Holiday Wine & Movie Pairing: Ridgeview Grosvenor & Love Actually


Ridgeview Grosvenor Blanc de Blanc | Wander & Wine

I have to admit that I am one of those people who adores Christmas. After Thanksgiving, I can’t wait to put up the tree, decorate the house, drink egg nog and watch all my favorite Christmas movies. There are a couple movies on the yearly rotation, like The Holiday, Elf and Home Alone, but one of my favorites is Love Actually, a sorta rom-com taking place around Christmastime. Although some of the plot lines aren’t actually that heart warming and there are some cheesy moments, I still love it. Who’s with me!? So, if you haven’t yet watched this movie this year, now’s the time to put it on and bring out the bubbly! I’m pairing this movie, set in England, with a sparkling wine from the UK’s Ridgeview Winery, and I think you’re going to like it.

Holiday Gift Guide for Wine & Food Lovers


2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Wine & Food Lovers | Wander & Wine

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, indeed! As much as I love the holidays, this time of year can be kind of stressful with all that we try to pack in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not going to lie, I’m a little in denial that Christmas is just over a week away – where did the time go?! Admittedly, I’m way behind on my Xmas gift shopping this year… oy! If you’re in the same boat and are looking for some last minute ideas other than the standard bottle of wine, check out some of my favorite gift ideas for every wine and food lover on your list!

Luli Chardonnay & Cheese… and Shatner?


Luli Chardonnay & St. Andre pairing | Wander & Wine

I’m not normally a Chardonnay fan, and I think because I don’t care for it I am extra critical of it. Lately, though, I have found myself being pleasantly surprised by a few Chardonnays… especially when there’s good cheese to pair with it! One I enjoyed recently was the 2013 Luli Chardonnay ($20) from the Santa Lucia Highlands.

Luli Wines is the collaboration of Master Somm, Sara Floyd, and the Pisoni Family who are grape growers and winemakers in the Sta. Lucia Highlands. For Luli wines, they purchase grapes from multiple vineyards in cooler coastal regions, such as Monterey County and Sta. Lucia Highlands, to make Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

Visiting Andrew Murray Vineyards’ new tasting room


Andrew Murray Vineyards, Santa Ynez | Wander & Wine

I love having visitors, especially those who have never been to Santa Barbara or haven’t been since they were younger. It’s such a beautiful place to play tour guide and there’s so much to see and do! Recently, my friend Sarah was in town visiting from Washington state. Since she shares a love of wine, we made plans to do some wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley. Our favorite stop of the day was Andrew Murray Vineyards, located in the space formerly occupied by Curtis Winery near Firestone Vineyards.

12 Questions With Trey Busch, Winemaker for Sleight of Hand Cellars


Trey Busch at Sleight of Hand Cellars | Wander & Wine

Last month, I started a new series on the blog called ’12 Questions With…’ — a fun, light-hearted introduction to winemakers, sommeliers and other important people in the wine industry. If you missed it, basically I select one person a month to answer twelve questions, with each person getting the same set of questions. Nat Gunter from Cultivate Wines was my first participant, and this month I’m excited to introduce you to another cool person in the industry – Trey Busch!

Trey is the owner / winemaker at the unique Sleight of Hand Cellars in Walla Walla, WA. His wines are highly sought after and for good reason – they’re great.

My Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Rules & Suggestions


Thanksgiving is upon us! Hard to believe another year has flown by… (I know everyone says that, but it’s true!). Thanksgiving, to me, means family time, lots of food and, of course, wine. It’s also that time of year when I start to get a lot of wine pairing questions. Now, I am not one to tell people what to drink. I’d rather you drink what you know you enjoy, especially on a holiday. However, if you’re looking for wines that will pair well with all the different flavors on the Thanksgiving table, check out my rules & suggestions below!

Jamie Slone Wines at the Wine Collection of El Paseo


Jamie & Kym Slone in their Santa Barbara tasting room | Wander & Wine

Jamie Slone and wife Kym may be new to Santa Barbara, but they seem to be fitting right in. When you walk into their Santa Barbara tasting room, Jamie Slone Wines, you can guarantee you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome from the two of them and their cute dog, Sophie. I met with Jamie and Kym recently for my latest SB Sentinel column and had fun learning about their journey into the wine world over some of their wines.

Jamie Slone Wines, Santa Barbara | Wander & Wine

The Ultimate Wine Experience at Mayacamas Winery


View from Mayacamas Vineyards, Napa Valley | Wander & Wine

I’ve tasted wine in some pretty cool locations before, from New Zealand to Portugal and Italy, and there’s no denying that each experience is unique and special in its own way. There are great wine experiences and then there are the exceptional ones… the pinch-me-is-this-real tasting where history, excellent wine, fantastic views and off-roading winery tours all come together. Where on earth could this possibly have taken place? None other than Mayacamas Vineyards, about 25 minutes outside of Napa on Mt. Veeder.

A story worth sharing: Chateau de Roquefort’s “Grele” Wine


Chateau de Roquefort "Grele" Red Blend | Wander & Wine

Sometimes a wine is special because you bought it for a special occasion. Sometimes a wine is special because of the people you drink it with, and other times a wine is special because there’s a unique story that comes with it. If the story tugs at the heart strings and makes you think about the people who made it when you take a sip, it’s special regardless of the price or taste.

12 Questions with Nat Gunter, Winemaker for Cultivate Wines


Cultivate Wines - an interview with Nat Gunter | Wander & Wine

I am very excited to announce a new monthly addition to my blog: 12 Questions With… Once a month, a winemaker, sommelier or wine aficionado will answer twelve questions selected by yours truly, each person getting the same set of questions to answer each month. The goal is to keep it fun and light-hearted while introducing you to some cool people in the wine industry.

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