VINERATION

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Wine service. Based in Tampa, FL & Sonoma, CA. 21+ to follow.

https://issuu.com/thefinewineguide/docs/tbfwg2018issuu/64?ff=true

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Tragically coincidental that my Lake County travel feature is published by @tampabayfinewine at the same time that CA’s largest-ever wildfire is ravaging Lake County. As I experienced last year living in Sonoma, after the fires are extinguished, tourism is key to economic recovery. I hope you take my advice and visit beautiful Lake County and support the great people making wine there @lakecountywineryassociation
Sea scallops, Parmesan pea purée, and braised tomatoes paired with @habitwine #GrunerVeltliner to cap off a weekend of house projects in gourmet style. Lime pith and chamomile, with a leesy bread crust yet steely metallic texture. Really crisp acidity rings the bell for this versatile wine.
A lovely reminder of my time in Southern Oregon. #PlaisanceRanch #Syrah is big but elegant. Dark fruit dominant with black pepper, allspice, and dusty tannins. This whole region has been kicked around by wildfires this year. Gotta keep supporting Applegate Valley wineries and the people behind them.
WTF in a glass, but in an amazing way! Unconventional. Unexpected. Intriguing. This @metrickwines #mourvedre is the most interesting wine I’ve picked up in a while. Explosively aromatic and delicate at the same time. Pale to the point of roséness. Asian spices, tarmac, green peppercorn, dried blackberries. You have my attention.
Wicked value for a tasty wine from @gramercycellars. This GSM has loads of character: round red fruit, black pepper, medium tannins with a bit of iron bite and meaty finish. Each component of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre detectably contributing here. Just visited Gramercy last month. Awesome to see @wblakegray write a nice piece on them the same day I drink this beauty!
Underrated Chiles Valley winery #GreenAndRed produces a delicious #Syrah. Juicy blackberry, juniper, anise, medium tannins, enough structure but a nice soft finish. A rich Syrah up front but good balance. And such a bargain at $20!
Upon moving back to #Tampa, it’s fitting that my first dinner out is @bernssteakhouse. That epic wine list deserves a Pulitzer. Crushed this killer bottle of ‘99 #Barolo but it could still use another 5 years to get to prime drinking age. #corderodimontezemolo
BBQ brisket. @arafanelliwinery Zinfandel. America. Boom.
A roadside cherry stand in a bottle from @rotiecellars. Incredibly juicy acidity, silky texture, and a long  raspberry jam finish. But plenty of structural notes here to back up the fruit like pavement, charred cedar. Lovely wine with wide appeal.
Impromptu roadtrip stop @stonehillwinery in Hermann, Missouri. Wine media doesn’t cover much of Missouri, but wine’s been made here longer than California. Their red variety claim to fame, Norton, isn’t for me. It’s a tight wine with that signature strange finish people call “foxy”. However, I was really impressed at the few Vignoles whites I tried here and at another winery. Really clean, complex, and bright. Probably tastes the closest to Vinifera out of all the hybrids I tried. Well worth the visit to this charming Germanic town to drink outside your comfort zone.
@bowampersandarrow makes a wild Willamette Gamay. Dark cherry, loads of graphite, and acidity off the charts. I love what people are doing with this grape in this region.
The Rocks District AVA in Milton-Freewater, OR draws frequent comparison to the storied rocky terroir of Chateauneuf du Pape. They don’t have centuries of wine history, but they’re growing their own story here with Syrah, Grenache, and other Rhône varieties. Awesome to see this unique American terroir during my swing through Walla Walla.