A Piece of Italy in Temecula Valley

I’ve never been more compelled by a winery brochure and web site than when I started thumbing through and surfing the pictures of South Coast Winery. The grounds are breathtaking and the whole concept of a relaxing get away weekend with spa, pool, and Tuscan villas had me immediately daydreaming and planning my escape. A previous review included tastings of their GVR white blend, 06 Meritage blend, and Ruby Cuvee sparkler. Each wine showed very well and at attractive price points too. Voted California winery of the year (twice) and 2010 Winery of the Year, South Coast Winery, you may […]

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Cana’s Feast – A Marriage of Washington and Oregon

Three things draw me to Cana’s Feast Winery; 1) the biblical tie to their name with Jesus’ first miracle as he turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana, 2) An Oregon winery that uses lots and lots of Washington fruit, 3) Tamara Belgard – a friend I met on Twitter who used social media to land a marketing job at the winery! Cana’s Feast Winery is located about an hour south and west of Portland, OR sand south of the Yamhill wine area. Located in a Tuscan style villa in Carlton, OR, Cana’s Feast focuses on several Italian […]

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Beyond Biodynamics Smith Madrone Wines in the Spotlight

Smith-Madrone winery has been making estate grown and bottled wine for 40 years! Founded in 1971 by brothers Stu and Charles Smith, Smith-Madrone makes about 4000 cases per year farmed from their 200 acre ranch in St Helena California. A visit to the winery will always be accompanied by a tour from one of the Smith brothers. In 2010, Stu Smith became somewhat of a wine world personality with the launching of his www.biodynamicsisahoax.com web site. From the opening paragraph of the web site: “I challenge any Biodynamic farmer or supporter to defend the writings of Rudolf Steiner.  I submit […]

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TV Dinners and Fine Wine Swanson Has You Covered

Turkey dinner with cranberry sauce and apple pie; the traditional Swanson TV dinner. Since 1953 Swanson has been synonymous with bachelor living, working families and modern convenience. In 1985 the Swanson family purchased 100 acres between Silver Oak and Opus One. W Clarke Swanson planted Merlot in the heart of Cabernet country, CA and that gamble paid off. Swanson built a reputation with quality Merlot and now expands that production to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and a few red blends. While Swanson TV dinners have become equated with microwaves and convenience, the wines have proven themselves […]

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A Nodland Cellars Thanksgiving

I am not a huge fan of turkey. For Christmas I’d rather have ham, for Easter, I’d rather have prime rib. For Thanksgiving, we’ve established a tradition of lasagna and cheesecake. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate turkey. If you’re going to invite me over for Thanksgiving dinner, don’t think you have to serve something different. Just don’t serve me mushrooms, brussel sprouts or liver and onions. Every other year my wife and I end up alone for Thanksgiving. With family in Portland, some in Phoenix, and shared custody of the boy, we stay by ourselves in Spokane on […]

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