Jul 30, 2014

#WW Manzoni Syrah Monterey County

On a recent WineWalkabout Adventure to uncover some weeknight drinking wine, we came apon a lovely surprise. During this Adventure we came across this little gem of a Syrah from Manzoni Estate Vineyards. Located in the heart of Monterey Counties River Road Wine Trail this small family-owned and operated winery that produces small quantities of hand-crafted wines. The Syrah vines are grown in the 'Home Vineyard' which is planted to two Syrah clones: Estrella and Dijon 470. This is a great summer BBQ wine, or on second thoughts, for any time you would like it, and one that will be enjoyed by all who like a medium weight Syrah, with a red berry fruit, a bit of smoky meat and just the right amounts of acid and relatively rounded tannin's with a light pepper on the finish. The Syrah is a solid 6+ and ****, so buy a case as there were only 494 cases produced. So go on by Manzoni Estate Vineyards or to the Tasting room in Carmel and let em know we sent you, and tell em we say g'day! 

To happy Weeknight Wine!


Kiwi & Koala

With two tasting rooms there is no excuse, or order from the link to the right.

30981 River Rd, Soledad CA 93960
Saturday & Sunday 11am - 5pm
(831) 675-3398
Paseo Courtyard w/s of San Carlos between Ocean & 7th Ave
Sunday - Thursday 11am - 6pm. Friday & Saturday 11am - 7pm.
(831) 620-6541

Jul 28, 2014

Wine, a social enhancement, drink it!

Wine is as unique and individual as the Terroir in which the vines grow and the grapes mature. It’s as diverse as the weather, as complex as those who make it, and as subtle as the vessels it’s matured in, and there's a special story inside each bottle. And then on top of all of that there's those with whom you drink the wine with and the circumstances you drink it in.

Wine adds a little something special to almost any social situation that we find ourselves in. We are after all, social animals, and there are not too many things better than hanging with friends or chosen family members, conversing and laughing and of course sharing some good wine, with or without food (food is our preference). Sometimes the wine itself provides the focus of the stories, whether it is the one you're sharing, or the ones you've tasted at some other time. Perhaps it’s about the one you hope to find. Maybe it was the story of that crazy adventure that brought you to that special wine that entertains. Wine does add that little extra pleasure to life!

Sometimes your new favorite wine you purchased on the last tasting trip is not as good as you remember and sometimes that ‘ok’ wine seems to have morphed into a great one. Often this is just a case of the combination of the wine and food and the company or some combination thereof, again the social / situational nature of wine. Remember the best wine you ever had? It was probably also connected some special occasion event or person that will never be quite duplicated.
People often tell us of some incredible bottle they have in their wine storage that is just waiting for the perfect important event. The sad thing is that it's growing old and melancholy and probably not stored perfectly, as they worry about what special occasion could possibly be worthy enough to warrant it being opened. There is that thought that the current occasion is not up to the standard worthy of such a great wine or that a better one may come along. With that logic what often happens with thinking like that, the wine, well, just dies a slow lonely death of solitude and abandon. When you finally open it it is not showing well and a great wine has passed.

We say—next time good friends turn up with smiles on their faces—fetch that bottle, you know the one, you purchased it with hopes of a great time sharing with friends, pour large glasses and toast—here's to loving, laughing and to living long and prospering. Here's to being in the moment and to sharing that next great bottle!

Happy Tasting Adventures,
By the way, we are available to help consume and review good wine!

Jul 26, 2014

Coober Pedy Experience, Australia.

 Coober Pedy. What a strange and interesting place. While traveling to the red center we needed a place to stop along the way and Coober Pedy seemed interesting enough to be the chosen spot.
About 850 kilometers north of Adelaide South Australia on the Stuart Highway the town is sometimes referred to as the "opal capital of the world" because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. As you approach the town the landscape becomes more like a moonscape with piles of white dirt and rock all over.
The name 'Coober Pedy' comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means 'white man's hole'. Fairly appropriate given the dwellings of those that started this place.
Probably just as famous for the way most people live as for the opals,
the harsh summer desert temperatures mean that many residents prefer to live in caves bored into the hillsides ("dugouts"). These dugouts remain at a constant temperature, while surface buildings need a lot of air-conditioning, especially during the summer months, when temperatures often exceed 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
The relative humidity rarely gets over 20% on these hot days, and the skies are usually cloud-free.
BFF  Trev showing off for the girls.
There are some very interesting attractions and one of those is the Old Timers Mine. We took a tour of the old mine and found it to be informative and fascinating and we were glad we don’t have to live under the conditions that the early miners did. Not sure we could handle the current conditions either!

We received a great demonstration of the boring machine and the vacuum truck from our new bff Trev (he loves the Californian, OK any girls). The Old Timer's Mine is a window through time to the days of old and is an original opal mine dating back to 1916.

Past relatives of Koala must have been here!

We stayed right next door at the Comfort Inn which proved to be fully underground and very comfortable as well as affordable. The rooms were completely underground and even with no air conditioning were cool and quiet. Walking around underground was not at all claustrophobic and the colors in the rock walls were quite beautiful.

While not on a list of must do places, it is half way between Adelaide and Alice Springs or Uluru and as such makes for the perfect 24-48 hour stop over point. Let’s put it this way. If you’re traveling by, you must stop and check it out, as it is a unique and fascinating place.
If you are in the area this a MUST DO!

Tell em we sent you!


Kiwi & Koala

 Driving up to Coober Pedy.

Jul 23, 2014

Wine Review Thummerer 2011 Cabernet Franc-Merlot

Not to long ago we had the pleasure of tasting a bunch of Hungarian wine at the Hungarian Wine Roadshow in San Francisco. As some of you know this can often lead to palate overload or thinking you like the wines more than you do because, well, the pretty girl is engaging, the expert tells a good story or the most likely culprit is after a dozen or so tastes in a friendly upbeat atmosphere you start to get a little buzzed (don't spit in front of the pretty girls, Mum says its not polite). The tasting was very nice and the representatives had voluminous amounts of information and there were some nice nibbles to for those who chose to indulge, and some truly indulged. Although we do really enjoy these tastings and as much value as they are in assessing new wines, it seems the real test is when you open a bottle at home on any given night to have with dinner. No pretense, no one to impress with your awe inspiring knowledge and tasting skills and the time to let the wine talk to you with the quiet to listen.
That being said we had arranged to get a few bottles chosen at random from the tasting list and plan to drink them at home with dinner and see how they fair. The first of these just happens to be going with our famous lamb chops (possibly an unfair expectation).

Provided information;
Cabernet Franc – Merlot – Lemberger (Blaufränkisch)
A dry, red wine grown in the Eger Wine Region.
Plantation: Guyot method of cultivation, 240 x 100 cm row and root stock width. Clay and mud soil; 5-7% slope; southern and south-western position; light basoid, brown soil. Vintage and production: early budding; dry, warm summer; early harvest.
Wine description: a friendly wine with fine tannins, matured to mellowness. Thanks to the two types of grape, spicy and fruity notes meet and are completed with discrete barrique ageing. Alcohol: 13.5%. Acidity: 4.9 g/l. Recommended at 16-18°C as an accompaniment to grilled meats or game.
Storage: Bottles should be laid flat and kept at a constant temperature in a cool, dry, well-ventilated space, away from sunlight.

This is a dry light bodied wine with a soft mouth feel and light fine tannin structure. The initial sips were a little dry dusty with a hint of cherry and some raspberry flavors and the although the tannins were quite well integrated at first they had a little sharpness. This went away after a few minutes of playing with it in the glass and once the wine was also introduced to salami, smoked Gouda and water crackers it really fell into place. Drinking with the lamb it was perhaps just a little light to be a perfect match but none the less very enjoyable and it held its own quite well.

This wine rates a 6 is **** and a wine we would share with almost anyone and most importantly,
one we would purchase.



Kiwi & Koala

Jul 21, 2014

The 75+ most influential wine peeps on social media

There are all sorts of ways to get ranked on some sort of top whatever lists, but we were quite surprised that after reading an article by the our social media mates the Wine Wankers we were actually on a couple of those lists of 'influencers in wine' using social media. We are in amongst some pretty good company and are are little humbled to be there. The Wine Wankers spent a fair amount of effort researching this and as far as we can tell they got it right (our numbers were correct). So congrats to them for their amazing success and we are raising a glass of something nice to celebrate our small success. Cheers to everyone on the list!
Here is an excerpt from their research.

So, here are the 75+ most influential wine entities on the net as at July 14th 2014.
Author: Conrad (of the Wine Wankers)

Over the last couple of months there have been a few “most influencial wine people on the Internet” type lists circulated.  They've all been quite good indicators of wine related influence on the net, within the scope of what qualifies to make each list of course.  I’ll briefly go over two of these…
About Klout -Klout uses various networks to measure influence including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Instagram, Bing, Google+, Tumblr, Foursquare, YouTube, Blogger, WordPress, Last.fm, Yammer and Flickr to derive a score out of 100.  Apparently a score of 63 puts you in the top 1-5% of all entities rated.  Read more about Klout here.
About Kred -Kred only measures social media influence derived from Twitter and Facebook.  It has 2 scores, one out of 1000 measuring social media influence and one out of 12 measuring outreach, ie how “social” an entity really is.  Apparently a score over 750 puts you in the top 1% and a score over 800 puts you in the top 0.1% of all entities on social media.  Read more about Kred here.

So, here are the 75+ most influential wine entities on the net as at mid July 20 (and also a link to the Wine Wankers).
RankWine EntityScoreRankWine EntityScore1Score2
1Wine Spectator871Ken “alawine” Waggoner95110
2Jancis Robinson842The Wine Wankers9209
3Decanter Magazine823The Drinks Business Magazine9147
4Tim Atkin814Jancis Robinson9057
Jamie Goode815Rick Bakas9049
6The Wine Wankers806Wine Spectator9045
Reverse Wine Snob807Reverse Wine Snob8989
Vinography808Randall Grahm8958
9Snooth789Decanter Magazine8956
10The Wine Hub7710Cliff Brown8939
Randall Grahm7711Wine Enthusiast8907
12Andre Ribeirinho7612Wine Twits8898
13Wine Folly7413Tim Atkin8878
Wine Harlots7414Jamie Goode8828
15Paul Mabray7215Wine Harlots8708
Marilena Barbera7216The Wine Hub8688
Fabien Lainé72171 Wine Dude8609
Dusan Jelic7218Palate Xposure8509
Magnus Reuterdahl7219Natalie MacLean8468
20Ken “alawine” Waggoner7120Robert Joseph8428
Russ Beebe7121Wine Folly8408
Ilkka Sirén7122Snooth8356
23Sip on This Juice7023Andre Ribeirinho8238
Ana Sofia Oliveira7024Dusan Jelic8188
Emmanuel Delmas7025Bruised Grape8169
Vincent Pétré7026Robert Parker Jnr8163
Robert Joseph7027Sip on This Juice8159
Robert McIntosh7028Will Lyons8158
The Drinks Business Magazine7029Robert McIntosh8148
30Grape Friend6930Dr Vino8147
Rick Bakas6931James Suckling8047
32Meg Maker6732Paul Mabray8028
Jasmine Hirsch6733Twe Sommelier7998
Wine Sisterhood6734Emmanuel Delmas7988
Jameson Fink6735Magnus Reuterdahl7969
Peter Handzus6736Vinography7946
John Corcoran6737Marilena Barbera7938
Andrea Petrini6738Meg Maker7928
39Clayton Bahr6639Russ Beebe7888
Wine Twits6640Oz Clarke7886
Simon Woolf6641Wine Sisterhood7878
Elisabetta Tosi66Enobytes Wine7878
43Wine Enthusiast6543Michelle Williams7869
1 Wine Dude6544Jameson Fink7868
Ryan Opaz6545Marcy Gordon7848
Wine Consumer Magazine6546Alice Feiring7847
Mario Scheuermann6547John Corcoran7845
Giampiero Nadali6548The Academic Wino7838
49Wine Walkabout6449Vincent Pétré7828
Lynton Manuel64Wine Compass7828
Twe Sommelier6451The Drunken Cyclist7798
Gwendolyn Alley6452Travelling Corkscrew7738
Ralf Kaiser6453Jason Solanki7728
54Robert Parker Jnr6354Andrea Gori7718
The Drunken Cyclist6355Grape Friend7717
Travelling Corkscrew6356Ryan Opaz7707
The Academic Wino6357Wine Searcher7696
Adam Japko6358Adam Japko7687
Natalie MacLean63Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan MW7687
Christian Schiller6360Hudson Valley Wine Goddess7678
Will Lyons63Ilkka Sirén7678
62Wine Searcher62Clayton Bahr7678
Dr Vino62Peter Handzus7678
Andrea Gori626450 States of Wine7668
Wisequeen Donna Jackson6265Christian Schiller7638
66Michelle Williams6166Fabien Lainé7637
Frankie Cook6167Jasmine Hirsch7627
Wine Compass6168Wine Walkabout7588
Hudson Valley Wine Goddess6169Elisabetta Tosi7567
50 States of Wine6170Gwendolyn Alley7437
71Oz Clarke60Frankie Cook7437
Bruised Grape6073Simon Woolf7427
Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan MW6073Wisequeen Donna Jackson7398
Palate Xposure6074Brett Jones7356
Alice Feiring6075Ralf Kaiser7337
Brett Jones60
James Suckling60Mario Scheuermann7307
Enobytes Wine60Andrea Petrini7276
Giampiero Nadali7226
Cliff Brown59Wine Consumer Magazine6425
Jason Solanki58Ana Sofia Oliveira6325
Marcy Gordon56Lynton Manuel6094
We are a little surprised and excited at the same time to be on this list. We are in some pretty cool company. So congrats to those on the list and thanks to the guys at Wine Wankers for putting it together. 
Kiwi & Koala