Grape Vines | Part 1

Did you ever wonder why people "in the know" get excited when they talk about old vines?  No, this isn't a spelling error.  Talking about old vines, not old wines! Old wines are certainly a very exciting topic to talk about, but I leave that for a different day, different blog.  Today I want to tell you a bit more about vines, why age matters, the different clones, water, soil et cetera.  The subject can certainly be a very lengthy one, but as you know me, I am not planning on that. 
So, first things first.  Age!  Vine and age is actually pretty interesting, almost funny.  And here is why.  Vines were planted in California with the arrivals of European immigrants and wine was started to be enjoyed until the prohibition period.  With restrictions and the difficulty to export, most vintners at that time switched to tougher grape varietals for better shipping. 

Thanksgiving Wine | Which wine goes best with turkey?

Which wine should I pair with my turkey for Thanksgiving?  That is always an interesting question and in my eyes, people make it way to complicated.  Isn't cooking all this food enough work as it is?  Couldn't you use the extra 30+ minutes you spend at the wine store for something better?  I could!
While a few wines are a good fit for the thanksgiving feast, Beaujolais nouveau is by far the best.  It is light, fruity and easily liked by many people.  AND - You can pick that up at your local grocery store when you get all the other things for thanksgiving.  Bingo! 
Shall that doesn't work for you because you don't like red wine or simply need something more extravagant; try a nice Pinot Noir or Riesling.  I would go to Oregon for the Pinot Noir, as it offers a great balance between fruit aromas and earthiness.  For the Riesling, I would go with a German (I am German, so that might have an influence :) ) Kabinet or Spaetlese.  Shall your selection be more limited, go with a nice Riesling from Washington State, such as Chateau St. Michelle.
Other white wines that work well with your turkey dinner are Gewuerztraminer, California Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Viognier.  Alternate red wines are Australian Shiraz and ripe California Zinfandel such as Klinker Brick Zinfandel.

Let me know what you are doing with those extra 30+ minutes!

Embarrassing restaurant moments | How to avoid them

Could it get much worse when the waiter corrects your wine order???  I mean the pronunciation or when say “Actually 2001 was a much better vintage”.  I don’t think so, especially when on a date or with business partners.  Anyways, first things first.  Attention all waiters, servers or as I prefer to call them service professionals - DON'T do that! 
It is simply an unnecessary thing to do, unless they request you to tell them the proper pronouncing of the white wine or the red wine in question. 
Ok, since my audience isn't quite that big yet, and not all professional restaurant staff is reading my blog, let me assist you with some alternate ways to avoid such embarrassing moments

Drinking wine lowers risk of cancer

It wasn't really to any surprise that winespectator published a health news flash about cancer and wine, on the heel of the breast cancer awareness month.  Clever.  As I had written about before, there are certainly correlations between wine (alcohol in general) consumption and the positive impact on health.  The question that always remains - How much is true?!  Some say, drink in moderation, the recent article posted in wine spectator listed only having 1 glass has a positive reflection.  See, they all have different studies and results. Enjoying 2 glasses of wine equaled the results of not drinking at all (so might as well have two glasses) and enjoying more than 2 glasses had a negative impact.  I can't speak to others, but since the listed reduction is only around 13%, I might as well stay on my two glasses of wine per evening and have a happy life.

For the complete story on wine spectator, please visit: