Friday, December 31, 2010


Another year has passed and 2011 is almost here!!

I think 2011 is going to be a great year. I have some big things planned for this blog including a wine cruise and a wine blogger conference. I will post more about all this soon.

I am also starting my own business which will be demanding. I will leave time to keep updating this blog as this is my hobby.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe new years!! I am going to buy scratch off tickets tomorrow and see if the new year brings me any luck :)

Have fun!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ormond Wine Co.

Last week I ventured to the Ormond Wine Co. store in Ormond Beach, Florida. Our friend Mary was pouring Sassy Bitch and Guerrilla wines.
The store is filled with bottles of wine and enomatic machines. This store has 240 wines for under $25. The store is very chic and has a lounge/restaurant where food and flights are served.

We were here on a Friday night and the store had live music. It was a nice evening.

I would highly recommend stopping by if you are in this part of Florida.


I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday yesterday! I know I did. (I even managed to get chinese food on christmas!!)

Below are some links to interesting news stories:


Friday, December 24, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year.....

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!!

I thought I would share some christmas spirit from the happiest place in Florida....DISNEY!!

The Magic Kingdom does not serve alcoholic beverages...but some of the characters in the rides and shows are enjoying themselves with libations!! LOL

I enjoy the electrical parade at night but that dragon gives me the creeps.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I spent the first weekend of December enjoying the town of St. Augustine and the British Night Watch weekend. The town celebrates the Nights of Lights during December and the whole town glows with thousands of white lights. It is very pretty and perfect for celebrating the holidays.

There are many wine bars and wine stores in the old town area of St. Augustine. I will list the different spots with pictures below.

The Gifted Cork
This is a cute wine shop with all kinds of different wines and wine gifts for the wine connoisseur in your life. For $5 you can wine taste in the store.

J.P. Henley's
This is a cool pub like restaurant with wine, beer and food. They also have TV's so you can watch all your favorite games.

This is a wine bar with a sophisticated chic atmosphere. The menus even light up when you open them. (nice touch)
The night we went to this bar it was packed with live music. I enjoyed their flatbread.

I also had to give credit to this bar located inside the Casablanca Inn. They have great martinis and pretty good wine as well. The bar is very small but there is an adjoining porch that overlooks the bay and fort. The bar also has jazz music on the weekend.

Sangria's Tapas and Piano Bar
This is another Wine Bar with tapas and live entertainment. It is located on the second story of a building overlooking the main pedestrian street in town. I had a great malbec from Argentina at this place.

Tasting Room St. Augustine

This wine bar has an extensive wine list with great wines from many different countries. They also have many tapas plates and even paella. The Tasting Room has live music every night.

The Monk's Vineyard

This wine store has been in operation for three decades. I remember this store as a child because it has the coolest grape lights. Make sure to stop in here and check the store out.

OLD 17th Century Pub
Near the spanish quarter there is a pub that serves up history. They have sangria and spanish hot chocolate. They also have beers on tap! The backyard is a quiet place to stop and play a old game like Shut The Box.

I think I picked up most of the wine places but I might have missed a few. St. Augustine is a fun little town with a lot of places to go. Make sure to visit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WINE-OH ACADEMY: Glühwein and Glögg

What is Glühwein?

It is a mulled red wine that is served warm around the winter holidays. It is popular in Germany and is a traditional drink during Christmas celebrations.

To make this you start with red wine and heat it with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, oranges, and sugar. You can use an inexpensive full bodied fruity wine to make this recipe. NOTE: Don't use a 2007 Napa Cab!! (that would be a sad use of a great wine)

How to make: This is great to do before a party because your house will smell wonderful.

1) Heat water (medium heat) in a pot with cinnamon and cloves (pushed into oranges) honey and sugar

2) Then pour in the wine

3) Then lower heat to simmer and let all ingredients simmer for an hour or more.

4) Serve in a heatproof glass.

This drink is also known as Glögg in the Nordic countries. Glogg can be non-alcoholic as well with fruit juice instead of wine.

This year when you are having a christmas party, why not bring some mulled wine/Gluhwein/or GLOGG!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wine Barn Holiday Wine Tasting Part 2

This is the second post of the Wine Barn holiday wine tasting in Orlando. The picture below shows the tents where all the wine vendors were located. You can also see the cheese and charcuterie table in the front.

The two wines below are from two wineries that I visited this past summer. Seghesio is located in Healdsburg and Eberle winery is further south in Paso Robles. I have some pictures yet to post from the Eberle winery. I really like both of the wineries and the wines they are producing. Make sure to check them out.

The picture below shows some of the wines our friend Mary used to sell at her store Wine-oh's. I like the Boom Boom Syrah. I also enjoy the old vine red from lot number 53. This wine is made by Marietta Cellars located outside Geyserville, CA. This wine is so popular across the country that the winery no longer sells it on their website.
My favorite wine of the three pictured below is the 2006 L'Ecole No 41 Apogee. The L'Ecole No 41 winery is located outside Walla Walla, Washington. This wine is produced from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard and has a spicy taste to it. What does Apogee mean? It is the point in the orbit of the moon that is at the greatest distance from the center of the earth.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!!

The festival of lights starts tonight!! I hope that all my Jewish readers have a great holiday. :)

I just ask one thing.....that you pass on the Manischewitz and buy better wine.
I love potato latkes with applesauce and sour cream. YUM (potato pancakes for those who don't know)

Here is a classic recipe for those delicious morsels of potato love: (from NY daily news)

Recipe: Classic Potato Latkes


Serves 4 to 6 4 large potatoes ½ onion 2 eggs 1 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons self-rising flour Vegetable oil for frying


Line a large tray with paper towels. Peel the potatoes and grate them either by hand or with a food processor. Set aside in a sieve to drain for 10 or 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and chop the onion. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Place the drained potato in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the chopped onion, lightly beaten eggs, salt and flour. Stir very well. Pour enough vegetable oil into a heavy frying pan to reach a depth of ½ inch and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, scoop tablespoonsful of the potato mixture into the pan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, flattening the latkes slightly with the back of a spoon. Turn and cook on the other side until golden brown. Transfer the latkes to the paper towel-lined tray to drain. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.

WINE-OH ACADEMY: White Wine Production

How are white wines produced? Below is a bit of information gained from the book "Exploring Wine" by Steven Kolpan, Brian H. Smith, and Michael A. Weiss.

White wine can be produced from either white or red grapes. As long as the skin of the red grapes are not introduced, then the wine will appear white/yellow not red.

White wine production starts with the pressing procedure. Pressing is normally accomplished by a machine. There is a mechanism inside the mechanical pressing machine that inflates so as to gently apply pressure against the grapes so the grape skin breaks. This is a gentle procedure.

After the grapes go through the pressing process, the juice and grapes sit overnight in a refrigerated tank. This "sitting" allows the pulp/skin to settle out.

Next is the controlled fermentation process. The juice is then placed in a container of the winemakers choice. There are all types of containers to choose from. Examples include: wooden barrels, fiberglass tanks, or stainless steel tanks. It just depends on what type of white wine the winemaker wishes to produce.

When the juice is in the container, then the fermentation process begins. The temperature of this process will change the wine. (cooler fermentation = white wines)

This process of fermentation continues until either all the sugar turns to alcohol or the winemaker stops the process leaving some residual sugar in the wine. The white wine is now complete. The wine may go through a clarification process which makes white wines look so clear and bright.

If you wish to know more buy the book. It explains all this in much greater detail.

Monday, November 29, 2010


This week is dedicated to one of my favorite English writers....Charles Dickens. (1812-1870)
Some of my favorite novels include:
* A Tale of Two Cities
* Great Expectations
* Little Dorrit
* David Copperfield
* A Christmas Carol

- Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life.

-Fan the flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship, and pass the rosy wine.
The Old Curiosity Shop (1841)

-I cannot, with such perception as I have of what is reasonable, go along with those excellent persons in confounding the use of anything with its abuse, or in denying any man the cheerful enjoyment of a glass of wine, or beer or spirits and water, because his neighbor is prone to make a beast of himself by irrational excess in those things.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wine Barn Holiday Wine Tasting Part 1

Last Saturday I went to Wine Barn's third annual holiday wine tasting. The Wine Barn is known for selling their wine at wholesale prices. Their mantra is, "If it's not great, we don't sell it." The wine barn also stores its wine properly by having a temperature controlled facility.

The holiday event had 200 wines to taste. The event also had food samples including: Charcuterie, Cheese, bread, and gelato. I thought the event was done well. They put up three big tents and all the wine tables were located under the tents.

Below are some pictures of my favorite wines that I tasted.

The picture above shows the 2008 Duckhorn "Decoy" Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. To the right of that is the 2009 Prisoner Zinfandel blend. For the price, the Decoy Cabernet is pretty good. It is made by Duckhorn vineyards as a more price friendly wine. The Decoy Cabernet received 91 points from Robert Whitley of Wine Review Online. Meanwhile, the Decoy Zinfandel has received 91 points from Wine & Spirits and 92 points from Wine Spectator.
The Prisoner is a zinfandel blend and includes: 51% Zinfandel, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 3% Charbono, 1% Grenache, and 1% Malbec.

The picture above shows three different wines from South Africa. These wines are all made off the Stellenbosch wine route. The first wine on the left is the Philosphers Stone made by Camberley. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

The wine on the right is the Post House "Penny Black" blend. I really enjoyed this wine. It is a blend of Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet, and Petit Verdot. The 2007 vintage received 91 points from Wine Spectator.

I will post more of my favorite wines from the tasting later this weekend!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wine-Oh Academy: Sulfites

Most bottles carry the words "Contains Sulfites" on the label.

Why does it say that? It says this on the bottle, because sulfur dioxide is a natural component found in food. It grows naturally on the grapes. Sulfur dioxide can be good, because it prevents bacteria from growing in the food/wine.

Winemakers can also add more sulfites to the wine. The sulfites can help preserve the wine and keep it fresh longer. Many people have sulfite allergies. (similar to peanut allergies) There is an argument as to whether the sulfites cause headaches. Some say they do and many say they don't.

Most wines have sulfites in them. Organic wines do not have sulfites added. They still have the naturally occurring sulfites found on the grapes when growing.

The Code of Federal Regulations says: 27 CFR 4.32
Mandatory label information- Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms
(e) Declaration of sulfites. There shall be stated on a front label, back label, strip label or neck label, the statement Contains sulfites or Contains (a) sulfiting agent(s) or a statement identifying the specific sulfiting agent where sulfur dioxide or a sulfiting agent is detected at a level of 10 or more parts per million, measured as total sulfur dioxide. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to: (1) Any certificate of label approval issued on or after January 9, 1987; (2) Any wine bottled on or after July 9, 1987, regardless of the date of issuance of the certificate of label approval; and, (3) Any wine removed on or after January 9, 1988.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey Day has arrived! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

I am thankful for many things including family, friends, and my blog readers. :)

I have some pictures of great wines that will pair well with Thanksgiving and holiday dinners.

First is a picture of the Elena Walch Gewurztraminer. This is a Gewurztraminer made by a Italian winemaker. It has a very floral nose and fruity taste. It would pair well with seafood and light salads.

Another good wine for the holiday season is a pinot noir. This Baileyana pinot noir can be purchased for $20 or under. It was nice and would go well with turkey or pork.

The Rex Hill Pinot Noir is also nice for under $20.

I enjoyed this Oyster Bay Chardonnay a couple years ago at Thanksgiving. It is very nice and from New Zealand. Also easy to open with the screw cap!

Finally, if you are looking for a more intense red wine for the holiday season, then grab a bottle of the Seghesio Aglianico. I enjoyed the 2006 vintage this past week. It has a dark purple and red color with scents of cinnamon spice. It has a warm and rounded taste with soft tannins. I paired this wine with a Blue Stilton from England.

Have a great holiday and always enjoy fabulous wines.