Posts filtered by tags: Wine And Spirits[x]


OK, I lied

Another Beaujolais post. Ken came home from the grocery store with a new supply of Beaujolais nouveau for the coming week. Good thing. These bottles come from Super U and are sold under the store's brand. We drank the one with the purple peacock feather label (second from the left) on Saturday and it was tasty. I don't know what the peacock feather motif is all about. The grape variety used to make Beaujolais wines is gamay. Nouveau wines from Super U. The one on the right says "No ADDED sulfi...
Tags: Travel, Weather, Nouveau, Ken, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Tasha, Super U

Once more, with feeling

Ok, here's the last Beaujolais nouveau post. For now. I wanted to get a photo of what I got from the supermarket on Thursday. Three reds and one rosé, two bottles of each. We've already tasted the Violettes and the Chat Rouge red and rosé. In my humble opinion, the Chat Rouge red was better than the Violettes. That could be because it's Beaujolais-Villages rather than generic Beaujolais. The rosé was fine, but I wouldn't rush out for more. Ken's going to another store this morning to look fo...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Violettes, Chat Rouge

What's left

This is what's left after the mechanical harvesters pass through a vineyard parcel. The machines vibrate the grapes right off the stems then suck the debris (leaves and stray stems) away. When grapes are harvested by hand, the picker clips the entire bunch, stems and all, from the vine. Is one method better than another? I don't know. I suspect, however, that really ripe or fragile grapes would be damaged by the roughness of the mechanical process. Some wines, like Champagne and certain Beaujola...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Wine And Spirits, The Vineyard

Beaujolais nouveau

Today's the day that the 2020 Beaujolais nouveau is released. I don't think it's as big an event as it was back when they started heavily marketing it, but it shows up in the stores with a modicum of fanfare on the third Thursday in November. November wildflowers. Beaujolais, and now primeur wines from other regions (including ours, the Touraine), are early wines released just months after the harvest. They're meant to be enjoyed young, not aged. In a good year, they're fresh and fruity. In a ...
Tags: Travel, Wildflowers, Beaujolais, WCS, Wine And Spirits


Most of the white wine grapes grown in the vineyards around us are sauvignon. Some chardonnay and chenin are also grown here, mostly to blend into sparkling wine. Closer to the city of Tours, the Vouvray and Montlouis appellations produce wines exclusively with chenin. Other smaller areas in our region, including the Touraine Amboise, Mesland, and Azay-le-Rideau appellations, also use chenin for their white wines. Lesser-known and mostly local white grapes are grown here and there around the reg...
Tags: Travel, Rideau, WCS, Wine And Spirits, The Vineyard, Touraine Amboise Mesland

Unsettled skies and a box of wine

Our weather has been very spring-like lately. As in early spring. Like March. Chilly, blustery days with cold rain showers. We're wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. This just one week from the summer solstice, the official start of summer. I'm not complaining, yet. The weather could turn dry and hot at any moment. It could also stay cold and wet all summer. We've experienced both. At least there's a little blue. I had a good trip to the market on Saturday morning. The day started out ...
Tags: Travel, Weather, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Domaine, Aignan, Saint Aignan, Monthou

Everybody knows...

...a little glass of calvados helps to make the season bright. That, and those 'tater tots with their eyes all aglow. Calvados is apple brandy from Normandy. The wind keeps on blowing out there. It's not horrible, but the gusts make the house move and creak through the night. And walking face into the wind in the morning is no fun. Yesterday afternoon, just before I went out with Tasha, we had a squall blow through. The sky darkened and ice pellets fell for a few minutes. The ground turned whi...
Tags: Travel, Weather, Holidays, Normandy, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Tasha

From the archives

Back in the fall of 1989 (!), Ken and I took a trip through southern France. He was in Grenoble for a conference and I arranged to meet him there. We rented a car and drove through Provence, then over to the Dordogne Valley and on to the coast before turning north and back toward Paris. We passed through Cognac and stopped at the Martell winery and distillery for a tour and some tasting. A display of vintage cognacs. Finished cognac is almost always a blend from different vintages or, in some ...
Tags: Travel, France, Paris, Provence, Pentax, Ken, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Grenoble, Martell, Dordogne Valley, Southwest France Trip

Limerick-Off Monday – Rhyme Word: Peer or Pier or Appear at the end of any one line

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same rhyme word. Then you post your limerick(s) as a comment to this post and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too. I hope you’ll join me in writing limericks using Peer or Pier or Appear at the end of any one line. (Homonyms or homophones are fine.) The best submission will be crowned Limerick-Off Award Winner. (Here’s last week’s Limerick-Off Award Winner.) Additionally, you may wri...
Tags: Facebook, Humor, Contests, Limerick, Wine And Spirits, Writing Prompts, Limericks, Facebook Limerick, Behavior & Personality, Limerick Competition, Limerick Contest, Limerick Writing Contest, Limerick & Haiku Prompts, Limerick-Offs, Poetry & Prompts, Poetry Contest

Panda wine

This is a very strange thing. This wine label is a contradiction. First of all, I'm not sure I've ever heard of a cuvée Saint-Aignan. The images on the label are a direct reference to the zoo in Saint-Aignan, with the panda and the paw print. But it says that the wine is from the Pays d'Oc. That's six hundred kilometers (just under four hundred miles) south of Saint-Aignan. A most confusing wine label. Not to mention that the grapes that go into red wine in the Pays d'Oc are mostly merlot, cab...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Aignan, Saint Aignan

Ô Château

After the Tuileries, L, P, J, and I headed over to a wine bar I knew of called Ô Château. The guy who runs it, a sommelier named Olivier Magny, had a television series a few years ago in which he visited a different French wine region in each episode. So I was curious. Outside the Ô Château wine bar. My friends L, P, and J are there on the left. When we got there, there was Monsieur Magny sitting outside working on something. When we got inside and ordered, he stopped by our table to ask if we...
Tags: Travel, Paris, Ken, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Olivier Magny, Monsieur Magny

Enough already

There are only so many doors and windows in Souvigny. But I'm not out of photos of them, yet. So you get one more today before we move on. Number 14. It's spitting rain this morning, but it's relatively warm outside. On Friday afternoon I pulled out the power washer and cleaned the deck. Then I brought the table and chairs up from the garage for the season. I also enjoyed some time sitting outside while the temperature hit 21.4°C (just over 70°F).Today we're going to a local winery that's host...
Tags: Travel, France, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Chablis, Allier Trip

Sunrise and Beaujolais

This is what Wednesday's sunrise looked like as Tasha and I headed out into the vineyard for our morning walk. It was cold outside, just above freezing, and fog was forming as it got lighter. The combination of the ground fog and the clouds catching the sun's first rays was magical. Sunrise over the vineyards, looking toward the southwest. I got some of the new Beaujolais on Thursday and opened a bottle for lunch. Tasty! Last year I thought that the nouveau tasted ordinary, like a normal gamay...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Tasha, The Vineyard


The owner of the winery that I visited a couple of weeks ago collects vintage trucks. I don't know how many he has, or even if they're all his, but several of them are parked around the winery property, and at least a few of them are in working order, like this one. I wonder if those barrels are decorative or actually filled with wine? There's another that's a old van emblazoned with the winery's name. I've seen it at the winery and on the road around town a time or two. The tasting event I we...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Cher Valley

A few bikes

When I arrived at the winery I visited last weekend, a huge group of people was coming down out of the vineyard and making its way to the wine caves. The people filled up the street and I had to stop for a few minutes as they passed. I noticed that most of them were wearing cycling gear, those lycra-spandex shorts and shirts emblazoned with all manner of corporate logos. Out in front of the caves, several long tables were set up with a whole lot of empty glasses, waiting for wine. Bikes stacke...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Cher Valley

Stagger this way, please

On Saturday I drove over to one of our local wineries. Every year at this time, this particular winery holds its open house. But it's more than that. The winemaker participates in a regional exchange, meaning that winemakers from other regions in France come to taste (and sell) their wines here. And he goes to their regions in other times of the year for the same purpose. The rusty bike, the wine bottle, and the painted arrow all point the way up into the vineyard. I discovered this event seve...
Tags: Travel, France, Ken, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Chablis

Investors pour $2 million more into booze marketplace Drizly

 Boston-based Drizly used to be known as the on-demand delivery app for alcohol. More recently, the company evolved into a marketplace that helps brick-and-mortar liquor stores to connect with and sell to customers nearby through web and mobile commerce. The Drizly app shows shoppers different prices on the beer, wine and liquor that they’re looking for at local shops, along with… Read More
Tags: Food, Fundings & Exits, Startups, Ecommerce, Apps, Boston, Tech, E-commerce, Venture Funding, Drizly, Polaris Partners, Wine And Spirits, Nick Rellas, Foodtech, Boston startups, 33entrepreneurs PerCeval

In the drink

Or, if you will: drunk and sunk. At the end of the dirt road that runs from our house out through the vineyards, there's one of many small water holes that we see here and there. I think the "holes" are man-made because they're too regularly shaped and too regularly spaced to be natural. The holes fill up when it rains and slowly dry out when it doesn't. Each might be three or four feet deep. 1664 refers to the year that the Kronenbourg brewery was founded. You can find almost anything on the ...
Tags: Travel, Weather, Carlsberg, Alsace, WCS, Wine And Spirits, The Vineyard

It's the real thing

And it's what all the hip young vinesters are wearing this year. Yes, there are some Coke bottles out among the water bottles protecting young vine saplings here and there. I was surprised to see them, but what the heck. French people love their "Coca" almost as much as their wine. The Coca-Cola company adds a little color to our brown winter vineyards. Based on my extensive quick and dirty internet research, France consumed 33.4 liters of Coke per person during 2012. Per capita wine consump...
Tags: Travel, France, Coke, Coca Cola Company, Ken, WCS, Wine And Spirits, The Vineyard

Drink like an Egyptian

When I opened a bottle of de Castellane Champagne on Wednesday, I noticed this little piece of art on the capsule. It's an archeologist entering an ancient Egyptian tomb. Among the hieroglyphs is an image of a woman and a god sharing a bottle of de Castallane Champagne! Who knew? All the cops in the donut shop say ay-oh-way-oh. Although I'm not a real enthusiast, I do have a small collection of these Champagne capsules from many bottles I've opened over the years. Some are displayed in a coin ...
Tags: Travel, California, France, WCS, Wine And Spirits

A little bubbly

I like sparkling wine. And the king of sparklers is Champagne. But Champagne is often quite pricey, given its reputation and some masterful marketing. So I've come to enjoy other, more affordable versions of bubbly wines. In California, many producers (whose parent companies are French) made excellent sparkling wines. Here in the Loire Valley region we have Vouvray and Saumur. And right around us, most local winemakers offer what they used to call vin pétillant (sparkling wine) or méthode (named...
Tags: Travel, Holidays, California, US, Silicon Valley, SUNNYVALE, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Loire Valley, Saumur

A High Tech Gift For Wine Lovers

Stop into any little restaurant or cafe in Italy, and you’ll probably see one of these… A commercial wine dispensing system offering more than a dozen bottles of wine fresh on tap. Want just a sip? Or a whole glass. No problem. Don’t know which wine to pick? Have a little of each. For indecisive personalities and buffet-loving grazers like me, […] The article A High Tech Gift For Wine Lovers originated at
Tags: Travel Gear, Italy, Wine, Don, Wine And Spirits

All in a name

It's a funny name for a wine, and it kind of means what you'd think. According to the producer's web site, the name represents what the ripe grapes seemed to be doing at harvest time, their juice bursting forth in abundance. Interesting imagery, to say the least. We drank a Pisse-Dru nouveau with our pizza on Sunday. On the left is a bottle of pizza oil flavored with hot peppers. But the wine is generally good. We're drinking this year's new wine and I find nothing to complain about. Except th...
Tags: Travel, Beaujolais, WCS, Wine And Spirits


The place I found for lunch/brunch was called le Magasin Général (The General Store). I liked a lot of the stuff they had for sale, but resisted buying trinkets on my first day of vacation. Attached to the store was a little bistro. There were a few customers, but it was not full, and I got a table against the wall near the piano. The view from my table. The store is through the doors on the other side of the piano. If you click on the link above, you can take a look at their menu. I ordered a...
Tags: Travel, California, Montreal, WCS, Wine And Spirits, General Store, Food And Cooking

SevenFifty pulls in $8.5 mln Series A

SevenFifty, an online platform for the wholesale wine and spirits sector, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding led. Formation 8 led the round with participation from other investors that included Pritzker Group VC. In conjunction with the funding, Drew Oetting of 8VC has been added to SevenFifty’s board. Source: Press Release
Tags: Trends, Formation 8, Wine And Spirits, VC Deals, Pritzker Group

Wine Tasting on the Carmel Wine Walk

One of my favorite Northern California weekend escapes is the little coastal community of Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Monterey Bay. Not only does the town have gorgeous white sand beaches and delicious food, it’s famously pet-friendly–you can bring your dog just about everywhere. On our recent Carmel weekend getaway, I discovered one more fun thing to […] The article Wine Tasting on the Carmel Wine Walk originated at
Tags: California, Wine, Northern California, Central Coast, Carmel, Monterey Bay, Wine And Spirits, Carmel Wine Walk

Wine Tasting in Downtown Carmel

One of my favorite Northern California weekend escapes is the little coastal community of Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Monterey Bay. Not only does the town have gorgeous white sand beaches and delicious food, it’s famously pet-friendly–you can bring your dog just about everywhere. On our recent Carmel weekend getaway, I discovered one more fun thing to […] The article Wine Tasting in Downtown Carmel originated at
Tags: California, Wine, Northern California, Central Coast, Carmel, Monterey Bay, Wine And Spirits, Downtown Carmel

A wine run

On Sunday, I went over to the village of Angé, two towns down river from us, to the annual open house of a local winery called Clos Roussely. Every year, the owner, Vincent Roussely, hosts a group of winemakers from around the country. I especially like the producer from Chablis, whose winery we visited in 2014. So I went to get some of his wine. I also bought some red Burgundy from a producer in the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune. The Chablis is made from chardonnay grapes, the red Burgundy is made fro...
Tags: WCS, Wine And Spirits, Ange, Cher Valley, Touraine, Vincent Roussely, Hautes Côtes de Beaune

Friday fifites

Most of the wine that Ken and I drink is very local to where we live. Some of it is grown right outside our back gate. A lot comes from within a few kilometers of our town, grown on the heights on either side of the Cher River. But we also drink wine from farther afield. I've gotten into the habit of buying Chablis at a local event where wine producers from other regions come to show and sell their products. We visited that particular winery in Chablis in 2014. Chablis is made from chardonnay an...
Tags: Ken, WCS, Wine And Spirits, Loire Valley, Chablis, Fifties, Burgundy Bordeaux, Rhône Valley Languedoc, Limeray, Vouvray Valençay Chinon Bourgueil, Saumur, Touraine Amboise AOC

Visiting a Sake Brewery… in San Francisco?

You’re on a culinary tour of the San Francisco Bay Area. You’ve visited an esteemed winery in Napa or Sonoma… check. You’ve visited one of the Bay Area’s great craft beer breweries… check. You’ve visited a Japanese-inspired sake brewery… wait, what?!? Brewers have been making sake, a fermented rice alcohol, in Japan for over a […] The article Visiting a Sake Brewery… in San Francisco? originated at
Tags: Japan, California, San Francisco, Beer, Napa, Sonoma, Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, Wine And Spirits