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Voices of Guadalupe Wine Valley – Jo Ann Knox

We are interviewing Jo Ann Knox next Tuesday, April 22nd at 6:00 Pacific and 9:00 Eastern. She left a career in Hollywood to begin life anew in the Guadalupe Wine Valley.

New sign at the entrance designed by Jaime Carbo

New sign at the entrance designed by Jaime Carbo

Please register for Voices of the Guadalupe Wine Valley on Apr 22, 2014 7:00 PM MDT at:


Join us for an interesting evening as we will be asking Jo Ann for the inside scoop, the down low, AND the nitty-gritty on what’s good and what’s bad in the Ensenada Wine Region.

Join us for this series and find out about the upcoming guidebook due out in early May, 2013.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Guadalupe Wine Valley Webinars

Hello –

I did another webinar on Tuesday night at 6:00 PM Pacific with Karla Marquez Ulbrich.

Karla in the Ensenada Wine Valley

Karla in the Ensenada Wine Valley

It was a great webinar. I’m still working on the re- mastering into an .mp4 file. I’ll try to get the replay posted soon, hopefully tonight.

Next week I have confirmed a guest whom I shall introduce once I get more biographical info from her. I’ll try to post that tonight.


Webinar Replay

Did you miss the webinar? Here is the link to the replay:

Voices of the Guadalupe Wine Valley

We are having a second webinar next week. I’ll be positing the link to register for the webinar tomorrow.


Baja Wine Country Weekly Webinar Series

Baja Webinar Series

Baja Webinar Series

Please join us for a weekly webinar series about the wonderful wineries down in Baja Mexico. Our first guest is Sitara Monica Perez. I’ll be interviewing Sitara asking her for the insider’s view of the area, so our listeners can take advantage of the specialties the area has to offer. The webinars start at 6:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 PM Eastern. To register, just click the link below which will take you to the registration page:


See you at the webinar!


Official Champagne of the Titanic

Heidsiech & Co Monopole Blue Top Champagne Brut
17 Av de Champagne, Eperany
12% Alcohol by Volume

I started my champagne journey by going to the local liquor store nearest my house. I like to support the local folks if I can. I went in and they said, “Can I help you?” I said I was looking for champagne and wanted to get some ideas for Thanksgiving. First bottle off the shelf, the clerk shows the price very proudly. It was $16.99. I asked if it was champagne. “Yeah.” I didn’t even look at it. I just nodded my head. “What else do you have?”

“We have this one. It’s New Mexico champagne.” Uh huh. “What else do you have?” After looking at ten bottles of sparkling and not seeing any champagne from Champagne, I said thank you and left. I went to my favorite wine retailer who has a shop downtown and I went inside. There she was and because I had not been in there in a while, she came over and asked, “What can I show you?” I said I was looking for champagne and wanted to get some for Thanksgiving.” “You mean sparkling?” I looked at her with “the look” and said, “Yes, I want sparkling from Champagne.”

She started laughing. Erin, my wine retailer, and I are still developing our relationship and she told me that she gets a lot of people in her shop that are looking for champagne and are really looking for sparkling. I smiled and told her that I wanted the real stuff. We enjoyed a good laugh and she asked how much did I want to spend?

We are having six people for dinner and their idea of champagne is sparkling. I did not want to pay $50 a bottle. So I gave her a range of $30 to $40. She went right over to the Heidsiech & Co Monopole Blue Top. “You need to try this.” It was $36.99. She went on to tell me all the numbers it had and who said it was good and what magazine gave it good marks and I held up my hand for her to stop.

“Do you like it?”, I asked. She said yes. “Give me three bottles.” I’ve known Erin for fifteen years and while she does not have the exact taste for wine that I have, she comes pretty close. What she likes, I usually like. So I trust her judgment – except when it comes to the 2005 Bordeaux. We do not see eye to eye on that one.

I noticed that the wine does not have a vintage and she tells me that it’s a blend. She goes on to say that non-vintage champagnes are often better than vintage wines. She tells me that when the champagne is blended using different years the consumer has the advantage of several years of good champagne blending and not just one year.

This champagne has a nice straw color with lots of bubbles. I taste a bit of apple or maybe it is citrus. The taste fools me because it is not distinct or pronounced. It is there, but just a tad. There is another taste that I can only describe as terrior. I am not sure if it is a mineral or a slight nut taste, but it reminds me of earth. The champagne is very easy on the palate and smooth on the finish. I think it is yummy.

My guests note that it is not like Asti. They think it is dry and needs something. I suggest pumpkin pie or some apple pie and the conversation moves to something else. The Blue Top Champagne went very well with turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, stuffing and the rest of dinner. It also does well with dessert (I had it with the apple pie) and it would have probably been a good aperitif before dinner.

I do not bother to tell my guests that this brand of champagne was established in 1785 and the winery’s Blue Top Champagne was the official champagne aboard the Titanic. Had I mentioned the Titanic, I know the conversation would have turned to Kate and Leonardo. I wasn’t in the mood for that conversation. I just sat back and enjoyed another sip.

I am thinking you can find it online for around $30 or maybe less. See what you think and drop me a line if you like it or not. I’d love to hear your thoughts.