The Wine Harvest is happening, at least in some parts of California, and that means it’s time for the Harvest Marathon on Last Bottle.
You MUST already know about Last Bottle, but if you don’t, it’s a wine buying website with great daily deals on wine. Every so often they hold a MARATHON featuring CRAZY wine deals with FREE SHIPPING, no matter how many bottles you order. So sign up if you haven’t already and start ordering.
Lawyer Footnotes  A bit on the early side because of this year’s unique weather.  The Firm usually sees an uptick in FedEx deliveries a few weeks after these marathons … Just doing my part to keep the world ticking.
I don’t know about you, but this is one of those wines I gloss over on the wine list, walk past at the wine shop, and avoid saying out loud at all costs. At #WBC16, I was lucky enough to cure the problem, and let me tell you, it’s about damn time!
Pronounced, Geh-VIRTZ-trah-MEE-ner, the grape originally hails from Italy’s Alto Adige region, an ancient wine growing community in the Dolomites bordering Austria and Switzerland. Italy’s smallest wine growing region makes around 40 million bottles of wine on a yearly basis and is the oldest German speaking winemaking area in the world; they’ve been honing their craft for the last 3,000 years.
The bottle of Gewürztraminer I sampled was an absolute gem. Breakout sessions were scattered throughout the conference, and I had the foresight to attend May Matta-Aliah’s session on the Wines of Alsace. We sampled three typical Alsatian varieties, a Riesling, a Pinot Gris, and finally, the Gewürztraminer. The Riesling and Pinot Gris were both lovely; soft, light and elegant. The Gewürztraminer was a slam dunk. My tasting notes started off with “Wow” and “Incredible”. It was one of those tastes where spitting would be a crime…so I didn’t.
As we were sipping, my new wine friend Laura explained how the word is broken down: Gewürz translates roughly to aromatic or seasoning, Tramin refers to Tramin an der Weinstraße, often abbreviated to Tramin or Termeno, the specific location where the grape comes from, and er means “of”. So, Gewürztraminer pretty much means “aromatic seasoning of Tramin”.
A high residual sugar content (45 grams per liter) made this one a bit on the sweeter side. Not something you’d want to drink with dinner, but after dinner, before dinner, with dessert, without dessert, would all work just fine. I got a bright, full mouthful of pineapple and a slight minerality on the extra-long finish. The wine kept going and going; I didn’t want to let it go. It was almost moist, a great, lush mouthfeel; very reminiscent of my Sauternes tasting experience in Bordeaux. This Gewürztraminer has characteristics similar to the Sauternes I tasted, being a sweet wine with great depth and body. I’ll have to try some more of these Alsatian Gewürztraminer beauties and let you know if they’re all as amazing. In the meantime, grab one of these if you can find it.
Maybe not a wine to throw back with your beer-guzzling neighbor, as it will set you back at least $70 if you can find it, but it is certainly something to be shared with loved ones. A highly acclaimed vintage, Wine Enthusiast rated the Zind-Humbrecht 2013 a 94 and Decanter bestowed a 97. Not too shabby.
Grapes for this bottle were grown in the Zind-Humbrecht Hengst Grand Cru vineyards in Wintzenheim, Alsace. The Zind and Humbrecht families joined forces in 1959; their ancestors have been growing grapes in Alsace since 1620.
Is there a wine you’re scared to pronounce? Get on the Google and don’t let it stop you! You could be missing out on an amazing wine!
Until the next glass, Cheers!
Lawyer Footnotes  You can read my first recap of the conference here.  Practice it in the privacy of your home and you’ll be good to go. #thatsnotweird  The Wine Folly has a great overview of Alto Adagio and the grapes grown there. Check it out.  The Dolomites have been on my travel bucket list forever, but I had no idea there was wine! Another addition to the Wine Bucket List!
 To put that number in perspective, in 2015, the State of California produced 229 million cases. I don’t understand how this could be possible because that is two billion seven hundred forty-eight million BOTTLES. But, I found it on the internets, so it must be true.  Wait, but I thought this was Italy? Given that it’s been making wine for 3,000 years, you can imagine that a lot has happened in the area over the past few millennia. A power struggle between Italy and Austria has been going on, pretty much forever, and tensions still run high. Also this.  America was born in 1776, or 240 years ago. To put that in perspective, this small area of Italy has been producing wine for 2,760 years longer than America has been around. WOW.  I’m super good at tasting notes.  #bilingual  Residual sugar generally refers to the sugar content remaining in the wine after fermentation stops or is stopped.  Ahhhh #FancyinFrancey. That was fun.  Like your good friend Wine Esquire here.  Viognier is Vee-own-YAY. Blaufränkisch is Blahw-FRAHN-keesh. And here’s a link to more pronunciations. You’re welcome.
Who’s Playing Well, we don’t know yet. The way this tournament works is players have to earn enough points to qualify to play. It was all started in 1927 by Samuel Ryder, a golfer who didn’t pick up the sport until after he was 50 years old. With some exceptions, the tournament has been held every two years and more than 300 golfers have participated in 40 Ryder Cup tournaments.
Teams of 12, one from the USA and one from Europe, compete against each other for the Ryder Cup. Team Captains will hand pick several players and the rest of the teams will be determined by a point system administered by the PGA. The top qualifying players at the conclusion of the Barclays Tournament on August 28 will make the teams.
The current US players in the top 12 are Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka, Zach Johnson, J.B. Holmes, Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler. So it looks like these guys have a chance at representing Team USA. A lot can happen in 10 days though…so we’ll see.
What You’ll Be Drinking If You Go Mouton Cadet, the most popular Bordeaux brand on the market and the official wine of the Ryder Cup, will be pouring a special cuvee designed specifically for the tournament. The Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec is as smooth as the golf course where the Ryder Cup will be played. Robert Trent Jones, Jr., architect of the Hazeltine golf course, sketched the bottle’s label design of a caddy as a tribute to his father, also a golf course architect.
Official Rules to enter the contest can be found here. Happy snapping! See you at the 9th hole!
Lawyer Footnotes  A fancy, famous golf tournament for those who didn’t know #golflife  As if golf wasn’t confusing enough already! #pointspread
My adventure started in First Class on American Airlines, and when I landed in Sacramento, I was upgraded to a VW Bug Convertible at the car rental counter. I don’t think I’ve ever actually driven a convertible before, so obviously I put the top down and went on my merry way. Things took an interesting turn when I arrived at my destination. It turns out that when a lot of wine bloggers gather in a location with a minimum number of hotel rooms, sometimes, your accommodations aren’t so stellar. Even though this hotel got a higher rating on TripAdvisor than some other local options, I think I got the short end of the hotel stick. But I’m really not complaining. Everything else was fabulous.
The welcome reception was held at the Mohr-Fry Ranches in Lodi and it just happened to be the proprietor’s 53rd wedding anniversary. Cheers to them for allowing 100+ strangers to invade their front lawn for an evening of wining and dining. I met up with some Twitter friends and finally connected social handles to faces. The evening was lovely, and the cold Vermentinos that were being poured really hit the spot. I always knew Lodi was the place for Old Vine Zinfandel, but I had no idea there were so many amazing white grapes being grown there. From Vermentino to Viognier, I was one happy, if not a bit tired, camper wine blogger.
Given my East Coast roots, I was thoroughly jet-lagged for the first two out of the three days and found myself up before dawn. So I did what any normal person would do. I hopped in my convertible and went out seeking the sunrise. I couldn’t find a “go to” place for sunrise in Lodi, but I put my compass app on and headed East. It worked out pretty well and I got some stellar sunrise views over the vines.
The conference exposed me to a whole host of wine bloggers from around the world. It also exposed me to a lot of wine in a very short amount of time. More on that later. The connections I made and insights I gained from the speakers and presenters were well worth the few days away from the office. Being awarded the scholarship was my impetus to go on this wine adventure, and it was an absolutely invaluable experience.
Coming Soon: A recap of my amazing small group excursion adventure at Jessie’s Grove and Spenker Winery, featuring wine, turtles and goats. Oh my.
Lawyer Footnotes  I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to assist with travel expenses and registration fees. THANKS to all the scholarship donors! I’ll be donating to the fund to help a newbie attend next year! You can donate too!  Thanks, Uncle Bob! This was smart given that it was 98 degrees, the sun was shining and I had no sunscreen. But whatever. #priorities  Hello Motel 6. That being said, this was a total #FlipFlopsInTheShower kinda place …  Like @Dracaenawines, @10KBottles and @WineAntics to name a few.  This is so unlike me.  Despite my attempts at Googling the same.  #SpeedTasting  BHAHAHAHAHA. That was funny right? #lawyerlife