Wine and Ducks on a Speed Date

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

Somewhere a duck quacked and I was poured wine.

oops. That is a little out there, but I like the thought of wine being poured with the regularity of ducks quacking. Which brings us to Duck Pond Cellars. Greg Fries, partner and one of the winemakers poured for us their 2008 Red Blend which is a mix of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The fruit is from the Desert Wind Vineyard which is also owned by the Fries Family.

Quack. Can I have some more, please?

Duck Pond Cellars
23145 Hwy 99W
PO Box 429
Dundee, Oregon 97115

Finally, Dating A Bachelor!

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

Ok. Bachelor’s Buttons. Still it seemed the perfect name for a wine that was being “dated”. Denise Isenhower or Isenhower Cellars talks about the wine from her small winery. Oh, and the name? It comes from the flowers growing at their winery.. You probably guessed that because you are clever.

Isenhower Cellars
3471 Pranger Road
Walla Walla, WA 99362-7307
(509) 526-7896

Also, we here at VinoVerve would like to wish our fellow ‘Verver, Kevin Neuman a happy birthday. Feel free to stop by his Facebook page and wish him well!

Get to Know Your Wine Fast!

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

What can you tell about a wine in six minutes? More than you think. This is almost of test of skills for winery and wine blogger alike as we try to form opinions, ask questions, taste, communicate, blog and tweet. You saw my tweets and blogs in when the speed dating was happening.. Now you can see how I gathered my information.

Now we are tasting the Lot 1 Cabernet Sauvignon from Louis M. Martini (I forgot the M. in the video, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa).

Btw, that guy you keep seeing in the background adjusting video is Michael Wangbickler of Caveman Wines… stop by and say hi to him!

Louis M. Martini
254 South St. Helena Highway
St. Helena, CA 94575

Whitman Cellars

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

Our next stop at the WBC’10 was to head to lunch at Whitman Cellars in Walla Walla. We listened to Gordy Vennari of Walla Walla Vintners and Stephen Lessard of Whitman Cellars.

Whitman Cellars
1015 West Pine Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362-1756
(509) 529-1142

Walla Walla Vintners
225 Vineyard Ln
Walla Walla, WA 99362-8404
(509) 525-4724

I will take Chardonnay for 100, Alex

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

Two things that I am known for are loving wine and being a nerd. So imagine my surprise when I found out that five days a week King of Nerds, Alex Trebek can be found at home sipping wine… It is like my worlds have collided and made things better…. Wine lovers and nerds rejoice!

Enjoy this clip of Andy Richter kicking Wolf Blitzer’s butt on Celebrity Jeopardy courtesy of the brain sucking aliens at HULU:

A Bad Week For Wine

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

Illinois Wine Consumer Coalition

Illinois Wine Consumer Coalition

That is the only conclusion that I can come to.  An extremely bad week for wine.  Particularly if the wine isn’t nearby.

Maryland’s efforts to reform their wine laws has failed for this year when HB 1262 died in committee.  They are gearing up for next year’s fight already and if you want to help you can contact Adam Borden here.

Consumers in New York lost their effort to be able to purchase wine in grocery stores even though you can already buy beer there.  This makes NO sense to me as we in Illinois can buy beer, wine and liquor in grocery stores and yet we still appear to have healthy number of liquor stores.  (maybe I should take a survey of my neighborhood vs. one in NYC to show difference…)

and as finally, as Kevin pointed out yesterday, Michigan’s new, ridiculous law regarding wine shipping went into effect.

Over all?  Not a good week for wine.  Illinois’ proposed new law is still waiting to come back out of the rules committee and to progress.  If you are interested in working to opening the Illinois wine market to  outside retailers, please come join us at the Illinois Wine Consumer Coaltion (www.  Let’s make sure that consumers SOMEWHERE in the United States is free to buy the wine of their choice legally.

News for Illinois Wine Lovers

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

You might have noticed the logo for the IWCC and wondered what that was all about.

Those of you in IL are probably aware that last year, a law was passed that prohibited us from purchasing wine from out of state retailers (although, strangely, in state retailers can still ship out of state). A group of us have gotten together and formed a non-profit group advocating the change of this law to re-grant the right to shipping that we had for 15 years – The Illinois Wine Consumers Coalition.

We’re hoping that with enough voices, enough signatures on the petition, we can get the attention of our legislators and change this anti-consumer law.

Please visit our website and sign up, sign the petition, and most importantly, share this info with your Illinois wine drinking friends! As little as a few thousand names can really make our voice heard – we need your help.

Also, beginning tomorrow we should be getting some press coverage – so write to your editorial pages, send a letter to your representatives, and let’s get our access to fine wine back!

Let me know if you have any questions, ideas for us, or want to get more involved, or would like to donate in support of IWCC.

The legal tide is turning in our favor – now is our time to make a difference!

Catching Up

It has been a crazy week. Between computer disasters, basketball and early holiday angst I have not been pulling my VinoVerve weight. Luckily, I have been able to rely the ever clever Aunt Maggie!

I was lucky enough to be able to get out of the house this week. And for once not only were there not children involved but there was no Kevin either! I got to have dinner at Bin 36 with fellow wine lovers!

While there, I was so caught up in the conversation that I almost forgot to be my usual nerdish self… though I did manage to get a couple of pictures of what I was drinking.

The 2006 Falanghina, Vesevo, Campania, Italywas a pale white wine that was minerally and crisp with green apples. It was almost effervescent though this wasn’t mentioned in the tasting notes but melon was and I didn’t catch that. It just goes to show, everyone tastes individually.

The second type of wine that I drank was also a 2006 Falanghina/Cappretone, Bianco Lacrima Christi del Vesuvio. Lacrima Christi del Vesuvio translates roughly as Christ’s tears on Vesuvius and I remembered that was an old fashioned type of wine from vineyards near Naples. Naturally an old fashioned kind of wine appealed to me. So naturally, I ordered it.

The color of the wine was amazing, a rich old golden color. In fact, it was remarked on by either Marc or Matt. (I can’t remember… I had a glass of wine!) When I saw the color, I expected full, sweet wine. But it wasn’t. It tasted of golden raspberries and melon (strangely not noted in the description… again! I taste what I taste!)

Oy! Such delights!

And to make it even better, I got to meet Tom Wark! I am hoping to have similar adventures in the future! The only thing that I was surprised about was that we didn’t get to meet the wine director, at Bin 36, Brian Duncan. Oh well, perhaps next time.