There are so many things that I can write about myself here. How do I narrow it down? Oh hell, here goes. I love to have fun, laugh, and see what the world has to offer me. Life is too short to wait for things to happen; you must make things happen. Sometimes scream out loud and shake the fabric of the universe. Take the world and look at it with a sense of wonder, hope, and curiosity. We are but a speck in an awe inspiring universe. Appreciate the moments, the people, and the things we have in life. I love wine and remember so many moments that have touched me about wine and with wine. I can recall every detail and love those moments that touched me so deeply. Yes, there is more wine stuff below--don't worry. But first, a bit more about life, me, and my philosophy. Smile, laugh, and enjoy the ride. I am an honest, witty, passionate person with a wonderful personality,and a great set of steak knives that can cut a tin can and then cut a tomato that I bought on QVC. I mean how can you put a price on that? And, Bob Barker (the price is right guy) and I dated some of the same women. They always ran back to Bob. I think it was because he has all those fabulous prizes. I know many things about myself and think they are pretty cool: I am a great person to know; I have many unpaid and uninfluenced references if you need them. I put sassy back on the map, right next to Albuquerque. I will make milk spray out of your nose, and gosh darn it you will like it. I have been known to eat a whole pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream in one sitting--hey I am only human; you have done it too. I am a Renaissance man, with many facets to me and many interests. I am the type of person who once I am your friend I am helpful, caring, and there for you. Thai food relaxes me, sushi makes me very happy, pecan pie makes me shutter with joy. I make people laugh easily and smile often. I might call you rock star, it is what I do. I am a firm believer that life is all about what you put out there is what you get back--positive energy, positive results. Take time to think, love, laugh, breathe, enjoy, and smile.
I have worked in the wine business for many years and still love and treasure wine. Not simply as a fancy, out of reach item, but as a thing that changes the moment, people's feelings about the moments, and as something that can create ever lasting memories. Wine should be a fun and exciting thing not a stuffy, stressed out thing. Wine was meant to be enjoyed and not to look at through a microscope.
Wine sales/Rock Star/Spy
I love so many wines and styles. I will be filling this in more as I spend more time here.
I liked big bold reds--ones that slap you in the head. But, I can also appreciate fine delicate wines as well. I love wine and love all things about it. Amarone, Red Zins (I would say that Red Zin is one of my favorites. The one time I had a Turley I thought I went to heaven and would never come back), Pinot Noir--French, Oregon, or California. Champagne, Syrah and really good Shiraz (there are far too many mediocre Shiraz out there), Grange,Bordeaux, Sancerre, New Zealand and French Sauvignon Blancs, and so many more.
"A day without wine is like a day without sunshine." --French Phrase
I enjoy trying new wines and taking the time to enjoy it with fun people and great friends. Hoping to meet new friends on here to discuss wine, learn more and more about wine, and just look deeper into the magic that is wine. I own a small catering company and am passionate about food and wine. They are two great things that go great together.
Zinfandel can be light and fruity, much like French Beaujolais, or lively, complex and age worthy, like cabernet sauvignon or claret. It can also be made into big, ripe, high alcohol style wines that almost resemble port.
Zinfandel has a very hardy nature. Adaptable to a wide range of soils and climates, its vines tend to be vigorous and productive.
Because of its vigor, generosity and resistance to vine disease, many zinfandel vineyards exist that are seventy-five to more than one hundred years old.
Zinfandel aficionados believe these "old vines" produce the best wines because the older vineyards set smaller crops and the grapes tend to ripen more evenly.
Zinfandel is one red varietal that is best enjoyed in its youth. With more bottle age the luscious fruit that distinguishes Zinfandel drops markedly and the wine can show a pronounced taste of higher alcohol levels.
When paired with grilled steaks, chops or meat that has been stewed Zinfandel becomes a prime motivation for people to become wine lovers.
Pinot noir grape may be quite difficult to cultivate and vinify, but it produces the finest wine in the history of mankind. Originally from the region of Burgundy, France, pinot noir is now grown and cultivated in several places outside of scenic France such as Austria, Australia, Chile, Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Moldova, Switzerland, and the United States. Specifically, Oregon vineyards has thus far become one of the most successful planting fields of pinot noir primarily because of their exceptional climate that so well matches the grape's nature.
Pinot noir wine, a light-colored red wine, is aromatic and flavorful, suggestive of black cherry, tomato, raspberry, strawberry, cinnamon, mint, and mushroom. It is velvety in texture and seductive in nature, and may typically go well with any food because of its versatility. And in fact, any meal becomes extra special with a bottle of pinoit noir wine and a romantic toast.
Quite often a good wine is a great wine when paired with the right food. Some food and wine pairings are quite obvious where as others are often illusive. Are you planning a dinner and want to see what wine would go best with it? Have you had a great meal that was perfectly paired with a wine? Please share it so we can all enjoy the wine pairing.
Wine grapes (Vitis vinifera) are not native to the Americas; they arrived with the Spanish in the 1500s. Early attempts to form vineyards in more northerly climes, such as the Caribbean, Mexico, and Peru proved unsuccessful; in Chile, however, the vine found its first true New World home. The Catholic missionaries who followed the Spanish Conquistadors lamented the lack of wine that was essential for celebrating religious rites, and they set about to resolve the problem. Fray Francisco de Carabantes is widely credited with bringing the first vines probably Pais (pronounced " pah-EES" and known as "Mission" in California) into Chile through the port of Concepcion around 1548. Such was the success that vineyards were quickly planted throughout the country from the Limari Valley in the north to Bio-Bio Valley in the south precisely the areas that still delimit the vast majority of Chile's wine production today.
Of course the desire for wine in Chile was not limited to the Church-there were plenty of secular uses for the traditional European beverage of choice. The thirsty residents of the burgeoning capital city of Santiago also clamored for wine, and the surrounding Maipo Valley proved to be a ready and abundant source of red wine.
Improvements in maritime transportation made cross-Atlantic travel much more viable by the early 19th century. Chile, freshly emancipated from Spain, yearned for knowledge of its European roots, and members of the country's wealthiest families embarked upon an intercontinental pilgrimage that would change Chilean life and culture in many ways. France was a favorite destination, and soon French customs, from food to clothing to architecture, flourished among Chiles upper classes. It did not take long for the first French-style wineries to make an appearance as well.
PIONERS & PESTS :
By the mid-1800s, interest in European-style wine production was taking hold. Well-heeled families many with fortunes earned in the mining industry built extraordinary mansions beyond the city limits and surrounded them with vineyards. Pioneering naturalist and scientist Claudio Gay brought some 30 Vitis vinifera varieties from France for experimental purposes in the nascent University of Chile's Quinta Normal agricultural center.
Silvestre Ochagavia is generally credited with being the first to introduce French varieties for commercial purposes 20 years later in the Maipo Valley. Others quickly followed suit, and many of Chile's now traditional wineries were formed, including Carmen, Concha y Toro, Cousino Macul, Errazuriz, San Pedro, Santa Rita, Undurraga, and Urmeneta.
New varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec (Cot), Carmenere, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Riesling produced noble wines that quickly gained popularity and replaced the then-traditional Pais grape, which was relegated to the country's winemaking extremes, where it is still used today for rustic wines destined for local consumption.
Chile had entered into a new phase of its winemaking history, again one of the first in the New World to make serious noble wines. This small South American country was also fortunate; the European wine industry was about to undergo a crisis that would never touch Chile.
Trans-Atlantic exchange brought with it tremendous benefits to both continents, but it also had its downside. European garden enthusiasts had unwittingly imported a devastating vineyard pest Phylloxera hidden in the roots of America's native grape vines that were beautiful, despite being useless for wine production. Europe's Vitis vinifera vines were defenseless against the tiny and voracious louse, which advanced unchecked, quickly decimating thousands of hectares of ancient Old World vineyards along the way. The pest was re-introduced to the Americas with the import of Vitis vinifera vines, yet for reasons that have never fully been understood, Chile remains Phylloxera-free to this day.
It took years to understand and find a solution to Europe's Phylloxera problem, generating a large base of winemakers willing to travel to the New World in search of work. Chile happily received many French experts to help develop its own growing industry. Thus, with French vines and expertise, matched to Chile's excellent natural conditions, the country's renewed wine industry made a tremendous leap in quality and was quickly in demand not only at home, but abroad as well.
The early 20th century is a story of seclusion and distance from the world for Chile. Despite its turn-of-the-century success in wine, two world wars and decades of state protectionism forced the country down a solitary path that technologically isolated it from the world for nearly 50 years. The mid-20th century Agrarian Land Reform took its toll on Chile's wine industry, and the country's relative isolation from the increasingly globalized, trade-oriented world essentially kept Chile out of the wine trade for decades more. The country reversed its closed-door policies in 1980s, effectively giving rise to the next wave in the history of Chilean winemaking.
MUST FOR MODERN TIMES
THE WINERY ( La Bodega )
The part of Chilean wine history that most affects today's consumer has taken place since the 1970's, when complicated restrictive domestic policies were repealed and political interventionism was relaxed or eliminated. Beginning in 1980, legal liberalization and the country's economic opening kicked off a revolution in the wine industry. Once again, foreign influence played a key part in Chile's wine industry. Spanish winemaker Miguel Torres chose Curico, establish his New World winery and introduced modern techniques and technology, such as stainless steel tanks and initiated a new direction in the industry.
The initial phase, which took place during the 1980s and early 1990s, was dedicated to updating equipment and incorporating new technology in Chilean wineries. Ancient wooden vats made of native rauli wood were replaced with shining temperature-controlled stainless tanks, new French and American oak barrels began to fill the barrel rooms, and modern facilities were designed to incorporate gravity-flow design.
THE VINEYARDS ( Vinedos )
In the vineyard a second wave of industry-wide renovation looked to the vineyards. Winemakers who once considered their work to begin when the grapes arrived at the winery were encouraged to step out into the fields and work closely with the winegrowers to improve the quality of the fruit that would ultimately lead to much better wines. Varietal selection had stagnated to concentrate on primarily Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. New varieties were added and new vineyard management techniques such as drip irrigation and vertical trellising were incorporated to increase quality and reduce crop loads. Chile's signature grape Carmenere appeared during this process of vineyard renovation. The world was aware that Chile's Merlot was unique, and local growers were certain that not all of the vines were the same, but it wasn't until 1994 that French ampelographer Jean Michel Boursiquot finally attached a name to the variant variety: Carmenere, a red variety from France that arrived in Chile prior to the phylloxera crisis. Because the late-ripening variety is difficult to manage in cool climates and highly susceptible to phylloxera, it was never replanted in its native Bordeaux and had long been forgotten until its rediscovery in Chile. Since that time, extensive work has been done to separate the two varieties and treat each according to its own specific requirements, resulting in major style changes in both.
In search of "Terroir" the third and current phase of modern Chilean winemaking involves a search for "terroir" to better understand and more appropriately match the vine to its environment. Pioneering growers are now planting vineyards at higher altitudes and pushing the extremes of the long-recognized wine regions: north to the Elqui Valley, south to Itata, Bio-Bio, and even some experience in Osorno, east to the Andean piedmont, and west to the Pacific coast. Despite its nearly 500 years of existence, Chile's wine industry is fresh, young, and evolving to meet the needs of today's ever more demanding world markets. Chilean wines are now available in more than 90 countries on 5 continents. Exports to Europe, the United States, and particularly to Asia have grown steadily each year, and as of 2008 register more than US$1.400,000,000 in annual sales.