When it comes to weeknight cooking, I look for recipes with a high T:E ratio (Tastiness to Effort). I seek out dishes that minimal effort yet taste really delicious. Makes sense, right? Well, I found one that I have now made several times and each time it has plotted off the charts in the “T:E” department.
I have become a huge fan of syrah lately, and that also includes blends with other Rhone grapes (grenache and mourvedre). While many of these wonderful wines come from France, they make some mighty tasting Rhone-style vino in Central California. This past March I visited Los Olivos which is the most adorable little town complete with 35-ish tasting rooms and a few great restaurants. We only had a day to spend there though and that is not enough time to visit even a handful of places. One winery that was added to the list after a recommendation from Larry Shaffer of Tercero Wines was Qupe (the ‘e’ is supposed to have an accent but that is too advanced for my blogging software). Anyway, we ran out of time and never made it to Qupe. I found a bottle of their wine at a local wine shop recently, and suffice it to say, I MUST go back to Los Olivos.
Many of the newer wineries I have visited have a common back story. The owner worked for years and years in a lucrative profession, amassed millions of dollars and then started a winery. While it is nice to hear that hard work does pay off, for most of us who aren’t exactly on the path to a retirement account with $10+ million at a minimum, it sends a message that starting a winery is only an option for those lucky few. Scribe is a refreshing change to that formula by showing wine lovers that young people with passion and a dream can make great wine, and can do so in a prestigious California wine region.
The view from Scribe Continue reading
When planning my recent trip to Paso Robles, I searched high and low for very small production, family owned wineries to visit. My hope was that I would get a much better sense of the region by spending time with people who work the vineyards and make the wines. I got extremely lucky by visiting on the weekend that I did because Gelfand was open for appointments. I learned during my visit that they are only open for tastings three weekends a year and l happened to be in the right place at the right time. Continue reading
I imagine that every wine lover can remember specific wines that had a profound impact on their love for the juice. Over the years, I can definitely recall several wines that blew me away and changed my views on specific kinds or varietals forever. One of those memories was years ago at Bacchanalia in Atlanta with my first taste of Chappellet Cabernet. More recently, I fell in love with a Chardonnay from Saintsbury. And then along came the 2009 Halter Ranch Syrah.
On my recent trip to Los Olivos, I was very fortunate to visit the tasting room of Tercero Wines and chat with the winemaker, Larry Schaffer. One of the things that I love about visiting smaller wineries is that regular people, like me, occasionally have the opportunity to meet the winemakers. When you get that kind of access it opens a really amazing window, often illuminating how and why they made the wines the way that they did. Continue reading