Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wine: More than a Beverage

Spring is coming, at least it has in the past.  And with the Sun returning to our vineyards, the vines are anxious to get started on this year's vintage.

The vines understand this cycle of replenishing the supply of wine for the fortunate humans who discovered long ago that wine is more than a beverage.  Wine is a gift from the God's.

Dionysus was the name that the early beneficiaries of wine gave to the idea that something grand was happening with this juice.
It's hard to say which came first; the idea of the elevated status of fermented grape juice or; the effects of drinking said juice.

Consider the fact that whole cultures thought enough of what they were drinking to relegate the mysterious effects to the Heavens.  It was good to know that you had your own God looking out for your welfare.

Today we must be careful not to lose the passion that surrounds wine.  If you can see the work Nature in that glass of wine you had for dinner, you can belong to the long tradition of seeing the hand of God in the bottle.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wine Snob vs. Wine Geek

Are you a wine snob?  Would you admit it if you were?  Unlikely.  By definition a Wine Snob knows it all and relegates the rest of us to being not worthy of their notice.

For the rest of us, it's not about showmanship but the wine. There are reasons for observing a few guidelines when enjoying your favorite wine.

Swirling wine is often misunderstood.  For the uninitiated swirling is just an action of etiquette.  Something others do.
Fact is that swirling helps release the aromas of the wine by mixing air with the wine, and aromas are what makes wine the ethereal experience it's meant to be.

Volumes can be written on swirling, suffice it to say that for young still wines it is necessary.  Wine Geeks (the non-snob wine snob) refer to wines being "Closed" or "Open"...swirling helps Open up your tasting experience.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Green Wine for St. Patrick's Day

Yes, you can have "green" wine to wash down all that green (dyed?) beer.  

Back in the 80's there were many a light easy going white wine...remember Blue Nun?  Or one my favorite easy to drink wines was Rhine Bear Liebfraumilch.

Weibel had their Green Hungarian.  Weibel is an old vineyard and winery name , well known in CA.

 I have a bit of a history with this wine. Besides pouring this wine for myself, I worked at the former Weibel  Tasting Room in Ukiah, CA.  (Redwood Valley AVA).   The well-known room was in the shape of a certain body-part of Marie Antoinette. True.  People would come from all over to get a splash of that Green Hungarian. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

VIN VAN: For Adults Only

The Twenty-first Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933.  Ever since Prohibition was repealed, the States have had a field day.  Each one has it's own set of "wine laws".  

The painting here is that of Bacchus, the god of wine.  Often depicted as a youth or boy.  And as the saying goes: " In one end; out the other."

The backstory on this image is that it was submitted to the "label police" by an Oregon winery and was rejected.  Seems natural functions would offend the wine drinking public.  

The solution was to cover up the offending "member", and thus make the gullible public safe from harmful thoughts. See the amended label below.

Closer to home, my Oregon personalized plate VIN VAN, has been rejected.  While the State issues a "Wine Country" plate, my plate would violate State laws by referring to "alcoholic beverages".  Alas, the misplaced concern for the public running amok because of my VIN VAN plate causing immediate alcoholism in those that might translate VIN as WINE is totally hypocritical.  The plate I had order was a "Wine Country" those bureaucrats. BTW: The state of Oregon issued me this same VIN VAN plate in 2007 when I started my tour biz, and I drove around debauching people for 6 years!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

From Ashland to the World of Wine

The Rogue Valley AVA (the Applegate Valley AVA is a sub-ava) is not a one-trick pony.  We run the gambit from A (Albarino) to Z (Zinfandel), and many more. 

Many wine regions of the world are confined to a few specific variatels, such as the Mosel River in Germany, where there's a lot of Reisling.

Around these parts, it seems that only the winemakers imagination is the only limit.  For the wine tourist this is heaven.  Travel the wine world with grape varietals from France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, and Germany to name a few.

For those fortunate enough to have visited the "Motherland" of a wine, tasting local wines bring back fond memories of those travels.  Now you can add the Rogue Valley AVA on your list of world wide wines!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rogue and Applegate: Winescape!

Wine, for me, is all about Place.  Buy a bottle of Chianti, it's a cheap trip to Italy.

These are distinctions only the Mind can produce for us.  Transporting us to other lands as we relax in our own backyards.  Wine seems to understand this, and gladly exhibits the characteristics of the Place it was made. We just need to play along!

This is why I enjoy discovering new wine regions, it's all about the countryside...the Place.  And what one finds there are the workings of the farmer as they steward the vine. 

Here on the West Coast you will find the ubiquitous Water Tower, a stalwart feature of the rural farm.  Today these old structures still dot the winescape.  A reminder that someone had to grow that grape.

Ashland/Jacksonville wine tours now available.

It's official!  Splash Wine Tours are now available for your wine tasting pleasure.  As of March 1st the Vin Van is ready for your group to explore Southern Oregon wine.

This time of year wine enthusiasts dust off their tastevins and head out to discover the latest wines being released.  Secretly whispering in your ear is the God of Wine: Baccus. Time to celebrate he's saying as the Spring is to arrive soon.

It's good to know that your passion for wine is supported in the Heavens by a fun loving wineo.
Get hold of the Spirit and gather your friends together and throw a Bacchanalia!