Posts Tagged ‘Hospice du Rhone’

Wed April 14th – Virtual Rhone Tasting, and Grand Tasting Ticket Drawing; for Hospice du Rhone

Simple Hedonisms is almost giddy with the second Christmas coming this month; aka Hospice du Rhone.

Only 15 Days left, and as part of the “22 Days of Rhone”, tonight’s virtual tasting, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. features Grenache. For details on how to participate click the link.

Also, don’t forget tonight is the closing for the 2nd drawing of the Saturday Grand tasting. This time a pair of tickets ($200 value) will go to a lucky couple as part of the “Question of the Week Contest”

To enter, simply go to the Simple Hedonisms Facebook Fan page, and post your question about WHITE Rhone wines.  And don’t forget this Friday, there is another drawing for Email subscribers of Simple Hedonisms.


p.s. don’t forget to check out their great iPhone app!

iPhone Wine App Review – Hospice du Rhone Event app

Winner’s of Question of the Week – Hospice du Rhone Tasting Tickets

Last week Simple Hedonisms and Hospice du Rhone launched the latest “Question of the Week Contest”

We had lots of GREAT questions posted on the Simple Hedonism Facebook Fan Page. Two winners were picked; here are their questions, and of course, the answers! Winner receive $100 ticket to the Friday or Saturday tastings at Hospice du Rhone the end of this month.

Our first winner is Tetja Barbee with her question:

While Syrah is the principal red varietal for the Northern Rhone region, what is the principal red in Southern Rhone?
This is an excellent question.  The most widely produced wine from the Southern Rhone isn’t a single varietal, but Châteauneuf-du-Pape.   Châteauneuf-du-Pape is actually a blend, of no fewer than 13 grape varieties are permitted in.  Generally, most ofChâteauneuf-du-Pape is made up of the 3 highest quality grapes: Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, and a focus on Grenache, now the top planted varietal. Mourvèdre was the most widely planted grape in the Southern Rhone before phylloxera decimated vineyards in the late 1800s.

Our 2nd winning question came from Amy Cleary:

Which Rhone grape is the most widely planted red grape in the world?

The answer may surprise those who might have guessed Syrah. Syrah has a huge planting, with half of the world’s production in France. However, globally, the top red varietal planted is Grenache.  Grenache actually came from Spain, where it is known as ‘garnacha’ but most of its fame and following came from France.

Next Monday we start Round Two of the Contest. This time the questions are requested to be about WHITE Rhone wines. Winners will be selected on Wednesday.

Also don’t forget, this Friday is the first of the drawings for tickets, for email subsribers of Simple Hedonisms. To be eligible to win, simply sign up for (brief, secure) email updates, in the top right. You must have verified your subscription to be eligible to win.

And don’t forget this Wednesday HdR Virtual tasting:  5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST – Featured Variety: Grenache


iPhone Wine App Review – Hospice du Rhone Event app

Today the Hospice du Rhone team launched a very cool iPhone app for its upcoming,  globally attended wine event in Paso Robles, April 29th – to May 1st.

Apps for wine events seem to be coming into vogue, and less expensive to do. Last month Sonoma County launched its iVisit Sonoma County App, which had a feature on the Northern Sonoma Wine Road’s Barrel Tasting.

I am a bit of a closet geek, after many years as an Exec in the Tech sector, before geek was chic. I buy lots of tech toys and gadgets, and won’t give up my iPhone, despite lack of a keyboard, because of my 8 pages of apps, one for Wine apps alone. Fortunately I like wine more than being a geek, so this Wine blog, not a gadget blog!

I have played with a lot of regular apps, travel apps, and wine apps, and use most 1-2x and toss them. Obviously an app for an event maybe one you just use for that event (although I intend to use this after) so it really needs to be useful.

This is a very cool, useful app with 5 sections. I will do a walk thru of each.


This is a well organized sub-app that sorts all the Producers pouring. Its familiar as it functions like Contacts on an iPhone, with the Same A-Z quick find on the right.

Clicking a Producer shows their address website, email address, and most importantly what the winery is pouring, at the Friday and Saturday events.  e.g If I click on Denner Vineyards, I see Friday they are pouring their 2009 Viognier, 2008 Ditch Digger, and 2005 (!) Grenache, and then what they are pouring at the Saturday Grand Tasting. (5 Wines…just reviewing this app is making my mouth water…!)

Well done, very useful, my only suggestion would be to add a  search section at the top, as the iPhone contacts does.


Next on the sub app is a list of Wineries by Varietal, in Alphabetical order.

Looking for Cinsault, a Rhone red, and you can see only 4 wineries are pouring.  I see Frick is one of the four, I can then click on Frick and see what else they are pouring, which day.
This app is great. My only suggestion: It’s a very long list; I’d recommend putting a alphabetical sort key on right like the Producer, and/or a search tool, for quicker navigation.


Not really appellation sorting, more geography clusters. Arizona stands by itself with one Winery, Dos Cabezas. Clicking on that brings up the same data as the others sub apps do; a handy list of what the winery is pouring, which day.

Regions consist of: AZ, Australia, CA-Central, (the largest), CA-Northern (wineries like Arnot-Roberts a few miles from me never been to!, CA-Southern (2 entries), France, OR (one entry), South Africa (wow – 7), Spain, and WA state.

Fun Stuff

  • HdR2010 Twitter Feed: (In case you don’t know how to make a # tag list in Tweetdeck.) Don’t plan on Me tweeting 20x a hour like some wine event attendees; with so many Rhone wines, and so few days, my hands will be on a glass, not an iPhone!
  • Rhone Grape Variety Quiz: Fun quiz where you try and match a picture of a grape with what it is. Enthusiast mode offers flavor profile descriptors to help, Expert mode just a picture of the varietal. (Good luck on that one.)
  • Hospice du Rhone trivia quiz: Match up artwork from previous HdR to the Year it was held.

Fun sub apps, would be nice if they offered up the answers at the end.

Settings Tab

A great way to make the app more focused; if say for the next hour you just want to focus on certain varietals, or the ‘regions.’ You can click on each varietal and region to have it excluded/included from your search. You can also chose whether to show just the Fri or the Sat tasting. It also shows totals for each varietal, and Region.

This is where you also setup your Twitter account. Twitter Integration with this app is excellent. When you click on a Winery, there is a red ‘t’ icon, and you can see the Twitter feed for that winery, and Tweet to it. You can also view the main #HdR2010 Twitter feed, and Post to it.


A GREAT app, that in my opinion sets the bar for Wine events, and jumps passed the rest. It’s fast, functions very well in off line mode (use it on the plane to plan your tasting!) easy to navigate, and useful for quickly looking up data I want for the event.

This will be much more useful, that flipping through a paper guide 25x a day. I may even have to get one of those around your neck wine glass holders I chuckle at so I can keep my hands free when using the app!
Kudos Team HdR2010 – Well Done!

p.s. Don’t forget your chances to win free Grand Tasting Tickets, a $100 Value, first drawing this Wed night!

‘Question of the Week’ begins again; Win Tickets to the Hospice du Rhone Tastings!

Last week Simple Hedonisms kicked off its coverage of the upcoming wine event Hospice du Rhone, one of the wine industries most lauded events. Simple Hedonisms is one of the official wine blogs, and as a passionate Rhone wine lover, can’t wait!

The generous HdR2010 team is sponsoring ‘Question of the Week, with  tickets to the Friday and Saturday  tastings ($100 value!).  We will combine this with our usual “Question of the Week” with a Rhone theme. (updated) Please post the question on the Simple Hedonisms Facebook Fan site , and a question will be selected for a free ticket, and answered in a blog article.

Additionally, there will be TWO drawings for all registered email subscribers of Simple Hedonisms, and a drawing at the April Sonoma Facebook Wine Meetup April 22nd at Artiste Winery in Healdsburg.

The schedule will be:

Question of the Day

  • Monday: April 5, 12th, 19th – Question of the Day Post Opens Up
  • Wed: April  7, 14, 21st – Winner Selected, followed by follow-up blog answer

Email Subscriber Drawing

  • Tickets will be given to a randomly drawn subscriber Fri April 16th and 23rd.
  • Tickets will also be a door prize at this month’s Sonoma Facebook Wine Meetup.

Stay tuned for LOTS more great info on Rhone varietals.


Bay Area Wine Lovers – Lets Road Trip to Paso Robles for Hospice du Rhone

What IS Hospice du Rhone?

Do you love Rhone wines like syrah, mourvedre, grenache, viognier? Interested in branching out from just those made in one country? Does the idea of comparing 393 Rhone reds and whites from 130 wine producers, from 6 countries make your skin tingle? Does going through 10,000 Riedel stems a day, make you quiver with anticipation?

My love of the many great Rhone varietals (22 total) has grown exponentially the last few years, and as a result, lasered my attention to the annual event, Hospice du Rhone (HdR), held April 29th – May 1st. This event is reputed by many to be one of the finest in the industry, and people and wineries travel from all over the world to attend.

The agenda is a stunning array of seminars, tastings and pairings over 3 days, set in Paso Robles, itself a mecca for wine (over 180 wineries)  many specializing in Rhone varietals.  I had already planned to attend this event, and marked off vacation time to fully enjoy Paso Robles as well, when I was pleased to learn that Simple Hedonisms was selected as one of the official Wine Blogs to write about the HdR2010.

Road Trip to Paso?

The funny thing about us Californians – we are blessed with so many great wine regions, but rarely check them out, when they are often only 1-4 hours away; yet people journey regularly from all over the country to visit our backyards. With a head of steam, and ahead of traffic, Paso Robles is only ~3 hours for most of us Bay Area residents, yet we rarely, if ever go.

Let’s show Paso Robles, California, and the 1200 attendees from all over the world, that Bay area people are amongst the most sophisticated, adventurous, and appreciative of the gems in our backyard. The HdR website has a great list of travel resources, and I will be writing more later.  The main Paso Robles website is also very well done.

Some people may not be interested in back to back seminars and tasting, or wish to spend $800 for the entire event; the nice thing about the design is you can pick a la carte what you wish to attend. For many wine enthusiasts, the public tastings will be plenty, leaving you time to mix those in with visits to the 180 local wineries, or take a drive to the coast, or other great things to do in the region. Those a bit more wine geeky, can pick up 1-2 seminars. And for those who dream of Rhone grapes dancing in their head at night, you can do the Full Monty. (Bring a spit cup, or a cot. You’ll be tasting through a crazy amount of world class wines.)

Are You Doing that Ticket Giveaway Contest Thingy Again?

Who leaked that? Yes, to assist in building our Road Trip entourage, I have managed to convince the generous HdR2010 team to give away tickets to each of the Fri and Sat tastings ($100 value!).  We will combine this with our usual “Question of the Week” with a Rhone theme. As with similar contests you will post the question on the HdR Facebook Fan site , and a question will be selected for a free ticket, and answered in a blog article.

Additionally, there will be one drawing for all registered email subscribers of Simple Hedonisms.

The schedule will be:

Question of the Day

  • Monday: April 5, 12th, 19th – Question of the Day Post Opens Up
  • Wed: April  7, 14, 21st – Winner Selected, followed by follow-up blog answer

Email Subscriber Drawing

  • Tickets will be given to a randomly drawn subscriber Fri April 16th and 23rd.
  • Tickets will also be a door prize at this month’s Sonoma Facebook Wine Meetup.

Stay tuned for LOTS more great info on Rhone varietals.


Get Simple Hedonisms via Email

Your email is always secure and never distributed. (You will need to click an activation link via email to complete your subscription.)

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Wine on Instagram
Reaching over 8,000 Readers A Month!
Unique Monthly Readers (not hits), as reported by Bluehost Awstats
North Coast Tasting Rooms
Like Rhone Wines? Check out these North Coast Rhone Rangers locations. Click here to download the printable four page map.
Subscribe Via Google Reader/RSS
Follow Me on Pinterest
August 2017
« Dec    
Past Articles and Reviews
Cellar Tracker Tasting Notes - Last 50