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I’ll say it again… there’s no shame in pink.

The 1990’s and crimes committed against white zinfindel and its fans have a great deal to answer for.  For starters, I now frequently meet people who believe that all rosé wines are white zin.  This is not true. The pink color of some wines is achieved when the juice from red grapes (which is clear) is allowed to ferment for a time against the skins of these grapes.  These wines can be sparkling or still.  There can be any number of blends and varietals: white cabernet, white grenache, white syrah and, of course, the aforementioned and much abused: white zinfindel.  In the United States we call them rosés, in Spain and Portugal they are rosados and in Italy they are rosatos.

The time the white juice is allowed contact against the red skins (typically only a few days) changes the taste and structure of the wine, adding flavor and tannins which add complexity.  The longer the juice is with the skins, the deeper the pink hue to the wine.

I can remember when I truly enjoyed a nice white zin, until some corporate dunderbluss decided to make it accessible to the masses- read “water them down to a bland, sicky sweet punch-like substance.”  As an aside, something very similar occurred with merlot in the early 2000’s– gag me with a decanter.

Where was I?

Oh yes, yummy rosé goodness!  This week on Get Your Wine on Wednesday I’d like to introduce the Wild Coyote White Syrah- perfect to chill on a summer evening.  C’est delish!

If you are ever in Paso Robles- be sure to stop by this very different and fun winery- the House of Reds as they like to refer to themselves.  (Fair warning- you need to like big, high-octane California style fruit bombs to enjoy these babies.)  Accordingly their white syrah is nicknamed, “El Gringo.”  Don’t let the name deter you- it’s zippy: flavorful, fruity and the perfect wine with spicy food.

You can purchase this and other Wild Coyote offerings (they make a mean mouvedre) on their website.

If you are lucky enough to be able to make it down to Paso Robles and go to the winery: enjoy the Tipi, check out their B & B and for the love of God, ask for Sean- he rocks.  With him as your guide you’ll have a ball.

Sadly, I only bought two bottles.  My friend, Monica, and I drank the first during one of our Doctor Who DVR nights and then Eric and I served the second at a barbecue with great friends, new and old, this past weekend.  Here are Michelle and Monica, featured in their second “Wine on Wednesday” post… well, they are two of my most fabulous pals.

Enjoy your wine!


M & M- aren't they lovely?!?!

M & M- aren’t they lovely?!?!


Hi, folks….

So those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I have flown in the face of blogging wisdom.  Conventional blogging says that one should have a theme.  Perhaps one blogs book reviews like my friend at the fabulous Bookalicious Book Reviews or writes about cooking like another blogging friend, Happiness Stan Lives.  The idea is that if you have a theme, sort of make yourself into an authority figure, then you will build followers faster.

While I do wish to build a following, I find with blogging I tend to have a hard time focusing.  There are simply so many fun things to write about.  I flit from politics to music to wine to anything that interests or moves me.

I guess there is a theme, me.

Today’s flitting is back to the subject of wine.  (Oh, how do I love thee, vino.)

It flipping drives me up a tree that if I want wine at a Sharks game or a rock concert, I have to buy borderline Night Train in a plastic cup for ten dollars a pop.  Gross… plus, it takes up part of my book and shoe allowance.  Simply not okay.

Enter Copa di Vino, today’s nominee for nifty new wine invention.  Someone thought it through and decided to package high quality wine in a plastic container with a vacuum seal.  Each serving also has a resealable lid (think Tupperware style) to prevent spills or save a portion for later.

I don’t know how they did it.  As most of my fellow wine fans can tell you, wine in a plastic cup is iffy at best.  It’s always much better served in a glass, preferably a large one. However, this wine tastes good AND at about $3 per serving is a much better cost alternative for a picnic or sporting event.  (Shhh, you didn’t hear it from me, but a couple of these little beauties fit quite nicely in a purse or in your husband’s inside jacket pockets.  So helpful with those venues who take a narrow view of outside libations at their events.)

Those of you who watch the show The Shark Tank may have seen this company’s owner on- twice.  While neither of these appearances yielded a deal with the Sharks, James Martin seems to be doing just fine on his own.  You can check out where to buy his wines, more about the varietals or simply purchase these wines online at:

They even sell a variety case which contains two of each of their six varietals: merlot, cabernet sauvignon, white zinfindel, moscato, chardonnay, and pinot grigio.  Clearly, it wouldn’t break this wine-lover’s heart if they carried a couple more reds, but I guess one step at a time.  You can also buy single cases of each wine type.  If you search for local retail outlets, don’t be put off if some odd locations pop up on your results.  For example, there are four places near me: three gas station quickie-marts and the snack area to a Marriott hotel.  One would never guess what a high quality product is being hidden at your local gas station.  Go figure.

Wine fans- rejoice!  Now we can join the beer drinking public with a high quality, cost-effective, easily transportable alternative.


Copa Di Vino

Copa Di Vino



This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.

“Blind tastings are to wine what strip poker is to love.”- Kermit Lynch, Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA

For most people we begin almost everything with our eyes.  The light, the spirit in another’s eyes draws us to them, it attracts us.  Perhaps it even changes us.  The sight of a trail off the beaten path excites us.  We must explore it.  We drive by a restaurant or a shop and something makes us want to stop, to see more.  Each time we sit down to a meal we begin eating with our eyes first.  The plate before us gives us clues of what’s to come.  The anticipation grows. 

It is the same with wine.  What our eyes see sets our brain afire to taste what’s next.  When a glass is placed before us the first thing we instinctively do is lift it up to the light and look at the liquid thus contained.  And, as in so many situations, instinct is the way to go.  Do pick up your glass and gaze at its contents.  The best way to really look at your wine and see its color is to pour a small amount in your glass and then tilt the glass at a forty-five degree angle.  Wine is actually quite lovely. 

Whether straw yellow or golden amber, whether translucent cherry or a deeper ruby, the color of your wine should be clear and bright.  Murky wine is a bad thing, my friends.  You are looking for jewel tones.  The look of the wine is your first indicator as to its quality, age and ultimately, taste.

A young white wine can start out a pale, almost pear colored greenish-yellow in a Sauvignon Blanc or a rich citrine in a full-bodied Chardonnay.  White wines tend to darken in color as they age.  They become more and more golden.  Their color depends on a range of factors: the varietal (type of grape), whether the wine spent any time in barrels (some whites are aged completely in steel tanks and have less color as a consequence) and how much contact the wine had with oxygen in the vinification process and during subsequent bottling. 

On the other hand, reds will tend to go in the opposite direction.  Red varieties begin with brighter hues such as garnets (Merlot) and reds so deep they verge on purple (Petite Syrah) which mellow towards brick reds as they age.  Red wines that start to show hints of yellows or browns may be past their prime however, decant (aerate) the wine and try it anyway.  I’ve had some brown-red wines that were still quite drinkable. 

Besides color you’ll hear many wine drinkers talk about the “legs” or the “tears” of a wine.  This is simply when you swirl your wine there will be an almost syrupy effect as the wine drips back down the side of your glass in rivulets.  Some people will say this phenomenon is an indicator of the wine’s sugars, quality or viscosity, however, that is not the case.  A wine’s legs actually tell us about the alcohol content of a wine and are the result of good old-fashioned surface tension.  Alcohol has a lower surface tension than water so the higher the alcohol, the more prominent the legs.  Indeed, California wines tend to be so high in alcohol content (often 15% compared to 12-13% in other regions) that I have been known to comment on a wine’s “cankles”.  Oh dear, I hope that didn’t make the wine feel self-conscious.

So on your next glass of wine sit back and admire the color, note the legs and most of all, enjoy the moment.

A wine's color should be bright and clear.

All this writing about wine has me wanting a glass.  Drat, it’s only 10am, that’s too early… even for me!

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