Monthly Archives: January 2015

Family, Wine & Tradition: A New Generation of California Wine Makers



This is my entry into the Monthy Wine Writing Challenge (#MWWC14.) This month’s theme, chosen by last month’s winner, Bill of Duff’s Wines is “tradition.” I could have written more than anyone would care to read, and probably have. However, I was so inspired by this theme and the story I chose to share, I hope you bear with me and my lengthy tome. If you want to cut to the chase, the wine reviews are at the bottom, but you’ll be missing out on all the insanely interesting content in between. Just sayin.


Tradition can be ceremonial, a societal rite, a commitment between friends, a practice between professionals. Tradition can be a declaration of allegiance that marks a time and place with displays of national or cultural heritage. What is the common thread? It is ritual, it unites and establishes an identity and depending how strong the tradition, it can survive passages of time spanning centuries.

One can hardly argue that historically the strongest traditions are…

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#MWWC14 – Screw Tradition

Duff's Wines

wine-stain1-3There’s a self-abusive yet strangely entertaining monthly event in wine writing circles called the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge. This month the theme is “Tradition”. Now, before you suggest that it may seem unfair that I’d choose the theme and then write a post. I feel like I have something to say about traditions in wine. I read with interest The Food and Wine Hedonist’s take on the theme of “Tradition” – traditions with wine that we should keep and ones that we should discard. The Drunken Cyclist spoke of three overdue traditions. You can read it here. It got me to thinking, “There sure are some very bad wine traditions that need changing. Let’s form a protest group”

First let me say, that I am of the generation that had the luxury of protest without consequence. Protest was valued. We marched on Parliament Hill to protest the War Measures…

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Taking on Tradition (#MWWC14 Entry)

Still Searching For My First Growth


The theme of #MWWC14 this month immediately reminded me that from childhood, I have disliked Fiddler on the Roof.
It seems like our family saw it every year, at the same dinner theater.  Where everything was served medium rare.  The roast beef.  The potatoes.  
The apple pie.
If you have forgotten the story, here’s a highlight from Wikipedia.
It’s about a stubborn father, who stands in the way of his three daughters’ happiness by fighting their impending nuptials.  Not because he disagrees with their fiances’s morals or character.  But because tradition dictates that their life partners should be arranged by others in authority.
Let’s face facts.  When you’re twelve years old, siding with #TeamTevye is like rooting for the Yankees.  At any age.
A Facebook friend of mine, Lindsey Cook, shared this touching story from her childhood recently:


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The Tradition of Amarone for #MWWC


This article is my entry for January’s #MWWC. As a reminder, the #MWWC was created by MWWCThe Drunken Cyclist to encourage exploration and innovation in wine blogging. As is tradition, last month’s winner Duff’s Wines choses the following month’s theme. This month’s theme is Tradition. To learn more about #MWWC click here; to read all the entries follow #MWWC on Twitter.

Anteprima Amarone 2011 DOCGThe theme of “tradition” draws me back to the wonderful Valpolicella adventure I had last fall and one of my favorite wine making traditions: Amarone! With the 12th annual Anteprima Amarone release happening January 31- February 1; featuring Amarone from 64 winery members of Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella I thought now would be a perfect time to revisit the tradition of one of the world’s most beloved wines.

Amarone is unique in both its labor intensive making process as well as the time it takes to produce…

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Family Tradition

The Epicurious Texan

This month’s wine writing challenge is Traditions, and I can’t think of a better way to honor tradition than to tell you how I got into drinking wine. Really drinking wine, that is–not the sneaking sips out of everyone’s glass when nobody was looking wine drinking…


Picture it: Holland 1994 (and before you write in correcting me that it should be The Netherlands, please know that I lived in the province of Zuid-Holland, so…Holland).  I was a Rotary International exchange student. Even though “no drinking” was one of the five major rules of being an exchange student, I had the great fortune of having host families who took that to mean no excessive drinking when they were not around. Nearly every evening meal included libations of some sort (beer was an equally popular choice). My counselor’s family preferred beer and sweet sherry. My first host family loved white wines, especially…

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MWWC #13: Tradition

The Wine Raconteur

“At three I started Hebrew school; at ten I learned a trade.
I hear they picked a Bride for me, I hope she’s pretty.
The Sons. The Sons.

“You’ve either got or you haven’t got style.
A hats not a hat, ‘til it’s tilted.
A flowers not a flower, if it’s wilted.”

wine-stain Monthly Wine Challenge

It is that time again for another Monthly Wine Writers Challenge and this is the thirteenth challenge, and the theme was suggested by Duff’s Wines, and the theme is “tradition.” You will have to excuse me, but each time I looked at this word, those two songs kept popping into my head and a couple of the other more creative Wine Bloggers that I follow would have had some great videos inserted into the article, but I guess I am a bit technologically challenged.

Ch Pichon Lalande 1964

I have been steeped in tradition of all types. My nationality has many…

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Traditions of Wine


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Nudge, Nudge #MWWC14 – Tradition

Duff's Wines

wine-stain1-3Just a reminder that the time is running out on #MWWC14. Here are the rules. The theme this month is “Tradition”. Having chosen the theme, I feel somewhat compelled to nag. Oh, yeah, of course to help…..and nag. In that spirit, here are some great ideas to break writer’s block.

You could talk about your traditional bottle opening techniques. Say for example, you always open your Clos Vougeot by expertly wielding the corkscrew you picked up on a jaunt to Beaune. It always causes memories to flood in. That day you were lost on a narrow twisty street and stumbled into a little store for directions. Your eye caught sight of an unusual corkscrew on the counter. The owner, a small man in traditional French attire (worn jeans and crumpled linen shirt) who spoke no English saw your interest and insisted you take it gratis. That night you opened…

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