It’s the Last Week of #TDF2017: Pour Some Rosé and Get Ready for the Drama!

I can’t believe the 2017 Tour de France is almost over – just three days to go until Paris and the final podium placements. And what an exciting three weeks it has been! Think about all that’s happened so far:

  • In Stage 1, several riders abandoned the Tour after crashing into the spectator barricades;
  • In Stage 4, Peter Sagan, the Tour’s five-time sprint champion was expelled from the race after a dust-up with Mark Cavendish in the final meters (see video below);
  • Italian champion Fabio Aru blew away all the rest of the climbers in the first mountain stage;
  • Perilous mountain descents in rainy conditions caused multiple accidents, forcing Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte (an overall contender) to abandon;
  • After winning five stages, super-sprinter Marcel Kittel abandoned on Stage 17 after a crash.

But while the competitive battles have certainly caught our attention, it’s the enchanting countryside of France that has captured our hearts. Every day the peloton cycles through a different region, each one alive with history, culture and, best of all, winemaking. Since 2015 I have followed the Tour from a wine lover’s perspective, offering snippets of interest from each town on the circuit, highlighting the local wines and cuisine. Tour de France by the Glass is a labor of love, bringing together as it does three things I adore: cycling, wine, and the stunning scenery of France. Continue reading “It’s the Last Week of #TDF2017: Pour Some Rosé and Get Ready for the Drama!”

Pago de Arínzano – The Enchanted Wines of Spain

  Spain does something to a person. A foot on her soil, and you might as well surrender your defenses: they won’t work anymore. I’m not sure what to call it, but her mystical powers of transformation cannot be denied. Enchantment? Sorcery? Maybe a good dose of each. But what I and many other beguiled visitors have understood is that the sooner you succumb to … Continue reading Pago de Arínzano – The Enchanted Wines of Spain

Mendoza Beyond Malbec – The Vineyards of Achaval-Ferrer (#winestudio)

Last September, I was lucky enough to tag along with the #winestudio gang as it visited the Mendoza vineyards of Achaval-Ferrer. As you might suspect, the focus of that virtual voyage was Malbec, the Bordeaux grape that has reinvented itself in the southern hemisphere, wooing wine lovers with its ripe fruit flavors and budget-friendly prices. What most surprised me during our four-week adventure though, was … Continue reading Mendoza Beyond Malbec – The Vineyards of Achaval-Ferrer (#winestudio)

Dry Creek Valley Delights: The Meeker Vineyard (#WineStudio)

    As one of the first wineries to receive an operating license after prohibition, the Meeker Vineyard could be considered a member of Dry Creek Valley’s old guard, a testament to tradition in one of the most-respected American Viticultural Areas (AVAs.) The Meeker family traces its winemaking roots back to the 1980s, when Charlie Meeker (then a Hollywood film producer) and his wife Molly … Continue reading Dry Creek Valley Delights: The Meeker Vineyard (#WineStudio)

Perseverance and Passion: The Story of Ordaz Family Wines

    How often do we get the chance to look right into the heart of a thing we love?  An opportunity to see beyond the polished surface to its core; to observe the essence of it, the skeleton and sinew that hold it all together?  Participants in February’s #WineStudio did just that, thanks to a two-week engagement with Ordaz Family Wines in Sonoma Valley.  … Continue reading Perseverance and Passion: The Story of Ordaz Family Wines

Single-Vineyard Riesling from Max Ferdinand Richter (#winestudio Part 2)

  Last month, participants of Wine Studio, an on-line interactive education seminar hosted by Tina Morey, delved into the intricacies of Mosel Riesling.  During the first two weeks, we focused our studies on the lovely wines of Karthauserhof, a monopole property originally founded by Carthusian monks in the 11th century.  (You can read the details in my post HERE.)  But Tina wasn’t finished with us … Continue reading Single-Vineyard Riesling from Max Ferdinand Richter (#winestudio Part 2)

All Roads Lead to Riesling (#winestudio)

I may have co-opted the famous saying about perceived Roman dominance many centuries ago, but I feel it’s appropriate.  After all, Riesling has made quite powerful friends of late, namely the sommeliers who love to tout its unmatched affinity for a wide range of cuisines, not to mention its ability to age for decades without losing any of its famed balance and finesse.  But in … Continue reading All Roads Lead to Riesling (#winestudio)