiencing north of the equator or south of the equator, in weather speak, south of the equator is now six months ahead of the northern hemisphere… (Plan vacations accordingly, too.)

[Purchased image of a Mendoza Argentina vineyard. Copyright: Alexandr Vlassyuk]

Wine-Blog’s Perfect Example Of Malbec ~ Trivento Reserve


  1. HEART ~ THE WINERY: info is coming from the company’s own statements
    1. I can’t make up their history
    2. Nor am I to try
  3. SOUL ~ Juicy Tales’ Take

2017 Trivento Reserve Mendoza Argentina

Trivento ~ “three winds” | tri – three ~ vento – wind


Adding to the above mention of Mendoza’s Winegrape growing region: Terroir is a very complex subject, just as humanity has proven to be. To have three distinct winds affecting grapes in any given region, like they do in Trivento’s Mendoza vineyards, each wine with its distinct influence, makes Mendoza, Argentina’s terroir even more complex… definitely more complex than any average region’s climate. Just image having three partners that come at you, one after the other, each with its own job to do. One’s enough for most people, for good reason. Although, the winds of change these days may be turning what used to have some sense of normalcy, Argentina’s terroir still remains very unique.

HEART ~ Trivento Winery

“Malbec fell in love with the South” ~ Vineyards Mendoza, Argentina. The grapes are primarily sourced from the Luján de Cuyo and surrounding areas. Alluvial soil.

When in the mid-1990s Concha y Toro, Chile’s leading wine producer, announced its successful purchase a collection of vineyards (now accounting for 3,185 acres) in the Mendoza region of neighboring Argentina, there was little doubt on either side of the Andes that change was in the air. Wind is the agent of change, so it was only fitting that the new venture was named “Trivento” (Three Winds), a whimsical reference to three winds that sweep through Mendoza and are such a distinguishing feature of the region’s climate and environment.

WINEMAKING ~ Trivento Winery

The wine is harvested in April by hand, aged in French oak barriques for 6-months, and then aged for an additional 5-months in bottle prior to release. The blend is Malbec 70 percent, Bonarda 20 percent, Syrah 10 percent. BACK LABEL: In Argentina’s Andean foothills, Malbec danced upon a generous terroir where it could attain its tremendous potential. Adding Bonarda and Syrah, it also expresses a distinct character in these lands.

Trivento’s principal vineyards are located in the Uco Valley, Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, San Martin and Rivadavia districts of Mendoza – a wine region that exemplifies the advantages of high-altitude viticulture. Here, significant differences between day and night temperatures help minimize the risk of pests and disease. Vineyards that receive barely 8 inches of rainfall a year are irrigated with natural snow melt from the Andes. Not least, vineyards can count on the beneficial effects of the three seasonal winds for which the Trivento winery is named. The icy Polar wind in winter forces sap deep within the vines. It is succeeded by the Zonda, which races in from the Andes, its warmth rousing dormant sap to generate new spring growth. In the summer months a third wind, the Sudestada, provides a welcome respite from the searing sun and helps to temper ripening.

SOUL ~ Juicy Tales

When you taste this wine, keep their winds of change in mind… This is truly one of my favorite Malbecs, in all of the world. Trivento does a great job with it; each time I taste it, it’s with really fine pleasure, like a sunny day with nothing to do but relax and sip it all in… Maybe some of that grilled chicken to enjoy with it, too.

SAMPLE: Imported by Excelsior Wine



Law,Napa,Public Relations,Wine,Winery

Misleading Move to Monetize Historic Legacy in the Famed Napa Valley?

Perhaps a bit late to the party, but an issue that’s still near and dear to my heart, having worked and walked in Mondavi’s To-Kalon Vineyard. During that time, I was aware that we, at Robert Mondavi, were sharing that vineyard land with other wine companies, too, under contracts.

When I heard that Constellation brands (owner of Mondavi) launched To Kalon Vineyard Company, I thought, really? While working at Robert Mondavi Winery, now also owned by Constellation, three of our prized wines were their Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and the Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as having the vineyards for our exclusive source of our Fumé Blanc Reserve.

What was this Email I just got, stating: Misleading Move to Monetize Historic Legacy in the Famed Napa Valley?

It has to do with Constellation launching To Kalon Vineyard Company as its new wine company. But, it appears to not be having a seamless go of it.

I received this “other side” of the coin, from one of those contracting brands, with To Kalon on the label. It’s got more historical perspective for us all.

PRESS RELEASE from The Vineyard House

Misleading Move to Monetize Historic Legacy in the Famed Napa Valley

In a misleading and disingenuous move to monetize one of the most iconic and historic legacies in the famed Napa Valley, corporate giant Constellation brands recently announced the launch of To Kalon Vineyard Company. The true legacy of H.W. Crabb and the famed To-Kalon property that he planted over 150 years ago is not solely owned by beverage giant Constellation Brands – but is shared by many in Napa Valley.

“The legacy of H.W. Crabb and the iconic To-Kalon property represent a specific place within Napa Valley and a unique history that is well documented and not owned exclusively by Constellation Brands. It is a true misrepresentation of that famed legacy and that unique history for one corporation to use them as a marketing tool,” stated Jeremy Nickel, The Vineyard House.

H.W. Crabb’s To-Kalon property began with an initial purchase of 240 acres in 1868 and expanded with the acquisition of 119 acres in 1879 and 168 acres in 1889. At To-Kalon, Crabb helped establish Napa Valley as a premier wine region through his experimentation with varietals, production of high quality wine, and vine cutting sales. As a pioneering viticulturist and winemaker, he was respected for his technical expertise and shared his extensive knowledge through lectures and articles. At the time of Crabb’s death in 1899, the 527-acre To-Kalon property was regarded as one of the most significant vineyards in Napa Valley.

“Preserving and protecting the unique heritage and history that help to make Napa Valley such a special place has been a lifelong passion that was instilled in me by my father. He taught me the importance of place and history and the need to preserve that history for future generations so that they can better understand the pioneers like H.W. Crabb who helped to forge the early history of the Napa Valley that we all love so much,” stated Nickel.

For more information contact: The Vintage House: cory@publicpolicyinc.com


First of all, the press release is intended to get our attention (according to the Public Policy site): “bring the full force of our considerable strategic communications experience and proven relationships with community opinion leaders, the media and multi-levels of government.” It did get my attention.

So, where does it go from here? Does it become political? Does the public own history, or does the owner of the property own the history?

Would it have to become a historical site, to settle the issue?

Yet, Constellation is Constellation and they have a new, high end brand. By creating it, Jeremy Nickel might not have to work as hard at marketing the name connecting his own brand’s access to rows of the famed To Kalon Vineyard. But, he does have to make some more noise, so he’s not lost in the shuffle?

Constellation had an epiphany: Create a new brands and call it the To Kalon Vineyard Company. If the name’s not already copy [stories that have been] written, what can anyone do, but (perhaps) try to fight it? Copy written text [stories written about a subject, not going through the process of establishing a copyright] might win over all else, if it’s not already on the record, though; especially since Constellation now owns the land.

[I have clarified in brackets above, since I didn’t clarify which process I was referencing.]

Public Policy did get my attention. Jeremy Nichols did gain my empathy.

Someone comes up with a new winery name, gets there first, and the rest is history.

Something to ponder: It may also be at the crux of Jeremy’s concern; what if Constellation grows so big with their wine that no company, beyond Constellation, will have renewed contracts for the extra fruit being grown in this vineyard?

  • If you have a contract, may you hold onto it and keep being so special, if Constellation lets you.
  • If you lose the contract, you may have to find another piece of history and attach your historical, lucky star to that.

The one constant in life is change, and so we mostly have to go with the flow. To-Kalon Vineyard’s history is still being written, even as I publish this, stating the obvious. We shall see if there’s any public outcry.


CBD,Wine,Wine Business

He Asked, What Do You Think… Will CBD Be cutting Into Wine Sales?

I had just received an Email from the CBD Awareness project, as they’re scouring for CBD advocates. I’ve had an earlier thought about this issue on my blog. I’m on record.

Then, I found myself in a discussion with a legendary winery owner, and decided to share what I think. This vintner was truly frightened, BTW, and I felt for him. Could his livelihood actually be at stake… I wasn’t concerned, and answered yes and no.

Here’s Why

The wine industry is now living in the land of Do We Have a New Competitor? Guys, there will always be new competitors. That’s called evolution. It’s like, Will there be weather today?

In my humble opinion, I think it’s a “yes” and a “no” answer. I come from the flower power generation. We experimented… And we not only enjoyed dropping out, but we also still had an appreciation for wine. We were stoned, resourceful people, who made candle holders out of the wine bottles, seashell mobiles, extravagant bead work, pottery, etc… We had to live underground with our behavior, while it taught us a lot about this herb.


So, it’s a no side, when people are solely looking for CBD from hemp as a medicinal, there’s nothing for the wine industry to worry about. They’re not looking to get high; they’re looking to stabilize their health, with a natural plant that Mother Nature’s provided, since the beginning of time.

Another “no” side is this… If you have any malady at all, and are fed up with pharmaceutical greed,  you’re possibly considering CBD oil – from HEMP, with no THC involved. So, no; not a biggie, either, for the wine industry.

We also know that pharmaceuticals are now looking beyond their synthetics research. They’re the one concerned. They, too, can share the in the profits, but will their greed be too far gone? Yet to be decided.


On the “yes” side, some might decide to just return to marijuana, and leave wine behind… I believe that number will still be so much fewer than what any of the wine companies are concerned about. Advice? Just readjust your quality, if you’re a commodity wine company. You’ve got the resources to do that. But, don’t push up the price; just be better and tell your shareholders, it’s the right thing to do. You’ve humanly got enough money for all.


So, I was asked if I’d entertain a Brief Introduction to CBD Oil. I responded yes, since the wine industry is beside itself, whispering every which way, is the legalization of marijuana going to cut into our sales. As I just wrote, Yes and No. Perhaps a little competition might bring some wine back a bit to be more terroir driven, versus commodity manufacturing. Who knows?

Below is what was presented to me, and I found an independent link to verify each statement.


I hope your week is going well! My name is Mary and I work with the CBD Awareness Project, a newly launched organization dedicated to bringing accurate information about hemp-derived products to the general public.

It Begins with an Information Problem

CBD oil is being touted as the next best thing in medicine, but there’s one big problem. There is a ton of information out there and not all of it useful or easy to understand. If you are interested in potentially trying CBD oil, here’s a primer on what it is, what it does, and how to use it safely.

What is in CBD Oil?
There are two cannabinoids that are common in CBD products – CBD and THC. Both cannabinoids have different effects and those effects can change when they interact with each other. They work with the endocannabinoid receptors in your body to help bring your body’s systems back to homeostasis.

What is CBD?
CBD is the common name for cannabidiol. It is usually derived from hemp, Marijuana’s less fun cousin. It usually works as a mild sedative, which helps it to relieve pain, symptoms of anxiety and lower blood pressure. It can also help to dull some of the psychoactive effects of THC.

What is THC?
THC is the common name for tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the cannabinoid that creates the psychotropic high that you expect to get from smoking weed. If you have enough of it, it can lead to increased appetite and red eyes like marijuana.

How can I take CBD Oil?
It can be taken in many different forms. You can ingest it through oils, drinks, vaping or foods. You can also use it as a massage oil for topical use. Each form has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll need to try different ones to figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Is CBD Oil Legal?
For the most part, CBD oil is legal. However, if the product you choose includes THC, you may run into some issues if you travel. To be sure that you and your CBD product are street legal wherever you travel, check to make sure that recreational marijuana is legal wherever you are going.

More to Think About

If you’re getting on an airplane, make sure your liquid oil stays under 3 ounces as well, to ensure you don’t run into any issues with the TSA.

What are Some Benefits of CBD?

CBD products can help to reduce anxiety, lower the amount of pain that you feel, lower your blood pressure and even help you sleep at night.

Everybody reacts differently to CBD like any other medication and needs different dosages.

You’ll need to start at a low dose, and work your way up to figure out how much you need over time.

What are Some Drawbacks of CBD?

There hasn’t been a lot of long term research on how CBD and THC will affect people who take them, so we don’t know a whole lot.

However, If your product has THC in it, taking large dosages for a long period of time can lead to neurological issues in the long term. It can also cause issues with your kidneys, because that is where your body metabolizes these cannabinoids.

Make sure to talk to your doctor before adding CBD products to your regimen to keep yourself safe while you take it.


Art in Wine,Beaujolais,Contest,France,Willamette Valley,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Business,Wine Importer

Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Nouveau Label Design Now Goes Public

This one reminds me of Willamette Valley’s Oak Knoll Winery. Being the exclusive partner of Portland’s popular Rose Parade, as regards wine, Oak Knoll Winery conducts an annual, label design contest. The inspiration, actualization, anticipation, and gratification for everyone in the process takes on a life of its own, until announced. It’s a lot simpler to just hire a few people in the design process. Any wine company, having the good business sense to engage its audience, like this, demonstrates great business acumen. The closer a company draws in its audience, the more ambassadors it’s created. It’s they, who ultimately, sell wine to their friends.


The picture I’ve taken [above] shows the “old” guard… The ties of the Duboeufs, with the emerging new connections… It feels like the left side of the picture tells the story of history and local culture… Then, in the center, there’s a split from the past, which segues into what’s new and even more exciting. Fresh, bright, and alluring, having a Georges de Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Nouveau is like having friends arrive for one day (the first few sips); and the excitement easily grows into a much longer finish than anticipated, with the great visit.



The tradition of Nouveau began when the winemakers and growers of the Beaujolais region celebrated the end of harvest with a young wine that was initially only produced for local consumption. Georges Duboeuf was the first to bring that quaint local custom to wine-lovers outside of the region, creating a worldwide phenomenon. Bottled six-to-eight weeks after harvest, Beaujolais Nouveau is fresh, fruity and vibrant. It is often considered to be an indicator of the quality of the vintage and it is best served with a light chill. The wine’s annual release the week before Thanksgiving has made Beaujolais Nouveau a harbinger of the holiday season in the U.S. for more than 35 years.


Georges Duboeuf is a premium producer of award-winning French wines from the Beaujolais and Mâconnais regions of Burgundy and the South of France. His legendary palate, his ability to spot great wine and his enthusiasm made him a celebrated figure in the wine industry. The company that he founded, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, brings to market wines renowned for their quality and value. They work closely with hundreds of small family wine growers to procure the highest quality fruit throughout the region, as well as export many small Chateau and Estate-produced wines that would otherwise not be able to brings their wines to the US. Georges’ son, CEO Franck Duboeuf, has taken on the tradition of leading the family winery and company, helping to navigate Les Vins Georges Duboeuf through the world’s wine markets as they continue to thrive in the 21st Century. Les Vins Georges Duboeuf is imported by Quintessential Wines, based in Napa, California.

Dallas Artist Laura Runge Wins 2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Artist Label Competition


Dallas Artist Laura Runge just won the 2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Artist Label Competition. The yearly competition to find the best original art for the U.S. label of Georges Duboeuf’s world-famous Beaujolais Nouveau has ended with the highest levels of social media engagement to date, and an impressive number of submissions by talented artists from around the country. Over 600 pieces were entered, with native Texan Laura Runge’s Joyous Crush taking the top prize. Included is a cash grant and the honor of having her work debut on the label of over one million bottles of Duboeuf’s 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé, when the wines are released on the third Thursday of November (November 21, 2019).

We have a sneak peak…



Direct to Consumer,Wine,Wine Distribution

This Is the Best News I’ve Heard Since 1993, As Regards Wine Distribution

Another Platform Helping Wine Brands Get to Far Away Places

Tier3 Global: Your Go-to-Market Platform

Now you can distribute wine to all 50 states, legally, if you can’t already…

From a query to my E-Mail account: Now producers of all sizes have an additional way to get their brands to market and sell them through to the end customer.

Tier3 provides immediate access to any of the 50 states for any producer. We accomplish this with a web platform that connects you with Tier3 Distributors and Importers who are committed to moving your product through retail accounts.

In my early years as an employee, I was the person who was given the task of boxing-up an order from over the weekend wine sales, and shipped it off to Florida. Some of you in the wine business, may remember in the mid-90s, a shipment was stopped before it arrived at its intended location… with my fingerprints all over it. As an employee, I was just doing my job. My proprietor, however, was fined a $10 grand slap on the wrist. That signaled to the entire industry, the laws being ignored for so long, were not going to be ignored any longer.

I struggle, as does 95 percent of the industry (somewhat imagined, but somewhat also very real), how does any brand beyond the oligopolies survive, beyond the 80/20 rule? I cater to small brands, the big guys all have their own publicists. I’ve worked for them, and I know I prefer a “less is more” client, rather than the employee circus that one encounters, with some employers.

To that end, this is the best news I’ve heard since 1993.

From Tier3’s Web: Distribute Wine To Any State

Tier3: Your Go-to-Market Platform
Now producers of all sizes have an additional way to get their brands to market and sell them through to the end customer.

Tier3 provides immediate access to any of the 50 states for any producer. We accomplish this with a web platform that connects you with Tier3 Distributors and Importers who are committed to moving your product through retail accounts.

Distribute Wine To Any State


Alignment: Brand to Customer
Tier3 creates better channel alignment from you to your customers and delivers the right customers to the right brands. Because Tier3 “snaps-together” transaction based on customer demand and desire for your product; not simply what happens to be in the warehouse that has been assigned to the sales rep.

New brands and products from small producers flow through the channel just as easily as the big brands. This means product winds up in the best possible placement location delivering the most value to all players in the process.

I’m leaving this right here

I don’t need to tell you any more about this 50-State Platform. You… and you know who you are… need to explore this option. You’re welcome.


Books,Wine,Wine Book,Wine Writer,Winery,Wines

The Wines of Long Island, by José Moreno-Lacalle

Wine-blog’s Books page lists (with links) the wine books I’ve reviewed over time, since my first one on September 11, 2006. I was honoring Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course ©1994. Kevin actually lost his staff, during the collapse of the Twin Tower, on September 11, and it just seemed like the right thing to do on that day. I had been given my copy while working at Robert Mondavi Winery. They were paring down their library and we got to bring home books we wanted.

I didn’t see the depth and breath of my “Books” page coming… Do we ever see the growth of something simply started, like planting a tree, for the width and height it will reach, until many years later? No, but still we plant, to give it a place to be. Someday, this library will find a new home in some small wine country library. I’ve yet to decided where. There are a few excellent options I’m considering, though.

I’ve always loved books. I’ve yet to review all of those books from Mondavi, because once I wrote about Kevin’s Zraly’s, I began to be queried about reviewing more… 13 years later, and the Book page is a pretty good resource. As I just searched through my files to find the first book I decided to review, I discovered it was Kevin Zraly’s. What Irony for me… Last October, during my trip to Italy, we finally met in person. He was on a book tour in Italy, a close friend of Michael (Mick) Yurch’s. I was there to learn about the companies that Mick Yurch is representing. We all met at Castello di Meleto in Gaiole ~ In the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany.

Fast Forward to the Present

My Facebook friend José Moreno-Lacalle shared a link, on Facebook, stating the following:

“For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working furiously to get my book on The Wines of Long Island fully corrected and revised. It’s now in the hands of my designer, who’s doing an excellent job of helping create a book with high production values. In the meantime, I’ve also gotten blurbs from Mark Squires and Kevin Zraly, who liked my book very much.”

I’m familiar with The Wines of Long Island. This is a “must have,” updated version; a necessity for any (nearly) complete wine book library.  (I write “nearly,” because new books are always being released.) Long Island has a long history in wine, which began long before Vitis vinifera vines were bring planted in California, let’s say.

Now, I eagerly await The Wines of Long Island’s newly revised copy.

From José’s Website: About José Moreno-Lacalle

Wine is a subject that has held a special fascination for me for well over fifty years.  In fact, I used to write a wine column for Abel Magazine and Park West back in the late 60s and early 70s.  That made me a kind of pioneer as writing about wine wasn’t widespread in those days (when the only useful reference written by an American was Frank Schoonmaker’s Encyclopedia of Wine, published in 1964; Hugh Johnson’s first book on the subject, Wine, came out in 1966; then, in 1970 Time-Life published one of the first mass-market books on the subject, Wine and Spirits,by Alec Waugh, as part its Food of the World Series).  The first winery that I wrote about was Pleasant Valley Wine Company, in Hammondsport–in what would become the Finger Lakes AVA–back in 1971.


José Moreno-Lacalle’s press release and on his Hone Web page: Wine, Seriously

The Wines of Long Island was originally published in 1987 and a second, revised edition was issued in 2000.  19 years later, it remained the best and most complete single volume on the history, geography, viniculture, winemaking, and the wineries of Long Island.  It was carefully researched and quite well written.  It is also seriously out of date.

In the 19 intervening years a very great deal of change has taken place in the wine industry of the region. In 2000 there were 25 wineries and vineyards, about half of which are no longer in business; in 2019 there are 62, including several wine brands that have no winery or vineyard as such and use a crush facility.  A handful of the wineries are not even in the East End, but elsewhere in Suffolk County, with two in Brooklyn.

19 years ago the issue of sustainability was scarcely on the radar. Today, sustainable winegrowing is a major issue worldwide, and a new entity, the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowers association, is providing independent certification for members.

Long Island wine country has become a major tourist destination, counting about 1.3 million visitors a year, and most wineries provide not only wine-tasting facilities, but also weekend entertainment during the high season.  Many of them also host events, dinners, and weddings.

The new edition of The Wines of Long Island provides all this new information as well as updates to the history of the region in a new edition.  Every wine producer on Long Island is described in the book, some extensively, often with anecdotes. This edition is intended as the principal reference and guide for the wines of Long Island.  It has nearly 300 pages, a foreword by Louisa Hargrave, and an expanded section on terroir, varieties, and vintages.  Most of the 127 illustrations are in color.

Mark Squires of The Wine Advocate says, “This book’s greatest virtue is its ability to appeal to both geeks and average consumers. It tells you where we are and how we got there.”

Kevin Zraly, wine teacher and author of Windows on the World Wine Course, writes that the book is “a must-read for anyone visiting the wineries of Long Island.”

Carlo DeVito, author, East Coast Wineries , writes: “Though I taste in the region annually, Mr. Moreno-Lacalle’s book is the best tour of Long Island wine I’ve had in years. Thorough, complete, and definitive. The author has done a superlative job.”

Louisa Hargrave, a founder of the Long Island wine trade, wrote in the foreword of the book: “Palmedo and Beltrami revised their own book in 2000. Now, the time is ripe again for revision. How appropriate it is that they handed their project over to José Moreno Lacalle, a man who, like themselves, views the wine business with the perspective of his own successful career outside the industry. With worldliness and sophistication, he brings his profound interest in the topic—twinkle in the eye, and glass in hand.”

José Moreno-Lacalle has been writing about Winemaking and Viniculture in Long Island for his blog, Wine, Seriously, since 2010.  he holds a Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma in Wine (a professional certification) and has an MA in Art History as


France,French Wine,Italy,Oregon,Provence,Rosé,Verona,Walla Walla,Washington,Willamette Valley,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Making,Wine tasting

Living in the Land of Roses

May, the glorious month, when we know winter is truly behind us. Spring has sprung, and in a Mediterranean climate ~ where I’m living ~ so are the roses. They surround our homes, all colors, all styles, the visual flavors of the season. I just photographed this lovely Talisman, singular rose. Last year, just as I was really loving this one, I went to get my camera, and when I got back, it was gone… vanished… and I thought, “those pesky deer.” They know a delicacy, when they see one, too.

This year, I got it before they they did, but for how long? Not really sure, but we’re off to get some fencing today. I put this image on Facebook, with the following:

The Talisman Rose is what I chose, to give to my mother [when she was with me]. Now, my Mother Nature chooses to give them back to me.

Amalia Papagiannopoulou responded with, “Magnificent! I really appreciate the poetic way that you love nature!”

I do love Nature, always have, always will… She just speaks to me.


A Rose by any other name is called a Rosé ~ Backstory

The other roses in a Mediterranean Climate are called rosés. You can either see it and drink it in, our you can pour it and drink it in. Either way, they’re glorious. I’ve been doing some work with David Bruce Winery lately. I had no idea that it was our legendary Dr. David Bruce who first began to experiment with rosé wines, in the 60s… Predating Sutter Home, people. Sutter Home was an accident. Dr. Bruce was deliberate.

WINE SPECTATOR: author Tim Fish: “Often ahead of the curve, he tinkered with white Zinfandel as early as the 1960s…”

WINE SPECTATOR: author Dr. Vinnie: “Even though rosé, blush and pale red wines have been made for centuries, white Zinfandel as we know it was invented in the early 1970s at Sutter Home by Bob Trinchero, and yes, it started as a mistake. Trinchero had been making a dry version of a white Zinfandel, but then a batch stopped fermenting. It’s known as a “stuck fermentation”—when the sugar doesn’t completely converted to alcohol—so the wine remains a little bit sweet. A winemaker can try to get the fermentation going again by inoculating it with more yeast or adjusting the temperature, or decide to blend it with other wines. In this case, Trinchero bottled it solo. By 1987, Sutter Home White Zinfandel was the best-selling premium wine in the United States.

When art is wine, and wine is art

There is a lot of time and attention spent making wine, in one department at a winery. There’s also a lot of time and attention coming up with the wine’s presentation. Just look at these bottles, if you need more evidence.

These bottles, for instance ~ Today’s rosés…

Left to Right:

  • 2017 Christopher Bridge Cellars, Cuvée Rosé Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • 2018 Famiglia Pasqua Rose Trevenezie, 11 Minutes Odi et Amo, Verona Italy
  • 2018 Fleurs de Prairie Vin de Provence Rosé
  • 2018 Roubine Rosé Côtes de Provence
  • 2018 Forgeron Cellars Pink Rabbits Rosé of Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington

Wines of the Week

2017 Christopher Bridge Cellars, Cuvée Rose Willamette Valley, Oregon

Christopher Bridge’s Susanne Carlberg is a dear friend, and has been since I produced the Oregon Pinot Gris Symposiums, for Oak Knoll Winery. She recently sent a box of wines to me from her winery. “They’re a gift, just because.”

No grape variety is listed with Cuvée Rose.

Their wines are excellent. Her husband Carl is also the winemaker, and the label artwork is part of this story’s take on not only rosé, but also the design that accompanies it… consistently, with each bottle of wine. I love this cattle representation; it’s so Oregon. Remember their motto up there in Oregon, “Keep it weird.” How many cattle have you ever seen on a label, for instance? And, it’s not just any bovine, it has beautiful pink, rose colors, and the words as a sidebar: Family Soil Artisanality. Oregon’s wine history began in the 1970s, with much of Oregon being dairy and cattle country.


Christopher Bridge Cellars and Satori Springs Vineyard are owned and managed by the Carlberg family, since their inception in 2001 and 1998 respectively. Chris’ parents Ragnhild and Wolfgang Carlberg purchased the nearly 80 acre farm in 1952 primarily for its stunning Willamette Valley views and close proximity to Portland. They raised their family of three children here, while primarily working the ground with their hands. The farm was a simple affair with beef cattle and blackcaps as the main crops.

This Rosé was as smooth as buttah, with sweet strawberries and cream… Oh ~ my ~ gawd. Great for a Memorial Day Weekend. Great for any day, really, when a craving for rosé arrives.

2018 Famiglia Pasqua Rose Trevenezie, 11 Minutes Odi et Amo, Verona Italy

[LATIN: Odi et Amo = I hate and I love]

Why 11 minutes?


The new rosé interpretation by Famiglia Pasqua is a fine blend created from the most noble native varietals like Corvina and Trebbiano di Lugana and varietals like Syrah and Carmenère. The name 11 MINUTES refers to the duration of the skin contact, the pressing of grapes: the full load of grapes is very softly pressed. In this optimal length of time we extract the most noble qualities of the grapes and obtain the slightly rosy shade that characterize this wine. Once the precious must is created, it is cooled and transferred to a steel tank where it remains for about 11 hours, the necessary time for the more solid parts to decant.

Grape varieties: Corvina, Trebbiano di Lugana, Syrah, and Carmenère. Corvina dominates.

The Famiglia Rose was like enjoy liquid art that held so many mysteries. This is not a bottle to be the background music. This was like Rose Opera; i.e., Opera performed to the highest standards… Mozart, for instance.  (Rose Opera is registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales.) It was floral like rose petals; and a long, linger finish, like my recent visit to Italy.

Now, let’s talk about this bottle art! The shape is non-traditional for the times, right? And, it certainly gets your attention. But, big “but” here, the cutout circle on the front label allows the oval of the back label’s artwork  to come through. It’s a really lovely, forlorn looking woman in a garden, with a tiny bird with open wings on her right hand. As she casts her eyes upon it… you make up what she’s thinking… So, as I’m enjoying the liquid art, I can’t take my eyes off the physical vessel for this outstanding wine. Not easy to photography, by the way; incredibly easy to enjoy!

2018 Fleurs de Prairie Vin de Provence Rosé

The life of the party!

The art of the deal for Fleurs de Prairie Vin de Provence Rose: both inside and outside of the bottle. It’s an elegant Rose, made even more grand by the special vessel which holds the wine. The name translates into “wildflowers.” I can’t help but wonder what it was like to produce this special glass, with textually embossed wildflowers. What a great wine to bring to a garden party. Placed with others, it won’t last long, though, because it’s really delicious…

Grape varieties: 55% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15% Syrah


“Fleurs de Prairie” translates as “wildflowers,” celebrating the beautiful fields of wisteria, lavender, poppy, and sunflowers carpeting Provence.

This wine is sourced from select Provençal vineyards that dot the coastal wind-swept hillsides of the region. The Mediterranean combination of sun, wind, mild water stress, and ocean influence provide ideal conditions for grapes to ripen to the perfect balance of flavor and freshness.

This wine is crafted in the traditional Provençal style with a pale salmon color, delicate flavors of strawberry, rose petals, and herbs, and a bright, refreshing acidity. It is made by the family-owned Les Grands Chais de France.

2018 Roubine Rosé Côtes de Provence

Roubine La Rose Cotes de Provence is another example of art within the bottle, and gracing the bottle itself. Beautifully embossed white roses surround the name of the wine. And, the real bottle discovery is when you hold the bottle by the bottom, only to discover the rose on the base. Watching the prototype being created would have been a fabulous experience.

Making glass is such an art… If you don’t believe that I have one word for you, Chihuly.

If you’re a collector of any sort, this is a keeper. So delicious… Only 13 percent alcohol, for those who are also looking for a food friendly rosé.

Grape varieties: 43% Grenache, 22% Cinsault, 9% Tibouren, 9% Rolle, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Mourvedre

Winemaker’s Notes: Harvested at night, this wine benefits from a skin maceration at a low temperature. The grapes were vinified separately. And the temperature was maintained between 59° F – 60.8° F (15° C – 16 ° C) after letting the must settle. A second (malolactic) fermentation was avoided to ensure the crisp vitality of the rosé. The wine was then filtered and bottled.

This adventure allow me to add a new grape varieties to my Wine Century Club list of wines tasted: Tibouren


2018 Forgeron Cellars Pink Rabbits Rosé of Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington

Last, but no least, in this series. The Forgeron Cellars Pink Rabbits Rosé is one of the bottles in their ARTIST SERIES.

They explain it this way:

The summer of 2018 was one of the hottest years on record throughout the eastern side of Washington. We experienced many weeks of above 95-degree temperatures. Once August came around it finally started to cool down, which lengthened hang-time, allowing for complex flavor development. The result is a truly remarkable vintage across the board. Each of our 2018 lots exhibit bright, fresh notes, and seemingly innate balance between fruit and alcohol

Variety listed: 100% Syrah

Forgeron is the French word for Blacksmith. Their wines in this series have labels that comes from street art. I have a lot of respect for street art… the drive to have one’s art appreciated by everyone, everyday, as people pass by. The labels  for this group of wine bottles features street art murals by artist Julia Yu-Baba. I love her work, having just been made aware of it, as I have also with their wines. Julia is highly talented and has great creds.

The rosé? Tangy raspberries, light bodied, and a lovely lingering finish. The green tint of the bottle gives the wine extra color, which belies the delicate color and flavors of the wine. You’ll know that once you put it into your glass. I wanted to taste this one last, based on its color. It’s a truly delicious rose… Think grilled salmon, that just wraps up the Northwest so well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me… Now to share the samples, as the Forgeron Cellars is still lingering on my palate. It was all remarkable…