Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tee It Up for Wine!

Alan Gottfried of Tee It Up Radio Network (Sundays, 7am-8am on 870 AM in LA) has entered into a new venture with Reyes Winery.

In a recent conversation, Al explained that his hit golf talk show had grown over the last 19 years and that they have added another dimension with lifestyle segments on the Tee It Up Radio Network. Al and Adam Gottfried, a father and son team created this hit show more than 19 years ago and now they have 14 employees and are syndicated nationally. The show has evolved from just being golf talk into a 2 hour lifestyle/travel, health/wellness, celebrity, wine, beer, food, travel, destination, resort show. According to Al, "It's all about the finer things in life."
The Tee It Up Radio Network reaches millions of golf and travel enthusiasts across the US including Hawaii and Canada.
Al Gottfried's relationship with Reyes Winery developed over the last year and a half, with remote broadcasts of the show from the winery, and that led to an exclusive marketing deal with Reyes Winery. Tee It Up will be making Reyes wines available to their radio audience directly via their website, through retailers, and through events like their celebrity golf tournament at Mountain Gate Country Club in Sherman Oaks. They hold this golf event every year to raise money for the wounded warrior project.

The teeitup Label will offer these two red wines:

2011 Teeitup Blend ($18)
This is a blend of 58% California Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot. It has a rich ruby red color with aromas of plum, dark cherries and a hint of cocoa. On the palate you get a continuity of its delectable aromas. Enjoy this enchanting wine with Beef Bourguignon. This wine blend scored very highly out of 30 blends in
three consecutive wine tastings (guys night at Reyes winery and two other tastings).

2011 Syrah ($22)

“This is the one!” This is the right fusion of 80% Reyes 2011 Estate Syrah and 20% Syrah from Davis. This wine has a flavor profile of blackberries, a touch of black pepper, a slight smokiness and great balance. It pairs really well with lamb prepared in just about any form. You’d think this wine has been made for lamb.

I have to say that I tried these two wines last weekend and I think it's great that the back labels have tasting and pairing notes!  I remember many wines doing this a long time ago, but tasting notes on a label are few and far between these days.

I noticed that the 2011 Teeitup Blend actually did have aromas of plum, dark cherries, and a hint of cocoa.  And they were obvious on the palate too.  I like this wine the best of the two, but I think if it had just a little less cherry taste I'd like it even more.

The 2011 Syrah was also right on with the blackberries, black pepper and smokiness on the palate, but I didn't notice the blackberries or the black pepper in the nose. Could be me. I did notice the smokiness in the nose and I think it was a little more than "slight."

Both wines are reasonably priced when you look at average prices of comparable wines in the upper $30 and $40 range.  I was surprised that the Teeitup Blend didn't cost more than the Syrah.

So not having any Beef Bourguignon or Lamb dishes available I tried both of these wines with a New York strip steak.  They went well together.  The real question for golfers is, do you drink the Teeitup Blend with a burger and the Syrah with the hot dog at the turn, or the other way around?  They probably need to add a Chardonnay for the tuna fish sandwich too.
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Saturday, December 7, 2013

California Welcome Center Opening

Welcome to the California Welcome Center!

The California Welcome Center celebrated their move to The Collection at Riverpark with a reception featuring Ventura County Wine Trail wines and delicious appetizers from local restaurants. About 80 people from local media, the welcome center, and city and county government attended the opening last Wednesday.  

The new welcome center is the first in California to offer wine tasting and the hundred thousand plus tourists that visit the center annually will be able to taste local wines every day of the week from 9 am to 7 pm. 

The shiny new Wine Emotion dispensing systems are from Firenze, Italy, and the two systems hold a total of thirteen wine bottles.
The 'QUATTRO+4' dispenser holds 8 bottles, with different temperature controls for red and white wines, and the 'CINQUE' model holds 5 bottles.

The food from Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Gandolfo's New York Delicatessen and nearby restaurants was as good tasting as it was good looking.  I especially enjoyed the spicy tuna and pork appetizers from Kabuki Japanese Restaurant.
The Ventura County Wine Trail's Lauren Belshe at the new dispensing system. They weren't activated for the event, but will be in operation soon.
Chris Brown, Joe Hurliman, and Karen Stewart poured their wines from Cantara Cellars, Herzog Wine Cellars & Eagle's Landing (Joe Hurliman's private label), and Four Brix Winery.  Joseph Herzog, the impetus behind getting wines from Ventura into the welcome center, and friends in the soon-to-be popular wine corner.
Also pouring wines were Rancho Ventavo Cellars, Plan B Wine Cellars, Magnavino Cellars, and Panaro Brothers Winery.

Susan Smith, President/CEO of Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau, introduced the center and the key people supporting it.
Karin Fish, VP External Relations for Visit California, talked about the future of the welcome center and its ground-breaking wine tasting feature.
Ventura County Supervisor John Zaragoza presented Susan with a certificate.

Live 805 hosts Sandy Seekins & Tom Hilton (aka Tom & Sandy) never miss a local wine event.
Tom & Sandy not only enjoy tasting and talking about local wines, they're also partners with Four Brix Winery in a new label called 'BlendZ.'

The wines being poured were all very good, although a little short on white wine selection. 
Cantara Cellars 2011 Chardonnay was a perfect wine to start the tasting.  A few new wines (to me anyway) were the Eagles Landing 2012 Syrah, which isn't released yet, and the Plan B Wine Cellars 2011 GSM. I thought they were both surprisingly good!
With a rotation of Ventura County Wine Trail wines like those poured at the opening, this techno tasting room should be a great place for visitors and locals to explore what's happening with California wines.  And it's a nice detour if you're shopping or dining at some of the fine restaurants at The Collection.

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