Thursday, December 29, 2011

How To Read the Sparkling Wine Label

I found this reference guide from a Snooth Blog very handy. I just printed it off and took it with me to shop for my bubbly. Cheers, Kathy

PS. If you didn't get to read my blog, Because We Care, it received lots of emails that the information was very much appreciated and was forwarded to many family and friends.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Because We Care

I was listening to the radio while working today and in addition to great Christmas music there were regular public service announcements…

Drink Responsibly, Don’t Drink and Drive, Alcohol – Know your Limit

The last slogan, Alcohol – Know Your Limit, had me Googling…

So some basic facts...
  • Your body processes alcohol at a constant rate of .5 oz. per hour, regardless of how many ounces you consume.
  • Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) is the amount of alcohol present in your blood as you drink
  • In all 50 states, the legal limit for drunk driving is a BAL level of .08.
  • Eating protein and fatty foods supposedly can slow down alcohol absorption but I couldn’t find any detailed, statistical supporting facts
  • A 120-pound woman can reach a .08 BAC level after only two drinks and a 180-pound man can be at .08 after only four drinks
What got my attention!

One drink is defined as having one-half ounce of pure ethyl alcohol; each of the following is considered "one drink."
  • 10 oz to 12 oz of beer at 4% to 5% alcohol, or
  • 8 oz to 12 oz of wine cooler at 4% to 6% alcohol, or
  • 4 oz to 5 oz of table wine at 9% to 12% alcohol, or
  • 2.5 oz of fortified wine at 20% alcohol, or
  • 1.25 oz of 80 proof distilled spirits at 40%alcohol, or
  • 1 oz of 100 proof distilled spirits at 50% alcohol.
As I type this blog, I’m drinking one of my favorite beers… One 12 oz Stout at 9% alcohol. (This would be 2 drinks)

Wines today, especially reds, weigh in on the average of 13-14+% alcohol, and the average glass pour is not 4-5 ounces.

One martini is equal to two drinks, one margarita equal to 1.5 drinks

The messages are still Drink Responsibly, Don’t Drink & Drive and Alcohol – Know your Limit

Know Your Limit, though, has a much broader message. It’s as important but in a different way than “don’t drink and drive”. We all know that when we drink, we’re a bit freer in mind and good decision making is diluted with alcohol.

So, my friends…

Because we care,

The Working Girls of Olympic Cellars

PS…. The tables below will help you estimate your Blood Alcohol Level

If you're a WOMAN, your Blood Alcohol Level is:
# of drinks
in 1 hour
100 lbs. 120 lbs. 140 lbs. 160 lbs. 180 lbs. 200 lbs. 220 lbs. 240 lbs.
1 .05 .04 .04 .03 .03 .03 .02 .02
2 .10 .08 .07 .06 .06 .05 .05 .04
3 .15 .13 .11 .10 .08 .08 .07 .06
4 .20 .17 .15 .13 .11 .10 .09 .09
5 .25 .21 .18 .16 .14 .13 .12 .11
6 .30 .26 .22 .19 .17 .15 .14 .13
7 .36 .30 .26 .22 .20 .18 .16 .15
8 .41 .33 .29 .26 .23 .20 .19 .17
9 .46 .38 .33 .29 .26 .23 .21 .19
10 .51 .42 .36 .32 .28 .25 .23 .21
11 .56 .46 .40 .35 .31 .27 .25 .23
12 .61 .50 .43 .37 .33 .30 .28 .25
13 .66 .55 47 .40 .36 .32 .30 .27
14 .71 .59 .51 .43 .39 .35 .32 .29
If you're a MAN, your Blood Alcohol Level is:
# of drinks
in 1 hour
100 lbs. 120 lbs. 140 lbs. 160 lbs. 180 lbs. 200 lbs. 220 lbs. 240 lbs.
1 .04 .04 .03 .03 .02 .02 .02 .02
2 .09 .07 .06 .05 .05 .04 .04 .04
4 .17 .15 .13 .11 .10 .09 .08 .07
5 .22 .18 .16 .14 .12 .11 .10 .09
6 .26 .22 .19 .16 .15 .13 .12 .11
7 .30 .25 .22 .19 .17 .15 .14 .13
8 .35 .29 .25 .22 .19 .17 .16 .14
9 .37 .32 .26 .24 .20 .19 .17 .15
10 .39 .35 .28 .25 .22 .20 .18 .16
11 .48 .40 .34 .30 .26 .24 .22 .20
12 .53 .43 .37 .32 .29 .26 .24 .21
13 .57 .47 .40 .35 .31 .29 .26 .23
14 .62 .50 .43 .37 .34 .31 .28 .25

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Reach Out

A few weeks ago I went to an art show in Port Angeles featuring one of my favorite artists, Melissa Klein. I’ve been drawn to her work because of her eccentric humor... poking fun at social convention.

The first painting I purchased was the “Curse of the Good Girl” that inspired one of my favorite blogs. Some days when my genetically inbred “Guilt-O-Meter” gets into the red zone, I think of the picture’s chant… There’s no place like home, there’s no place like work and try to rid myself of the curse!

This art show, though, was different.

As usual I started to circle the room but was stopped short by one painting which immediately drew me in. I wasn’t sure why but all I could do was focus on the girl straining forward with one arm outstretched.

The painting was multi-media and there was a gossamer fabric overlaying part of the painting lightly covering the picture below.

Finally I dragged by eyes away and read the card by the painting.

“Passing Through” by Melissa Klein

Melissa then walked over and stood by me. We didn’t say anything for a few minutes both lost in our thoughts. Then she quietly told me the story…

My cousin wrote to me when I lost my friend who died very young…
The veil between life and death is very thin.
It’s comforting to realize that we're not so far from those who have departed.

I've always felt strongly that this was a very personal piece.
That it was a healing process to create and one that I almost wouldn't show.

When I was preparing for my art show, here was this painting staring at me and I knew my friend would want me to show it… even to the point of kicking my butt to do it.”

So why that night and why that show?

I told my husband at the last minute, I’m going. Don’t know why the strong pull. But, I put a hat on my head and was out the door.

I bought the painting and Melissa emailed me to say… “I'm glad that someone I know and trust will be her new caretaker, and that the healing passes on to you.”

As I walk around my house decorated for the holidays, there are so many memories of children growing up, of parents who have passed. Family gatherings also have dwindled over time living so far apart. And, this year dear friends have lost so much it's hard to comprehend.

This is the season when all of our feelings and emotions seem to tumble down upon us… sometimes more like a babbling brook with laughter floating ever so gently then an unexpected waterfall that threatens to pull us under.

I’m looking at the painting and these words keep rumbling in my heart.

Just reach out, Reach throughyou and yours will be united within.

Thank you Melissa for entrusting me with such a precious gift.


Artist, Melissa Klein

Saturday, December 17, 2011

An Unexpected Gift

Saturday I snuck away from the winery for a few hours of shopping in my home communities of Sequim and Port Angeles.

I was feeling overwhelmed with the quintessential “Holiday Pressures” & a long list of “got-to do’s.” Yet in each store I was greeted with warm smiles (hugs in some cases), offers to help, relaxed atmospheres, friends chatting (sharing ideas for a grandma in need). The list goes on. I could actually even hear the Christmas music.

Obviously, as a small business owner shopping local is near and dear to my heart. Usually I’m on the other side of the counter (behind our bar, in my case) greeting customers with a focus on my guests.

Now I was on the ‘receiving end’ and it was an incredible experience.

I found the gift selections unique and abundant. While small businesses may not have large inventories, each item had been personally chosen by the owner for their store. And with each store visited, I found myself getting more festive and also a bit more thoughtful.

I’m formally from Dallas, and believe me, I know my way around Malls. Trying to make your way through one is like trying to cross a NYC street at 5PM. Hesitate and you’re nudged not so kindly out of the way.

But “Local Shopping” was a gift to me personally. As a “customer” I got way more than what I bought. I was given the “Gift of the Christmas Spirit.”

Finally, I realized I had a story to tell about each purchase… with every gift having a connection not just a credit card receipt. As my family opens these I can tell them about the shop, the people that own it, where it was located and the history.

A big thank you to our business community (and to the joy of shopping local).

Kathy Charlton
Olympic Cellars Winery

Choose Local Campaign - City of Port Angeles, Graphic Design & logo by Laurel Black Design

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Twelve Days of "Wine" Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas is part of everyone’s holiday tradition. I used to drive my Dad crazy singing it over and over.

I heard it on the radio today and I started humming “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a bottle of Working Girl Wine.” You can now just imagine… the challenge was on.

So this year I created a Working Girl version of this classic.

Now if you used the original poem as inspiration for gifts you might have trouble finding that partridge in a pear tree or eight geese a laying…

But in my version, it’s simple. It’s all about wine and I know us Working Girls can help.

Read on and enjoy. I’ve left a copy for my husband and circled some critical stanzas.

In addition, at the end we have the “Twelve Days of "Wine" Christmas Package (and yes, it’s really available) an
d the “more affordable” versions.

Cheers & Best Holiday Wishes, Kathy

“A Working Girl’s Twelve Days of Christmas”
On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
One bottle of Merlot
And told me to go play in the snow

On the second day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Two bottles of Cabernet
And said have a great day

On the third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three bottles Syrah
And told me to have a massage at the spa

On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Four bottles of Lemberger
And fixed me my favorite Vege-burger

On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five bottles of Cranberry Jubilee
And told me it was time to decorate the tree

On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Six bottles of Chardonnay
And took me for a ride in a Sleigh

On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Seven bottles of Petit Verdot
And told me my nose was a-glow

On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eight bottles of Rosé
And took me to the ballet

On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Nine bottles of Riesling
And asked me to stop all that singing

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Ten bottles of Go Girl Red
And said I probably needed to go to bed

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eleven bottles of La Galopine
And told me they were fit for a Queen

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Twelve bottles of Sparkling Syrah
And yelled Hurrah!!!

Merry Christmas!

“Twelve Days of "Wine" Christmas” Package
  • 78 Bottles of Olympic Cellars Wines as described in the poem
  • Signed and Framed copy of the Working Girl’s Twelve Days of Christmas Poem
  • Collector’s Magnum Etched Bottle of Rosé the Riveter wine
  • Complimentary Tickets to all 2012 Winery Events and Concertsb
  • Cost $1457.94
  • No tax
  • Shipping complimentary
  • “You deserve it”

And, the “more affordable” packages with our gift to you.
  • Purchase 8 bottles and receive 4 Olympic Cellars Logo Wine Glasses, value $28
  • Purchase 4 bottles and receive 2 Olympic Cellars Wine Glasses, Value $14
  • Purchase 2 bottles and receive your choice of one of our Working Girl Wine Glasses
Just order the wine you want in any of the above quantities and we will ship the wine glasses with the wine!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Patriot Guard Riders Documentary Screening

Soldier Down, Kickstands Up
Motorcycle Group Silences Funeral Protesters and Honors Military Dead

A new documentary, “Patriot Guard Riders” will be screened at Olympic Cellars, Port Angeles, WA on Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 11th, 2011. ViewTrailer

“Patriot Guard Riders” traces a motorcycle group that formed to protect people attending military funerals from the Westboro Baptist Church, a hate group who claims that American war casualties are divine retribution for the country’s tolerance of homosexuality. Now 250,000 strong, bereaved families nationwide invite the group to escort fallen soldiers from the airport to the burial grounds where they stand in flag lines even when the protesters don't show up.

This fundraising event is co-sponsored by Peninsula Community Mental Health Center and Olympic Cellars. Peter Casey, Executive Director of the Center, says, “We are thrilled to share this documentary with the community and pleased that all profits will be directed to unfunded Veteran services.” The Director, Ellen Frick will be in attendance and take part in a Q&A conducted by film critic, Rebecca Redshaw following the screening.

Location: Olympic Cellars, 255410 Highway 101
Port Angeles, WA
Donation: $25.00
Date: Friday, November 11, 2011
Time: 6 p.m. No Host Bar with light refreshments / 7 p.m. screening
Tickets: Port Book & News, Purchase Tickets Online or call the winery (360) 452-0160

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween in the Cellar with French Photographer

Olympic Cellars Host French
Photographer Phil Tauran

"Costumed Guests Memorialized For Time Immorta

Calling all Adult “Young At Heart” Kids…

Trick or Treat Olympic Cellars Winery in costume on Saturday, October 29 and receive a complimentary wine tasting, treats, and an opportunity to have your photo taken by a professional photographer. Phil Turaun will be in the winery cellar between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to photograph winery customers in their spooky attire.

Vamp it up amongst the barrels, eat some candy, and sip some wine. The cellar will be decorated in a Halloween “tableau” providing the backdrop to memorialize your image for time immortal. Your 4-legged costumed friend is also welcome to join in the photo shoot.

New to Sequim from France, Tauran studied graphic design in Bordeaux, working as such for 2 decades, before deciding to move to Sequim to follow his passion, fine art photography. Exhibited throughout Provence, Tauran’s inspirations include American photographers Dennis Hopper, Walker Evans and Ansel Adams, as well as the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula.

Phil is an artist with a camera as his medium; his canvas has been France and now is the Peninsula. This is a very special opportunity to be photographed by Phil as he starts is new business in Sequim.

Visit his website at

For a $10 sitting fee guests receive a 5x7 photo, available for pick up at the winery on Monday, October 31 between 11-6 p.m. or by prior arrangement. Additional prints can be purchased. (Costumes are your choice.)

For more information, contact Olympic Cellars at 360.452.0160.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Olympic Cellars Honored to Host American Veterans Traveling Tribute and Wall

Peninsula Patriot Days
September 28 – October 1, 2011
Olympic Cellars Winery Grounds Open 24 hours a Day, Sept 29-Oct 1

AVTT ( is a veteran-owned project that travels the USA to provide a forum for communities to HONOR-RESPECT-REMEMBER all who have sacrificed their lives for our country's freedom... All who served, are serving and have sacrificed their lives for our country's freedom; Military, Police, Firemen.

AVTT was founded on the principles that American Heroes must be honored and remembered. Additionally, AVTT allows those without the means or ability to travel to our great national memorial sites to pay respect and share in the experience of honoring our heroes.

Steve Doty, one of the co-owners, grew up in Port Angeles. Bringing the Tribute Wall back to his home town was very important to him. Early this year when we started planning for this event he asked if the winery would do a private label and donate a portion of the sales to local veterans groups. Steve also designed the label and suggested their names... Patriot Red and Celebration White. These labels are also a special tribute to Steve who passed away from cancer just a few weeks ago.

Our local veterans groups and supporters of this event have worked non-stop. The last meeting I attended they asked if the winery's donation could go to the Port Angeles High School Junior Naval ROTC in our community. This program stresses leadership, academics, athletics and community service. In June the United States Navy awarded them with the Navy's highest award, The Distinguished Unit with Honors. This groups will Post the Colors each Day at the winery.

We will donate 20% of all Patriot wine sales to the Port Angeles High School Naval Junior ROTC. You can purchase these wines via our web store or in the tasting room.

The winery tasting room will be open 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the winery grounds will be open to tribute visitors 24 hours a day.

Representatives of AVTT will be there to assist all who visit. A complete listing of each day's schedule is on our website. Parking close to the winery will be reserved for handicap with additional ample parking on our lower field.

Respectfully, Kathy

Monday, September 5, 2011


Dedicated to us… Four Fab Friends

Looking around my office is like walking down memory lane… or maybe it’s Working Girl Lane up to the winery. I’m not a hoarder and I don’t like clutter but I do like to gaze beyond my monitor and look at the stuff that represents the evolution of this Working Girl.

Thinking about these relics of my past can put me in a zone when I need creativity or kick me out of the proverbial funk. Each has a story. I remember the immediate rush when I first pounced on the object or idea… emotionally pegging what I was dealing with, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

First vintage of the Working Girl Wines… a beginning
Painting “Curse of the Good Girls
A Pamela Hastings’ doll “Love Yourself” with a bit of the Hot Flash couture
Collection of white rocks and hearts
“I’m so tired of being the bitch” t-shirt
Small Quilt “Go With the Flow”
Message In a Bottle
And, solid brass balls

This week a new “art piece” joined the menagerie and along with it comes this story…

A few weeks ago, the four fab friends (me being one of them) headed to Seattle for a 24 hour get-away. All have businesses and it took some finagling to get us loaded up and out of town. Then we crossed Hood Canal Bridge. I may have imagined it but there seemed to be a collective sigh and a slight release of that every day level of own your own business type tension. We all started talking. Chill

The reason for our trip was a special goodbye to one of our friends who was moving across the country. This was not an easy decision for her and she seemed to have her emotions on hold talking about the move in a distant sort of way. Chill

This trip was a new adventure as we are all new to this “girlfriend experience”. Conversation was still on a safe level. We all admitted, though, that we never really had girlfriends. Chill

Still hadn’t really started to relax… needed to drop off wine in Auburn on the way and got totally lost. Car GPS and phone GPS taking us two different routes. Again tense. I was wasting our precious time. I’m the queen of the u-turns, finally found I-5. OK Chill

Arrived at hotel. Had surprise bottle of champagne and strawberries in room. Popped the cork, sipped cold champagne and talked some more. The hotel was serving our Working Girl Wines during wine hour in the lobby. Needed to make an appearance. Never did. This was our time. Chill

Conversation turned to tattoos… believe it or not. Two of us had tattoos and it turned out after more champagne that we all wanted a shared memory tattoo… we decided on a peace symbol as our theme and each would pick their own design. A few calls later we had a 10 p.m. appointment (after dinner and martinis). Picture four “gracefully aging” ladies walking into a skanky tattoo parlor. All I can remember before make a fast retreat was this very large guy, bare butt up with a guy working on his tattoo. Really Chill

Walked the city and talked more. About ex’s and everything in between. Sweet Chilling.

The “morning after” we noshed through the market and reality starts to set in. We’re on a schedule. Back to work. Race for the ferry. Chill

Turns out we all did get our tattoos a few days later, each of us overlapping time slots for moral support. We forgot that the guy doing our tattoo was in the room, the buzz of his instrument just became background noise. We started at 9:30 a.m. and finished at 6:30 p.m. The damn tattoos hurt but not as much as saying goodbye. Chill

Back at work. I look to the right of my monitor. A doll, appropriately named “Chill” greets me every morning. She reminds me of my three new friends… all individuals, learning to chill, dropping our guard, opening up to trust.

In friendship, Kathy

PS... my tattoo

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Beatles Are Coming!

Yeah, yeah, yeah Ye-ah...

Well, maybe not really... but as close as it gets. The awesome Beatles Tribute Band, Crème Tangerine will play in concert at Olympic Cellars on Saturday, August 27 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on-line or at the door.

And look what I found below... two YouTube videos of Crème Tangerine and the Beatles playing the same song, "Get Back" from a rooftop venue.

August 27 will be our finale Hot August Nights Concert. Garden Bistro is serving their artisan wood fired Pizza and we'll be serving wine.

This Saturday, August 20 Fat Chance will be at the winery...
a local legend on the Olympic Peninsula.

So, I'll sign off here with a Beatles refrain... Cheers, Kathy (can you hear me singing...)

Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude (fade out)

Crème Tangerine performing The Beatles rooftop at Pike Place Market in Seattle

The Beatles playing same song in rooftop concert

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Build a Makeshift Closet Wine Cellar

My last blog... Buy To Store or Buy To Drink went into the gory details of wine storage. I recently came by this info on building out a closet wine cellar. Didn't seem too difficult or expensive... and leaves more of your disposable income for the wine you want!
While digging a large hole in the basement
would seem the most effective thing to do to best store your wine, that would be a major undertaking, and will cost you quite a bit. A closet wine cellar is ideal for the every day wine lover, and will probably only cost you around two, three hundred dollars. Be sure you are committed, however, because it's not always easy to convert back into a regular closet.
  • Find an empty, out of the way closet on the ground floor of your house.
  • Glue strips of 1" foam board to the walls and ceiling of the closet, using construction cement as a glue.
  • Replace the door with an insulated door (preferably steel). If you would like, you can also glue the foam to this.
  • Attach weather stripping to the edges of the door to make sure that no air gets in or out—heat could ruin the wine.
  • Make sure that the temperature is relatively cool. There are numerous devices you can use to decrease the temperature in the closet—find one that suits your particular closet.
Cheers, Kathy

Friday, June 24, 2011

Buy to Store or Buy To Drink?

I was off researching another blog with a complete summary of the best “golden nuggets” on proper wine storage. Frankly it was a subject I just didn’t connect to personally so I kept putting it off.

Today I said to myself… Kathy, Just Do It! I started researching again and came across some tips that caught my attention. One such tip…

“If you’re like most Americans, we drink wine within 48 hours of purchase. That said if you do want to lay wine down then you want the coldest, darkest, quietest part of the house. That’s the best you can do. Modern refrigerators are built with dehumidifiers so if you leave the wine too long you will dry the cork out and risk the wine spoiling. You can leave the wine in the cellar but it warms up in the summer. So if you don’t have a proper temperature controlled room,
then just drink it.”

Since I’m NOT into delayed gratification, I related to this and also most wines today when release are ready to drink. I recently purchased 2 bottles of Goose Ridge Cab and immediately went home and opened the first bottle, promising myself I would hold on to the second. Well, my husband has always said, “Kathy, you can justify anything you really want to do” and tonight is Friday. I want the Cab!

Creating a proper storage environment is as easy as buying a refrigerated wine storage cabinet that controls temperature and humidity. You can also build a cellar or convert a closet. It just takes some time and $money$.

Or, consider drinking wine purchased within 6 months to one year and follow these few simple guidelines.

Store your wine sideways in a clean, cool, free of vibration, good ventilation, quiet, dark area with very limited movement and temperature variations. Also, safe from breakage and not stored with other items that have a strong odor which can taint the wine. An interior closet is usually a satisfactory solution. A lot to think about just for short storage.

5 Places You Shouldn’t Store Wine

  1. On top of the fridge — or any appliance for that matter.The heat from the fridge or microwave will cook the wine and make it completely undrinkable. Appliances vibrate. Opening the door can over time move wine racks into precarious positions.
  2. Near a windowsill.The area surrounding windows is likely the hottest spot in an apartment or house. Constant direct sunlight will overheat and spoil the wine.
  3. In the fridge for a long period of time. When you place wine in the fridge, you should drink it within the next couple of weeks. Why? Keeping wine at a chilled temperature long term can do as much damage as overheating it. Whites and sparklers shouldn't be left in the fridge longer than six months; after that, bubbly will start to lose its fizz.
  4. In the kitchen cabinet.Since the kitchen can get very hot (when the oven is on, a bunch of people are over for dinner, etc.), it's not a good place to keep wine long term.
  5. In a crystal decanter.In a surprising finding, scientists from Columbia University in New York recently reported that tiny amounts of lead began to migrate within a few minutes after wine was poured into many lead crystal decanters and wine glasses. Large amounts of lead were found in wine that had been stored for a long time in a decanter but the amounts varied widely among the crystal containers tested.
Since I started with 13 pages of notes, I’m going to end with the “ideal” long storage guidelines. Well, not really guidelines, these are rules to follow if you want those expensive wines to age properly and not be left with something you have to pour down the kitchen sink along with your tears.

Wine is alive and it breathes. As such it reacts either positively or negatively to its environment. How it is treated will determine how fast or slow it will age and how it will turn out in the end. In general, more expensive wines are usually designed to become better with age. Most inexpensive wines do not benefit from aging.

TEMPERATURE is the most important factor and the factor that should be sought after above all others. The optimum temperature is 50 to 55°F. However, any constant temperature within 40-65°F will do. More important than the actual temperature you will be able to achieve, is the degree and rapidity of fluctuation the wine is subjected to. A slow change of temperature of ten or so degrees between winter and summer is not a big problem. But this kind of fluctuation on a daily or weekly basis will cause damage to your wines and age them prematurely. Wines kept at too high a temperature will age faster than wines kept at a cold temperature. Theoretically, wines kept at 68°F will age twice as fast as those kept at 50°F. Finally, keep in mind that white wines are affected far more by temperature problems than red wines.

HUMIDITY is important so as to keep the corks in good resilient condition and thereby preventing them from shrinking. A relative humidity of 50-80% is the acceptable range, but about 70% is recommended. FYI: A home kept at 68F will generally have about 50% humidity.

DARKNESS Light will prematurely age a bottle of wine. Naturally, clear bottles are most susceptible to this problem, but ultraviolet light will penetrate even dark colored glass. Ultraviolet light may give a wine unpleasant aromas and ruin it.

CALM Wines should be stored in such a way that you don't have to move them around to get at a particular bottle. Once a wine is laid down, it should stay there until it is opened. It should be remembered that excessive sound creates vibrations that may be harmful as well.

CLEANLINESS AND VENTILATION The space should be free from smells and debris. Extraneous smells can enter through the cork and contaminate the wine. Proper ventilation will help with this problem and keep the cellar from giving the wine a musty taste.

ANGLE OF STORAGE Table wine is stored horizontally so that the wine stays in contact with the cork. This keeps the cork moist thereby preventing air from entering the wine.

Whatever your decision, Enjoy!

Cheers, Kathy

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Bony Ass Wine

This had my jaw dropping. I’ve read a lot of wine reviews and tasting notes but got to admit this was a first.

I’ve even got over the disgusting use of on how cat-pee aromas in wine are good, yet horse manure bad? Wet slate is in, wet dog is out? Sweat is positive, but dirty gym socks are not?

But, A Bony Ass Wine. Now where did that come from?

Of course, I Googled it. The 1988 movie, Working Girl memorable quotes, had about equal the number of hits as “some kind of xx-sites”. But no references to wine anywhere.

Got me thinking… what does that phrase conjure up? A few words immediately popped into my head (all non-gender specific). Thin, flabby, flat, sharp, OK… and sort of bony.

Then I thought of wine in those terms and I got it. Wow, this may become my favorite expression to describe a red wine I don’t like. Link

So back to Google and the glossary of wine terms.

And, eureka… I found the words that perfectly sum up this very descriptive and a bit outrageous wine term, A Bony Ass Wine. Maybe Robert Parker will add it to his list!

Angular: Angular wines are wines that lack roundness, generosity, and depth. Wine from poor vintages or wines that are too acidic are often described as being angular.

Flabby - A wine without enough structure, particularly acid and tannin, to stand up to its other components can be described as flabby. It feels flat and without intensity and can even seem syrupy.

Lean: Lean wines are slim, rather streamlined wines that lack generosity and fatness.

Sharp: An undesirable trait, sharp wines are bitter and unpleasant with hard, pointed edges

Thin Bodied (Opposite of full bodied; Fills the mouth, has a winey taste, alcohol is present, the wine has "weight on the tongue".

Now, what is the opposite of A Bony Ass Wine? Hmm… I’m not going there. But I can describe what makes a good red wine for me. Good Structure, full bodied, not overly fat but with could fleshy notes, round, mature, big, with depth.

Well, that is so much poppy cock wine-speak. What I should have said is I like my red wine Big, Bad and Bodacious. Cheers, Kathy

Round: A very desirable character of wines, roundness occurs in fully mature wines that have lost their youthful, astringent tannins, and also in young wines that have soft tannins and low acidity.

Fat: Full bodied, juicy, rich. Opposite of lean. A super sort of maturity after a hot summer, are often quite rich and concentrated, with low to average acidity. Often such wines are said to be fat, which is a prized commodity. If they become too fat, that is a flaw and they are then called flabby.

Fleshy: Fleshy is a synonym for chewy, meaty, or beefy. It denotes that the wine has a lot of body, alcohol and extraction

Body: Body is the weight and fullness of a wine that can be sensed as it crosses the palate. Full-bodied wines tend to have a lot of alcohol, concentration, and glycerin.

Big: A big wine is a large-framed, full-bodied wine with an intense and concentrated feel on the palate.

Structure: The structure of a wine is those components which tend to support the body of the wine, holding it together, giving it lift and intensity. Acid, tannin and alcohol can all be said to be parts of a wine's structure and balance is the goal.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother’s Day Weekend at Olympic Cellars

One of my friends asked… can you do something at the winery for Mothers whose kids live far away?

“Yes, of course”, I said. “Just come to the winery, we’ll have the Sparkling Syrah open. You know we’re all mothers or daughters of mothers and we’d love to pour you some wine, nosh and look at pictures… so bring your family album!!”

Then I got to thinking about my family. One of my best memories with my daughter was enjoying a glass of wine with her and some of her friends… and THEN they started telling stories. Yea, the ones that were better heard years later. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time.

The winery is a Gathering Place.

If your children won’t be with you this weekend, then stop in.
If you’re wanting to treat your Mom or Grandmother, then stop in.
If you want just some time to yourself with your girlfriends, then stop in.
If your family wants to take you out, then stop in.

Spend some time in what we call the Girl Friend corner… besides the bar… it’s the other place in the winery where laughter rings out and the barn smiles.

Update… Just talked to Molly. We have a menu for the “noshing”. It starts with crème puffs and M&Ms… and goes on from there.

Happy Mother’s Day,
The Working Girls
Molly, Lisa, Neilu, Kristi and Kathy

PS. Don’t forget your pictures

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cheese - It's All About Family

I’m behind on my email trail through Washington Creameries. Never fear, I will showcase the remaining creameries/farms before our event weekend.

Right now I’m in Seattle. I’ve just now caught up on email and am in my favorite restaurant working on this email to you. Yes, I’ve picked my wine and am sipping and writing…

There really is a bigger story here. As I spend time on the websites of each creamery and write about their cheeses served at the winery this weekend…. I lose track of time as I read their family stories, the farm history, the next generation… And, I really get pulled in when they talk about the animals… sheep, cows, goats and newborns! It’s all about FAMILY.

American values, hard work. REAL, healthy foods are produced on these small, farmstead family farms. So let me get on my soap box… Shopping at your local farmers’ market is the #1 way to support local farms, farmers and get the highest quality, best tasting food for your family!

Golden Glen Creamery- Family Tradition, Family Farming, Family Values Their website is like sitting with your grandparents, paging through the picture albums and hearing the stories about family you’ve never met. You know it’s your heritage that has been handed down to carry on.

Golden Glen Creamery is a family owned and operated dairy and creamery found in the heart of the beautiful and bountiful Skagit Valley in Washington State.

We’re featuring their Garlic and Dill Cheddar paired with our Dungeness Red Lemberger. This cheese says "summer"! The flavor of fresh dill with a hint of crushed garlic makes this cheese perfect for anything you can think to do with it.

Our Lemberger has its own spice and the pairing is fantastic. Lemberger is a wine that loves a bit of chill on it… summer, cool reds, cool cheese!!! It can't get any better than that.

Cheers, Kathy

A Working Girl who is eating way too much cheese Olympic Cellars On-Line Store

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gobbly-Gook or Wine & Cheese Pairing Advice

The Marriage of Wine & Cheese

The old school of thought about cheese and wine pairing used to be simple: Eat Cheese with Red Wine. This is about as old & out of date as “drink white wine with fish/poultry and red wine with beef”.

There are, though, some general rules that are worth following to help create successful cheese and wine pairings, and more --- to create evocative, sensual memories of the perfect food experience.

Cheeses and wines should be paired either because they share similar characteristics or because they have contrasting but complementary characteristics... why a marriage works!

Basically, wine is made up of acid, alcohol, sugar and tannins. The variations in each of these components plus production style & aging gives each wine its unique flavor. Cheese share some of the same components, including acid, but is also made up of protein and fat. The concentration of these components contribute to the final flavor of cheese and leads to the successful or unsuccessful marriage with different wines.

Right now if you didn’t read further… what I just wrote in the last paragraph
is more like Gobbley-Gook then wine-cheese pairing advice

The following guidelines made sense to me and you know I’m challenged in the kitchen. And, just like at my tasting bar, every person’s palate is different. That’s why tasting events like our NW Wine & Cheese Tour has so much to offer… a variety of artisan cheeses at each boutique winery all paired with different hand-crafted wines. We’re very excited that Lynn Keenan, Washington cheese expert and owner of Port Angeles’ Renaissance, will be in our cellar talking about the artisan cheeses, their farms and creameries.

Light young cheeses with light white wines. Farmer’s, some Feta, Fromage blanc with Chenin Blanc, Müller-Thurgau from Olympic Cellars released this summer

High-acid, younger cheese with high-acid white wines (Chevre, fresh goat cheese, with sauvignon blanc)

Low-acid, more aged cheeses with low-acid white wines (aged cows’ milk cheese with oak aged Chardonnay). Samish Bay Cheese Company, organic cheddar, aged 18 months served with Olympic Cellars new release, 2009 Chardonnay at NW Wine & Cheese Tour

Stronger cheeses with stronger wines (aged cheddar with Syrah) Pleasant Valley Dairy Farm’s Gouda with Fine Herbs and Olympic Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon at NW Wine & Cheese Tour

Strong salty cheeses with dessert wines or fortified wines (blue cheese with late-harvest Riesling) Willapa Hills Farm Pluvius and Big Boy Blue served with Olympic Cellars My Sweet Syrah at NW Wine & Cheese Tour

Creamy cheeses or those with a high fat and protein content will soften tannins in red wine (Camembert or creamier-style blue cheese with a big, bold, in your face Cabernet) My all time favorite, Mt. Townsend Cirrus with Olympic Cellars Syrah and Cab Franc

Again, in general, sweeter white wines will work with cheese more often than dry white wines do. Consider Dungeness White Riesling and Working Girl White (Chardonnay & Riesling)

Cheers, Kathy
A Working Girl at Olympic Cellars
Olympic Cellars On-Line Store