Wine vs. Weed

What I’m drinking this week

One of the most rewarding parts of hosting private wine events is giving people a chance to try something new, perhaps even something they have never heard of before. And when they fall in love with this new wine I introduce, I feel that I’ve done my job.

This week I had the privilege of hosting a wine event for a couple celebrating their 25th anniversary along with their friends. I knew we had a few Chardonnay fans in the crowd, so I brought a bottle, of course, but also included on of my favorite white varietals, a Roussanne. This particular Roussanne came from Stolpman Vineyards, and let me tell you, they really knock it out of the park. If you have not given this wine a try yet, I encourage you to get your hands on some or pop by their tasting room in downtown Los Olivos and check it out.

The reason I introduced this wine to Chardonnay fans is because the Roussanne is also a medium bodied white (this one in particular is also a blend containing 12% Chardonnay). The rich character gives the Roussanne the label of the “red wine drinker’s white” and enables it to stand up to foods you may not generally think to pair with a white wine. Personally, I find it to be the perfect wine to drink as we enter Autumn, cooler temperatures, and seasonal dishes - absolute perfection with Thanksgiving!

Roussanne is a late harvest varietal, taking its time to attain the optimal balance of acidity and sugar. This wine was aged in French oak barrels, adding to the richness and notes of toast and coconut. The palate contains notes of Meyer lemon, tropical fruits, and hazelnut.

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California Cannabis

If you’ve ever driven through Carpinteria, California, the smell of cannabis hangs heavy in the air. With the state’s legalization of marijuana, farms seem to be popping up all over the place, including the Santa Ynez valley. There is a lot of controversy around cannabis, but truth be told, what concerns me at the moment is how does this affect local grapes/wine?

Those of us in Northern and Central California know all too well how smoke from wildfires can permeate the grapes and have an affect on wine, but can the smell of cannabis do the same? From what I’ve read, the jury is still out. The CEO of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce voiced his concern a few years back, but Dr. Vinny from Wine Enthusiast was not convinced. Some winemakers are concerned and pot growers are vying for more and more land, but only time will tell what affect the close proximity will have.

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Sarah Robin