Wines to Pair with the NBA Finals

Redemption is drawing nigh. The tragic Game 7 loss to the Cav’s in last year’s NBA Finals remains heavy on everyone’s heart. But finally, a year later, we are ready for battle. The streets of Oakland are lined with people in Warriors gear, banners are hung with pride around Lake Merritt and “Authentic Warriors Fans” signs are posted in the windows of every small business in town. This is War. The NBA Finals are upon us and I for one am jumping out of my skin excited.

In addition to the (Steph) curry dishes and the chicken wings, we are going to need to stock up on some wine. Here’s what to drink during the myriad of events and emotions we will face in the 2017 NBA Finals. (more…)

Erin on Spain

The perfect specimen in the photo above is my dog, Kendall, in front of Lake Merritt in Oakland. In the past 8 months, this super fly pit bull and I have probably walked around this lake 100 times. I’ve probably hit play on Beyoncé’s Lemonade album 100 times and, if we are close, I’ve probably texted you in a state of anxiety or trepidation at least 100 times (love you).

Last September, when in a jet-lagged stupor I purchased a ticket to Barcelona, June seemed light years away. In reality, light years really have passed since then. I’ve been to Paris and LA, to Mexico and Palm Springs. I’ve spent quality time with my parents, I’ve seen friends have babies and I’ve watched friends simply slay in the workforce. I’ve been gifted a group of inspiring female co-workers I’m honored to call my family, and I’ve met people on the other side of the Birba bar I’m proud to call my friends. I’ve cried, I’ve watched a lot of basketball and I’ve started writing on the daily. And now, just like that, it’s almost time to fly. In less than a month, I’m headed to Spain with a one way ticket, and It Rains in Spain is about to get really real.

Fear not, I (probably) won’t be gone forever. While I’m there, however, I’m going to hit nearly every major wine region. I’m going to gather all the information I can from winemakers who have been working hard to change the game and I’m going drop this science on you on the regular- a goal of mine from the get go. I’ll be blogging with a vengeance and jamming the ‘gram with photos and videos of everyday life in the streets and the vineyards of España. In addition to the blog, I’ll be starting a full on website, with the intent to not only document my travels, but to get into the more wine geeky stuff like regions and varietals- hopefully in an interesting and approachable way. Needless to say, there is much in plan.

I try not to think about how much I will miss my people, my dog and maybe even the insane cat that lives with my parents. I have a wonderful, solid set of friends I met in Spain last year who will be helping me with housing, friendship and general support. I will take Face Times and What’s Apps and I will send post cards and letters. Most importantly I’ll be back- stronger, tanner and smart as hell. In the words of my amazing friend and boss lady, Angie, who makes me laugh every day- “I’m going on my YOLO.” Plenty of details to follow…much love.

Blogged at: Birba, Mom and Dad’s

Soundtrack: Kanye West, Life of Pablo 

 

Fazenda Prádio Merenzao

Anyone who really knows me, knows I’m not much of a romantic. I’m not into candlelight, I don’t actually know how to use a fork at a nice restaurant and I’ve never clamped a love lock on the Pont Neuf. That’s not to say, however, that I have never felt romance. In 2012, when the A’s swept both the Mariners and the Rangers to win the division- romance. My first taco truck experience (85th and Edes), the first time I saw Beyoncé’s XO video and the first time I tasted the Merenzao from Fazenda Prádio; all of these moments, romantic as hell. (more…)

Priorat, the Power Hitter

In 2012, Yoenis Céspedes knocked a 462 foot bomb into the left center field of the Oakland Coliseum. It was probably the longest home run Oakland had seen in 13 years- possibly ever, and it’s certainly the longest it’s seen since. Now the size of Priorat may be arguably smaller than the size of the All-Star Cuban power hitter, but the wines are just as muscular, just as handsome and come just as equipped with la potencia to clear the bases. (more…)

Conca de Barberà

The Conca de Barberà is an energetic, spunky little wine region that sits respectfully amongst some of Catalunya’s more prominent players. The surrounding superstar regions of Penedés, Priorat, Costers de Segre and the Montsant get most of the credit, but the wines coming out of Conca de Barberà are proving major contenders. Very little wine actually leaves the region, as most of the grapes are sold to the bigger guys or used make Cava, but the wines that do make their way to the great USA are consistently on point and are often natural or biodynamic. (more…)

Txakoli! And Other Confusing Words

Spring has sprung- at least in the baseball universe. Ken Korach’s lulling voice is vibrating through my radio, the A’s have beaten the Giants twice already and I can almost smell the scent of kettle corn that wafts optimistically through the left field bleachers. The sounds and smells of summer are slowly approaching, and with that comes the super light, slightly effervescent little patio pounder, Txakolina. (more…)

¡Cava!

As a sommelier and wine geek there are wines I frequently find myself defending, and to be sure, Cava is one of them. People are scared of it, and rightfully so, I suppose. Diners have been burned by the substandard, cloyingly sweet sparklers restaurants have been willing to put on their list as a cheap alternative to Champagne. And to be real, the Cava DO hasn’t exactly been known to favor quality. Many Cava producers are looking to make a dollar on volume, rather than focusing on the terruño or the wine’s potential for depth and character. But, in the words Steph Curry, “let’s make that old”. (more…)