Travels, Wine

Gearing up for Another Cuvée

tuscany-grape-field-nature-51947

It’s that time of year again – Cuvée en Route is back! It’s one of the many times each year that I get in the car and make a little pilgrimage to the region in my own backyard. It’s also a welcome way to further my wine knowledge and keep my palate up to snuff.

What is Cuvée en Route?

Let’s review. Created by the good folks at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Cuvée en Route is an annual showcase of the fantastic wines this region has to offer. On March 23, 24 and 25 wineries throughout the region will create tasting menus (usually 3-4 wines) for passport holders, often share wines you can’t get at a normal tasting. Case in point – my first Cuvée year I had wines from as long ago as 1998! Cuvée is a great opportunity to taste things you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere (or any time) else.

Continue Reading…

Red Wine, Wine

Meritage, Bordeaux’s North American Cousin

Since France is pretty well regarded as the Mecca of winemaking it isn’t really surprising that many newer wine regions throughout the world look to emulate what the French have going on. Bordeaux especially gets the flattery treatment, which you might notice by how many other places in the world grow and make cabernet sauvignon and merlot wines.

It’s time to meet Meritage.

Continue Reading…

Wine WTFs

WTF is Terroir?

Welcome to the first edition on Wine WTFs! In this new series we’ll explore wine terms and ideas and try to figure out what the fuss is all about.

This installment is all about a wine term with some controversial baggage. For professional winos it’s a revered term that is, ultimately, what all winemakers aim to pay homage to. For more casual drinkers it’s almost completely avoided and when it is used it’s usually to make fun of the more pretentious wine types.

Have and idea of what we’re talking about today?

It’s terroir. Continue Reading…

Red Wine, Wine

Zinfandel, California’s Underdog

Many of the most well known wine regions are known for specific grapes. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (among others) in Bordeaux, Syrah in the Northern Rhone, Gamay in Beaujolais. And that’s just France!

Even in the newer wine world there are some great grape-region combos. Malbec in Argentina, Carmenere in Chile, Shiraz in Australia, Chenin Blanc in South Africa.

And then there’s California.

Continue Reading…

Beer, Wine

The Evolution of Palate Practice

Palate Practice turns three years old this week! My little blog-baby has been out in the world for so long now, sharing all sorts of stories and hijinx and generally existing successfully. Blogs seem to age quicker than humans, it’s only been three years of my life that Palate Practice has existed but I feel like it’s already reached its adolescence in a way.

To be honest I really didn’t think I’d get here.

Continue Reading…

Travels, Wine

How I Got to the Wine Bloggers Conference

dinner wine

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I went to the Wine Bloggers Conference last November in Santa Rosa, CA. It was an amazing experience! I tasted so much great wine, learned a lot, and met wonderful people who, like me, love to get nerdy when it comes to wine.

I haven’t gone into much detail about it, but I was able to go because of the a scholarship fund that the WBC folks run. I’m so grateful to them for donating and helping me have this experience!

Let’s get to know my wonderful sponsors, shall we?

Continue Reading…

Noble Grape Challenge, Wine

Looking Back on the Noble Grape Challenge

After a couple weeks off, I’m back and excited for another year of geeking out over wine and beer. I spent about a week at my parents’ place eating and drinking all the things before coming back to my cozy little apartment to recoup and recharge from the holiday chaos. I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve in and had a very busy and eventful re-entry into my work world. It feels truly back to reality at this point, and I’m glad to kick things off for 2018 with a final look back at the Noble Grape Challenge.

Continue Reading…