Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Witchy Women Sleuths Loving Washington and Oregon Wines.

Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman blog has slowed down a bit, but that's okay.  I also own another blog, Passementaries that let's me be creative and share things I enjoy beyond wine - and most of all, there is no pressure.  It's certainly not a barn burner in readers like my original W5 blog that went off the charts, but I love the freedom of Passementaries. 

Soon to be released is the Lost Restaurants of Walla Walla published by Arcadia Publishing and History Press.  This press also published my Wines of the Walla Walla Valley: A Deep-Rooted History.

And - - I took on another project. A "cozy" murder mystery series by "Catherine Wright." Witch Way to Amethyst Bay is a very different style of writing for me - it's fiction. In these crazy upside-down times, it's been a nice escape to visit the little town of "Amethyst Bay, Oregon."

So why would a wine lover want to read a fictional book about women sleuths who has a bit of power under their sleeves? Well, these women happen to love drinking wine. One of the sleuths owns a deli/grocery which has a wonderful wine selection and hangs with a wine distributor. Wine shows up at every meal and special dinners. 

Currently the book, Witch Way to Amethyst Bay? is on Kindle e-book (no problem if you don't have a Kindle, as the apps are free and easy to download on phones, tablets, and lap and desktops). Hopefully in the next five to 10 days, the book will be available in paperback. If you enjoy the read, please kindly leave me a review. Thanks ahead of time. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Merlot: the little black bird

Named after a little black bird in France, merle or merlau, it was only fitting this dark blue-colored wine grape variety the little bird enjoyed dining on would be referred to as “merlot.”

As early as 1824, the name merlot referred to the second most popular grape grown in the Bordeaux region of France - following after its cousin cabernet sauvignon - a heartier and richer grape than merlot. In Bordeaux, the Left Bank region blends cabernet sauvignon as the dominant wine joining its cousin merlot, and at the Right Bank merlot is the featured wine blend.  
This French grape with notes of cherries, violets, and cigar box finally arrived in California in the mid-nineteenth century where it was shown off as a single bottled varietal instead of being traditionally blended with its French cousin cabernet sauvignon.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Label her "Mom"

Humans have been creating images of mothers since men, and of course women, who crudely etched with a jagged rock on the walls of caves. Through the centuries European artists like Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Claude Monet, and Gustav Klimpt to American artists such as James Whistler to Norman Rockwell painted portraits of mothers.                                                            
Dorothea Lange’s camera lens captured the destitution in the iconic 1936 black and white photo of Florence Thompson, known as the Migrant Mother; and Annie Leibovitz shocked the public with her controversial photos of pregnant celebrities posing in the nude.
And of course, last but certainly not least the many renditions of the most famous mom of all, the Virgin Mary’s images discovered from the early centuries in Rome and Syria.  
Images of mothers continue and today are lovingly and respectfully honored on bottles of fine wine. 


Thursday, February 01, 2018

Wine-and-chocolate pairing: Love them, love them not!

The verdict is in: Some wine lovers enjoy a bite of chocolate with a sip of red wine, and others do not. Opinions by winemakers and wine writers for loving or not loving these two luxurious “food groups” can be as contentious as ... well ... as the recent presidential election.
There are numerous articles claiming one must stop the “silliness” of pairing chocolate confections with wine, while other reviewers celebrate the union of these rich mates on the palate.
Some critics of wine-and-chocolate pairings even go as far as picking on the red-foil heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate gooey centers, nuts and chews. (I must admit, I rather love the tacky, nostalgic heart-shaped boxes.)

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Story in a Bottle

Wine is personal. It’s personal when it comes to favored tastes and aromas, but there are often personal stories in a bottle of wine. Sometimes the stories are from the winemaker, and sometimes there are new stories and memories to be made by the collector of the bottle. Today, wine consumers want to know everything about a bottle of wine – and they want to hear the story.                           

In the Walla Walla Valley, there are many stories, and many wine labels reminiscent of memories right out of an old family scrapbook. One of these labels tell a story about a man who would eventually blaze a trail of history - - literally. 


Monday, May 01, 2017

Mother Earth: Vines, Wines, and Moms

Studies have shown a mother’s impulse to love and protect her child appears to be hard-wired. This impulse is often referred to as “maternal instinct.” Is there a mother’s impulse to love and protect the wines and vines, as well?  In the Walla Walla Valley, it is certainly true. 
There are at least 1,200 people employed in the Walla Walla Valley wine industry. This number includes winemakers, production, hospitality, retail, and administration. Women are still under-represented in this industry, but they are certainly not excluded. 

In the U.S. there are roughly 10 percent of wineries that have female winemakers, yet the number is growing. In the Walla Walla Valley there are over a dozen women winemakers that are also mothers who wear that “purple badge” of honor on their hands – it’s the lingering stain of the grape that tends to make a mess of a new manicure or a favorite article of clothing.           


Saturday, April 01, 2017

Keepers of the Vines

After a very long and unusually hard winter’s nap, the grapevines of the Walla Walla Valley are beginning to come alive.                                                                                                             

The Valley is home to 116 vineyards with a total combined of 3,100 acres of wine grapes. SeVein Vineyards, home of the original Seven Hills Vineyard first planted in 1980, is one of the first commercial vineyards in the area and is located on the southern border of the Walla Walla AVA in Oregon State.

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