Twisted Oak: RIVER of SKULLS

October 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm (Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , )

TWISTED OAK winery is one of the LUSH favorites. These irreverant, wild pirates seized and conquered grape growing land out in Murphys, California…Calaveras County to be exact. There is a pirate cave. There is the Spaniard, complete with an homage to ‘The Princess Bride.’ There are amazing and crazy winemakers. And now, there is ‘The River of Skulls.’

Get River of Skulls!

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Wine is alive.

October 17, 2008 at 8:22 pm (What we are thinking) (, , , , , )




*Wine as a living entity

Wine should be treated as a living thing. 



It is an organic, agricultural product that reacts to native yeasts, oxygen, temperature, wood, and many additional factors.  Once in barrel, the wine is tinkered with to pull out the desired flavors, weight, tannin, and so on to achieve deliciousness and balance.  As the wine hangs out in barrel, it changes constantly and absorbs new characteristics from the influences of its environment, including the barrel, humidity, temperature swings and such.  New or old wood, American, French, or Hungarian wood, steel or concrete…the vessel impacts a wine.  The winemaker will decide when to pull the wine from the barrel and bottle it…which also affects flavor, style, and complexity. 



Geez, so complicated... Read the rest of this entry »

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SINE QUA NON: The Aftermath

October 17, 2008 at 7:26 pm (Our Favorite Things, Special Events, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

LUSH has been coveting SQN for quite some time, as our owner is entirely too fond to Manfred Krankel’s creations. Mr. Lush himself has unlocked his personal cellar and the Lush wine basement for your enjoyment. This will certainly be a once in a lushtime event, as these bottles range back to 1999 and each available bottle will either be cracked open or available for purchase.

SQN Vertical!

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Brewin’ up trouble

October 10, 2008 at 6:49 pm (Beer, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Winter is long and dreary. Winter makes me want to favor the old “hunker down” approach of not leaving my house too often. But there are some upsides, to be sure: I read all those books and watch all those movies I have been meaning to check out. I cook constantly, keeping my kitchen toasty with the oven’s warmth. I drink hefty red wines, wear the best wool socks ever, and, this winter, for the first time, I plan to brew my own beer.

This is going to be a collaborative effort! A few of my friends and neighbors have also expressed interest, to help share costs and do something pleasant together whilst snowed in. Should be a great time, but that is not to say that I am approaching this without any apprehension: I can remember way back to when I was about seven or eight years old, and my dad tried his hand at homebrewing. None of the grownups would let me taste the sudsy stuff, but I distinctly remember their grimaces as they tried the batches. I won’t even get into his attempts at root beer. Soon enough, the fermenting tanks and carboys were lain by the wayside, and the only person fiddling with the bottle capper was me. I hope to be a little more persistent–and brew some delicious beer.

This will be an ongoing series, with updates, photos, and commentary along the way to track my progress. I would welcome and encourage you, dear reader, to send along advice, admonishments, tips and tricks, and good beer karma. Cheers!

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CHICKS and BUBBLES: The Aftermath

October 7, 2008 at 3:22 am (Our Favorite Things, Special Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Vintage Champagne and fried chicken are the most perfect pairing…really. We tested it out. For sure. The Champagne was delicious and extra bubbly. The food was plentiful and incredibly hearty. Our little chicks and bubbles picnic was quite lovely. Check out our menu, wine list, and photos below!

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Didier Dagueneau

October 7, 2008 at 1:16 am (Current Events, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

One of our favorite winemakers, Didier Dagueneau, has recently died in a flying accident.

Back in April, I wrote a little blurb on him for a LUSH email. I had yet to try any of his wines, but was super excited about his winemaking style and the idea of his wines. I’ll reprint it here, just to give you a little background.

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