Support Small Wineries

Feb 102011

Valentine’s Day Wine – Sensual or Sexy? Victoria’s Secret or something a bit more risqué?  Speaking on Temptation, Latin American writer Eduardo Galeano, wrote, “We are all mortal until the first kiss or second glass of wine.” Kisses and wine, a perfect combination for Valentine immortality.

There are plenty of great wines, sparkling and otherwise that would make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift. But instead of writing about the right bubbly to set a romantic mood, this piece is about two wineries who in their very essence embrace sensuality and the sexual tease. Amorosa Bella embraces and promotes a “Sensual Lifestyle” while the Naked Winery & Orgasmic Wine Company “Aims to Tease.” Continue reading »

Jan 232011
A Conversation with Red Zeppelin Winery owner and winemaker Stillman Brown.

Recently, we had the opportunity to sample a delicious Paso Robles Cabernet (Red Zeppelin) and powerful Monterey Petite Sirah (Black Zeppelin) from Red Zeppelin Winery. We also were able to chat with owner, winemaker and self professed “party animal” Stillman Brown.

Red Zeppelin Winery (yes, the name is a play on the classic rock band) on the Central Coast was started in 2003 as an offshoot of Jory Winery which Stillman co-founded nearly ten years earlier. Stillman, a reformed political science major at Cal, has no formal viticulture education. However,  early into our conversation it was apparent his wine making knowledge is vast and leans towards the scientific. That said, Stillman is a very funny, eclectic and sometimes absurd force of personality. His trademark salutation “Elvis died for your sins,” is a line only a man who goes by the nickname Swilly Idle (he somewhat resembles Billy Idol) could pull off with a straight face. Continue reading »

Dec 032010

Do you remember the old 7-UP ads from 1975 for the UnCola? If Napa wineries are best regarded for their cabernets, then Benessere is the Un-Cabernet; specializing in Italian varietals.

I have to say that when these winery samples arrived at my office I wasn’t jumping around with excitement. My past experience with Italian wines has been uneventful, at best. I know many of you love them but until I tasted these wines from Benessere I was not on the bandwagon. While I may not bang a drum for Italian wines as a whole, I will bang a gong for these beauties. Continue reading »

Nov 302010

What's a Wine Lover to Do?What’s a Wine Lover To Do? ~ This great guide by fellow Austinite, Wes Marshall, is a perfect stocking stuffer. It’s informative (very useful index) yet light hearted approach makes it a must for you and your friends. Take Wes’s description of Pinot Noir Styles. Oregon Pinots are described as being “lean, cool, and intelligent,” like Cate Blanchette while California Pinots are depicted by Angelina Jolie, “earthy, lusty and more direct.” Quick…serve me a Pinot! Continue reading »

Nov 092010

What if you made some of the most amazing art in the world but only a few very small galleries would show it. Few would see it. Few would have a chance to be moved by it. Imagine an original Picasso sitting in an art shop in Muleshoe, Texas unseen by all but the occasional customer. Not you. Not me.

That unfortunately is the fate of many small, family, boutique and artisan wineries. Maybe a few wine shops carry their label. Maybe a few restaurants, probably none in your city, have it on their over-priced bottle list. Even if the winery lands a distributor in your locale, this great but unknown wine fights for the distributor’s time and efforts when frankly, it’s much easier to place well known brands. You and me, well, we rarely get the chance to taste or even discover these great expressions of art and passion. Continue reading »