Scratch Wines, Carmel by the Sea, CA

We were able to visit a second tasting room, during our visit to Carmel by the Sea. Coincidentally, this was another brand we learned about from the Pink Society. Scratch Wines was the featured guest, only days before we arrived in California. Carmel by the Sea isn’t a very big town but Scratch was just down the road from Holman Ranch. During the chat, I had found out that this tasting room is in a shared space with an art gallery, what a great idea! There wasn’t anyone else in the tasting room when we arrived so we had a private tasting with Ally, who happily shared some cheese recommendations to try with the Scratch Wines. Read More…

Holman Ranch Tasting Room, Carmel by the Sea, CA

We first learned about Holman Ranch during a #PinkSociety #PinkParty (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PinkSociety%20%23PinkParty) in June. I was fortunate to try out their Susan’s Saignee Rosé during the chat. As I swirled and sipped the wine, I found out more about the 400 acre ranch in Carmel Valley. One of the questions was about the tasting room in Carmel by the Sea. Not only are there many tasting rooms to enjoy in this town, it’s also “by the sea” and beautiful. Well, I was convinced to include Holman Ranch’s tasting room in Carmel by the Sea in our Sideways Wine Tour. We left Paso Robles, driving along route 101 up the California coast, and along the dark and windy roads until we arrived at our cabin in Carmel By the Sea. Read More…

Garnacha y Valdeon, Spanish Wine and Cheese pairing with @JustTheBottle

When I was approached to be the guest on Just the Bottle we talked through a few ideas of what the theme would be. I had recently done two Spanish wine and Spanish cheese pairings, (http://wineandcheesefriday.com/rioja-with-sheep-cheese-a-little-piece-of-spain/ and http://wineandcheesefriday.com/white-rioja-and-goat-cheese-log/) that were well matched, so I suggested the idea. Christina, the hostess, happily agreed since she is a fan of Spanish wines. This was our chance to get better acquainted with a new region for wine and cheese. We’ve had Grenache from California and quite a few blue cheeses but neither one from Spain so when we came up with the idea of Garnacha and Valdeon, it was settled. Read More…

A Behind the Scenes look at a Twitter Chat-WineAndCheeseFriday is featured on #WiningHourChat

During a WiningHourChat in the beginning of the year, a suggestion was made to have a Wine and Cheese Theme on a future Tuesday night. So immediately after the chat ended, I contacted the hostesses to figure out what time of the year would be good for all of us. We decided to hold it on National Cheese Day in June. This got the ideas flowing in my mind. What would we talk about? What wines and cheeses should we taste? What would my role as guest be? The hostesses will tell you that this spurred a bunch of ideas and messages from me in the coming days. Read More…

Tocornal Carmenere and Swiss cheese

When I saw this wine in the store I was a little confused. It said the name of the wine but then “by Cono Sur” at the bottom of the label. I decided not to get it the first time around because we had a few wines already queued up for future WineAndCheeseFriday pairings. I contacted Cono Sur on Twitter to ask about this mysterious line of wines since I couldn’t find it on their website. As always they were very helpful and said was it called “Tocornal?” Yes, that’s one of ours, but its only distributed in Canada, Latin America and Russia. Well this created a buzz on Twitter and for me so I figured I should go back and find it. A week later in another grocery store, there it was and, lucky us, they had a Carmenere! What a fun chance to compare the Bicicleta Carmenere from a few years ago, http://wineandcheesefriday.com/carmenere-and-camembert/, to the Tocornal Carmenere now. The cheese is from our giant farmer’s market, La Feria. We found this cheese in Colibri’s Corner, the booth on the end. This booth always has all sorts of tasty treats like spices, baked goods and chocolate. Neil picked up this wedge of cheese and said it smelled kind of smoky and that we should get it. Always on a quest for new cheese, I happily agreed. Read More…

Tokaji and Potato Chip Gouda

This weeks wine choice was inspired by a recent twitter chat about Hungarian wine. Since I had heard of Tokaji but never tried it, Mark at West Palm Wines suggested we taste this dry Tokaji called The Oddity. How could I resist? And speaking of oddities, we found this Potato Chip Gouda at Cheese Please. Although it sounds quite strange, it’s one of their best sellers and it’s a type of Gouda. What an obvious choice for us! I suppose we were playing off the “out of the ordinary” theme for this entry because we took our tasting notes at 1am on the last night in our house. Now that’s a great reason to have Wine And Cheese! Read More…