Announcing Wine Blogging Wednesday 80, Dry Rosé (via Winecast)

Announcing Wine Blogging Wednesday 80, Dry Rosé.

Back in the the first year of wine blogging (2004 for those just joining us) Lenn Thompson of LENNDEVOURS (now New York Cork Report) made a modest proposal and Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW) was born. I joined the monthly virtual tasting back at WBW 7 in early 2005 and have continued off and on over the years since and have maintained the WBW website. But interest wained in the event after Twitter tastings took hold and WBW went on long-term hiatus a couple times in recent years.

WBW logoBut the embers of WBW remained and there has been enough interest in the event recently that Lenn and I have decided to bring it back in its original, grass-roots format.

The idea is simple; each month a blogger “hosts” the virtual tasting determining the theme and posting a summary wrap-up some days after the event. On the Wednesday appointed for the tasting anyone can blog a post related to the theme and let the host know so their link can be included in the wrap-up post. Back in the day this literally meant a blog but over the years this has expanded to places like Tumblr and Google+; basically any public-facing spot on the web that doesn’t require a membership to view (so Facebook wall posts are out but you could participate on a Facebook page).

Got it?

I am pleased to announce the return of Wine Blogging Wednesday on August 14st for our 80th (non-consecutive) monthly tasting. My choice of theme was easy given the heat of the summer here in the Northern Hemisphere: Dry Rosé.

Good dry rosé is one of the most versatile wines in summer matching with light to heavy fare. But like some other wines, rosé (here in America anyway) doesn’t get the respect it deserves. So I’d like to see everyone explore beyond their regular summer rosés and try something new. It might be an obscure varietal or a region you haven’t tried before. Or maybe just kicking it old-school and picking up a rosé from Bandol, Tavel or Provence from a new producer.

Basically you can pick up a rosé wine made anywhere from any grape varieties, just make sure it’s dry.

When you post your entry, just send me your link via email (winecast at gmail dot com), Twitter (@winecast and please use hashtag #WBW80) or post here in the comments. A few days after the tasting I’ll write up a summary post and pass the baton to the next host (Lenn will host WBW 81 in September). And you can mark your calendars as all future WBW tastings will take place the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

Hope you can join me next month and beat the summer heat with some dry rosé!

Better Late Than Never – #WBW79 Wrap Up (via Brix Chicks)

Better Late Than Never – #WBW79 Wrap Up


Whew!  What a summer it has been!  If you need a refresher on the assignment, here it is:
#wbw79 Summer Reading, Summer Wine  Here are the intrepid bloggers who answered the call!
Our most obscure reference comes from @talkavino, Anatoli Levine, Wine geek, foodie, blogger, dad, husband, technologist, aspiring student of taekwondo – in a different order every day, who riffs on what to pair with his favorite SciFi, Monday Starts on Sunday, which he read in the original Russian – super cool!
Gwendolyn Alley got literary, and enlisted her friend Henry Kim in an additional entry, for hers.  @ArtPredator shares my love of all things Harry Potter and introduces us to a a great Rhone blend from Eberle in Paso. Extra points for dressing up and pairing.  Henry picked a fun wine, Sofia sparkling wine (wins for prettiest bottle) and a great heroic character, Katniss Everdeen.  I know I would approach the snappy dressing sponsors to try to score Miss Everdeen some  bubbly.  Frank from Drink What you Like turns “Sideways” from his beloved Virginia grape and takes on the character of Miles with some interesting information on “Sideways, the Play”, which has been extended fro one last time!
Catie, The Walla Walla Wild Wine Woman pairs a fabulous Washington red with some, for those of you that have read the book (or seen the movie) especially gamy BBQ.  A great review and some wonderful writing!
Bob from 2001 Bottles pairs a wine with a kd Lang song.  Very cool!
We learned  Erica, Bon Vivant’s  favorite character is Auntie Mame along with a very fabulous recipe and interesting pair!

So sorry for the lateness of the roundup.  It reminds us how fast summer passes when you are in an airport, on a concall, learning IT acronyms…

Here is my entry:

John William Waterhouse, 1911 

Tristan and Isolde.  A twisty tragic tale of bravery, foolishness, deceit, adultery, a soupcon of Grail legend, the tragic Cornish coast, Wagnerian opera and an all encompassing passion ignited by a potion disguised as wine.

What would this philtre taste like? I imagine it would taste like 2000 Stags Leap Cask 23  Watered with the tears of late spring rains then heated by a constant warming summer, the fruit was picked carefully, then fermented in steel and kept for 21 mos in French Oak.  99% Cab Sauv from the wonderful Stags Leap district spiked with 1% petit verdot.  The result is a rich dark elixir with aromas of caramel, cedar and magic.  Flavors of European moonlight, dark fruit and sin.  A lush and lingering finish, . It pairs as well with tragedy as contentment, though the winery suggests lamb. Any day you open it will be a special day.

The Jury of the Brix Chicks spoke and awarded the win to Henry Kim!  Henry, contact me and I will get you your prize!




#WBW79 Announcing Wine Blogging Wednesday: Summer Reading, Summer Wine (via Brix Chicks)

#WBW79 Announcing Wine Blogging Wednesday: Summer Reading, Summer Wine


Whether you remember the summer reading list as a chore or, like the BrixChicks, love that Summer Slowdown finally means a chance to read (okay, watch TV) for pleasure, we wanted to host this Wine Blogging Wednesday around an imaginative (okay, imaginary) topic:


What wine would your favorite fictional character drink?


So whether you think Anastasia would serve Christian Fifty Shades of vin gris or you think Proust was really thinking Remembrances of Pinots Past we want to hear which character and what wine and why.  

Here’s an example:

Scarlett looked down at the small chip that marred the last of the remaining wine goblets. “Damn Yankees!” And without the money from Rhett she would never be able to pay the taxes on Tara. Alcohol always helped, but Rhett liked the finer things and she was dead broke. What would she pair with the grilled pork chops  possum leg  turnips in the picnic basket? 

Louis Jadot to the rescue! Their Beaujolais Villages 2010 had an elegant refined flavor and texture.  He would never guess that this 100% Gamay beauty only set her back $10.95!  The pigeage accomplished in open fermentation casks resulted in clean flavors of fresh red fruit with peppery spice notes.  That clean refreshing acidity would buoy his spirits and convince him to help.  Oh, yes.  This lovely wine would make him give a damn!

So it’s kind of like “Fight Club”: there are no rules (Hey! I wonder what Chuck Paluhniak would drink?)

But here are the guidelines:

  • Think of a favorite character. Any genre, any timeline, any story.  We’ll even take whatever Axl Rose would slurp as he welcomed you to the jungle.
  •  What wine would he/she/it drink? Tell us about the wine. Work it into the story.
  • Extra credit for those who write a scene with the wine
  • Your deadline is Wednesday, July 25th
Operators are standing by waiting to be dazzled by your prose, so please let us know:
  • Leave a comment here:      Brixchicks #wbw79
  • Facebook BrixChick Liza
  • Tweet @brixchick_Liza
  • Email WBW79 at brixchicks dot com
  • If you are thinking of dressing up as your character, We LOVE that! Instagram us: brixchick_Liza
  • Be sure to use the #WBW79 hashtag.
Summer reading, summer wine. A chance to take a character you love serve them wine and share the story! So pass it along! Can’t wait to read your entries!


BONUS:  There will be a prize for the best entry.  More on that later, but if you like wine and stories, you will love this prize. 




WBW78 Recap — A lot of Wine Blogging Folk Got Their Viggy On! (via Drink What YOU Like)

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the 78th edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday.  And… a virtual tip ‘o the hat to Wine Blogging Wednesday organizers Lenn Thompson and Tim Elliott for providing this forum for us to get our viggy on.  I appreciate your patience, as I am tardy with posting this recap.

In case you stumbled across this blog as a result of a random Google search (based on very questionable meta tags) or got lost on the interwebs and found your way here, Wine Blogging Wednesday is a monthly virtual gathering of wine blogging folks to learn and share opinions on a particular wine/varietal/subject.   As the host of this month’s WBW, I selected a grape that I’m particularly fond of — Viognier.

Unfortunately, some of my serious wine friends have yet to find their Viognier palate, and alas are not fans of this aromatic white hailing from the Rhone.  Thankfully, Viognier does have a lot of fans that joined in for WBW78…

Participants opened 29 bottles of Viognier for WBW78 — including seven from Virginia and California, and eight from Australia.

We had five WBW78 entries from the home team here in Virginia:

  • We also had some international participation this month from our neighbors to the north — Bob from 2001 Bottles blog opened three Viogniers for WBW78.  Bob covered the map for WBW by opening a Yalumba Viognier from Australia, one from France and one from Canada’s Okanagan Valley. Look forward to more posts from the Australia trip, Bob.  Hopefully you made it to Adelaide Hills.  I still have unfinished posts from my trip nearly two years ago. :(   (on Twitter:  @2001Bottles)
  • From across the Atlantic Pantagruelic blog from Lisbon, Portugal opened the only Portuguese Viognier entry — the Ataide Semedo.  This is new to me and would certainly like to try.
  • My favorite Walla Walla Wine Woman, Catie McIntyre joined us from Washington with another Washington Viognier — the Robison Ranch Cellars Viognier.  I checked my local shops and unfortunately there is no Robison Ranch to be had here in my corner of Virginia.  As Catie notes, even in Washington State we can also be “gettin’ Viggy wit’ it!”  Agreed.  (On twitter:  @Walla2WineWoman)
  • Also from the west coast, Brix Chix Liza got her viggy on four ways by opening a Spice Route Viognier from South Africa and three California Viggys — Twisted Oak Viognier, Route 128 Viognier, and one from Phoenix Ranch.   South Africa is not an area I would normally associate with Viognier, but goes to show the versatility and appeal of this grape, which is great to see.  At just $15.20 a bottle (club price, $19 for other folk), that Twisted Oak from California’s Calaveras County is definitely worth checking out (can order online here), or, find a Twisted Oak club member to pinch a bottle from (kidding… ;)   ).   (On Twitter:  @BrixChick_Liza )
  • Gwen, the Art and Wine Predator, opened two Viogniers from California — a bottle of Rosenblum Kathy’s Cuvee and a bottle of Zaca Mesa Viognier — and paired them with an excellent looking meal including clams and a beet salad (see Gwen’s post for the beet salad recipe).  (On Twitter:  @ArtPredator )
  • Anatoli from Talk-A-Vino opened two Viogniers for WBW78 — the Les Vines de Vienne from France and a bottle of Yalumba Viognier from Australia.  Given the $12 price point and positive comments about this wine, I’ve added Yalumba Viognier to buy list.  (On Twitter:  @TalkAVino )
  • Todd from Vermont Wine Press opened a bottle of Michael Shaps 2008 Reserve Viognier (one of my personal favorites).  Todd picked up this bottle at Michael Shaps’ winery during the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, VA.  (On Twitter:  @VTWineMedia )
  • Debbie, the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, opened a bottle of Goosecross Viognier from Napa Valley.  In her post, Debbie admits that she came all the way to Virginia for TasteCamp and didn’t take any Virginia Viognier home – boooo.  Every wine rack needs at least one bottle of Virginia Viggy! Sounds like I need to send a bottle to Debbie.  :)     (On Twitter:  @HVWineGoddess )
  • Last, but certainly not least, Lisa the Wine Muse from down under shared five Australian Viognier reviews.   (On Twitter:  @TheWineMuse )

We had two Instagram entries via Twitter…

I believe I have captured all of the WBW78 entries, but I am human and could have missed one.  If you know of a WBW78 Viognier post that I missed, please leave a comment here or email me.  My apologies in advance if I missed your post.


Wine Blogging Wednesday #77 Wrap-Up: Lots of Glasses After A Bad Day At Work (via A Glass After Work)

Doing the Wine Blogging Wednesday wrap-up took me a little longer than expected because I wasn’t able to get the post up before Hubby and I left for vacation.  However, we’re back and I’m ready to jump back into blogging.

This WBW prompted not only blog posts, but also comments on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog.  So, without further ado, suggestions for “A Glass After a Bad Day at Work:”

  • Lisa from 110 Pounds and Counting commented on the initial WBW #77 post and suggested Trader Joe Coastal wines.  I haven’t had the chance to try one yet, but the conversation prompted me to pick-up a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc!
  • Romance novelist Suzanne Ferrell shared on Twitter that she’s a White Zinfandel sort of girl, but that she would also consider a peach Bellini.
  • Wine lover Elizabeth DeHoff tweeted that she would open a Vinho Verde “because it’s light and refreshing and makes me happy!”
  • The Brix Chicks were clearly having a rough go of it.  Brix Chick Heidi had two bad days in a row to test out good wines for after a bad day.  While her philosophy is to grab something “pink with a screw cap for quick access, and chilled to cool me off (or down),” the bottle she opened after her first bad day didn’t do the trick.  After bad day #2, though, she opened the 2011 Quivira North Coast Rosé, which sounds like it hit the right spot.
  • Work was already giving Brix Chick Liza lots to drink about when WBW #77 was announced, so she was already into her 6-week experiment with the Ocatvin 3L Big House Red.
  • The Wine Predators had several thoughts on what to open after a bad day at work, and it sounds like Art Predator, Que Syrah Sue, Bacchus Schmacchus, Ima Zinner, and Annie AnyDay had quite the gathering to taste test all of the options.
  • Wine Muse was inspired by not just a bad day, but a bad week, and used WBW #77 as a chance to pop open some Ayala Zero Dosage Champagne.
  • Talk-A-Vino explained that he looks for four criteria in his “pick me up” wines—that the wine is ready to drink, familiar, has a great smell, and is, well, good.  He also shared four examples that fit the bill.
  • As someone who goes for the big, brooding wines after a bad day, I opened the 2008 Ottimino Rancho Bello Vineyard Zinfandel.

Several folks went outside the box and picked A Glass After Work that wasn’t actually wine, which was a lot of fun.

Thanks to everyone for participating!  You helped make my first Wine Blogging Wednesday a success.   I put together a WBW #77 board on Pintrest, this way you can keep these suggestions handy should a bad day at work strike.

Finally, Frank from Drink What YOU Like just announced Wine Blogging Wednesday 78 – Get Yo Viggy On!  So, you have until June 20th to get your hands on a bottle of Viognier for WBW #78.


Announcing Wine Blogging Wednesday 78 – Get Yo Viggy On! (via Drink What YOU Like)

Announcing Wine Blogging Wednesday 78 – Get Yo Viggy On!

About this time last year — as Virginia was preparing to host the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville — the Marketing Office of the Virginia Wine Board hosted a number of virtual Twitter tastings to increase awareness of Virginia wine.  One of these virtual Twitter tastings focused on Virginia’s Signature Grape — Viognier.

It was, I believe, during this Virtual Virginia Viognier tasting that Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW) founder Len Thompson used the word ‘viggy’ to refer to Viognier.  Many of us here in Virginia have since adopted the casual use of viggy when referring to Viognier, and at some point I will likely take credit for the creation of term if it continues to catch on.

Until then, I’ll be getting my viggy on now to Wednesday, June 20th and I would like to invite you to join me.  I’m delighted to announce that I am hosting Wine Blogging Wednesday #78 on Wednesday, June 20th.  WBW78 will mark my second time hosting this monthly virtual wine event.  Our theme for this month will be a grape that is near and dear to my palate — Viognier.

Though Viognier is best known as the only permitted grape in the French wine region of Condrieu in the northern Rhone, this floral and peachy grape is grown throughout the world and thrives in many states here in the U.S., especially here in my home state of Virginia.

Ok, so here’s how to get your viggy on

  • Get your hands on a bottle of Viognier, open, drink and share your thoughts via the interwebs.
  • Extra credit will be given for procuring and opening two or more bottles of Viognier.  And, extra extra credit may be given if you share the story behind the wine as well.
  • On Wednesday, June 20th, leave a comment here on, with a link to your WBW78 Viggy blog.
  • Or, follow Drink What You Like on Facebook and leave a comment or link to your post on my wall on June 20th.
  • Or, follow me on Twitter and tweet me your link on June 20th.  Be sure to use the #WBW78 hashtag.

Some time around Saturday, June 22nd, I will post a recap with links to everyone’s Wine Blogging Wednesday Viognier contribution.

Below are a few general bits of information that may prove valuable if you are ever encounter an Obscure Facts About Viognier category on Jeopardy, or if you find yourself playing Wineopoly.

General Viognier Facts:

  • There are approximately 427 different ways to pronounce Viognier, but the generally accepted pronunciation is — ‘vee-ohn-yay’  (I may have made that first stat up)
  • Cheeses that pair well with Viognier:  Nancy’s Camembert from Old Chatham Sheepherding in New York, French Epoisse, and a Grayson from right here in Virginia.
  • In the 1960′s, Viognier was nearly extinct with only eight acres planted in the Northern Rhone (via Wikipedia) and about 80 acres throughout the world (via Jancis Robinson).
  • Viognier is the most-planted white Rhone varietal in the United States
  • Viognier wines are known for their notable floral aromas, which is due to terpenes (a class of organic compounds) that are also found in Muscat and Riesling.
  • Viognier is sometimes used as a blending grape in red wines, especially with Syrah — or, Shiraz as it’s commonly referred to in that southern and eastern hemisphere — to soften the edges and add complexity (though I personally question how much complexity a dolop adds).  Jordan Harris, winemaker at Tarara Winery in Virginia adds, ‘the high phenolic load of Viognier which helps to stabilize the color for long term in Syrah.’
  • Viognier is particularly susceptible to powdery mildew.
  • Viognier ripens early.
  • Based on DNA research at UC Davis, the Viognier grape is closely related to Freisa grape (red grape variety grown in the Piedmont region of Italy) and is a genetic cousin of Nebbiolo.
  • In my opinion, Viognier tends to pair quite well with spicy Thai food! Many will disagree with this pairing, but I’m sure those same people have been wrong about other things as well.

You have two weeks to get your viggy on…