An Up-Close Look At Californian Vineyards Saving Their Crops

It’s more important than ever to keep an ear to the ground. Becoming emotionally detached in this stressful snowball of a year is a helpful short-term reaction, but a devastating long-term one.

This behind-the-scenes peek from Insider News shows the hard — and often desperate — work being put in to protect Californian vineyards from wildfires. Many of these yields aren’t even fully ripe, but it’s either that or risk the entire crop being tainted by smoke and ash. They don’t even need to be on fire to have their flavor changed entirely from all the changes in the air. According to multiple historians, these wildfires could very well be California’s worst in history.

Wine farmers and businessowners are given a rock and a hard place: let the grapes rot and file an insurance claim or try to sell what little they can.

When I visited one of Townshend’s local winetasting events early this year (right before COVID-19 started making waves), I tried some wildfire-tainted wine myself. It’s no minor side-effect: at best it has a smoky tang that drowns out the bottle’s subtle flavor notes. At worst it’s like trying to drink a cigarette. Just one sip and I was coughing. While this was from one experimental barrel surrounded by successful harvests, this video shows just how heartbreaking it is to see months (even years) of love and toil whisked away.

History in the making sounds grand on paper, but it’s usually an exhausting, demoralizing affair. If you’re thinking of buying wine soon, go for the smaller, local businesses. There are some truly stellar brands out there that don’t have grocery wholesale or household names on their side that could use your support.

Upcoming Budget Wine Review Series

I’ve been reviewing a lot of decaf coffee lately, but I definitely haven’t forgotten about wine. It’s kind of impossible in these pandemic times.

Just in the past week I’ve been gifted some bottles, supplemented with a few grocery store purchases, and I’m eager to share. That Ava Grace Vineyards rosé was perfect with a bowl of pot roast and I’m already a longtime fan of Dreaming Tree. There is a ton of goodness out there that doesn’t require you break the bank. As such, I’ll be starting a budget wine review series to supplement my decaf coffee review series. Red wine, white wine, blushing wine: all of them at $30 or less.

It’s all about spreading the good word and saving money these days. These reviews will explore flavor notes, aroma, mouthfeel, packaging design, and food pairings. The rare time I step out of my $30 threshold and purchase a more expensive wine I’ll still review the bottle, but separately. If you like wine, or want to get into it, stay tuned. If not, I’ve still got plenty of coffee-related pieces on the way.

You Don’t Need To Shell Out $50+ For A Great Bottle Of Wine

Expensive wine and good wine aren’t always one in the same. Who knew?

A lot of people, as it turns out. Just unlikely the ones pricey bottles are actually aimed at. Vox released this short and amusing video on the convoluted nature of the wine market: already infamous for gatekeeping and snooty attitudes, it always goes a step further with its pricing model. The idea that expensive = quality is so pervasive that experienced wine tasters will outright contradict themselves on taste tests.

I rarely spend more than $30 on a bottle of wine, with my range usually between the $15 to $25 mark. If you could use a little more convincing that affordable is the way to go, my roommate’s parents are long-time wine drinkers who are all too happy to share their wine knowledge. When I asked if they’ve ever had a really expensive bottle of wine, they told me yes. When I asked if it was worth the price, they promptly told me no.

And there it is. At the end of the day, what you like is what you like.

Wine Tasting in Florida at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards and San Sebastian Winery on Winetraveler.com — History & Wine

Florida wine? Yes, you read that right. I’m not just talking about tropical fruit juice either. Wine made from grapes, albeit not the grapes you may be used to, but grapes nonetheless. There are currently 88 wine producers in Florida generating a lot of money for the state. Though most of these producers are smaller, […]

Wine Tasting in Florida at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards and San Sebastian Winery on Winetraveler.com — History & Wine

I’m often reading about (and trying out) wine from California and Washington. Occasionally I’ll pick something up from a third state, though Florida has yet to fall into that list. This is a very interesting look at Floridian wine and the unique varieties it brings to the table, from a specific kind of grape I hadn’t even heard of to experimental sparkling styles. Wine innovation is a huge deal these days and something that’s only going to get more common to bring in buyers.

I might just have to add one of these sparkling wines to my to-buy list…

Two Great Things That Are Even Better Together: Wine And Kittens At Townshend’s Sip And Snuggles Event

You heard that right. Cute kittens and hearty helpings of wine all in one convenient place. And you thought perfection didn’t exist.

Back in January I visited the Townshend winery to try out some of their different varieties and get an up close look at all the work that goes into filling up a bottle. It was an illuminating experience for this relative newcomer to the wine scene: I was able to see their stores up close, try wine straight out of the barrel and taste wine that’s been impacted by the Pacific Northwest wildfires. Just when I thought it couldn’t be topped? Cute animals are brought into the mix. Oh, you mad geniuses.

It’s funny looking at these photos in retrospect, taken right before the world decided to spin off its axle and leave us all dizzy.

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wine corkscrews

Wandering With Purpose: Visiting Wanderlust Delicato For A Taste Of Local Culture

Props to my roommate for inviting me to places. I’d probably never leave the apartment otherwise.

My city — and Washington state in general — is well-known for its wine and coffee production. I chose a good spot in my life to bolster my business writing focus, as my location is more than ready to meet me halfway. According to the Washington State Wine Commission, there are around nine hundred wineries in the state of Washington alone: that’s the second highest in the country and an impressive number right after California’s chokehold. As such, I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and giving some of these locations a try these past few months, all in favor of a (slightly) more adventurous 2020.

(slightly being the keyword here, I’m still a full-time introvert with a PhD in curmudgeonly isolation and now the coronavirus has given me even more ample reason not to step foot outside)

When we swung by Wanderlust Delicato back in February I was taken aback by its lovely decor, greeting me with shiny wooden floors, box crate walls and countless rows of wine varieties. A quintessential and classic choice for wine shops, sure, but with a homeliness that hearkens to the organized chaos of an attic or storage shed (if it were far cleaner). It’s a proverbial repurposed forest, inviting in a cozy atmosphere and rewarding the wandering eye.

And wander I did.

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Better Late Than Never: Starting Off The Year With A Visit To The Townshend Winery

Ever since taking on wine alongside coffee and tea, I’m facing up again with just how little I know.

So many French and Italian names! So many decades! So much variety! This classic drink has thousands of years to its name and even the most experienced in the industry continue to learn new things about the craft. With the wine industry being faced with a more nebulous interest by several demographics, proposed tariffs and the ongoing impact of environmental changes, I expect everyone is going to see their intimate wine know-how challenged moving forward.

As for me, well…I don’t plan on sitting on my laurels.

My friend’s mother invited me to a Townshend winetasting event in January, set up to celebrate their different varieties and stir up some buzz. It was a night of firsts: I’ve never been to a winetasting event (unless you count my roommate and I popping open a bottle on a Friday night), nor had I ever tried wine straight out of the barrel. Consider me excited to continue seeing what local Washington wine culture is all about.

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