Monthly Archives: June 2010

Indulgence or Gluttony – is there a difference?

I’m here at the Wine Blogger’s Conference (WBC) partaking in absolute food and wine ridiculousness, and technically, the show just started.

Yesterday – was aboard the WBC or Bust bus which made a couple of great stops along the way.  Highlights:

Visited Cave B (fantastic)

Drank some great wines from …

Nefarious (an absolute favorite))


Col Solare

Syncline (don’t get James started about cork)

Hard Row to Hoe

Fielding Hills (hadn’t tried before, good stuff. Cab Sauv shows up at 15.6% — Tamale!)

Vin Du Lac

St Laurent


Boudreaux – (Everyone needs a little Boudreaux!)

Conclusion:  I’m digging Mouvedre!!

On to Prosser Vintner’s Village and tasted

Gilbert Cellars

Owen Roe

Goose Ridge Winery (Great conversation.  So much to do now! Dick, can you blow a little harder next time?)


Met some cool people and learned about a bunch of wine blogs.  Check ‘em out!

Staying with Rick and Debbie Johnson at Walla Faces~ Vineyard Suite. And did I mentioned they’re naming their Riesling ‘Teri & the German’? And did I mention the beds at the Vineyard…?  Hotel Mattress with a 5 inch featherbed, 660 Thread count Linens.

I’m just saying….


June Wine Signs – What the Stars Say You Should Drink

June is the month to gear up the grill, crack open the cold ones – Riesling, Viognier and Rose – and celebrate change!  In June, I am told, the stars bring Godzilla transformation – and everyone knows the best recipe for change is – well… drinking.  Lots of bad news being reported out there, so I say, open up that bottle you’ve been dying to try.  It’s those small celebrations that remind us of the good.  Cheers!

Groundbreaking Change
Your pioneering spirit awakens this month, and not just with a fresh cycle of opportunity. You now have the chance of a lifetime to break free from you past and make major headway toward positive change. You are being given a glimpse of your future, but it’s up to you to battle insecurities and morph this vision into reality.
Sounds like a pinnacle moment for you Aries. Good friggin’ morning!  When we’re talking major headway, I do my best morphing with an Argentinean  – and by Argentinean, I think I mean Malbec.  Mendoza plum writhes in layers of cherry, vanilla and spice.  Its medium body allows you to break free from the past, moving fast enough so the door doesn’t hit’cha in the ass.  Look forward and look hard!  If you like what you see, jump in with your eyes open!
Dreaming at the Speed of Light
The future is coming up fast this month, offering you a glimpse at what’s coming next in life. You are being challenged to break from the past now, and should feel the motivation to transform yourself and your way of thinking to start reaching for your dreams. Fresh ideas abound, yet you still must maintain discipline in your finances and other resources.
The essence of cat pee central is another way to motivate transformation, though I’m not advocating you kick the cat out.  Rather, pick up a cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc for something fresh and crisp with bright acidity. Yah, yah, yah maintain discipline and finances are important.  Fine.  But you can lean green on the herbaceous side by hovering over a glass divulging bell pepper and grass.  Get your catcher’s mitt, because the ball’s about to fly in your direction and you don’t want it to conk you in the head.
Break on Through to the Other Side
You may feel disoriented as you adjust to the major shifts and changes this month brings. Angst is provoked when the old battles with the new, and unfortunately this can’t be cured by any particular course of action. Still, you can expect the pace of your life to kick up a notch now, but there may be so much to do that it’s tricky to keep up with it all.
Really, Gemini?  When the old stars battle the new ones, there’s only one place to be. Like it or not, the angst is unfolding, so you might as well enjoy the ride strapped in on the sidelines with a supple Syrah.  Something rough and vulnerable and charismatic is key, because the sidelines might feel a bit more like the eye of the tornado. Accept what you can’t change, change what you can – and drink when you get frustrated.  Now that’s wisdom.
Hungry for Change
Your attention is drawn to your career life this month, and restlessness about your job could provoke you to do battle with others or seek a totally new profession. Just think twice before you leap in any direction — even if you don’t act right away, the near future brings plenty of chances to pull the trigger of professional change.
Do you want to quit or should we get you fired? There’s nothing wrong (in my mind) with wanting to kick someone’s ass. Who doesn’t love a jovial spar — a hoedown throw down?  Crack a bottle (over someone’s head) of something furious — something marvelous! A jammy Zinfandel aids in creating the pandemonium you’re seeking.  Lush boysenberry and black cherry wrapped in a blanket of black pepper and thrown in the trunk for a long licorice finish. I know you’re not the violent type. Now dust off, and find a new job.
Ready to Rock and Roll
There’s great potential for change this month, as long as you remain open to what lies ahead. As obstacles drop away and you are able to see the bigger picture, you must prioritize your choices so you don’t become so overwhelmed that you end up doing nothing at all. Luckily, it should be easier to narrow your focus now and concentrate your physical energy toward the actions you choose.
Take the dark glasses off, so you don’t miss the excitement ahead.  Get comfortable – but not too comfortable and pour something red.  No black!  I’m thinking… reliable like Merlot, yet sordid like a Syrah. Throw in the weight of a Cabernet Sauvignon and, you dear Leo, have a CMS powerhouse convergence.  Prioritizing becomes much less daunting when wine is your co-pilot.  But the line is thin and you’re teetering.  Concentrate!  And drink.  Stay open-minded.  And drink! Focus! And….
Counting on Change
Major opportunities can come and go in a flash, so grab them while you can. You must keep pace with the movers and shakers of the world now, and should, thankfully, receive a boost of energy this month. But it’s time to take the initiative and begin new projects rather than using your newfound energies to simply defend what you already have.
If you blink, dear Virgo, you might miss this crazy, red-carpet opportunity.  Instead, use those senses – all 24 of them!  Dive deep into the wetness of orange blossom, apricot and mango-mint, while your tongue enrobes in the toasty, creaminess of vanilla oak.  You know what you’re pouring – a juicy-fruity Viognier, grand in its headiness and brash in its initiative.  Maintaining the fortress is not enough – go for the land-grab. Snatch far, catch wide!
Quantum Leap
You are finally free from the oppression of details, and are able capitalize on the present moment. Unusual people come into your life now to open your mind to unorthodox ideas and exciting new ways of interacting. Yet while your horizons are being broadened, you could feel so overwhelmed that you’d rather go into hiding or flee all together.
Libra, what’s going on here?  I’m picturing you huddled in the closet with a brown bag over your bottle.  None of that! Unwrap that Riesling and embrace your unorthodox interactions.  Whether you’re swinging from a chandelier or with your best friend’s wife, it seems you’re in need of a wine that will go with – well, anything!  A Riesling is by your side — thumping the spice of Panang curry and fondling the maple-sweetness of smoky, thick bacon.  Hide if you must, but remember – hiding with a pal is much more amusing.
Breaking the Silence
June kicks off an exciting three-month period of brand new work opportunities and a chance to develop new skills. Becoming a more effective team player is necessary as you’re forced to deal with uncooperative colleagues or unexpected crises. Just beware forging ahead blindly — romantic or financial schemes that arise now could prove to be unrealistic.
Is that a pinot in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?  C’mon Scorpio, take the blinders off and dive into something red and ripe. While you’re being antagonized by all kinds of nutjobs, your sensibility explodes in non-descript bedlam.  Mushrooms and earth and leather, oh my! It’s a lovely Pinot Noir, and it loves you! Diggin’ the ribbon of strawberry scheming, this is where the dark side of Scorpio excels. Toot, toot (yaaah) beep beep!
Surf’s Up!
This is a month for taking chances and having fun, Sag. Love is in the air now, and there’s opportunity to improve your relationships thanks to a boost in your self-confidence. New ideas and unconventional, spontaneous people are set to enter your life, and you’re ready for the ride — just don’t lose sight of the most practical issues.
Out of all of us, dear Sag, you’re having the most fun and we want to hear all about it.  Who are these “unconventional, spontaneous people” and what are they doing to you?  Tell us in between the bubbles of an exquisite Blanc de Blanc eliciting Chardonnay’s truth.  Speaking of truth, practical-schmactical.  Throw caution to the wind, drop the top, ease the seat back and let the delicate white flowers and penetrating citrus blow up from the glass.  Drop some age on the bottle for honey drizzled brioche. Yum.
Growth Spurt
Powerful changes are brewing this month while you’re busy dealing with a million-and-one tasks at work and at home. You may feel inspired to relocate, redecorate or even launch your own business now, but you’ll need to manage details carefully. June is about thinking outside the box and making bold moves — just measure the runway before you take off!
I’ll see your Bold and Powerful and raise you an Elegant King.  The king of Kings – a badass Cabernet Sauvignon. Capricorn, you’re on fire and a Cab is what you need to fan those flames!  Go get’em baby.  Ch-ch-ch-changes are happening all around, and I for one can truly attest to that.  Pour a bottle of heart of darkness – lush and smoky with blackberry, black currant and asparagus.  Choose something intense, yet graceful.  Then crawl out of the box and make it happen!
Future Shock
This June offers a shocking glimpse at what’s ahead in life — not just in your distant future, but also the immediate present, as your long-term goals seem close enough to touch now. Restrictions fall away and you’re able to change your outmoded habits to obtain a much broader perspective, yet all this enthusiasm is no excuse to shirk responsibilities or run out on promises.
No bottle shock. Yah, A.Q., don’t be a shirker – but if you must, be a really good one.  Or — be better than that.  Either way, you’re going to need something relevant – something that can style you up, as it seems you’ve become passé.  A ripe Cabernet Franc is working it for you.  Raspberry, red cherry and pluminia starts the engine.  Seems you’ve been shackled or bound by something crazy.  Bask in the mushroom muskiness or this wine – and absorb its provocative spice, as the fun is just about to begin.
Financial Frenzy
There are big moneymaking ideas floating out there this month, and you feel the urge to shake the money tree. As you catch sight of a new path to professional fulfillment, be sure to analyze your facts carefully, since reckless behavior is a possibility now.
Money isn’t the only reason to be shaking your tree.  We really love your peaches – especially in your aggressively spiced Gewurztraminer. A fresh, full-bodied white is what I’m talkin’ about.  While I’m all for naughty, I’m not for reckless; that’s when someone loses an eye. So show caution but be intrigued.  With the big G, you’re looking at some thick, tough skins, that can’t do anything but help.  The world is your oyster and a Gewurz is the perfect sipper for that combo. Go forth, Kumamoto.

Wine Signs on Cork’d
Horoscopes Provided by By Jeff Jawer and
Jeff Jawer is the co-author of Barnes & Noble’s ‘Your Astrology Guide 2010.’ A professional astrologer since 1973, his articles have appeared in astrology journals, magazines and Web sites around the world. He holds a B.A. in The History and Science of Astrology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and teaches and lectures both in the United States and abroad.

Wine Bottles Make Great Bowling Pins

On wine’s wheel of fortune, lots of single letters come into play. So grab a glass and a dictionary, and let’s see if we can solve this puzzle.

From Cirque du Soleil to Oprah Magazine, undoubtedly, O is the flavor of the month.

Replacing the reign of E, O basks in the spotlight. One star performer is the “O” Wine 2008 Chardonnay. This wine stands apart from past vintages opening with a more steely and citrus expression. Bright edges are engulfed with under-ripe peach and drizzled caramel, while higher acid bites hard in all the right places.

O is a crowded space, and other notables include Sineann “O” Old Vine Zinfandel and EIEIO & Co.’s Pinot Noir “O.”

E thinks this hoopla is unnecessary. But have hope, letter E! In due time, you’ll be back on top – the newest black, the vowel to buy.

Speaking of EIEIO & Co., along with the “O” and the Pinot Noir “I,” the EIEIO 2006 Pinot Noir “E” speaks loudly from across the farm. A little funk on its junk, but what’s an Oregon Pinot without it? It eventually blows off, divulging ripe raspberry and blackberry with balanced acid and a lights-off finish.

Finished is what you may feel if you pull the magic J and Z, at least if Scrabble is your game. I see these two letters as game-breakers, but hardly so in the game of wine. Sineann J and Zerba Z show a sense of wild abandon.

Sineann “J” (Jezebel) is a balance of fruit and earth with ripe strawberry starbursting into sour cherry and moss. The wine is silky to the touch and smoky to the finish. Pull this J for a midweek meal and hope they serve a side of letters A and M (just in case).

The Zerba Cellars 2005 Wild “Z”, Columbia Valley, is a firecracker bursting with Zorro darkness. There are a lot of moving parts enveloped by ribbons of juicy black fruit, oaky vanilla and cocoa powder. This is the wine that tries to sit on your lap while you’re standing up. Smooth and inviting. No, enticing.

H is a significant other. While G and I are autonomous, H is frequently partnered with S or C. Significant, yes – but other, nonetheless.

With wine, however, H thwarts its independence. Eric Hamacher’s second label, the “H” 2007 Pinot Noir drops the Hamacher with a burst of ripe raspberry, red cherry and vanilla swirl. Light and friendly, this wine is simple in structure – and happiest at home. As I see it, perfect traits for a significant other.

Adding to the mix is the Columbia Crest 2007 “H3” Merlot. Dark fruit with a soft pucker, this wine is like a collagen shot to the lips. Its structure stands Cablike straight, so give it some time to arrive at the party. When it gets there, you’ll be treated to a firehose performance of red cherry, blueberry and hints of dark chocolate. A juicy balance throws out a long, smooth finish.

If you have an affinity for letter/number combos, the infamous DeLille Cellars D2 comes to mind. I was tipped off to Eugene Wine Cellars B2, but not much to say, as I couldn’t find the wine.

However, plenty to say about K Vintners! Oh yes, plenty, indeed.

The “K” 2007 Milbrant Syrah hurls black fruit, red fruit, olives and tobacco in an intensely woven bright plume. Insane! Strong and lush with acid and tannins working in tandem, this wine attacks your tongue with irresistible charm like the lovely, yet fatal voices of those Greek chickadees. Look away; plug your ears! Or simply succumb to the battering of this wine’s allure. In the end, a little battering tends to be worth it.

Next up, M is easily summarized as a mysterious muse.

The OS Winery 2005 “M” Klipsun inspires sultriness. It’s a glass of spicy darkness with sour cherry and woody anise. Expressions of bawdy fascination reveal with a tassel-twisting finish.

Another wine that shines is the Sokol Blosser NV Meditrina “M.” Unusual and tempting, this blend of Syrah, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel boosts expectations. Dark fruits with spice and must infuse your mouth with a velvet touch and a sprinkle of leather on the finish.

Speaking of leather, this M really wants to partner with S, or is it the other way around? But that’s another story entirely.

And then there’s the cleanup wine, the All-Star hitter, the catcher from A to Z. The “A to Z” 2007 Riesling from Oregon is everything fruit and then some. Crisp apple winds through pear and luscious pineapple upside down cake. This wine pretties it up with German blondeness in an elegant structure of shiny acid. A bright, fresh finale is cause for a standing ovation. Bravo!

As a kid I played “spell the word” in the bowl with alphabet soup or cereal. With labeled letters, party games take on a whole new meaning.

And if you tire of the brain games, wine bottles make relatively good bowling pins.

By Teri Citterman, Wine Press Northwest

Wine Press Northwest Spring 2010

Jackie Johnston/

Cover of the Spring 2010 issue of Wine Press Northwest.