WineCompass Blog

  • Malbec World Day with the Hess Collection, Colomé, & Amalaya
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    "Malbec World Day" or "Malbec Mondo" as English speakers prefer to say is celebrated on April 17 to commemorate the day back in 1853 when Argentina's President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento officially made it his mission to transform Argentina's wine industry.  He asked Michel Aime Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring…
  • Lodi Wine: Old Vine Zinfandel & Ancient Vineyards
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    Marian's Vineyard atMohr Fry RanchesLodi is the "self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World" producing over 40 percent of California’s premium Zinfandel, with the vast majority of it grown in the Mokelumne River AVA. But to paraphrase a favorite song, " well...how did it get there"? According to Zinfandel: A History…
  • Wines of Navarra, the Camino de Santiago, and French Grape Varieties
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    The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and concluding at the shrine of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela in the Spanish province of Galicia. The pilgrimages started very shortly after the believed discovery of…
  • Alternative Packaging from Argentina's Santa Julia
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    Who's been looking for wine distributed in alternative packaging to bring along during hiking, cycling, boating, or fishing trips? I know I have. And I recently received a strong contender from Winesellers Ltd. a trio of wines packaged in 375ml cans (SRP $5.99).  The wines are produced by Santa Julia,…
  • Lodi Wine: The Basics
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    Last week I spent four days exploring Lodi California with Snooth and witnessed the unique wine culture that reflects this region. Over the next couple of months expect regular Monday posts describing this culture.  But today I want to highlight the region's significance so here are a few basic facts…
  • Dos Spanish Rosado Wines for Spring
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    "In the 3rd Century BC the region of Rioja was inhabited by the Berones, a warrior people from Celtic origin whose populations reached from the Cantabria mountains in the North to the Demanda mountain range in the South. This warlike population, also dedicated to agriculture, livestock, pottery, and metallurgy named…
  • Brewers Association Reveals the 50 Fastest Growing U.S. Craft Breweries of 2018
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    The Brewers Association released its second annual list of the 50 fastest growing small and independent craft brewing companies of 2018. "These small and independent craft breweries from 27 states registered a median growth of 163 percent in 2018 and included 13 brewpubs, 35 microbreweries, and two regional craft breweries"."Even…
  • Kin & Cascadia Showcase the Columbia and Willamette Valleys
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    Winesellers Ltd., the family-owned global importer, recently expanded their portfolio into the Pacific Northwest by creating the Kin & Cascadia brand. The initial two offerings are a Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington's Columbia Valley and a Pinot Noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley -- both arguably the premier wine regions in their…
  • 2019 SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience
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    This year, the Brewers Association is hosting their annual SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience Friday, May 17th in Washington D.C. -- as usual at the National Building Museum. This week the Beer & Food Menu pairings were released and they look quite delicious - particularly anything with…
  • #DrinkLocal at Whole Foods Market -- Well sort of
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    This weekend we visited our local Whole Foods Market Brew & Brau Pub intending to try the Big Poppa Biggie S'mores Imperial Stout produced by Charlottesville's Three Notch'd Brewing Company. Unfortunately, their tap system had failed, so it was time for wine. Examining the wine list, I noticed several possible local wines…
  • Budweiser Budvar Brewery vs Anheiser-Busch
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    Who's familiar with the famous Budweiser trademark dispute between Czech brewery Budweiser Budvar and Anheiser-Busch InBev? In 1907 Budvar and Anheiser-Busch agreed that Budvar could use the name Budweiser in Europe (the can) but that A-B could use the name in North America. Since then there have been over 100…
  • Explore #WeAreMarylandWine During Maryland Wine Month
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    The Maryland Wineries Association has designated March as Maryland Wine Month and to follow the action they are promoting the #WeAreMarylandWine (in addition to #MDWine #MDWineTrails & #MDWineMonth) tag on all social media platforms. There are also numerous events and activities scheduled at various wineries and retailers across the state…
  • Revisiting the 2011 Ventosa Vineyards Estate Lemberger
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    In August 2015 the annual Wine Bloggers Conference was held in New York's Finger Lakes and consisted of a pre-conference excursion to the Seneca Lake AVA. I participated in this trip which included a visit to Ventosa Vineyards - located on the Northeast shore of the lake. At this winery, we tasted their…
  • Caboose Commons: Cashless, Coffee, and Craftbeer
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    This week I finally allocated time to visit Caboose Commons, a new craft brewery located in the Fairfax Mosiac District. This stand-alone facility with adequate parking maintains several other characteristics that differ from its older sibling, Vienna's Caboose Brewing.  First, it is cashless. Not a problem until you ask to open…
  • Chateau Chantal 2016 30-year-vineyard Anniversary Reserve Chardonnay
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    The final segment of the #WineStudio - Michigan Wine Collaborative presentation featured a pioneer in that state's wine industry: Chateau Chantal Winery. In 1983 Robert and Nadine Begin purchased 60 acres of cherry orchards in the Old Mission Peninsula to form the foundation for Begin Orchards. They quickly diversified into winegrapes and planted…
  • W&OD Bike Trail: Reston's Bike Lane Brewing & Cafe
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    Writing this during another cold and soggy morning I can't wait any longer for Spring - at least it may be a warm soggy morning. But Spring also brings bicycle season particularly trips along the W&OD Trail visiting Virginia breweries using theCompass. These trips include a new stop as The…
  • Lodi Wine and Chocolate with Macchia Zinfandel & BRIX
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    Earlier this month the Lodi Winegrape Commission hosted their annual Wine & Chocolate Weekend where attendees received one ounce of 60% cocoa Medium Dark chocolate bar from BRIX Chocolate to pair with various wine.  This chocolate was intentionally created to be paired with red wine and is "composed of a…
  • Michigan Wine from Old to New, St. Julian to Amoritas
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    February's weekly #WineStudio twitter chat is focusing on Michigan Wine and the non-profit collaborative Michigan Wine Collaborative (see intro post here).  The second week focused on two wineries St. Julian Winery from the ‏Lake Michigan Shore AVA and Amoritas Vineyards from the Leelanau Peninsula AVA -- most notable in that…
  • The 2016 Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Valley View Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
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    The Valley View Vineyard is a 35-acre hilltop vineyard in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley.  Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards grows several Bordeaux grape varieties on this south facing vineyard which overlooks the Santa Ynez River primarily because it is slightly warmer than in neighboring eastern and northern appellations. On the lower…
  • Visit the Las Vegas Arts District & Hop Nuts Brewing
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    When visiting Las Vegas, it's usually a wise idea to leave the casinos and partake in the surrounding environment. After touring the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Red Rocks turn to the local craft beer scene. One suggestion is Hop Nuts Brewing - located in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts…
  • #WineStudio Hosts the Michigan Wine Collaborative during February
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    Those who have been following the Drink Local Wine scene know that Michigan has a thriving wine industry. To others, this may come as a complete surprise. According to Michigan Wine and theCompass Craft Beverage Finder, there are 180 winery tasting rooms operating in the Great Lakes state. These wineries produce…
  • Silver Spring Maryland is a Craft Beverage Destination
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    Probably because it is not incorporated, Silver Spring encompasses a large area bordered by the DC and PG County lines and extended to Burtonsville, Colesville, and Wheaton.  However the business district's heart is the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road and slowly a plethora of craft beverage establishments have…
  • The Chardonnay that Leverages the Chalk Hill AVA and Estate
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    The Chalk Hill Estate Winery benefits from tremendous name recognition based on the winery's outstanding reputation but also from the surrounding Chalk Hill AVA. This appellation, one of thirteen in Sonoma County, is located between the cooler Russian River appellation to the west and the warmer Alexander Valley to the…
  • Toasted Goat Winery and the History of Frostburg Maryland
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    In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson authorized the construction of the National Road - the first major highway in the United States built by the federal government and linking the western territories to east coast cities. Specifically, the 620-mile pike was built between 1811 and 1837 and allowed goods and settlers…
  • Founding Spirits Distillery: Farm to Table "Never Bitter" Amaro
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    When is an Amaro not bitter? That was the question that Jon Arroyo and Bob VanLancker wanted to answer as part of the Washington D.C. farm to table kitchen and distillery: Founding Spirits Distillery. This Italian liqueur literally translates to "bitter" and is usually consumed as a cocktail ingredient or…