22 February, 2013

For Your Consideration - Serve Rioja at your Oscar party and everyone wins

Consideration is not what I got from my jet setting friend who promised to make paella and instead made reservations to fly to Costa Rica.  No matter!  Plan B is roasted pork with citrus slaw to make the most of my Cara Cara Cava Sangria. 

For a little more heft to our wine pairing fun, I will be adding some Rioja. 
My favorite Rioja wines are dark, spicy and luscious.  I think of them as the Javier Bardem of wine, who sadly is not nominated this year, but both @brixchik_Xan and I hope he makes an appearance.  It will be fun either way.  Tempranillo always is.

To make it even more fun, we have a game where everyone attending contributes a bottle of wine.  We fill out our ballots and at the end of the evening, the one with the most correct votes gets the entire Wine Kitty.  Having a stake in the outcome is like Spanx for the sagging mipdpoint of the festivities.  You know, the Geezers and Technical awards.  As well, we will have papparrazi and a red carpet.  We like to go all out for the Academy at Chez BrixChick---it's our SuperBowl Sunday

Rioja Wine is doing their part to make our event even more fun.  They have a super cute graphic and ballots.  And are sweetening the deal/  Click here to enter their Facebook contest Tweet #riojabuzz and you might win a great Rioja dinner.

I am grabbing my Vibrant Rioja shopping bag and filling it with some delicious Rioja wine tomorrow when I hit the Whole Foods.  I know they will have some yummy Riojas and everything else I need  After that, Mr. Demille, I will be ready for my close up!

21 February, 2013

It's not too late to get Dark and Delicious!

Not familiar with Dark and Delicious?  It's a super fun event that occurs every year to celebrate all that is wonderful and good tasting around Petit Sirah.  This deeply purple, sometimes high alcohol wine  is often overlooked, but once you try it you will be hooked.

No better place to start than at the annual event put on by Jo Diaz, who works tirelessly to promote this as a labor of love.  It' s a sentiment I can get behind! Especially when you throw all the snacks that are assembled to go with the yummy wine!

Ample parking, expertly paired treats and a chance to survey many different expressions of this engaging grape variety await us.  Petite Sirah has an inky, brooding character.  It will stain your teeth purple. And you will love it!  You simply cannot beat this opportunity to learn more in the best way possible---by experience. 60 Winemakers and 30 purveyors of tempting taste treats will be on hand to show you just how engaging this wine can be.  Names you know and love already like Ridge, Stags Leap and more will be on hand with some that may become your new favorites.  Tons of other sweet/salty/savory yumminess

Pictured are my two favorite discoveries from last year:
Nosh This Bacon salted caramels
The Crusher Petit Sirah with a juicy kiss of Merlot

When:  Friday, Febrauary 22nd 6pm - 9 pm
Where: Rock Wall Wine Company, 2301 Monarch St., Alameda, CA
What:   60 Producers pouring wines and 30 REstaurants/Specilaty food purveyors

See you there!

14 February, 2013

You Can Join the Gifted Program - Napa Valley WIne Academy

If you are looking to assuage your Valentine's Day woes, maybe learning to manage your expectations is a good lesson.  Good but not delicious.  Instead, salve your inner child/student with some fun, informative classes on wine in a beautiful setting. 

The Napa Valley Wine Academy was started in 2011 by industry professionals to design a space, literally and figuratively, for people of all stages to enhance their knowledge around wine topics.  From getting certified on the WSET program to learning about stemware, this is a super cool place to get smart about wine. 

And if you are thinking, " Awesome!  But Napa is so far..." check out the options for other Northern California locations  including; San Francisco, Tahoe, Sacramento, and San Jose.

Their Academy Tasting series will let you unleash your Armchair Traveller by letting you explore specific varietals with expert help.  Expert, but not snooty. Where would the fun be in that?

 In depth events like the one coming up on April 18th, will guide you though interesting and important topics to wine, like How the Right Glass can change your perspective.  And the four Riedel glasses you get to take home will let you flaunt share your new found knowledge. 

I know I am planning to make a visit as soon as time allows!  See you there!

13 February, 2013

The Seduction Of Riesling - Consider Mosel Riesling for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day falling on a Thursday, it might be tough to squeeze some romance into your day.
Consider Riesling.
If you don;t think of German as the language of romance, Riesling might just change your mind.

The Mosel Valley where some of my favorite Rieslings originate, has gorgeous scenery, a lambent river flowing through vine laden cliffs, impossibly steep.  The slate based soil looks more like alien AstroTurf than something that would foster such delicious flavors.  Blue slate and red slate produce different flavor profiles, with blue slate contributing stone fruit, citrus and more delicate flavors.  Red slate is colored by volcanic deposits.    Expect drama, lychee fruit, honey and magic. When I visited over the summer I got to try many wines and I have to say I liked all of them.  High sugar balanced against high acid creates an interplay as tight as a trip wire in a Tom Cruise summer blockbuster.  Even if you don't like sweet wine, try it and be dazzled.

photo by brenna phillips
But back to Valentine;s Day.  Andreas Schmitges whose delicious wines are hard to find  but worth seeking out demonstrated the simple elegance of pairing Kabinett or sweeter with fresh strawberries.

I swooned.

And it is super easy!
Swing by your local Whole Foods

Find the Dr. Loosen.  Choose between Erderner Treppchen, named for a steep staircase carved into the reddish soil of the vineyard to make it easier for the harvesters to scale the vineyard.  Or pick  Wehlener Sonnenuhr from the blue slate vineyard of the same name. A more delicate peachy delight, it's like summer in a bottle.  Combine with the prettiest strawberries you can find mid winter and you have an easy Valentine's Day treat.

Bonus, Riesling will keep for a long time if you get distracted and don't finish the bottle.  Stash it in your fridge and pair with whatever you want.