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Rainy Day Reading: Practical Demonkeeping

Date: Wed, Feb 18, 2009 Wine Tasting

Desperate to ride himself of his demons, or in this particular case a people-eating demon named "Catch," Travis O'Hearn arrives in the sleepy coastal town of Pine Cove, looking for the talisman that will finally allow him to finally banish Catch to hell. The sleepy village of Pine Cove is nestled in a evergreen grove on California's Highway 1. Just north of a college town called San Junipero, Pine Cove bills itself as the "Gateway to Big Sur" as it is the last food/gas/hospitality stop until at least Gordo. Its eclectic and very fake Tudor facades host a main street filled with kitch, art, sculpture and very little in the way of practical goods. Shopkeepers may open at 10, or 11, or after lunch, or not at all.

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Rainy Day Reading: Practical Demonkeeping

Date: Wed, Feb 18, 2009 Wine Tasting

Desperate to ride himself of his demons, or in this particular case a people-eating demon named "Catch," Travis O'Hearn arrives in the sleepy coastal town of Pine Cove, looking for the talisman that will finally allow him to finally banish Catch to hell. The sleepy village of Pine Cove is nestled in a evergreen grove on California's Highway 1. Just north of a college town called San Junipero, Pine Cove bills itself as the "Gateway to Big Sur" as it is the last food/gas/hospitality stop until at least Gordo. Its eclectic and very fake Tudor facades host a main street filled with kitch, art, sculpture and very little in the way of practical goods. Shopkeepers may open at 10, or 11, or after lunch, or not at all.

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Wine Berserkers

Date: Mon, Feb 16, 2009 Wine Tasting

About two years ago, I discovered the small universe of online wine boards. These are forums where wine denizens gather to share tasting notes, arrange offline parties, and discuss all manner of wine topics. For wine professionals, it's a good way to stay informed on customer trends, such as what consumers want in terms of pricing, customer service, shipping, and other issues. I try to check in on several boards at least once a week, and I generally choose one board on which I participate more frequently. My favorite wine forum is Wine Berserkers. It's a friendly, well-moderated board, with a wine subforum, a food subforum, an offline planner section, and a silly section called 'The Asylum' . What makes Wine Berserkers unique is . . .

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Abalone's Revenge, Revisited: Cayucos Abalone on FoodTV Monday Night!

Date: Sun, Feb 15, 2009 Wine Tasting

Our avid readers may remember our article on the abalone farm in Cayucos, California: Abalone's Revenge. On Monday night, the Ocean Rose Abalone Farm will be featured in an episode of FoodTv's new series, Will Work for Food. Brad Buckley, who has managed the ab farm for 20 years, will put series host Adam Gertler to work raising abalone, from harvesting kelp to sorting the mature abalone by size.

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2009 Vintage Begins: The Soft Blessings of Rain

Date: Thu, Feb 5, 2009 Wine Tasting

Our fall and early winter vacillated between warm, springlike weather which encouraged the cover crop, and crisp, cold, dry weather which is subsequently hard on the tender cover crop. The dry weather made it easier for workers to cut canes and clear the vineyards in anticipation of pruning, but we really need water. We were glad to hear the soft patter of rain all night.

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2009 Amgen Tour of California

Date: Wed, Jan 14, 2009 Wine Tasting

For the first time, Paso Robles will be a featured city in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. Scheduled over nine consecutive days from February 14-22, 2009, the race will once again have a world-class field of competitors, including two-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer and seven-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong. On Thursday, February 19, 2009 the fifth stage of the race will leave Visalia and follow a challenging route toward Paso Robles for a sprint finish.

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The Season We Call Crush: The Book

Date: Wed, Jan 7, 2009 Wine Tasting

I am working on a couple of book projects in my spare moments. And one of them is a compilation of essays called "The Season We Call Crush." The book will be a collection of essays divided into three parts: 101 Other Uses for a Vineyard (vineyard and viticulture), The Magic of Crush (harvest and winemaking), and ... a part on wine enjoyment and evaluation yet to be titled. I'll also be throwing a good deal of autobiographical essays, mostly humorous I'm afraid, about learning the wine business, the colorful people I've met, and working in our vineyard and cellar.

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Accuvin Wine Analysis for the Home Cellar

Date: Sun, Dec 28, 2008 Wine Tasting

I recently ordered some Accuvin test strips to play with. These little strips test wine for pH, sugar, acidity, lactic acid, malic acid, and free SO2. They don’t display an exact number, but a "color" that is matched to a range of measurements. I tested some against wines from our production and they were reliably accurate. They’re designed for the home winemaking market, but I also recommend the pH, residual sugar, and acidity test kits to serious wine aficionados.

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