Garnacha for the Holidays

Three Grenache blendsGarnacha, also known as Grenache, is one of the oldest and most widely planted wine grapes in the world. But its origin goes back to Europe in the region of what is now eastern Spain and southern France.

We recently received samples of three Grenache blends, which we think might make a unique holiday party pour or a perhaps a hostess gift.

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Murrieta’s Well

We have been fortunate to taste new releases from Murrieta’s Well for the last three years, thanks to Snooth virtual tastings with the winery’s talented winemaker Robbie Meyer.

Unfortunately we couldn’t make the event this year, but the winery kindly sent us four bottles to sample. And thanks to Snooth, we also viewed the video of Robbie talking about how much fun he has making wine. Indeed, Robbie’s passion as a winemaker shines in each glass of his food-friendly wines.

You can read our thoughts about the four wines below. But first, it’s important to note Murrieta’s Well credentials. It is one of California’s original wineries, propagated in 1883 with vineyard cuttings from Chateau Margaux and Chateau d’Yquem in France. The Livermore valley winery is owned by Philip Wente of Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery. You can read more of their history here.

And now, the wines.
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Rockford Barossa

The third Cellar Door we visited in the Barossa, Rockford, provides a unique Australian experience. The winery was built in the same style as the original 1850’s stone cottage and barn. Their trademark is the use of traditional wine-making equipment, principles and practices in the vineyard. Everything is hand-pruned and hand-picked. In the words of famed Australian wine critic James Halliday, “Rockford can only be described as an icon, no matter how overused that word may be.” (Hear, hear.)

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Summer Sippers and BBQ Reds

Oh summer! The time of crisp white wine or refreshing rosé during sultry warm afternoons or evenings on the deck or patio, or at the lake, ocean or pool. The time of rich reds at barbecues with family and friends. And the wines that pair well with a celebratory toast to Independence Day.

Here are some of our favorite whites and rosés to sip with a summer salad, or seafood such as prawns, scallops, sushi, crab or halibut. Or you can simply drink pink without food, watching the sunset reflected in its pretty color. In addition, here are some beautiful reds to pour at your BBQ.

There are so many wonderful wines to explore this summer. But we had to keep our lists short. As a result, these represent only wines that we have tasted in recent months, either at tasting rooms, events or in samples sent to us by wineries. Specifically, these wines are from Washington state, Oregon, California, New Zealand and Italy.

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