Sparkling Wines … Really, I tried not to throw Veuve under the bus!

Well, it’s that time of year, so of course we had to taste some bubbly on the TV show this month. There are plenty of $40 “meh” options out there (no need to name names … oops I guess I did with the subject line above). Anyway, what I did was bring some bottles that might not be so well-known, but show well up against those overpriced Champagnes brought to you by the folks that make purses that cost the same as a down payment on a small condo.

Click on picture below to watch the sparking wine clip from the TV show.

The wines poured this month:
Barth Sekt ($21.95)
Gosset Brut Excellence ($29.95)

White Burgundies – Pure Unadulterated Chardonnay

As most people know, I’m on a one-woman crusade to move my friends away from oaky, buttery California Chardonnay and over to the more elegant style of White Burgundy, which shows off the true beauty of this ever-so-popular grape. So when I did my little TV gig this month, I brought three examples of whites from France that actually taste like Chardonnay and not like pencil shavings dipped in Crisco. OK, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get the gist of what I’m trying to do …

All three of these wines are readily available and as “starter burgs”, an added bonus is that they are all under $20. That said, many of us Burgheads would rather drink them than Cali Chard that costs twice as much!

Click on the picture below to watch the white Burgundies clip from the TV show.

Pouring White Burgundies on the Roger Hedgecock TV Show

The wines poured this month:
Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé ($18)
Louis Latour Grand Ardeche ($13)
William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux ($17)
If you try these wines and find that you enjoy them so much you’d like to sample some higher end White Burgundies, see below for links to wine stores in SoCal where they can help you find the ones that fit the flavor profile that you prefer.  The next level of quality, 1er Cru, tends to be priced at $30-$80, and the highest level (Grand Cru) is typically $100-$300. But any wine lover that has had Grand Cru from a great vintage will tell you that they can be life-changingly ethereal.  Really. Hey, I wouldn’t have chosen it for my crusade if I wasn’t serious about this, would I?
http://www.vintagewinessd.com (Vintage Wines, San Diego)
http://www.winex.com (Wine Exchange, Orange County)
http://www.winehouse.com (Wine House, Los Angeles)

Pinots with Rex Pickett, author of Sideways

Rex Picket joined me on the Roger Hedgecock TV Show to talk about his play Sidewayss, opening at the La Jolla Playhouse later this month. I really enjoyed the production when I saw it last year at the Ruskin Theatre in Santa Monica. It’s based on Rex’s novel so that even if you’ve seen the film multiple times (like most of my wine geek friends!) it’s quite different with both an additional poignancy and one hilarious scene that didn’t make it into the movie.

So in honor of all that Rex has done for Pinot Noir, I brought three different ones for us to try. The picture below is of Roger doing his impression of Sandra Oh hitting Jack with her motorcycle helmet (if you saw the movie, you know that he deserved it!) See if you can catch my major gaffe in the first minute of the show:

Click below to watch Rex Pickett & Robin Stark on the Roger Hedgecock TV Show

To learn more about the La Jolla Playhouse production:

Pouring Value Napa Cab on the Roger Hedgecock TV Show

Last week I was on Roger Hedgecock’s TV show pouring High Quality-to-Price Ratio Cali Cabs. We were having too much fun for a Friday morning! Check out our California Cabernet show…

I’ll be doing these wine segments on a monthly basis and I’m open to suggestion for future shows

Robin Stark & Roger Hedgecock present Great California Cabs – Click below to watch

Bottle Shock – The Judgement of Paris Updated

Now that Bottle Shock, the movie about the famous Judgment of Paris tasting, is coming out on DVD, it seemed like a good time to post about our restaging of this famous wine event.

For anyone that is not familiar with the history, this is the competition in 1976 where ten top French wines were put up in a blind tasting against ten of California’s best. The judges, all French, included luminaries in the wine industry. To everyone’s shock, the California wines came out on top, Chateau Montelena won for the whites, and Stag’s Leap for the red.

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Bottle Shock, the movie based on this historical wine event, was chosen for the Sundance Film Festival last year, and will be out on DVD in February.  As a fundraiser for the Museum of Photographic Arts, we organized a restaging of the Judgment with updated vintages of the wines from the original tasting. There were 50 attendees and we began the evening by … Continue reading “Bottle Shock – The Judgement of Paris Updated” »