Like vampires rising from the graves, Halloween-themed wines are currently appearing at stores everywhere. While many of these wines are available year round, they're displayed front and center during the month of October. Speaking of vampires, there's Vampire Cabernet and Ghost this and Skeleton that. It's all quite fun and seasonally-appropriate. We just struggle with the actual wine. There's no lack of labels referencing horror, mayhem and general bad behavior. Most of the wines are red blends in the $10-$15 range.  We haven't tried them all. Those that we have tried have been average. With Halloween...

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked, "You've been to Walla Walla, haven't you?"  And every time, I had to answer "no".  Until this past weekend. I took the scenic four-hour drive up the Columbia Gorge to WW this past weekend to attend the annual Wine Bloggers Conference, a global gathering of a few hundred wine writers/bloggers/publicists/social media mavens. The conference was great.  But Walla Walla was great-er.    Stroll around the downtown historic district and you half expect to see Andy and Barney Fife patrolling the sidewalks.  It...

Hang in there, summer.  Stay stubborn.  Don't leave too soon! Here in Oregon, summer has already overstayed its seasonal welcome.  The calendar says fall but with five 80-plus degree days in a row,  it doesn't feel like fall at all.   It does feel like chilled white wine time.  WillaKenzie's 2016 Pinot Gris is one to try during summer's last stand.  With moderate acidity and pleasing fruit flavors (ripe apple & pear), it works either with food or on its own as an aperitif. I know some like their pinot gris super-cold. ...

There's a chill in the air, the leaves are turning and the kids are complaining about homework. It's back-to-school time! Keeping in the spirit, we're recommending a wine that not only is a good deal, it's named after an historic schoolhouse. Chances are you're familiar with the winery, L'Ecole, which is French for "school".  Located near Walla Walla, currently one of the wine world's hottest spots, L'Ecole produces multiple tiers of red wine, from entry level to collectible. Frenchtown is the name of the 100-plus year old schoolhouse depicted on L'Ecole's labels. ...

We took a week or so off from posting while we enjoyed the sandy beaches and smoky air of the Big Island.  The smoke was not from the volcano (which the locals say has actually calmed down considerably)  but from a fast-spreading brush fire.  Seems like the entire world is on fire right now. By the way, if there was any doubt that we were truly in Hawaii, well, you can't find hats like this on the mainland. OK, back to business with a recommendation on a very reasonably priced...