Wine Muse

All good wine comes, not solely from a vineyard or specific vintage, but from the people we share it with – the conversation – the music selected for that evening with our friends – the food – our experiences, our stories. Politics. Health. Sex. Successes and failures. And really good wine comes down to who you’re sharing it with and the bond it creates. It is a communion between friends. And although you may order different things at the restaurant, together you drink from the same bottle.

All about Albariño

Sometimes proper names can be confusing. Take, for example, the grape varietal Albarino. It may sound like a can of tuna off the supermarket shelf or perhaps even the next great soccer striker to break out of World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Yet, through all the potential for a muddy mix-up, the Albarino grape has kept a relatively low profile and stayed true to its Spanish roots.

Originally grown exclusively in the Spanish region of Galicia, Albarino has taken some baby steps with international plantings in Australia and here at home, as seen through the noteworthy bottling of California’s Dream Albariño from the Clements Hills. And although this venture and others are meaningful, Albarino’s successful productions are mostly still exports from the Iberian Peninsula.

Inside of the Spanish region of Galicia is a specific wine-growing area known as Rias Baixas. Yeah, don’t try to pronounce it. Suffice it to say, it is from here that the creme de la creme of Albariño hails.

Continue reading at

Overcoming Veritable Quandaries in Modern White Wines

Revered sci-fi author Ursula Le Guin said that the one thing that makes life possible is “permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.” This uncertainty can occur at any time, like when you get home from the hospital with your firstborn and you’re left with the feeling of “now what?” Or when you move forward with what you’ve always known or start something completely new.

Here’s another similar situation: Since you’ve drunk only Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio all your life, can you actually find a different white wine that you’re not sure you’ll enjoy or even know how to pronounce?

Fret not, because the only thing that’s tentative about the new 2010 Veritable Quandary White is trying to guess what the wine is comprised of. With typical Spanish varietals like Albarino, Portuguese varietals like Verdelho and Rhone varietals like Marsanne and Roussanne, this all-American wine is diverse in composition but still manages to deliver a seamless spirit. Dry without being Saharan, the Veritable Quandary White establishes a juicy tropical fruit flavor held together by an unctuous frame and thick golden color.

Continue reading at