Author: Terry Connor

A Very Pleasant Stop in Mendoza

I recently attended a wine dinner at the Saltus River Grill in downtown Beaufort. The occasion marked the end of the season for the wine club that I belong to. We were hosted at the dinner by the very busy executive chef Brian Waters and assisted by Hayley Pope. Busy or not, they both made time for us and we really appreciated their efforts.

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The Rioja Wine Region

The wines that come from the region of Rioja in Spain carry the DENOMINACION de ORIGEN CALIFICADA Designation of Origin (D.O.Ca., “Qualified Designation of Origin”) Rioja wine is made from grapes grown in the communities of La Rioja and Navarre, and the Basque province of Alava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. It is common to have wines made from the blended fruit from all of the zones or the winemaker will experiment and maybe choose fruit from only one zone. Here again is the ever-present reminder that it is always the winemakers decision whether to blend or to use a single vineyard selection of fruit.

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Birds in the Vineyard

I was watching the 9 AM Sunday Morning Show on CBS. As per usual, I was in my half-asleep mode when all of a sudden I heard the announcer say, “Birds in the vineyard.” That got my attention and I Immediately sat up. I imagined that the birds were helping themselves to a few stray grapes that had fallen on the ground. Not so! The segment was approximately eight minutes long and it was reporting on a situation that growers have to deal with every year with each new crop. It is just something that does not make the news very often i.e. the grapes develop, the birds come, the workers scare the pests away and that is that. It is in the NOT taking care of the pests that would spell disaster.

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Just Wining

Each year, on St. Patrick’s Day, my wife and I attend a small dinner party hosted by a couple who celebrate the Saint’s feast day in a joyful manner. The order of the day is “family and friends,” plenty of good food, and maybe a wee dram of Irish Whisky. This year was no exception.

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At the Mouth of the Loire River

Speaking of my most recent article wherein I discussed getting started with wine as a hobby . . . my instructor in Boston wanted to start his class off with a wine that was light in alcohol content, a good aperitif, and/or a good match with food. Enter Muscadet!

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Christmas Dinner Dessert Wine

We just finished a very festive Thanksgiving Dinner and now we get to do it all over again for Christmas. I usually draw the assignment to shop for the wines for Holiday dinners, and this year is no exception. I will serve a good Rhone Style Wine for the main meal, and probably a Late Harvest Riesling with Dessert. ( By the way; I agree 100% with the idea of waiting a while between dinner and dessert, especially since the wine we are serving with dinner is dry and the dessert wine is sweet. Best to give it a short rest.) Just be sure that the dessert wine you choose is a bit sweeter than the dessert.

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Not Your Average Wine Tasting

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of attending a Wine Tasting that featured Oregon Pinot Noir. The tasting was the Kickoff Event of the new wine tasting season for this particular wine group. Before the group had their first meeting, they decided that this year was going to be different; this was going to be a year when serious learning would take place, a departure from the past emphasis on the Social. It is with that caveat in mind that we charged forward.

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Portugal Revisited

In 2011 I went on a riverboat cruise on the River Douro in Portugal. The primary reason for going was to tour the vineyards that produce Port Wine. The tour was a bona fide success. We saw some terrific wineries and drank some really outstanding Port. From that trip I can honestly render the opinion that the Portuguese have every right to lay claim to bragging rights as the worlds best producer of Port Wine.

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A History Lesson

I started my Christmas shopping the other day when I purchased enough champagne for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. My wife and I will have the whole family for the Holidays and I must say that I am looking forward to it. It promises to be organized chaos with six or seven conversations going on at the same time. The conversations will allow everyone to work up a good thirst and Voila! There goes the Champagne. No regrets! I did not buy it to look at. I bought it to enhance the Holiday Spirit.

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Howell Mountain

“I have been to the Mountain” as the saying goes. I visited this highly respected bit of real estate – Howell Mountain – in 2011. It was well worth the trip because I was brought face-to-face with an area that produces some of the finest red wines in America. Just being there made me want to probe further into the area to find out what really goes on.

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What’s Happening

may, 2023

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