#Vinopanion’s new wardkadel.com is live!

#Vinopanion: Domaine Chandon #wine

#thesunitburns

Well…the long wait is over!  If not for my fellow #Vinopanions, at least for my own incessant #wine cravings and the need to blast out my ramblings de vinos. WardKadel.com is finally live, as we are in the process of shutting down the long-running WineLog.net. With this relaunch, you will find more content combining my two passions of #triathlon & wine, as well as a newfound love of cooking and of course, the chronicles of our life in #Napa.

Indeed just last night, with the Lady (featured left in the vineyards of Domaine Chandon) in NYC for a fashion convention, I knocked out two very enjoyable recipes from Blue Apron, which has been a life-changer for me to finally learn and love to cook.

@BlueApron & #Beaujolais!

Cooking and first dinner (heh) was accompanied by the deliciously juicy 2015 Domaine des Quatre Vents Fleurie (review Vivino), from Beaujolais extraordinaire Georges Duboeuf. And since the journey of wine can never end (thank goodness, right??), I listened to my two favorite wine podcasts:

 

And so it with those two tasty #recipe‘s and these two brilliant wine podcasts, I will bid you adieu until my next Ward Kadel – #Vinopanion – @drXeNo post.

Vineyards of Domaine Chandon

Loving that #NapaLife!

¡Salud!

Taking my #wine kung fu to the next level: #WSET II & Napa Valley Wine Academy

406064_562298363799327_175257724_nI have been immersing myself in the study of #wine in a semi-systematic manner for much of the last 8 years.  Indeed, #Vinopanion‘s 8 year anniversary with @WineLog is approaching in the middle of this month. Yet I have slowly realized that something is lacking in my devotion to the knowledge of the vinous delights: focus, structure and external credibility. You’d think that a trained scientist would have recognized this long ago and I did notice these thoughts in the back of my mind a few years back.  But they were always battered back by “where’s the time?” and “I’m still receiving plenty of media travel & event invites,” along with “my wine consulting services continue to expand.” Then I reached last year and I started to recognize some clear patterns in my wine work. While I had plenty of media opportunities and my fellow wine colleagues were continuing to get work, I could see that the pace of my own trade offers beginning to slow down. It was then that I noticed that most of my colleagues began to sport letters after their names on their business cards: they were taking certified educational courses to formalize their wine training. I needed to set up my wine game. It was then that I contacted the good people at Napa Valley Wine Academy (FB, Tw): “help!”

Our-certification-menu-logoThe Napa Valley Wine Academy (NVWA) was founded in 2011 by longtime wine industry veterans, R. Christian Oggenfuss, D.W.S., F.W.S., I.W.P and Catherine Bugue, D.W.S., IWP. As residents of Northern California wine country, they both perceived a lack of true connection between the schools that offered wine and spirits training and the actual regions about which they taught…and thus a fine beverage academy in the Napa Valley was born!  Featuring industry educational luminaries including Master of Wines Peter Marks and Tim Hanni, as well as Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser; they are truly “one foot in the classroom and the other in the vineyards.” The NVWA has experienced tremendous industry support and strong early success, prompting them to expand to satellite locations around the US in Tampa, Florida and Santa Barbara, CA; as well as online. 

IMG_5975The NVWA instructors are spread across all of the major industry certifications, allowing the Academy to provide a full service range of official beverage certifications, including wine, spirits, saké, and beverage service, and region-specific courses. All courses and examinations are given by the academy itself, making it a one-stop educational experience, unlike many other piecemeal organizations. I have chosen to start my wine and beverage education in the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (FB, Tw, YT, NVWA) program, starting with the WSET II Award, courtesy of the NVWA.  More on those adventures later however, as I need to get studying for my first exam! ¡Salud!

#ChiantiClass12: A Trip to Chianti Classico

It is with great excitement that I can announce a new media trip, close on my Vinopanion horizon, to the venerable and very historic Tuscan wine region of Chianti Classico DOCG (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WineLog).  I will start my trip to Florence, Italy to rendevous with the traveling #ChiantiClass12 group this Thursday, May 24, 2012, with the official start of the trip on Friday the 25th.  Much like my previous adventures across the pond, I will be posting a lot of microblog content in real-time, including Twitter (#ChiantiClass12), Flickr, and through my Facebook profile & on Vinopanion‘s.  Learn more about this fascinating wine region after the break, cin cin!

[winebadge id=”32872″]

The modern region of Chianti Classico was granted the highest Italian rating for quality and authenticity, Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), since the middle of the 1980’s.  It is a separate and higher bar for wine quality than the greater surrounding area, and more widely known region of Chianti.  The smaller Chianti Classico DOCG is made up of the original four villages that first made fine wine in the area Castellina in ChiantiGaiole in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, and Greve in Chianti, as well as portions of a few other villages in the immediate area.  It totals about 100 square miles..  The grape variety makeup and production of Chianti Classico is highly regulatedSangiovese must make up the majority of the blend (only red wines can be labeled Chianti Classico).  Producers are allowed to blend in, at up to 20%, any of the other approved red varieties: Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and/or Syrah.

I am attending this week-long media trip courtesy of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, as organized by Balzac Communications.  We have a very full itinerary, with multiple producers, historic events, and of course, phenomenal meals planned for each of our 5 days of touring, tasting, and eating.  One of the main reasons for hopping over there this particular week is the annual Chianti Classico Is festival, when the entire region shows off its culinary, vinous, historic, artistic, and natural, beauty.  It is 10 days of fascinating Chianti cultural celebration and our participation in the “Black Rooster fete” is sure be a highlight for the entire trip, particularly the street food event, “The Black Rooster & Street Food.”

All of the members of the group are listed below, followed by a list of Chianti Classico wines that are here at WineLog. Follow along as we take on Chianti Classico for #ChiantiClass12!

The intrepid troupe of #ChiantiClass12:

Leader Catherine Seda (Twitter, Facebook)

VinTuba: Chris Oggenfuss (Twitter, Facebook)

Santé Magazine: Doug Paulding (Facebook)

LuxuryWeb Magazine: Manos Angelakis

The Passionate Foodie: Richard Auffrey (Twitter, Facebook)

VinopanionWineLog.net (me!): Ward Kadel (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog)

Wines from Chianti Classico, Italy on WineLog:

[winelist query=”Chianti+Classico&within=wines&submit=GO” num=”50″]

San Francisco Vintners Market 5 Comes Alive! (Big Discount!)

I attend a large number wine events.  That might even be an understatement, to which my fine readers can attest!  Thus, I feel that it’s saying something to describe an upcoming wine event as one of my favorite series of wine events, ever.  The San Francisco Vintners Market (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog) wine tastings are those exact events: totally fun, onsite wine purchasing available, and of course, fantastic wines to taste in unlimited amounts.  And lucky readers, for round 5 (DING) of the #SFVM, I now have a fat discount so you cats can partake!

One reason, besides the many that I just poured out above, that I love these events so much is the number of new wineries that I discover each time we attend.  We always get the VIP tickets in order to get access to the Reserve Room, where we taste bottles of wine that most normal humans can never afford (without the event discounts to buy onsite, of course 😉 ). One great discovery that we’ve made has been the small family winery Sciandri Family Vineyards (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog), they of the newly formed Coombsville AVA in southern Napa Valley.  Big, but balanced Cabs come out of this producer, as does some big and warm, family hospitality.

All of this doesn’t even include the awesome gourmet bites and sponsors that you can also check out, while swirling some good stuff around in your keepsake logo glass.  Lastly, get your learn on and chat with some of the many winemakers that are actually in attendance and pouring their work, a rarity for events of this size.  So join us next month, at the next SF Vintners.  Enter the code “VINOPANION” for a nifty 50% off of your tickets, or just follow the links below.  Cheers!

What: San Francisco Vintners Market – Spring Time In The City
When: April 14th & 15th
Where: Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, San Francisco, CA
Cost:
General Admission: $80.00 (Includes all wines except Reserve Room)
Reserve Admission: $100 (Includes Reserve Room access to wines priced at $50 per bottle or higher)

Times: Trade tasting 12pm – 1pm Saturday & Sunday (RETAIL WINE BUYERS AND MEDIA ONLY)
General Admission: 1pm – 4pm Saturday & Sunday
Reserve Room Access: 12pm – 4pm Saturday & Sunday

21 AND OLDER ONLY!
NO PETS OR CHILDREN!
NO TICKET REFUNDS!

Click below for tickets at a 50% discount:

VINOPANION

 

Wines tasted at SF Vintners Market (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog) events:

[winelist query=”SFVintners” num=”100″]

5th Annual New York Wine Expo 2012

It’s not everyday that you can walk around and try wines from a bunch of countries, all in one nifty location.  OK true, Walt Disney World’s Epcot World Showcase is a pretty dang good time, regardless of whether you try wines from each country.  But I can’t think of another fully awesome wine experience that can compare to over 600 wines from 12+ countries, all for one single ticket price.  The 5th Annual New York Wine Expo is your portal for crazy, round-the-world, like-a-G6-style wine tasting!

What does that actually translate to in actual wineries on this fine weekend of March 2-4, you might ask…how about 150+ vintners, along with tons of gourmet food booths, and numerous wine seminars with which to treat your favorite Vinopanion.  Now, it’s only because I like you, but I have a special gift: type in the code VINOPANION for $15 off Friday night’s festivities!

Get the full deets after the break:

5th Annual New York Wine Expo

March 2 – 4, 2012

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

New York, NY

A Global Adventure in a Glass

Tickets

[Use VINOPANION for $15 off Friday Grand Tasting]