Let's Talk Wine with Eric Garnier
February 2011

Can you believe that it’s already February and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner? And you say, “What does that have to do with wine?

Of course it’s all about romance, love and friendship but it is also a holiday that involves food and wine . I can think of nothing better than some fine chocolate truffles and a nice tawny port. This is a “Wow” marriage! I recently tasted a wonderful “Saddlerock” Old Vine Tawny Port at the Malibu Family Wines tasting room in Malibu. This tawny port had fruit character with a subtle suggestion of wood & vanilla. This is a great after dinner drink with fine chocolates or soft cheeses."

Malibu Family Wines have three labels they produce: one being the Semler label, which is made from grapes grown on their estate in Malibu, the Saddlerock label produce from purchased grapes mostly from the Central Coast and Santa Maria, and occasionally the Turtlerock label. This is a great place to come visit and have a wine tasting. Set in the mountains near the intersection of Mulholland and Kanan Road, the tasting room is open every day. Check out their website for events that are constantly going on. I am lucky to have known the family for quite some time now and have always enjoyed their wine.

If chance has you visiting or tasting wines on the Valentine’s Day weekend, after visiting Malibu Family Wines in Malibu, stop by Cantara Cellars in Camarillo. Chris and Mike Brown opened the tasting room in 2007 and it is open Friday, Saturday and Sundays for tasting. Mike produces two whites and 14 reds for which 18 different varieties of grapes are used either alone or as a blend. I really enjoy that Mike experiments with new varietals all the time. At a recent visit, I was able to barrel sample an Albariño. I can’t wait until this is bottled. This will be a perfect summer wine.

Let’s not forget about sparkling wines for Valentines Day. From an inexpensive Cava from Spain or a nice Prosecco from Italy to a great California sparkling, or a traditional French champagne, there is no better way to start off your holiday celebration. All of the major retailers, Ralphs, Von’s, Trader Joes, BevMo, have most of their sparkling wines on sale during this holiday so stop by and stock up.

Be sure to check out www.Valentinewine.com for an exciting wine tasting event featuring all of the wineries on the Ventura Wine Trail, happening Valentine’s day weekend.


Questions or comments? Reach me at : Wineoeric@gmail.com

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