"Zima the wine dog", photo by Taylor Brooke Winery
I read a great little article this morning on the Wine Enthusiast site, and this is to our dog-loving wino friends (like us!) so apologies to the rest of our readers.
I’ve seen a lot of dog-friendliness, dog events, dog this, and dog that, though I’ve also seen a dog-on-dog attack as well that sure puts a damper on whiffing that hint of peach from that Chardonnay in your hand, so there’s a balance there and owner responsibility, but if we can all get along, it makes for a great day out in the vines.
Here’s the article. It focuses on US wineries, but I’d also like to add that the Okanagan valley in Canada is a tremendous destination for dog lovers. We had an amazing time at a dog-focused event at Road 13 Vineyards a while back and many of the other wineries are also very welcoming of our beloved canines.
I then stumbled across the Wine Doggies web site. The Wineshout team is headed to the Yakima Valley next week, and you know what, we’re gonna take our pooch along and get in some tastings at some pet-friendly wineries. Check back for some pics and tales of our adventures in Yakima later this month. In the meantime, if you’re a dog-lovin’, wine sippin’ person like us, do check out the Wine Doggies Doggie Bloggie.
So do you take your dog on winery outings and vacations? Would love to hear about your experiences and which wineries welcome dogs with open arms.
The chorus is the catchiest, most memorable part of many songs, and true to its name, the 2010 Stoneboat Chorus is a memorable blend.
An intriguing concoction of six grapes (Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Viognier, Muller Thurgau, Kerner, Schoenburger), the perfumed nose is promising of delicious, juicy tropical fruits. On the palate, it then surprises nicely with bursts with crisp green apple, trailed by softer hints of peach. The refreshing acidity nicely dominates the alcohol (12.3%). A perfect wine for the summer BBQ and patio under the sun.
Though a unique blend, the racy acidity and nature of the 2010 Chorus are characteristic of what I think to be true Okanagan whites, which this British Columbia region is becoming to be increasingly known for.
Stoneboat Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery in the Okanagan valley, in British Columbia, Canada. The valley is a source of some whites. If you’re not familiar with the wines from the Okanagan, which can be spectacular (see our article on James Suckling’s tasting of Canadian wines), get your hands on some if you can.
Europeans can transport wine, or have it shipped not only between within their own country but between other countries as well while transport of wine in Canada from one province to another has been illegal since prohibition, and provincial liquor boards are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way.
The Canadian wine Twittersphere has been abuzz with exhilaration, expectation and renewed agony about Bill C-311 (the wine shipping bill that will create a limited national personal use exemption for shipping wine from province to province), which is going through the bureaucratic machine, and the reactions of the provinces such as BC and Ontario.
In case you missed it, this is news or just plain intriguing to you, here’s some of what’s going on….
On June 6th, Bill C-311, the 51-word amendment to the federal law, passed the third reading in the House. Senator then Runciman table the bill in Senate on June 7th. On June 16, the bill passed the Senate by unanimous vote. Smooth sailings? Well, just a first step. Shirley-Ann George points out in guest post at nataliemaclean.com that the provinces still have to open things up . But judging by what BC did within 24 hours of the passing of the bill, that might be easier said than done. Provincial liquor board statements “indicate that they will not respect the spirit of Bill C-311″ and “some liquor boards and provinces have indicated that they will try to limit or prevent Canadians from gaining access to the wines that are sold in other provinces”, reports winelaw.ca. See this Globe and Mail article for more info on the provinces’ stance.
You can stay abreast of all the news and commentary from such notables as wine writer Anthony Gismondi and winemakers including Township 7′s Bradley Cooper and Tinhorn Creek’s Sandra Oldfield on Twitter using the #freemygrapes tag. Also please do read Mark Hicken’s article on this at winelaw.ca. He’s a Canadian lawyer specialized in wine law, and really gets down to the nitty gritty details.
A lot of wine apps have sprung up these past two years so we decided to put three wine apps on iOS under the microscope. Let’s see how they fared.
Vintage Chart is Wine Spectator’s first app. It is definitely the most heavily used and has garnered a respectable score from over 270 ratings while most wine apps are only getting ratings in the single digits if that. The concept is simple, offering the user an easy and convenient way of getting a general idea of how vintages played out around the main wine regions in recent years. The user is given two navigation options: Quick View and Map View, which are both easy to use – though the map view feels overly simple, and integrating wine-growing region boundaries into the maps would add to the experience. Swiping left and right allows for easy movement between screens, and transitions work seamlessly. Aside from a couple minor design glitches such as the line running through the last item on most lists (c’mon guys, easy fix!), and notable wine-growing regions such as New Zealand and Austria missing from the catalog, this is definitely an app I’ll keep on my device and use at the wine store. I hope Wine Spectator continues to improve this app, and expand on the catalog.
3 1/2 stars
Wine Notes by William Lindmeier is a digital replacement for the classic wine notebook. It provides an easy layout for entering data and photos on the wines you taste. The initial offering of varietals and countries – even such staples as Malbec and Pinot Gris are missing – is lacking and requires the user to do lots of work to enter additional items in these categories. The ability to add wine by bar code is a good feature, though some have said it does not work for them, so the jury’s out as I haven’t tried it yet (I’ll update this review once I’ve gotten there). The sharing is easy and an important component, so kudos on that. I would like to see the possibility of voice entry to speak notes right into the app – this would be very beneficial when tasting through dozens of wines in a day, and the developer should spend more time creating a more encompassing catalog of items for each category, to allow the user to spend time on notes on the wine itself and nothing else. –If anyone has tried any other wine notes apps, I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.
2 1/2 STARS
WSET Wine Game from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust is an app I like! What a great way to spend idle time testing my wine knowledge. With a cleanly arranged user interface, and game design combining wine knowledge with reflexes, even more veteran winos will have a challenge on their hands. The game is geographically slanted, but this makes for a more interesting, and less text heavy game. A game’s longevity, though, is often judged on the developer’s motivation to continue the experience, so I’m hoping WSET keeps pushing hte envelope on this venture, and adds more levels and scope to an already great game. And true to form for the WSET, beyond the first level, this isn’t a beginner’s game – you need to know your regions and then some. I’d love to hear how far you’ve gotten, and how you’re enjoying it!
On Friday June 1st 2012, Washington State completely privatized wholesale and retail liquor sales. So now you can get your Gin and Bourbon along with your Chards and Cabs at the corner store or Costco, the proud primary sponsor of the initiative.
Wine World and Spirits and Winelaw.ca have both written about the end of state-run liquor sales in Washington State, so rather than go on about it, these folks have written plenty well on the subject.