Napa + Sonoma: Still Beautiful

Dear Readers:

Hope you are enjoying your holiday season…just  wanted to share some images from my visit Napa and Sonoma earlier this week on assignment.

Clearly, Wine Country is still a beauty to reckon with.  Many thanks to all who opened their doors, wineries, and hearts to me this trip.

Happy Holidays, all!

 

What about you – any recent visits you care to share? Any trips you have planned? Feel free to leave your comments below, or post @binnotes on Twitter/Instagram.

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

Affordable Burgundy + Beyond Sidebars| Gothenburg + Paris

Hi Dear Readers:

I’m still en route to Hospices de Beaune 2017 wine auction in Burgundy, with sidebars to Gothenburg, Sweden to conduct interviews for a forthcoming article I’m doing on Swedish sommeliers, and to Paris for research on a pending project.

Please enjoy these photos of travels to date – you can follow my entire tour on Instagram or Twitter @binnotes.

As always, great to hear from you in the ‘Comments’ section below and on social media – cheers!

All images and text Copyrighted 2017 binnotes.com | L. M. Archer. All Rights Reserved.

Updates | Post-Election

Updates | Post-Election

Dear Readers:

I’ve been on a much-needed post-election sabbatical around the Monterey Peninsula with dear friends from Vancouver, B.C., and now just getting back in the saddle.

Firstly, a heartfelt shout out to all my New Zealand artisan wine makers sweeping up the broken bottles from their own earthquake.

Secondly, posts will arrive a little ‘off-schedule’ this week – plenty to share, so bear with the irregular deluge.

Finally, don’t forget tonight’s Hunter’s Moon – the biggest moon since 1948.

Cheers!

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

The Hedonistic Taster | Lenné Estate | Eleanor’s 114 Pinot Noir

The Hedonistic Taster | Lenné Estate | Eleanor’s 114 Pinot Noir

Tastevin

Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, a binNotes | redThread™ trade sampling of artisan wines.

Today’s Tasting:

Lenné Estate | 2014 Eleanor’s 114 Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley

Lenné Estate 2014 Eleanor's 114 Pinot Noir is made from the fruit-forward 114 clone.
Lenné Estate 2014 Eleanor’s 114 Pinot Noir is produced from the 114 clone, known for its fruit-forward, red-raspberry characteristics.

If you’re a wine enthusiast or collector and don’t have any Lenné Estate Pinot Noir in your cellar, you may want to rethink that strategy.

Owner/wine maker Steve Lutz painstakingly burnishes small lot, artisan juice from his pristine Yamhill-Carlton estate in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

These wines reveal an intricacy, sultriness, and structure that only enhance over time.

(For more about the story of Steve and Karen Lutz and Lenné Estate, here’s a link to my feature in Oregon Wine Press.)

WineLenné Estate Jill’s 115 Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.3 %

Suggested Retail: $55.00

Specs

Note: #954 of 1200 bottles made.

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Noir-tinged ruby.

Nose: Black and red fruit, earth, spice, dried herbs.

Palate: Cassis, sumac and Betty Bacall smoke-throated back notes.

Suggested Pairings: You know how to whistle, don’t you? Pair this with venison loin lashed lightly with a cassis port reduction.

❦❦❦

For more on Lenné Estate:

The Hedonistic Taster | Lenné Estate 2014 Jill’s 115 Pinot Noir 

The Hedonistic Taster |Lenné Estate 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

 The Hedonistic Taster № 8 | Lenné Estate.

You can find out more about the story behind Lenné Estate’s hard-fought road to success here in my article about owners Steve and Karen Lutz in Oregon Wine Press.

❦❦❦

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

redThread™ Exclusive: Diversity in Wine | A Conversation with Martin D. Redmond

redThread™ Exclusive: Diversity in Wine | A Conversation with Martin D. Redmond

Welcome to binNotes | redThread™

Inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers.

by L.M. Archer FWS, Bourgogne ML

Today’s Exclusive Interview: Diversity in Wine | Part 2 of 3

Martin D. Redmond

Martin D. Redmond, author of Enofylz. | Image © Martin D. Redmond.
Martin D. Redmond, author of Enofylz. | Image © Martin D. Redmond.

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.” -Charles de Montesquieu

This marks the second in a 3-part series entitled Diversity in Wine. The impetus for these interviews stems from the dynamics of my own microcosmic world of wine writing writ against the broader national dramedy currently fretting and strutting across the world stage.

I asked today’s guest, Martin D. Redmond, a financial analyst by trade and author of the influential Enofylz Wine Blog, to share his experiences in the wine industry. I know Martin through the robust online tasting community at #wineStudio, where he plays an active and prominent role.

Wine – it’s the red thread that binds us all. But so too the power of words to connect. To serve as tool, not weapon – to reflect back to one another our commonalities and our strengths, rather than our divisions and fears. Anger and mistrust seem the norm in communities right now. I don’t know how we got here. I just know that we can only get better together, not apart. To do that, we need to listen to one another. To hear one another’s stories. And in hearing, perhaps grown in understanding about others we may perceive as different.

May this series serves as a contribution to the greater conversation. Not a monologue. Not a diatribe. Rather, a dialogue about individual dreams, despairs, and devotion to the same passion we all share – wine. The red thread that connects us all. Let the conversation begin.

r/T™:  You’re a Financial Executive by day, but enjoy success in your avocation as wine blogger at enofylzwineblog.com. How do you juggle both demands? 

MDR:  It’s quite challenging, especially when things are crazier at work than usual.  But I have a passion for wine and wine writing and I make time whenever I can to indulge both. The consumption is easier than the writing;-)

r/T™:  Walk readers through your journey thus far in the world of wine. What was it like taking that ‘leap of faith’? Did you have an ‘aha’ moment when you knew this was your path? 

MDR:  My journey into wine started later than most.  I essentially began drinking wine because of the “French Paradox”. I started blogging after attending a family reunion where I adroitly fielded many questions about wine. At that point I decided to share my passion with a wider audience.

r/T™:   Any mentors who have helped or inspired you along the way?

MDR:  Richard Jennings, a prolific wine writer and critic, has been an inspiration to me.  When I embarked upon my wine journey I enrolled in Cellar Tracker to capture my tasting notes.  I noticed that my scores were often very close to Richard’s. That gave me confidence in my ability to evaluate wines.

r/T™:   Any obstacles or challenges you’ve encountered? Any surprises?

MDR:  There are two that are opportunities for improvement for me.  The first relates to my writing. The second relates to getting more familiar with the ins and out of  WordPress.  I’m surprised how much time the social media aspect of wine writing consumes

r/T™:   As an ethnically diverse professional, do you find the world of wine embraces diversity? Or do you feel like you have to work twice as hard to earn credibility/acceptance? 

MDR:  In terms of my chosen profession, I would say “Yes” I’ve had to work harder to earn acceptance.  I don’t feel that’s been the case with my wine writing.  From my vantage point as a consumer, I’m seeing more diversity in the wine world, but depend on where you are.  I see plenty of diversity in the Bay Area.  Less in other places.

r/T™:   What is/are your ultimate goal(s) that you hope to achieve in the world of wine? 

MDR:  My ultimate goal is to do more freelance wine writing and have an article published in print or in a major on-line food/wine publication.

r/T™:    Anything else you’d care to share with readers?

MDR:  Be promiscuous when it comes to tasting wine and let you palate be your guide.  Trust yourself and enjoy the journey!

r/T™:    Finally, if your experience in the world of wine has taught you anything,

MDR:  My wine journey has mirrored my life’s journey; persistence pays.  It’s a marathon, not sprint. 

Part 1 | Diversity in Wine | A Conversation with Julia Coney

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

redThread™ Exclusive: Diversity in Wine | A Conversation with Julia Coney

redThread™ Exclusive: Diversity in Wine  | A Conversation with Julia Coney

Welcome to binNotes | redThread™

Inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers.

by L.M. Archer FWS, Bourgogne ML

Today’s Exclusive Interview: Part 1 of 3

Julia Coney | Washington, D.C.

Governor Ann Richards of Texas once noted about women’s success, “After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

What about diversity in the wine industry? Do ethnically diverse professionals feel they must ‘pull a Ginger Rogers’ just for a place at the tasting table?

I wondered that at a recent wine media event also attended by Julia Coney, author of All About the Pretty, and my guest today.

As a white woman, I don’t pretend to understand these challenges. But as a writer, I feel compelled to start the conversation. The times demand it. And as a writer, my job demands it.

A writer’s job is to listen, without judgement. To share stories, respectfully. To write. To right.

Let the conversation begin.

Julia Coney is a wine, food, travel and beauty writer based in Washington, D.C.
Julia Coney is a wine, food, travel and beauty writer based in Washington, D.C.

r/T™:  Julia, your works on subjects as varied as beauty, travel, food and wine appear in print, online, radio and TV. Who or what inspired you to pursue wine?

JC:  I have been traveling and tasting wine for over 20 years. I started in my early 20s because I was curious after having a really expensive wine at a friend’s home and not understanding anything about wine. I knew it was different than what I was drinking because it transformed me. I started visiting wine stores and just began tasting. I thought about pursuing it as a career, but was really scared. It wasn’t until I my husband told me I should really think about writing about wine since the beauty writing landscape wasn’t holding my attention as much as travel, wine, & food. I started as a beauty blogger in 2006. I haven’t like the way it’s evolved and more of my blog writing featured travel. I started wine studies late last year and jumped in full force.

r/T™:  Walk readers through your journey thus far in the world of wine. What was it like taking that ‘leap of faith’? Did you have an ‘aha’ moment when you knew this was your path?

JC:  I had the leap of faith in December 2015. I had just had a major surgery and was recovering. My mother was visiting and she asked me why I wasn’t pursuing a career in wine – I made her watch every wine documentary on Netflix and talked so much about finally being able to drink wine again. I couldn’t give her an answer. I had no excuses. I was a freelancer. I didn’t have kids and any encumbrances. She reminded me life is too short and precious not to pursue your dreams. That night I ordered numerous wine books, re-read of few of my favorite wine bloggers, and registered for my WSET classes. It was a very fast twenty-four hours.

r/T™:   Any mentors who have helped or inspired you along the way?

JC:  Yes. I met Carrie Lyn Strong, the wine director at Aureole in New York at a French travel event. She was the first person I emailed about my leap. She has been helpful and answered every question I asked. Jeremy Parzan, a fellow wine blogger from Houston was another inspiration. The ladies from the Swirl Suite, a group of African-American wine bloggers took me under their wing immediately. Glynis Hill encouraged me to attend the Wine Bloggers Conference. Now I count the bloggers I met at the conference as my community.

r/T™:  Any obstacles or challenges you’ve encountered?
Yes. Many people don’t take me seriously because I am still working on my first certification. The apprehension dissipates once we start talking wine and they realize I actually know what I’m talking about. The wine world can be very elitist, sexist, and racist. Yes, I said it.

r/T™:  As an African-American woman, do you find the world of wine embraces diversity? Or do you feel like you have to work twice as hard to earn credibility/acceptance?

JC:   The world of wine does not embrace diversity. It thinks it does, but it doesn’t. I don’t prove anything to anyone, but myself. I do notice when I’m in certain master tastings the looks and stares. I ignore them and get to work. I have been at wine festivals, tastings, wineries, tours, and such and had people tell me “I thought Black people only drink sweet wine.” That’s when I have to inform them about stereotypes and judgments. I know I have to work twice as hard to earn credibility and/or acceptance. I work hard because I am a hard worker. If I’m not accepted in certain circles I don’t care. Why? It wasn’t meant for me to be in that circle. I have other circles that want my opinions and want to embrace my work.

r/T™:  What goals do you hope to achieve in the world of wine?

JC:  My ultimate goal is to be a respected wine and travel writer. I’m getting my certifications because it will help in my goals and I want to have it in case I decide to go into wine education.

r/T™:  Anything else you’d care to share with readers?

JC:  I know wine can seem pretentious and stuffy. It’s not. I’ve had more fun with my wine friends in the last year than I have ever dreamed. I tell people to go to a respectable wine store in your area, find a salesperson, and be honest. Admit you don’t know about wine and want to know more. Go back for the free tastings and always buy something different. Challenge yourself and your palette.

r/T™:  Finally, if your experience in the world of wine has taught you anything, it’s taught you…?

JC:  The world of wine is vast. There are so many moving parts involved in getting wine from the grape to consumers hands. I find it fascinating. Gathering together with good people over wine and food never gets old and I don’t take it for granted that I have decided to do this work. It’s not work, it’s a calling.

Care to join the conversation? Leave your comments below.

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

Thank you:

Julia Coney

WITWIB? #WBC15!

WITWIB? #WBC15!

Wine Bloggers Conference 2015

WITWIB? Wine Bloggers’ Conference 2015

binNotes heads to Elmira-Corning, NY for the 2015 Wine Bloggers’ Conference, showcasing the Finger Lakes Wine Region, with keynote speaker and Wine Bible author Karen MacNeil kicking things off.

Expect a live update at some point over the weekend as I mix and mingle with several hundred wine bloggers worldwide, with a recap to follow upon my return…

In the meantime, hope you’re enjoying your favorite libation with friends and family…cheers!

Copyright © 2015 binNotes. All rights reserved. 

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