Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
By Nikki Lincoln
One of the things that William highly encouraged when asking me to join this blog, was for me to work on getting a couple of WSET awards. I had thought about taking Sommelier classes for some time so I decided to look into it. I was happy to learn that the Wine and Spirits Education Trust is more of a scholarly pursuit of wine and is fitting for someone who wants to write about, review, or simple know more about wine. I realized this was the ideal path for me and soon signed up.
by Nikki Lincoln
My favorite thing about wine tasting is the education that comes from trying something new or learning about what sets a wine maker apart. Each time I attend a wine event, I know that the breadth of my wine knowledge is continuing to grow. That's why when I heard about the SF Wine History tasting, I was quickly intrigued. Here was an opportunity to keep trying new wines while also learning about San Francisco's history with wine.
The presentations will cover a variety of topics from the history and nuances of wine production in SF to more basic knowledge about wine production. There's something for everyone no matter how advanced your background is.
I always appreciate a wine tasting that takes place in my backyard and I'm really excited to tie my tasting together with some San Francisco history so please join me this Thursday, August 1st at 6pm at Old Mint on Mission at 5th St. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time via Eventbrite. Many discounted tickets are still available making this a very affordable tasting event.
An Interview With Nikki Lincoln
Last week Simple Hedonisms announced a new writer and focus in “Millennial Writer to Join Simple Hedonisms – Introducing Nikki Lincoln”
Today we kick that off sharing a little bit about Nikki, in an essay interview I asked her to fill out.
I think for me, it’s really just about how big and complex wine is. Even though I’ve been tasting wine for several years now, I keep finding something new and surprising. There’s always something to discover and it’s been fun to see how my tastes have grown and changed over the years.
I suppose you could make a similar argument about beer but frankly, I like the taste of wine more. You could also say similar things about spirits – and I do enjoy a good whiskey or tequila tasting but I also know I can’t sit around a have a glass of tequila every night with dinner and expect to be a functioning member of society (props to anyone who can though).
It’s interesting to have a beverage that is common enough that it’s ok to have it every day but so complex that different varietals and vintages will pair so differently with meals and occasions. I love that wine can be something so normal and common but also something that can be prestigious and luxurious. I’m not sure there are a lot of things you can say that about.
Tell Me About Your Wine Epiphany Moment:
I would say my first wine epiphany moment would be the first time I went on a proper wine tasting trip. Up until then, my scope of wine experiences was pretty limited to family dinners and the occasional White Zin. I “knew” I didn’t like reds and that sweet wine was better.
However, the first time I went tasting, I got to explore different varietals, learn that not all reds taste the same, and hear about what notes to look for in the wine. It definitely opened to world of wine for me and really helped me transition into more complex wines. The more I went tasting, the more this grew and developed until I became a wine enthusiast.
When people tell me they don’t really know about wine and ask how they can get into it – my response is always the same: “Taste a lot of wine!” That’s the only way to really learn what you like and how big the spectrum of wine really is.
Why Do You Want To Write About Wine? What Are You Most Excited To Share With Readers?
I was never someone growing up who said “I love writing, I want to be a writer,” but I always found that I was great with creative writing classes where I had the freedom to write whatever I wanted. I never had a problem with crafting my experiences or musings into something interesting that flowed off my fingertips. As an adult who doesn’t have to write for homework assignments anymore, I find that I choose to write about things I’m passionate about and wine is one of those things.
I feel my contributions are two-fold. First, my experience with wine is more exploratory and not as broad as William's (yet), so I feel my writing will appeal to people who are getting into wine and aren’t looking at it in as technical a manner. Second, William said I could write about more than wine. I saw that the blog description mentioned food and lifestyle as well and I know I have a lot to contribute in those areas. I love wine but I have plenty to say about food and recreating as well.
What Do You Want to Learn the Most About Wine? What Do You Find The Biggest Challenges
I’d say my biggest challenges would also be what I want to learn the most – I have to work still to picking out notes and details. I’d love to be able to do that better as to appreciate more of the subtleties of the wine.
Anything and everything! Ideally, I’d like to get something up 1-2 times a week. I find that I do better when I just stumble upon ideas. Ever since William and I talked about me writing for the blog, I’ve been jotting down thoughts or ideas for posts for I have some things queuing up already. However, I know that I can’t always put fingers to keys and make words come out. When that happens, I know I can at least conjure up reviews or event summaries. I also am the kind of person who gets lost in thought over the most random of occurrences and that’s how a lot of my posts are born.
I think William got the idea about cialis no prescription me writing for his blog because he liked my style (which he found at my last blogs www.cinnamongeek.com and http://myonenewthingaweek.blogspot.com/) so that’s really what I’m bringing here. I come up with a lot of crazy theories, I write about things that I’m passionate about, I’ll do reviews, and sometimes I just ponder over something in my life so much that my heart will pour out of me in the form of a thought provoking post.
I am originally from Los Angeles. I moved to the Bay Area when I went to college at UC Berkeley. I majored in Economics with a minor in Cal Football. I have not missed a home game since my freshman year of college (and it turned out to be a riveting defeat of Oregon, the experience of missing it was scarring).
After graduating, I started working in finance and that’s where I am now. In my free time I attend a lot of Cal and Giants games, drink a lot of wine, travel, hike, and generally love to explore new places and events. I’m an avid reader, movie watcher, and purveyor of the arts. It might sound like I do a lot – I prefer to refer to it as being very well rounded.
Some Curious Facts About Me:
- When I was at Cal, I fired the Victory Cannon for a year.
- I have very few dislikes but the ones I do have are usually things that everyone else loves: watermelon, baked beans, chocolate cake, pepperonis… you get the point.
- I’m a huge nerd and love geeking out. My favorite superheroes are Batman and Iron Man but I actually tend to prefer villains. My last blogwas an attempt at a geek blog with my friends (www.cinnamongeek.com).
- I love video games and am quite good at them. People never expect/believe this and I get a lot of satisfaction in proving them wrong.
- My mother's family is Brazilian and thus I can speak Portuguese.
- I am a big Broadway fan and listen to the Showtunes Pandora station all the time. I know most of the words to my favorite musicals and it’s almost impossible to stop me from singing along even though I’m not gifted vocally.
- I love rock climbing which I started 4 years ago, I climb mostly hard 10's.
- I am great at remembering facts, movie lines, and useless trivia. I wanted to go on VH1’s World Series of Pop Culture as a way to monetize this skill. However, the series got cancelled after two seasons.
- I have a creative side that doesn’t get exercised as much as I’d like. I have taken classes in painting, sculpture, web design, and computer graphics.
What Are Your Favorite Wine categories, and varieties? Which Do You Want to Learn the Most About ?
I think William will really like my answer to this one… my favorite wine is Grenache. I had it for the first time at the Vinter’s Market a few years ago and bought my first bottle – the rest was history. I tend to gravitate towards Grenache on any menu and I feel like it consistently delivers.
On the flip side… I want to learn more about Grenache Blanc. I never knew it existed until I did a wine paired tasting menu at Jardiniere. When the Sommelier brought it out I was said as much and I could tell she was excited to introduce it to me. The funny thing about this answer is that William is known for his Grenache Blanc so I know that I’m going to have a lot of opportunity to familiarize myself with the varietal in the near future.
Simple Hedonisms Is Excited to Announce a New Contributing Partner
My ability to write about wine, share my thoughts and insights has become diminished over the last year, as my role as a small Vintner and strong advocate for Rhone wines, along with a day job, consumes many long days and nights. My passion for wine and helping others learn explore, however, has not diminished, nor my ability to influence what people consume, as activity on my Delectable and Instagram accounts show regularly, in some cases more than my Cellartracker 1100+ detailed notes.
Simple Hedonisms was one of the widest read bogs in the Bay area during its heyday, hitting 5,000+ readers and 250k hits a month. People still write me regularly they miss the posts and education. In fact, the following is still very large, when articles are published. I don't intend to give it up, after 5 years. (Wow!) My goal for quite some time was to bring on multiple writers, to leverage the brand and the following, and help others get a start. It's worked with some success, but nothing lasting or persistent.
A few months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Nikki. She helped at an event, and I was immediately impressed. Nikki is young, passionate about wine (and life) and not afraid to dive into anything. She is keen to learn, and more importantly, open to it. I meet a lot of people who love wine, and want to be a part, and have become an good judge of potential and value. Many have stars in their eyes about the wine industry, but not the long term drive and passion to take it to new levels. As I looked at Nikki's personal blog, I was struck by her energy, positive outlook, and a writing style that was clear, easy to read, and engaging.
I was struck by the insight of this newer consumer in her article, a year ago “The Economics of Wine.” Clearly, good instincts and energy to be tapped into. (The fact that she also wrote about the Batman movie was duly impressive.)
The Plot Thickens, The Wheels Turn, I Gain a “Padawan”
I had somewhat of an affinity to Nikki right away as she is a geek-ette. You might never guess this as cute as a button millennial is an avid gamer, comic fan, and more. But, she also is very grounded, outgoing, playful yet mature old soul. She lacks nothing for confidence, but is not arrogant.
The wheels started turning. It was clear she was passionate about wine, and impressionable. Years past I was a bit of a skeptic on Millenials being the 'great white hope' for the wine industry. Now I embrace them as part of the force that is enabling the upheaval going on beneath our noses, that in ten years will completely change the landscape of wines made and consumed.
I also regularly talk about the journey of wine exploration, the similar path many of us follow as wine enthusiasts, and as a 'palate shepherd' my goal has always been to help others on their path of never ending knowledge and palate expansion. I would have loved to been guided and progress faster than I did, my first decade.
Nikki has a palate consistent with many new enthusiasts, she will try most wines, but right now gravitates towards reds, sometimes bigger ones. She is falling in love with Pinot and Rhone whites (sounds familiar!) She is also open, interested, curious by nature. For most wine enthusiasts, exposure is the key to palate purchase cialis online progression.
I humbly suggested to Nikki, if she was willing, I would love to help her with exploration and suggestions. The end goal of what she likes is ultimately hers to discover, but I would try and accelerate her path, open synapses. I was a bit wary of the reaction, as you hear constantly that Millennials don't want to be told what to drink, or just do what their parents did.
Nikki showed her true form, (and love of Star Wars), by enthusiastically responding “I am your Padawan.“ If my son wasn't engaged to a beautiful Italian girl, I'd be introducing him to Nikki.
Follow In The Footsteps of an Avid Wine Millennial Exploration
Shortly thereafter, it all came together in my head. I liked Nikki's writing. She wanted to learn and share with the world. I wanted more content for Simple Hedonisms. She represents the advent of a new generation of wine consumer. I get more offer for samples and events than I can attend……Why not ask Nikki to join the team.
So voila. It starts this week. Nikki has free reign to write about whatever she wants. The focus will be wine, but she is also interested in microbrew, spirits, restaurants & food, events. Nikki lives in the city, where Simple Hedonisms has a strong following, so she is now also able to better represent the publication there with the myriad of events and tastings there.
Please Give Nikki a Warm Wine Country Welcome
I am excited about this new development for Nikki, our readers, and myself. (How best to learn then to also teach.)
Tomorrow I will publish an interview about her. She will be diving headlong into tastings and events, with me when she can, on her own many times as well.
Today, by the way, is also her birthday, so a big cheers to you my friend! (Now, get writing!)
I am an obsessed wine geek, there is no doubt. Our house & farm is covered in wine books, wine making or tasting materials, wine samples, glasses and more. I’d furnish the entire house in wine barrel furniture if I was allowed.
As a result, I read
a lot of weekly material, blogs, wine writers etc. Simple Hedonisms was supposed to be more about educational wine writing than it has evolved into, although in my defense I do try and incorporate some small nugget or three into many of my reviews.
Some weeks I may feature 4-5 articles, some I may only have one, or even forget, but I will try to do my best. If you find this weekly article useful as it evolves, share your thoughts.
I have long admired Richard’s detailed Cellartracker notes, there was never any doubt how dedicated this man is to capturing and sharing information about wine. His latest, almost breath taking record from the Rhone Rangers San Francisco event is an incredible resource:
(3) Fred Swan interviews Rhone Pioneer John Alban on the First Hospice du Rhone
Norcal Wine is one of the best Bay area resources for wine education, and intellectual, investigative journalism. With the 20th Anniversary of Rhone mecca Hospice du Rhone only 2 weeks away, this is a timely,
Cheers and have a
Guest Post by Fred Swan
This weekend’s events look a little sparse on the surface. But one little line item portends barrels of adventure. Hundreds of barrels. Full of wine. canadian viagra
tle=”The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma” href=”http://www.wineroad.com/events/barrel_tasting/3#tabs-5″ target=”_blank”>The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma.
There have already been excellent articles on this site about the barrel tasting. I don’t want to repeat what has been said. But, the list of more than 120+ wineries makes it hard to know where to start. So, I’ll offer a couple of itineraries for you to consider:
(Editorial note by William, for those of you who listened to me on KRSO tonight and are looking for the Tips & Ticket Contest, see Monday’s Post Here: Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!) )
Route 1: Get it While You Can — Wineries Open This Weekend Only
Saturday, focus on wineries west of Hwy 101. I might start at Moshin. Their Sauvignon Blanc will ease you into tasting. Follow it up with vineyard-designate Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Next, head up Westside Road to De La Montanya. They have five different wines for you to sample, starting with Pinot Noir and closing with a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The dessert wine will lead nicely into lunch. You did pack a lunch, right?
Head north on Westside Drive as it turns into West Dry Creek. Pull in at Quivira. Eat your lunch near their biodynamic gardens. Then enjoy their Mourvedre and Petite Sirah.
From Quivra continue on to A. Rafanelli Winery which will be pouring 2010 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their wines are always very good. And they age well.
On the second day do an eastern route. Rodney Strong will have a tasty assortment. Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Dry Creek Zinfandel.
From there, go to Stryker Sonoma. See how the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate differs from the Dry Creek wines you tried on Saturday. The’ll also pour Merlot.
Stay on the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon path by going to Trentadue. They’ll let you try their reserve, the La Storia Cabernet Sauvignon. The La Storia Zinfandel and La Storia Cuvee 32 blend will also be available.
For a taste of a completely different Cabernet Sauvignon AVA, head back across Hwy 101 to Ridge Vineyards. They’ve got a barrel of 2011 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Ridge is open the 2nd weekend too, but why wait?)
Route 2: Que Syrah — There’s more to Sonoma than Chard, Zin, Pinot and Cab
Formulate an itinerary from among these excellent Syrah producers:
Joseph Swan (Forestville) will be pouring not one but three vineyard-designate Syrah. Give them a try and see how the terroir of the different vineyards shows through in the wines. The winery will also have Zin, Tannat and more.
Vintoteca in Santa Rosa will be featuring six different wineries. Among the wines will be Olson Ogden’s Dry Creek Syrah. Before you dive into that though, try the Pinot Noirs from Bjornstadt and Baker Lane.
Krutz Family Cellars (Santa Rosa) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stagecoach Vineyards of Napa Valley was one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines for 2011. They’re opening a barrel of Syrah from that same vineyard, which excels with that variety.
Lauterbach Cellars (Windsor) has acclaimed Syrah fruit, but makes wine in tiny quantities. This is your chance to try some. They’ll have the 2009 Syrah, but will start you off with Pinot Noir and their Syrah Rosé.
Red Car (Sebastopol) is un-bunging their Estate Syrah. But first, enjoy Heaven & Earth and their estate Pinot Noir.
Dutton Estate Winery will be pouring My Father’s Syrah. …I didn’t even know my dad had Syrah! I’m sure it will be good though. They’ve also got Pinot and Chardonnay on tap wine thief.
Six Sigma Ranch Pro & Amateur Pruning Competition —Lower Lake: March 3, 10:00am – noon
Learn pruning from the pros and try your hand at it, too!
Cab Release Weekend at Velo Vino — St. Helena: March 3 – 4, 11:00am – 6:00pm
A special Vertical tasting of our 2006, 2007 and 2008 kit’s killer cab.
Charles Krug Winery Celebrates Charles Krug’s 187th Birthday — St. Helena: March 3, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Imagine the light the birthday candles will put out! There’ll be appetizers and three-course wine dinner.
34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting – Northern Sonoma: March 2 – 4, 11:00am – 4:00pm
144 wineries open their doors this weekend, many will be offering futures. Advance ticket sales are over, but you can buy tickets at the door.
Inspiration Vineyards Winemaker Dinner — Santa Rosa: March 2, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
There are still a few seats available for this dinner and the menu looks great!
Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: March 2, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Unwind after work, or barrel tasting, to rock and reggae played by Oscar Caleron.
Hanzell Vineyards Winemaker Dinner at Santé — Sonoma: March 8, 6:30pm
Join Hanzell winemaker Michael McNeill for a delicious four-course dinner paired with past and current vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
A Quick Plug:
The Wine Advocate will soon be releasing Antonio Galloni’s report on Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You can learn more about him and what he looks for wines by reading my in-depth interview with him. It’s being published in daily doses this week at NorCalWine.com.
Enjoy your weekend!
Guest Post by Diane Thompson.
I asked Diane to share information these amazing products, all of which would make an amazing gift for a wine lover. We had one of the wine totes made with our new wine brand, Two Shepherds, logo added, and it looks wonderful! Cortizza sells fashion, business, wine and travel accessories, all made from sustainable cork fabric.
Learn about how these products are made below, then check out their website and products. These items are great as gifts, and also available wholesale to wineries for tasting room merchandise.
Cork – It’s Not Just for Wine Anymore!
I’d like to introduce you to cork. But, you say, you already know cork? Sure, it’s that cylinder that you pop out of a wine bottle. Maybe you’ve seen cork flooring or a cork bulletin board, but, how about cork fabric? No? Well, you’re in for a treat!
Sometimes called cork leather or cork skin, cork fabric starts out the same way as those familiar wine corks, but develops into an entirely different form factor. Cork fabric is a beautiful, exotic and sustainable alternative to animal leather.
Cork is a unique and sustainable material, regardless of its final form factor. Most of the world’s cork oaks grow in the Mediterranean basin. Cork oaks typically have a lifetime of about
200 years and play a major role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of the environment. 25,000 species are supported, including endangered birds, plants and wildcats. Cork is actually the outer bark of the cork oak and is harvested every 9-10 years without any damage to the tree itself.
How Cork Fabric is Made
After harvest, the cork is boiled and then made into a slab. For “natural” cork fabric, the cork is very thinly sliced and laminated to a fabric backing using a very specialized process. An almost unlimited variety of cork fabric patterns can be made by combining different slabs in unique “recipes” to create a cork block that is subsequently sliced and laminated. Sometimes dye is used to add color, as well. Different fabric backings can also vary the appearance of the cork fabric.
What Makes Cork Fabric Special?
- Luxurious texture. Soft and supple, velvety or smooth, depending on the pattern.
- It’s unique. Cork fabric can be made in an almost unlimited variety of patterns and colors. When most people first encounter it, they are puzzled – is it leather? It feels like leather or suede, but has more visual interest.
- It’s water resistant. Water beads up and rolls off. Easy clean up with mild soap and water. It can actually be washed in the washing machine in warm water. Don’t try that with animal leather!
- It’s durable, fade resistant and lightweight.
- It’s versatile. Use it anywhere you might use leather, plus applications where leather would never work – like an umbrella!
- It’s vegan.
- It’s hypoallergenic. A substance in the cork bark called Suberin prevents the cork from absorbing water, dust, dirt, mold and mildew.
I have been so intrigued with the possible applications for cork fabric, that I have built a business around it. Cortizza sells fashion, business, wine and travel accessories, all made from sustainable cork fabric.
Our products make great gifts for both men and women and they always get a “wow” from the recipient. Most of our items can also be personalized with a logo or custom text, which we do with laser engraving. If you’re curious about uses for cork fabric, spend a minute or two looking around our website!
Welcome to Simple Hedonisms second annual “The Twelve Days of Wine Christmas” – a series that was a big hit last year. The goal of the article is to share ideas for wine related gifts.
We are off to a late start, and I may be out of pocket in a week, so lets get started, and we may have 2 posts many days.
It’s getting close but its not too late to buy wine and have it shipped as a gift for the holidays, Of course, one can also always treat yourself to a special gift as well.
Tomorrow is officially the ‘last day’ to ship wine and guarantee for Christmas, but if you are a day or too late, don’t fret, especially in California. Besides anyone I know, would be ecstatic to receive great wine a few days after Christmas as well!
Like many industries, this is the biggest sales volume time of the year, and wine is no exception. Many wineries are offering bundles and Holiday packs, that represent a great value for small lot wines – great for a gift, or for your own holiday enjoyment.
I am going to feature a couple of great picks, but do also check your favorite local winery or wine shop.
Wineries – feel free to post yours in comments.
Bonny Doon, American’s trailblazing Rhone producer, and one of our picks for Winery of the Month this year, has a fabulous assortment of holiday bundles.
There are many bundles to choose from ranging from their iconic Holiday Pack ~ Le Cigare Volant Vertical, (including one with Magnums! Feel free to send me a thank you pack!) , the Holiday Pack ~ Le Cigare Blanc Vertical, mixes of both. Is there a Syrah lover on your list – go for the Holiday Pack ~ Syrah Vertical. Send your green friend the Holiday Pack ~ Biodynamic.
Bundles start as little as Holiday Pack ~ Fireside.
Another Winery awarded Winery of the Month and second to none in Rhone wines is Tablas Creek. Right now they are offering a limited holiday package includes a bottle each of two newest signature wines: the 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel and the 2010 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc in a special decorative gift box.
In addition, the offer includes shipping at no extra charge on the gift packs to any address in any of the 32 states they ship to.
Just $95 per pack, and just $76 per pack for VINsider Wine Club members, shipping included.
Esprit de Beaucastel is their flagship, premier wine, you can not go wrong with this is a gift. Click here and hurry before they take it down!
A Call For Submissions & Samples for the "Twelve Days of Wine Christmas" – Repeat of Last Years Hit Series
It was a big success with a total of hundreds of thousands of views when done, one of the top being buy essay canada
t Types and Benefits” href=”http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/3244″
rel=”bookmark”>Part 4 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” Wine Clubs – A Review of Different Types and Benefits.
The series, expanded this year with more items and focus, included games, gadgets, books, and more.
Feel free to contact SimpleHedonisms at Gmail.com to discuss your idea. Samples that can be used and photographed or video recorded, always appreciated, if practical. In some cases website information and pictures may suffice.
Items & submissions should be received by Dec 15th at the latest.