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  • Life is all about the moments that you share with
    11 months ago by mariolunasomm Life is all about the moments that you share with your loved ones. This is Alfred Gratien Champagne, I first tasted this wine when I met my future wife. It was three years ago at the Wine Spectator Grand Tour Las Vegas. We looked at each other while savoring the moment and we thought, "This is perfect!" Well... I meant her. Please don't forget those moments!  #wine   #winetasting   #winelovers   #winery   #wino   #winestagram   #instawine   #winetime   #winegram   #rose   #sparkling   #bubbles   #winespectator   #show   #moment   #married   #shespregnant   #marriedlife   #wife   #husband   #drink   #toast   #cheers   #foodie   #chef 
  • Blanc de Noirs in Champagne uses red grapes like pinot
    11 months ago by mariolunasomm Blanc de Noirs in Champagne uses red grapes like pinot noir and pinot meunier (men-yay) in their blend. I prefer the blanc de noir style with its creamy mouth feel, flavors of tart and ripe pear, brioche, and subtle citrus. These flavors are not as acidic and mineral driven as the blanc de blanc, which are 100% Chardonnays. The best example of a Blanc de Noir was my favorite from the Wine Spectator Grand Tour in the Mirage Casino called Besserat. This wine was perfection and can be enjoyed for any occaision! You can find the wine here:  #wine 
  • Its Bubbles Week at MarioLunaSomm and I have 5 of
    11 months ago by mariolunasomm It's Bubbles Week at MarioLunaSomm and I have 5 of my favorites. Up first, this is Raventos De Nit Rose Conca. This is a blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada varietals are blended together and then red wine is added in the finish made in the Cava region. That red wine softens the sharp acidity and added fruit and body weight. This is the perfect wine to go with every type of food. I hope you get the opportunity to try this special wine in spanish tapas restaurants or at!  #wine   #winetasting   #winelovers   #spain   #cava   #rose   #pink   #winestagram   #instawine 
  • Mothers Day is this weekend and its time to take
    11 months ago by mariolunasomm Mother's Day is this weekend and it's time to take her out to eat. Unfortunately, so will everyone else. To help you cope with the extremely long wait this Sunday, I created a food and wine pairing guide for my favorite neighborhood restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory! Check out my latest blog at for all of my selections, including a Merlot paired with the Steak Diane's medallions, mushrooms, and peppercorns.  #wine   #winery   #winetime   #winetasting   #winelovers   #winenot   #winestagram   #instawine   #cheesecake   #cheesecakefactory   #dinner   #lunch   #brunch   #mother   #mom   #mommy   #chef   #cook   #foodie   #redwine   #whitewine   #steak   #pasta   #italian   #spicy 
  • Of the 5 FirstGrowth Bordeauxs that are deemed The greatest
    12 months ago by mariolunasomm Of the 5 First-Growth Bordeauxs that are deemed "The greatest red wines of France", it's only right to finish this week's education with the oldest aged wine. This is the 1996 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, the driest and least fruit-forward of any of the 5 wines showcased this week. Only 35% of the grapes are qualified to be part of the Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Once bottled, this wine can aged for up to 50 years with its strong tannic structure. I need to decant the wine and let rest 2 hours after opening.  #wine   #winery   #winetime   #winegram   #winenot   #winestagram   #instawine   #winewriter 

Wine Craft: Drinking on the Oregon Trail

I was one of the many 80’s babies that went to elementary school and couldn’t wait for computer class just to play the game Oregon Trail. For those who never played that game before, you and your family are east of the Mississippi River to go on the journey west in the mid-1800s. The trip began in Independence, Missouri and 2,200 miles later, it ends in Willamette Valley, Oregon. Along the way, the family encounters situations like crossing rivers, sickness, and broken wagons. I never made it to Oregon, but I was never disappointed playing the game I always died while trying to cross the Big Blue River.)

So why did those families back in the 1800s risk life and limb and starvation out on the open plains to reach oregon? One word: opportunities. The lure of land ownership, wealth from the Gold Rush, and the chance to leave behind a legacy. This week’s Wine Craft pays homage to all that. The star is Willamette Valley, the crown jewel and finish line of the trail. In the video, I take you on a tour of the valley through its six different sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas). Hopefully by the end – and maybe with the help of one of the suggested wines below – you’ll understand why so many people are just as willing to journey to Willamette today as they were 200 hundred years ago.

Oh – and if you want to play? Here’s a link to the in-browser version of The Oregon Trail.


The Many Flavors of Willamette Pinot Noir


Yamhill Carlton: Lots of cherries and blackberry with a touch of spice and silk finish

Try It: Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvee, 2012 – $44 BUY ME

Eola-Amity Hills: Black raspberries, pepper, cumin with a dense fruit, cedar, and mushroom finish

Try It: St. Innocent Momtazi Hill, 2013 – $42 BUY ME

Ribbon Ridge: Tart cherry and earthy (similar to Burgundy) and finishes rich and fruity

Try It: Chehalem Ridgecrest Vineyards Ribbon Ridge, 2007 – $30 BUY ME

Dundee Hills: Raspberry and cherries with an earthy, rose petal, plum, and supple finish

Try It: Willful Dundee Hills, 2013 – $27 BUY ME

Chehalem Mountains: Intense cherry and raspberries with lively acidity and long finish

Try It: Siduri Chehalem Mountains, 2013 – $35 BUY ME

McMinnville: Cherry and cranberry with smoke and mineral finish

Try It: Bernardus Gary’s Vineyard, 2011 – $40 BUY ME

Cheers, Mario!


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