Taste Cava in the Kitchen with Ray Isle

To know me is to know I love bubbles. So how could I refuse an offer to participate in and promote the virtual event, Cava in the Kitchen with Ray Isle? Read on to learn more.

About Cava

First of all, a bit about Cava. This is Spain’s answer to Champagne. In other words, it’s a sparkling wine crafted in the traditional method like Champagne, but made in the Cava DO region of Spain. Although the method for these sparkling wines is similar, the grapes used are not. Cava relies primarily on the Spanish varieties Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarello. Nevertheless, these are wines made with care, yet available at a fraction of the price.

In fact, should you choose to fully participate in this tasting, the bundle of five wines is available from Gary’s Marketplace for a mere $86.95. Purchased individually, the wines range from $12.99 to $22.99 a bottle. If you’re into sparkling wine at all, you know that’s an incredible deal. When the wine samples arrived at my door, I was so excited to taste them!

Cava in the Kitchen Event Details

Cava, the longtime darling of sommeliers and bartenders around the world, is positioning itself internationally as the quality-driven wine that offers a glass of sparkling for every occasion.
This virtual tasting led by Ray Isle, executive wine editor of Food & Wine Magazine, will focus on the versatility of Cava—this traditional method sparkling wine offers a perfect pairing to a myriad of dishes that enhance every occasion, from everyday cuisine to celebratory meals. This tasting will explore the wide array of styles with distinct flavor profiles of Cava … whether you’re a novice or expert, this session is sure to unveil something new about why this Spanish sparkling wine is so in demand around the world. Featured wines include:

• Alta Alella Mirgin Rosé Reserva
• Bodegas Langa Reyes de Aragón ‘El Castro’ Reserva Brut
• Canals & Munné Dionysus Reserva Brut Nature
• Naveran Brut Vintage
• Roger Goulart Gran Reserva 2015
• Segura Viudas Brut Reserva

Don’t miss your chance to taste these wines along with Ray!

Jun 10, 2021
1:00 PM Pacific

Join live or register for the Zoom webinar.

Secure your wine selections at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace.

Let’s Talk About Two Syrahs from Boushey Vineyard

How can two Syrahs from the same vineyard taste wildly different? This question has been on my mind since a recent tasting of two Syrahs from Boushey Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, each vastly distinct from the other yet equally delectable. Read on for more insight about the winemaking behind these fantastic wines, quotes from the winemakers, and tasty pairing recommendations.

Sample bottles were graciously provided by the wineries, Damsel Cellars and Two Vintners.

The Two Syrahs from Boushey Vineyard

Beyond the grape and the vineyard name, the similarities for the most part end. Although grapes for these wines grew up on vines across the road from one other, each has a unique personality. Is it due to that concept of terroir? Winemaker Morgan Lee proclaims that Syrah absorbs its sense of place, even at such a short distance. Or, perhaps it’s a reflection of each winemaker’s style. Long story short, when it comes to flavor profiles, WOW is there a contrast between these wines!

“If you’re at all artistic or creative, Syrah will go there with you.” ~ Mari Womack on working with Syrah

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Two Syrahs from Boushey Vineyard”

20 Fun Red Washington Wine Varieties You Need to Try

Have you ever tasted Tempranillo from Washington State? How about Nebbiolo? Or Lemberger? Or perhaps you didn’t even know such a diverse range of wine grapes grow in Washington State. After all, these grapes are typically associated with Spain, Italy, and Austria respectively. However, if you’d like to go beyond the typical Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah here are 20 fun red Washington wine varieties to explore.

Give yourself one point for each Washington grown variety you’ve tasted in a blend or two points for each variety you’ve experienced in its untainted glory.

Fun Red Washington Wine Varieties

 

Aglianico

More closely associated with southern Italy, Walla Walla’s first family Leonetti Cellars crafts a bottling of this variety. I hope to experience it myself someday!

Alicante Bouschet

Last fall, Chelan based Cairdeas Winery released their first Alicante Boushet, and it quickly sold out. I’ve joined their Wine Club with the hope that I’ll soon get my hands on a bottle. Continue reading “20 Fun Red Washington Wine Varieties You Need to Try”

Best Quips and Tips from Online Wine Events

Yes, there have been silver linings to our time at home! One is the ability to connect with wine enthusiasts, winemakers, authors, and other folks in the wine industry via myriad online wine events. Here are some of the best quips I heard and tips I learned in recent months.

Alta Colina Syrah Virtual Tasting

My introduction to virtual tasting featured Paso Robles winery Alta Colina. The organically farmed estate based in the Adelaida District AVA specializes in Rhone varieties. An amiable panel included the winery’s founder, grower, and winemaker emeritus Bob Tillman, his daughter Maggie Tillman, and winemaker Molly Lonborg. Following this terrific introduction to the winery, I am eager to explore the rolling hills of their vineyard in person!

Fun fact:  Paso Robles is about three times the size of Napa in terms of acreage planted.

Pro tip:  At the Alta Colina Vineyard you can book a stay among the vines at one of 5 cool looking boutique vintage trailers.

WineSmith Wine

I wrote a full post about an intriguing virtual tasting with Clark Smith, who boldly discussed his manipulation in winemaking. Continue reading “Best Quips and Tips from Online Wine Events”

Join the Syrah Challenge

Each year wine reviewer Sean Sullivan poses a challenge to wine lovers to explore one specific underappreciated variety of Washington State wine. Participants who agree to the challenge simply uncork a bottle of that variety at least once a month and report back. Fun, right? This year the chosen grape is Syrah. Will you join the Syrah challenge? If you’re not exceptionally familiar with Washington Syrah, don’t worry! After all, this is your chance to learn more.

There are a number of ways to tackle this monthly endeavor. Don’t get too hung up on that, just start the challenge! Then if more focus is needed, here are some suggestions.

  • To get the most out of the challenge, include some bottles from wineries, vineyards, and regions that are new to you.
  • Each month open a Syrah from different Washington State American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).
  • OR, take a deep dive into just one or two AVAs.
  • Try Syrah from different vineyards.

What’s so captivating about Syrah? At a past Taste Washington seminar, Wine Bible author Karen MacNeil waxed poetic about Washington wine, vividly describing each pour as only she can. As the audience sipped on Syrah from cult producer Cayuse she uttered,

“This wine is primal scream. Wonderfully corrupt.”

Continue reading “Join the Syrah Challenge”