Everything is going virtual, even wine tastings!

April 20, 2020

Welcome back. I hope your holidays were blessed. I’m curious to learn how many actually were able to continue their distancing, especially as these holidays are so family oriented.  Spring is particularly family for the McDs. From Dan’s birthday March 23 through daughter-in-law Paige’s April 25, we have five birthdays, plus we gather on Palm Sunday and Easter. This year we were together for Dan and distancing for the rest. So far, all are in good health. We’ve been Zooming to allay loneliness. Stay safe and healthy. A good remedy for loneliness is a glass or two (not a bottle) of wine.

This week let’s do a little mailbox. A reader plans on moving to our area. He has a 100-plus-case cellar and is hoping to locate temporary humidity- and air-controlled storage. I called the listed storage areas to no avail. Anyone who has an idea, please email me, Help a fellow wino out. You will get full credit and who knows, maybe you will be invited to stop by as a reward when the wine is in place.

I was informed by Alyssa Paugh of of what looks like an enjoyable program from Stags’ Leap. They are doing something exciting: opening a virtual tasting room named #StayHome With Stags’ Leap. It will be aired on Instagram Live @stagsleapwinery at 6 p.m. ET, Thursdays. On April 23 they will be discussing Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 and The Leap Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. On April 30, the 2016 Block 20 Merlot and Audentia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 will be explored. Happily, Stags’ Leap included a website to locate stores where the product is available, Sadly, I did not receive info early enough for last week’s tastings to allow time to purchase the products for a drink-along. Big props to Stags’ Leap for this wonderful opportunity. I checked out their store locator site. It works great. Store owners not listed who sell SL wine should provide updates to SL for inclusion.

Earth Day is April 22. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. “The enormous challenge – but also the vast opportunities – of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary.” - National Environmental Health Association. Observant folks may have noticed how quickly Mother Earth cleaned out the very visible urban air pollution in areas that stopped traffic. There were several time sequence pictures taken at ground level, from satellites and from the space station. I’m unsure what happened to the particulates, and of course we can’t see the gaseous pollutants, but in a matter of a few days, the skies cleared. I’m anxiously awaiting the scientific modeling on this because modeling has been so accurate recently.

Info on Earth Day was prompted by a note from Samantha St. John at Colangelo who wrote to suggest sustainably made wines from Long Meadow Ranch and Oak Farm Vineyards. Some may remember that I support both these, not only for their production methods but due to their quality, fairly priced wine. Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 continues their tradition of 89-point lovelies. At $25, a bit pricey (those tiny PN berries don’t provide much juice), but worth it. Lovely pale-salmon-copper color. Strawberry and peach aromas repeat on the palate with a soupçon of herb and spice. Refreshing acidity enhances the fruit aromas and flavors. Compares favorably to the 2016. Oak Farm is one I look for because they allow the terroir to be expressed through their wines. This Lodi winery has 14 varietal grapes under production. Consulting winemaker Chad Joseph has helped foster the terroir-driven style of wines. The 2017 Albarino is a pale straw-colored, taut, dry wine with green apple and mineral acidity. Clean medium finish. Made from locally sourced certified green vineyards, 88 points under $20. Well, my friends, that’s a wrap. Stay separate, safe and healthy. See ya next week.

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