Everything that I do is about educating, whether it’s teaching or consulting. We look at the entire world of wine – the business end, the viniculture; viticulture and how everything works – not only how it tastes or smells. 

The Holidays are in Full Swing

To be more in the moment

As I get older, I realize more and more what my parents tell me is true; time flies! I really can’t believe how quickly this year has passed! And always, as another year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on it, reliving and savoring my favorite moments (in addition to acknowledging what I must continue to improve on in the next year.) I find it is those moments that matter to me most.  The moments where I was fully present. Many came by way of sitting down at table with good company and conversation; accompanied by good food and a good bottle of wine. I have decided I want more of these moments in my life.  I think many of us do. What a great time of the year to encourage this practice, and what better to help enhance and celebrate those shared moments, than a great bottle of wine. (You can’t be surprised that I got to the topic of wine…).  I have enjoyed many this past year, but I thought I’d share just a few of them here with you. Maybe you will want to seek some of them out and try them at your next intimate gathering with friends and family this holiday season or in the New Year. 

Nada 2012 Langhe Nebbiolo (Piedmont, Italy)

I enjoyed this wine on two special occasions in the last few months.  Once during my sister and brother-in law’s visit, over a plate of simple pasta with red sauce and lamb meatballs, alongside laughter and good conversation. The other over family style dining at City House restaurant, on the occasion of a friend’s surprise birthday party.  Both special evenings in their own right. This expression of the Nebbiolo grape, is delicate, elegant and aromatic; roses, red berries and lovely flinty notes on the nose and palate, with balanced acidity and silky tannins. A great pairing with duck, margarita pizza, soft stinky Italian cheeses (think Taleggio) and good people you know, or are just getting to know. ($30ish)



Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris* Rose 2014 (Corbieres France)

Rosé-a perfect wine for all year round, but especially for a late summer’s day by the lake with a good friend, whom I finally joined this year at her cabin on the lake, for an overnight jaunt and a jet ski.  We laughed and talked for hours and as the sun set over the lake a million colors, we ate roasted salmon and asparagus, which went perfect with the bright acidity, strawberry , rhubarb and stony palate of this Gris de Gris Rose.  A Kermit Lynch selection, need I say more. This truly is a great value amongst rosés. ($20ish)



Cruzat Cuvée Reserve Extra Brut Sparkling Wine (Traditional Method) (Mendoza, Argentina)

This past spring while having a regular get together with old friends, we started with this.  Such a lovely surprise, as it was the first ‘serious’ traditional method extra brut** sparkling I had tasted from Argentina. Domaine Cruzat only does sparkling wine, from traditional champagne grapes (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), and this one is about 75% Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay. We had it with our usual appetizer faire of salami, cheeses, shrimp and smoked Salmon.  Delicious! Red fruits, salty minerality, toasted nuts, and a creamy mouthfeel from the multitude of tiny bubbles. I love sparkling wine, and drink it often. As much as I love the real deal (Champagne) it can dig hole in your pocketbook, so it’s great to find alternatives that you love! (In addition the bubbles force you to slow down and savor it, and that moment just a bit more; another benefit!) Big hit with my gals! ($24ish)


Lock and Worth Semillon 2013(Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Canada)

Okay…so I hate to tell you this, but you aren’t going to be able to find this one. (It’s sold out)  I enjoyed it twice last year, spoiled as I am. First with winemaker and friend Matt Sherlock, sitting on the back deck of Nichol Vineyards, In the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.  It was a beautiful setting, at the end of July, sun shining, surrounded by vines and the sounds of early morning. It was almost surreal. The second bottle, I brought back with me, and shared with two very good friends of the vine and mine here in Nashville with some great takeout from TAJ Indian Restaurant. This wine is made in small, almost minute quantities, wild yeast fermented, aged on its lees in oak barrels, bottled unfined and unfiltered.  It was gorgeous. Full bodied and dry, with luscious mango and apple and refreshingly balanced acidity. Matt, the winemaker is laid back but passionate, honest and accomplished for his age. It shows in his wines. I encourage all who love to visit wine regions, to put the Okanagan Valley on your list. It truly is breathtaking country, and although this area is relatively new to vine growing and winemaking (approximately 35 years), many are beginning to do some really cool things, and they have the agro tourism thing down beautifully. ($30ish)



Thanks for letting me share the wines, and my experiences with you. I know it was a bit self-indulgent. My wish for you this holiday and  for the upcoming year, is that you slow down once in a while; be present, savor it all; the moments, the people and the wine…


* A rosé is called Gris de Gris in France when it is made from light skinned black grapes varieties called ‘gris’ (grey versus black berried). In this case Grenache Gris, and Cinsaut are part of the blend

** Extra Brut in sparkling wine terms is drier than Brut, not to be confused with Extra Dry, which is sweeter than Brut

December 2015


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