Refugio Ranch – a hideway for the stars

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Ballard Canyon – Syrah Incubator

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Exploring the wines of Santa Barbara County

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Things are a little yeasty in there

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The post Alta Maria Vineyards: Stop in and stay a while in Los Olivos appeared first on Luscious Lushes - a wine, food, and travel blog.

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The post Rosés of Summer – Tribute to Grace Grenache Rosé appeared first on Luscious Lushes - a wine, food, and travel blog.

Wine Bloggers Conference and Technorati

Today, an earlier article I wrote prior to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton last week was quoted in an article by Steve Woods, Business Editor at Technorati. Wood’s article is about how the field of wine blogging has matured and grown in significance. “Wine bloggers are far more than individuals who toss one back [...] Read More

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Wine Bloggers Conference: Once More Unto the Breach

This week, the Wine Bloggers Conference (#WBC14) returns to California for the first time in five years. The 7th annual conference will take place in Santa Barbara County July 10 to July 12. I’ve been to all but one of the past conferences. I missed the 2011 conference because my sister was getting married. I [...] Read More

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The post Advice from a Veteran Blogger: WBC do’s and don’t appeared first on Luscious Lushes - a wine, food, and travel blog.

TGCWC Cheat sheet

Just a disclaimer about that title: I have maintained my all-Canadian wine purchase/opening status without fail. I can't help it if someone shows up with something that isn't Canadian. (Like I'm gonna turn down free booze??) And Hubby isn't doing this challenge, so if he opens something, it doesn't count, right?

That said, I've enjoyed several exceptional wines over the last little while, some of which may or may not have been grown / made / bottled in Canada:

Three Dog 2011 DogHouse White (Prince Edward County) - This has quickly become our "house" white and made for great hostess and thank-you gifts over the holidays. Pale straw with a sheen of silvery-green; the nose calls up memories of Oreo cookie middle, tempered by light floral notes and mouthwatering melon and citrus. Off-dry with a vibrant lemon-zest taste and zingy texture, dryer mid-palate and finishing with notes of apricot, more lemon zest and not-too-sweet honey.

Dopff au Moulin Cuvee Julien Cremant d'Alsace (France) - Yeast and lychee on the nose accented by a froth of fine bubbles. Sharp minerality and flint on a dry palate with subtle sweetness on the finish. (Purchased and opened by somebody else at an office party. I swear.)

Alianca 2012 Vinho Verde (Portugal) - Brilliant clarity with the slightest tinge of grassy green. Light effervescence with aromas of tropical blossoms, sweet lemon and fresh-cut lawn. Extra-dry with a wet stone flavour, finished with bitter citrus and lemon grass. (Another office party, this time at El Meson. Ordered by somebody else at my table and opened by the server. Seriously.)

Church and State 2012 Cuvee Blanc (Okanagan) - Brought this one home from the bloggers' conference in June. A succulent blend of pinot gris, riesling, orange muscat and gewurztraminer, this one is a study in contrasts. Redolent with orange blossom and clover honey with an undercurrent of grassiness and tree resin. Bracing mouthfeel and flavours of tart lemon, green apple and grapefruit - not at all what I expected. Medium-bodied with a bit of a slippery texture harnessed by the enduring, zippy finish.

Organized Crime 2012 Pipe Down (Niagara) - Pipe tobacco and smoke, licorice and blackberry jam leading to plump fruit. The tannin/acid structure has been finessed, keeping it from becoming tough and chewy. Lengthy, smooth, velvety finish.

Lakeview Cellars 2012 Syrah Rosé (Niagara) - A non-sweet blush from Diamond Estates, this dry-style rosé is light and fresh with aromas of strawberries, watermelon and rose water. The ripe red berry follows through with hints of cherry on the crisp palate. Finish is clean, but a bit woody.

Daredevil 2011 Cabernet (Niagara) - Another sample from Diamond Estates, this one has bright, juicy cherry on the front, with a dry palate barely moistened with subtle fruit. Well-balanced and friendly, with a proverbial "cherry on the top" finish, this is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser for BBQ meats and robust lasagna.

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