Wine Blog Spotlight: Wine Camp

In my continuing series on wine blogs I think you should read, I’m again reaching into the depths of my blogroll, down to the “Ws” where folks don’t often seem to venture.  I’m actually contemplating reverse alphabetizing the blogroll for a while to encourage people to click on the wine blogs in the latter half of the alphabet.  Today I bring you Wine Camp, the wonderful wine blog authored by Craig Camp.

Craig, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person at the wine blogger conference last year, started Wine Camp way back in April of 2005.  Four years at wine blogging makes you one of the founding fathers in my humble opinion….there weren’t many around then, and even fewer that are still at it four years later.  Wine Camp’s slogan is “A points free zone.”  Craig, like me, doesn’t rate wines, he talks about them in the context of what he finds in the glass, the company he shares them with, and where the wine came from, putting it into place compared to other wines from the same region or variety.

However, Craig brings much more to the table than simply wine reviews on Wine Camp.  Craig currently works with Cornerstone Cellars in Napa, and previously worked up at a winery in Oregon.  He knows his wine stuff inside and out, and delivers a a well-rounded perspective on the wine world, whether that is commentary on happenings in the wine blog world or timely pictures of bud break in Napa.  I’ve been reading Wine Camp for about three years now, and it’s high on my list of “do not miss” reads.  You should hop on over to Wine Camp, add it to your feed reader, and enjoy the musings of the well-written and entertaining Craig Camp.

HBG Meetup!

Patrick kindly organized a happy hour while we were visiting for our first night in town at the Healdsburg Bar and Grill. This made me extremely happy as I still couldn’t get their truffle oil parmesan cheese fries off my mind. So GOOD.  Matt and I ate two baskets and I got to have the very adult mac and cheese.  I love mac and cheese very much and never miss a chance to have it….as I seem to be incapable of making it myself for some reason.

Over the course of the evening, quite a crowd came by to say hello and socialize for a bit.  We saw Patrick, Genevieve, Penny, Chris, Jeremy, Shana, Robert, and others.  Penny and Chris both brought wines to try (yay!) which I happily did.

From Penny, barrel samples of her newest Tempranillos….she’s going to make two for 2008!

2008 Coral Mustang Vista Creek Tempranillo: Dark, berries, vanilla, spice, jam, plum, currants, grat dark fruit. Looks to be a good one, though it clearly won’t be released for a little while!

2008 Coral Mustang Tres Palmeras Tempranillo: I slightly preferred this one.  It was lighter in color and flavor.  I found spice, red currants, red fruit, cedar, nice structure, nice acidity, raspberries.  This one will make a fabulous food wine.

Chris brought along a bottle from a new line they will be releasing that will retail for around $14-$15.

2007 Healdsburg Ranches Cabernet Sauvignon.  Screw cap, Sonoma County, 13.9% alcohol.  Mint, leather, herbs, spice, herbal, black currants, anise, black fruit, some red fruit around the edges, nicely done for a $14ish Cabernet!

All in all, a lovely evening catching up with old friends and making some new ones.  It’s always great to meet new people, and I love the feeling that when we go out to CA we have so many folks to visit, yet we aren’t even from Northern California (though Matt is from Southern California….).