The Taste of Summer

My pick for summer? It’s almost too easy! Claiborne & Churchill’s Gewürztraminer is the perfect wine for a warm night with friends and family. Claiborne & Churchill, an Edna Valley winery, have been making this wine for years. The nose on it alone will make you want more. My parents passed down their love for this wine to me and I’ll pass it on you now.

I picked up a bottle at my favorite wine shop in San Luis Obispo, the Monterey Street Wine Company. My family hosted our end-of-the-season bocce ball party last night (it’s true, I play in a local bocce ball league) and I figured it was the perfect opportunity to spread some Gewürz love. And wouldn’t you know everyone absolutely loved it? I had a secret grin all night knowing my addition had been a huge success.

As it was a bocce party, it wouldn’t be complete without at least six more bottles open! Here are some of my favorites from last night…

Salvestrin Cabernet Sauvignon

La Crema Pinot Gris

Provenance Sauvignon Blanc

Bogle Merlot

HALL Merlot


*Wine Word of the Day
nose: a fancy wine term for the general smell or aroma of the wine being tasted.


*Introductory note: I’m spending my summer interning for a local wine sales/marketing company in hopes of gaining ample experience before I throw myself head first into the wine industry after college.

When I got to work today I found a newspaper article by Erin Chambers from the Wall Street Journal on my chair. It offered seven key tips to making sure your internship is a success. With two internships under my belt, here’s my spin on how to survive yours.

1. Come early the first day and don’t stop…even if everyone else in the office shows up 15-20 minutes late.

2. Your internship will not be glamorous, you are the lowest on the totem pole..get used to it! Internships are for you to learn and soak up as much knowledge as possible in a short amount of time.

3. Chug coffee. It keeps you from falling asleep at your desk and offers opportunities for casual conversation with your superiors in the break room.

4. Oh wait…you’re still doing basic photocopies and scans two months into your internship? Don’t complain.

5. Don’t stand out. This is not an opportunity for you to wow your employer. Your boss wants someone who can fit in and do the work quietly and efficiently. Your work should speak for itself.

6. Write down all the tasks you do and directions so you don’t screw up later. You don’t want to have to ask for help on basic tasks every five minutes because you didn’t want to take notes the first time. Also, keep track of the types of projects you are doing…this can be helpful when interviewing for jobs later.

7. Play volleyball. Get involved in the company. Your co-workers want to get to know you and not watch you sit around like a bump on a log. Don’t say no to an opportunity to mingle.

*Wine Word of the Day
internship: (not exactly a wine word but still worthy) an experience critical for future success in which you act like a sponge and soak up as much information as possible in a relatively short amount of time.

Wine Lass Recommends:

A friend recently asked me to recommend a few places in the Napa Valley for a day of wine tasting. I was flattered that she would even think of me and jumped at the chance to point her in the right direction.

Silverado Vineyards: Beautiful hill top location in the Stags Leap District with a balcony terrace. The tour is extensive and takes you throughout the entire facility. I loved their relationship with visitors. They strive to bring guests into winery life and share the process. They have a long list of wines available for tasting including  SOLO, a single vineyard, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, that will make you drool.

Plumpjack: This winery is tucked away on Oakville Cross R0ad. Their tasting room is cozy and welcoming with a slight rocker vibe bouncing among the paraphernalia for sale. While their wine list for tasting is rather small, it is presents significant quality. If you get the chance, sneak a sip of the Syrah and shed a tear of ecstasy for its beautiful bold, lingering taste.

Alpha Omega: From Hwy 29, you can just see the fountain in front of Alpha Omega’s newly remodeled tasting room. Set in the middle of the vineyard, this tasting room and winery offers a great view while you sip. Try to get a barrel tasting of the ERA…it’s worth it! Treasure your glass as you enjoy the couch seating on the patio.

HALL: On your way into St. Helena, make sure you stop here. If you’re lucky their canine greeter Thomas may even be present to welcome you. I’m not a fan of sweet wines, but you can’t leave without tasting Hall’s Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. With sweet apple bursting from the glass, it’s the perfect end to any wine tasting experience.

*Wine Word of the Day
single vineyard: all of the fruit in a particular bottle came from one specific vineyard.

Summer Sauvignon Blanc

Ahh the joys of summer…long nights…long glasses…

Last night my family and I opened a bottle of Provenance Sauvignon Blanc. There is nothing like chilled wine on a warm summer evening. As we all sat around chit chatting about the day, I took a minute to sink my teeth into my glass. At first smell, I got a fruity, vibrant whiff. As I rolled it around in my mouth, the taste was practically tangible. Very lingering. Ok, so I ramble. To me, a good Sauvignon Blanc should stick around. Ever had a wine that just dies? Ugh, not for me. I like to remember the taste after I’ve swallowed. I’m also finding that I like unoaked better. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks instead of oak barrels leaving a more fruit forward product.

You’ll laugh when you hear that I drank it with steak and rice pilaf. Ok, so shoot me. I don’t believe in only serving red wines with red meat. To be honest, if you like the combination who cares? The most important factor in wine drinking is whether you enjoy it, not some swanky wine reviewer you’ll never meet.

*Wine Word of the Day
unoaked: generally, oak flavor in a wine comes from the oak barrel the wine was sitting in. I like Sauvignon Blanc when it sits in a steel tank instead of an oak barrel leaving it…unoaked!

Welcome Winos

In an effort to better reach out to my fellow peers and wine lovers, I’ve added another wine blog to the ever increasing list. Searching through hundreds of blogs, it seems they all gravitate towards the same demographic…over 30, getting married, young professional, blah blah blah. What about us? We are largely excluded. As a college student, soon to be graduating and entering the working wine world, I think it’s important to share with you my experiences. You want recommendations from an average student? You want general insight from an intern? I’ll do my best to provide it! I’ve been in your shoes…ignored at tasting rooms because you are younger, unsure what to buy in grocery stores, lost as to what you should be tasting in a wine. Join the ranks of the lost generation of wine drinkers, grab a glass, and enjoy!

Cheers, Annie