30 Sep

Friday Night at the Andes

Scene from the EventThe Andes mountain range runs for over 4,000 miles up and down the western edge of South America, running through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. They boast some of the highest mountains in the world outside Asia as well as two particularly stellar wine producing countries, Argentina and Chile, where wine production dates back to the 1500s. Argentina and Chile are long countries that geographically take up most of the southern part of South America, with Chile to the west and Argentina to the east. Argentina is very dry (except sometimes when El Niño Read on…

29 Jul

It’s Rosé Time

La Nuit en Rose EventWe’re in the thick of summer and the weather is hot all around. And so, it’s high time to break out some great Rosé wines. Fortunately, back in mid–May, we ventured to the Skybar at Mondrian LA for the La Nuit En Rosé wine tasting organized by Ian Blackburn’s wineLA. There was a huge selection of great Rosé’s on hand to sample at the event, which took place on a warm sunny afternoon, a perfect setting for Rosé tasting! Read on…

29 Jun

STARS of California Wine

Event LogoOn May 25th, we attended the STARS of California Wine tasting event in Beverly Hills, hosted by Ian Blackburn’s wineLA organization. We enjoyed some excellent California wines that day, but our favorite wine of the tasting was the one we tasted first and last that day. Read on…

15 May

Elevating Zinfandel

Event Logo courtesy of wineLACalifornia Zinfandel dates back to at least the 1800s and, by the end of that century, was the most widely planted varietal in California. The Zin vineyards survived Prohibition by selling grapes for the “home market” and religious ceremonial use. By the 1970s, a Zin production accident resulted in a sweet White Zinfandel wine that became a consumer craze almost overnight. But Zinfandel, whether red or white, lacked critical acclaim as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay surpassed it in the fine wine category. That landscape has changed more recently, as top Zinfandel winemakers have consistently produced Zinfandel of ever–higher quality, and we were cordially invited to sample some of the greatest of the great ten days ago at the “Elevating Zinfandel” wine tasting event hosted by Ian Blackburn’s wineLA organization at Republique on South La Brea Avenue. Read on…

12 May

Spring to Loire

Scene at Spring to Loire TastingThe third annual Loire Valley wine tasting titled “Spring to Loire”, sponsored by Loire Valley Wines, took place last week at the Smogshoppe. It seemed a bit smaller (in terms of wines poured as well as the number of people in attendance) than last year’s event, but there were many very good wines on hand. Read on…

30 Apr

Wines of Jura

Jura event logoEarly last week we dropped by Hinoki & The Bird to sample the wines of the Jura region of France. We regret that we couldn’t attend the earlier seminar because the Jura wine region is interesting for its history and its wines. Even so, we were able to sample some wines we hadn’t previously tasted and learned a bit about a wine region that was unfamiliar to us (and, perhaps, it is to you as well). The Jura wine region, also known as the Revermont, consists of about 5,000 acres in a narrow 55–mile long strip located between France’s Burgundy wine region (to the west) and Switzerland (to the east), stretching from around Salins–Les–Bains at the northern end to Saint–Amour in the south. Read on…

09 Mar

STARS of Napa Valley 2016

Event Logo courtesy of wineLANapa Valley is one of the most prestigious wine areas of the world. Does it deserve that status? The answer is an emphatic “yes”, and we were pleased to attend the trade tasting session this past Wednesday for STARS of Napa Valley 2016, planned and flawlessly executed by Ian Blackburn’s wineLA organization at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. There were about thirty fantastic wineries on hand, pouring some of their best wines from recent vintages (mostly 2012 and 2013, but with some surprises thrown in for good measure). With over 100 wines from which to choose and limited time to sample them, we couldn’t taste all of them, but what we sampled that day reconfirmed for us that Napa Valley is hard to beat, especially when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, to name just a few varietals. Read on…