Sabering the Moment…

Labor Day is not just a day off but a day that is dedicated to social and economic achievements of American workers. This Labor Day should be celebrated with a proper bottle of sparkling wine and friends. Let’s “Saber” the Moment!

I got back from the Wine Bloggers Conference with a newfound appreciation for the art of Sabering…yes, it is written correctly…Sabering is the act of removing the top of a champagne, or sparkling wine, bottle off with just about anything. Generally, a knife, like a Arabian style of knife, is used to remove the top of a bottle off by what looks like slicing it off. The saber is slid along the seam of the wine bottle to break the entire neck away from the bottle, leaving only the base of the bottle open and ready to pour. The force of the blunt side of the blade hitting the lip breaks the glass to separate the collar from the neck of the bottle.

In order to do this, you must 1) have a bottle of sparkling wine, 2) make sure the bottle of wine is very, very cold, 3) a blunt object, not necessarily a knife, it could be a wine glass, a bike wheel, a Ganesh figurine, or even a golf club…

Next, you need to find the seam of the sparkling wine bottle and pointing away from you, and those you love. Then use the blunt object to slide along the seam in a rhythmic manner to pop off or rather, saber, the top off the bottle of wine.

My dear friend and fellow wine writer, Jeff, aka the Drunken Cyclist, who I spent lots of time with during the Wine Bloggers Conference in Paso Robles and then in Buellton, California, shows us exactly how it is done in a series of ways with all of the above mentioned tools. However, I wanted to show you first how Leeanne Froese, a proper Canadian wine writer and PR agency owner of Town Hall Brands does it with a sword.

Enjoy this series of sabering attempts!

And now…the wine glass, the golf club, the tire wheel, and finally the Ganesh figurine … Perhaps I should check with Jeff to see if he has a slight obsession with sabering the moment…all the time! Cheers!

With a Wine Glass:

Just a warning, the new few take a while so be prepared to wait a while. Also, I don’t recommend trying to do this with the following items unless you are willing to keep trying, over and over and over again, like Jeff did!  More than anything, I love the commentary. I hope you get a laugh or two out of these, because I did!

The Golf Club:

The Bike Wheel:

And finally…the Ganesh figurine:

Have a great week and don’t forget to “Saber” to moment!

My Favorite Portuguese Wines

Here you will find an ongoing list of my favorite Portuguese wines. Most of these wines are from the Douro River Valley of northern Portugal, but there are plenty of other regions of this great land I have yet to discover.  (Alentejo, for example, is one region I’d like to explore.) Portugal is one of the regions of the world with an amazing selection of wines at reasonable prices. If you can get your hands on some of these wines, especially 2011 Vintage Port, consider yourself very lucky. I’ve enjoyed every single one of these wines and wouldn’t have posted about them unless I had enjoyed them. To learn more:

Vintage Charts:

To learn more about the Douro River Valley, stay tuned, because this is the next article in my series on Portugal.  Chin Chin!

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Looking forward to #WBC13! A preview of the Wine Blogger’s Conference in British Columbia

As the week progresses, you may see a few #WBC13 twitter handles taking over the wine world, this stands for Wine Blogger’s Conference 2013. This conference is being held in Penticton in the middle of the beautiful Okanagan Valley wine-growing region of British Columbia.

Here, as a wine blogger, this is a unique opportunity to try wines from the hosting region, learn more about visiting sponsor regions and to catch with and learn from fellow bloggers. While this conference will be smaller in size from previous conferences, there is a great line-up of activities and learning opportunities. From this, I have mapped out my areas of focus that you can look forward to learning about in the upcoming months.

Wines of Uruguay, Uruguay may not be as well known as a wine-making region like its neighbors, Chile and Argentina but is starting to make a name for itself though its Tannat grape variety. Tannat is to Uruguay as Malbec is to Argentina as Carmenere is to Chile. Uruguay is a region with rolling hills and prairies, a cooling Atlantic ocean breeze, rainfall equal to that of Oregon and more vineyard acreage than Oregon, this is a land of possibilities. It is also been ranked, in the 2005 Environmental Sustainability index of Yale and Columbia University, as the purest vineyard environment in the world. I can’t wait to learn more and share it! 

D.O. Rueda, well-known in Spain, but not as well known outside of Spain. Having lived in Spain, I had the chance to try the amazing white wines made with Verdejo, an amazingly aromatic and tropical delight in the nose and mouth, which has become one of my favorite white varietals to date.  Rueda, is a wine-making region in the Castilla y Leon region, between Rioja and Ribera wine regions in Northern Spain. It is also near the border with Portugal, where the river Duero runs through it. This Spanish region is quickly becoming known for it’s amazing quality at an affordable price. I’m looking forward to tasting the wines again.

 New Wines of Greece, Greece is among the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and yet I have not had a chance to try their wines. When I think of Greek wines, I think of pine or rather Retsina, which is a white wine (or rose) that derives its unique flavor from the pine resin used to seal the wine vessels. Greece has so much more to offer,therefore, the name “New wines of Greece.” Greek wine producers  are now re-inventing classics, exploring up and coming grape varieties, new terroirs and new winemaking techniques, I am really looking forward to seeing what Greece has to offer. 

Wines of British Columbia–  Wines of British Columbia, last but not least, a region I had never thought about until I attended the last Wine Blogger’s Conference in Portland, when they announced this year’s WBC. A land of over 60 varietals of grapes over 5 wine growing regions within British Columbia. They make everything from Merlot to ice wine!  Who knew that there were over 215 wineries just north Washington and Montana! This is why there are Wine Blogger’s conferences, because when you think you know it all, there is just so much more to learn!

These are just a few of areas of interest that caught my attention, I’m sure there will a lot more that I will write about. Stay tuned! See you at #WBC13!