The Navigator set a new standard. She booked round-trip air to Calgary, rented a car for 12 days, reserved rooms in Banff and Jasper and we drove through the beautiful awe inspiring Canadian Rockies. We then headed southwest to Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, for three days of, you guessed it, wine tasting. All trips should have some sort of a wine theme. However, the trip was marred on our return flight. Our plane flew over the wildfires of Napa and Sonoma. We witnessed white smoke billowing up from the orange-red flames of the fires spread as far as we could see. As I write this, the fires are not fully contained but there is hope for rain. If you would like to help the evacuees here are two to websites to consider.
Check out the Sacramento Bee website (sacbee.com) and search for Evacuee Relief. Reporter Karin Kipling has posted a comprehensive list of more than 40 nonprofit organizations that need help and the list is continually being updated. Another is CaWineStrong.com. This site was formed by California wine industry leaders to provide immediate assistance and long term aid to victims of the fires ravaging Northern California. All of the proceeds from the CAWineStrong fundraising campaign will be donated to local charities to directly benefit individuals and families affected by the wildfires. These relief organizations include the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, the Community Foundation of Sonoma County’s Resilience Fund and the Community foundation of Mendocino County. Give what you can, but please, give.
Affordable Winning Whites
Three Gold Medal winning Chardonnays from Sunset Magazine’s International Wine Tasting were Robert Monday (2014), Buena Vista (2015) and Artesa (2015), each $20. Three lower priced Silver winners were: Edna Valley (2015), J. Lohr Riverstone (2015) and Ryder Estate (2015), each $14. The best bargain Sauvignon Blanc was the Seaglass (2016), taking a gold and only $12. Silver Medals went to Charls Krug (2016/$16) and Cupcake New Zealand (2016/$13). The 2015 Joel Gott Pinot Gris was awarded Best of Class ($16) and Golds went to Acrobat Pinot Gris(2016/$14) and A-Z Pinot Gris (2015/$15). All three are from Oregon. The N/V Barefoot Pinot Grigio scored a silver. Pretty cool for a $7 wine.
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What’s On Our Table
For a good value, readily available and well-priced wine, look for the Matchbook label, especially their reds. They scored Silver Medals for their 2014 Syrah ($16) and red blend, “The Arsonist” ($20) and their 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($15). Remember prices listed here are suggested retail prices, sale prices will be considerably less. Happy wine hunting. Cheers!
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