Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blizzard Blatherings

As the snow accumulates outside our door, my thoughts travel south to the site of our March vacation.

Not many people think of Texas as the hotbed of wine production. But, just west of Austin, is the Hill Country. The second-largest Viticultural Area in the United States, with over 34 wineries in production since the mid to late '90's.

Some of the more notable ones include:

Fall Creek Vineyards' 2004 Meritus, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, was the winner of the Double Gold Medal from the Tasters Guild International.

Flat Creek Estate produces a Super Texan. This medium-bodied Sangiovese was a San Francisco International Wine competition Double Gold winner.

Spicewood Vineyards specializes in locally grown wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Becker Vineyards is known for it's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a typically big red aged in American oak barrels from 20 months to two years.

Texas Hills Vineyard makes what they call their Kick Butt Cab. A fruit-forward wine with lots of depth, made with grapes from 22-year-old vines and winner of a silver medal at 2006 Lone Star International Wine Competition.

Warm weather, great live music, award wining wine and fantastic BBQ sound like great ingredients for a memorable vacation.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Purple Passion

Once called the Purple People Eaters, The Minnesota Vikings recently faced the potential loss of Kevin and Pat Williams to suspension for illegal substances.

Although my hubby doesn't bleed purple, he wants to be passionate and excited about one of this state's professional sports teams.

With summer over, there are no longer any Twins baseball games to listen to as he fishes for muskies. And the Timberwolves loss to the Nets on Friday night was so frustrating, he wonders how much longer the Wolves have to "live".

Lately, I have been consuming more wine than being consumed by my passion for wine writing.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do."- Mark Twain

Think about your potential passion as you ask yourself the following questions. Check the statements below that are true for you.

1. ____ I lose track of time when I'm engaged in this activity.
2. ____ I perform beyond my normal capabilities when I'm engaged in this activity.
3. ____ My energy level is higher when I'm engaged in this activity.
4. ____ I get excited when I think of this activity.
5. ____ I dream about this activity.
6. ____ My enthusiasm for this activity is consistent over time.
7. ____ I feel more confident or empowered when I'm engaged in this activity.
8. ____ Others notice me based on my involvement or performance in this activity.
9. ____ Others rally around me or want to be involved with me in this activity.
10. ___ I feel energized after engaging in this activity.

Scoring: Give yourself one point for each statement you marked true. Then read on to learn where you stand.0-2 This activity is not a passion.3-5 This activity is an interest.6-8 This activity is a potential passion and should be re-evaluated after further investigation.9-10 This activity is definitely a passion. You should take further action to determine how to incorporate it into your life on a regular basis.

Re-fuel your passions!

Friday, December 5, 2008


"We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway....

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And tomorrow we might not be together
I'm no prophet, I don't know natures way....."

Carly Simon's lyrics express my feelings regarding the historic events that will unfold in the new year. First being the inauguration of Barak Obama and secondly, the release of the 2007 Vayniac Cabernet. Both events are surrounded by expectations and anticipation.

Using fruit sourced from four vineyards in Oakville, Mount Veeder, Coombsville and Oak Knoll, the wine has been a collaborative effort. Myself and fellow vayniacs have participated in online updates during the harvest, fermentation and even a real time blending session. A few lucky members of the VaynerNation have even traveled to San Francisco for some or all of the process.

It seems appropriate that the coming together of people from all over the U.S. and even other countries has touched both our last election and this production of fine wine. May both age well over time.