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What wine blogs and books do I read?

Posted in Recommendations
by Tammi Ramsey

Good Morning!

I love to read, I am a avid reader. I am not sure I absorb everything I read but I read constantly. I am hooked on wine books, magazines and business books or biographies of business people and politicians. I am a news junkie and I can sometimes make myself crazy with information. Last year I had 4 wine mag subscriptions and read 64 books on wine or wine business related books.

I also watch a couple of wine video blogs weekly too. I know you have other interests as do I but I focus on where I want my life to go and that is in the wine industry. I’d like to be a Sommelier but I think my time is better spent focusing on grape production, terrior, winery management and biology of grapes in general.

Here is a list of the books I really gained a ton of knowledge from:

1. The Wine Lover’s Companion…the glossary of terms and how to pronounce terms.

2. Wine for Dummies, if you want to understand the process of making wine, this is a great go to guide!

3. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Winery, great book to lay out your plan on why you want to start the business and the business plan to actually make it work. It helped me develop the financial plan to make put it all together.

4. The Wine Bible, Great overall book about wine regions, grapes and overall answers.

5. Wine for Women, Written so simply and direct.I have given this book as a gift many times. How to pair, when to drink what, Leslie Sbrocco uses fashion terms that are easy to relate with.

6. Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine, If you want to expand your palette, this is an easy read and buyers guide to getting new wines and what to expect them to taste like and how to pair them.

7. The Finest Wines of Champange, Well written and quite techincal, very specific information and the second half of the book discusses producers and regions. Packed full of information about bubbles. only draw back for me was the text was very small, so I would have liked bigger text.

Blogs I love

Video blogs:

Gary Vaynerchuk Wine Library TV…This guy is like someone’s spaz little brother, who is brilliant and uses very real terms to describe wine.

Mark Fusco www.1337wine.com very smart guy!

I read these blogs most everyday:


I know there are 1000’s of folks writing blogs and millions on twitter. I love reading new things and just listening to their stories and experiences and getting to “KNOW” what they are all about.

I hope you will do the same!

Much LOVE and wine!

Cheers, Tammi

My Patio wine being enjoyed!


Dinning out…why and what do I like to eat?

Posted in Recommendations
by Tammi Ramsey

Good Morning!

When I was a kid my grandparents would take us to dinner for our birthday. They always took us to the Red Lion Hotel in Muncie, IN. It was fine dinning. We had to dress up and they had a band on the weekends. I remember they always knew my grandfather. He was a businessman and he took clients their all the time. It was a steak place. It was decorated in rich red velvet walls and leather chairs. I remember the servers always made up Roy Rogers (7up with grenadine). They would put a cherry in and it looked like a cocktail. The chef would always come out and wish me a happy birthday and if I wanted to see the kitchen he would take me in the back and let me see the birthday cake he made for me. I felt like a princess.

The rest of my childhood we mostly ate at home. Once in a great while we would load up and head to Ponderosa steak house. I am sure back then it would cost my folks a few bucks, I had 2 brothers. I liked going out to eat because I did not have to do the dishes. My parents were never drinkers, to this day my mama might have a glass of wine or two when she is with me, but they never ordered wine or cocktails. My image of going out to eat was being wealthy and I thought you had to be super rich to afford the Red Lion.

Today, I love to go out to eat. I love taco trucks, street food, I always print out the top places to eat in the bay every year and try to hit all the spots. I also watch Food TV and when I see a place in a city I travel to I make a point to try the places I have seen. I have had some great experiences from it and tried food I would not normally thought about.

Some blog in the near future I will make a list of my favorite wine bars in the US….but today I just wanted to share some special places I have tried while traveling that you might want to try!

These places made me again feel like I was special and the food was great! Most of these places are not expensive and causal, so try these is you can.

1. Red Iguana, Salt Lake City, UT, get a margarita and the enchilada with green sauce.

2. Jake’s Portland, OR, go to the bar during happy hour and all the specials are served on small plates so you can order a couple and their wine list is impressive.

3. Oceanaire, Indianapolis, IN, go to the bar and order Rose’ sparkling and get the seafood tower. Pure luxury!

4. The Purple Cafe, Seattle, WA, grab the Sommelier, and order the cheese platter. They might be some of the most educated wine folks I have ever met.

5. Pizza King, Muncie, IN….Royal Feast with BBQ sauce…I got hooked on this pizza as a kid, when my Aunt Stinky worked there in high school.

6. Aureole, Las Vegas, NV, Pure visual and sensual dinning experience, bring your wallet

7. Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, Get reservations if not sit at the bar. It is loud and fantastic energy pumping through the place. The Shakin’ Beef is really awesome.

8. Zola, Washington, DC, I could hardly eat while I was there, so many people I recognized from TV. Supreme Court justices, senators etc. On Thursday nights, they have dinning specials and the value of this very high end meal, the affordable wines and the stellar service, really awesome night!

9. Denver Chop House, Denver, CO, this was a true steakhouse experience, big red wines, hearty steaks, wait staff never lets a glass go empty.

10. Red Hawk Brewing, Ann Arbor, MI, I love the craft brewed beers and pub food and the tap room atmosphere. Located in the heart of the U of M campus, great energy and vibe.

11. Recess, Indianapolis, IN, I love this place, the menu changes daily and the wine pairings are amazing. Small place, have reservations it is worth effort.

12. Puerto Allegra, San Francisco, CA, This is the best way to experience the Mission district. Order a pitcher of Margarita from Norma, all the food is authentic and the place is so eclectic and pure San Francisco.

13. Bangs, Denver, CO, This place is a HUGE surprise. The food was that of 4 star dinning, only 10-12 tables, nightly specials and the wine list was filled with everything! It is hard to find in a little neighborhood, but if you find a wineshop called Mondo Vino, you are across the street!

14. Taylor’s Refresher, St Helena, CA, James Beard award winning food served in a place where you stand in line and then eat on picnic tables. The ahi tuna burger with sweet potato fries and a bottle of Merryvale wine….No better way to spend the day!

15. What the Pho?, Bellevue, WA, The name grabbed my attention, but the food had brought me back there everytime I am in the PacNorthwest. Fresh, fun and very affordable. They always have the game on too!

I have millions more, but these are the first to come to mind. I will write more about them in the future.

Much LOVE and Cheers!


La Gloria in San Antonio, Texas


White wine…if you like that grape, you might like this one!

Posted in Recommendations
by Tammi Ramsey

Good Morning….

Everyday I try to learn something about wine I did not know before. I know many of you are wine pros and I might be way behind you when it comes to wine knowledge. I try to keep in mind that what I lack in expertise, I make up for in heart and enthusiaum.

So I got in a rut drinking Sauvignon Blanc last summer and I decided it was warm and I really enjoyed light, crisp, cool and refreshing whites by the pool or while sitting on the deck. So I found many whites I could enjoy and would start to subsitute for my dear friend, Sauvignon Blanc.

Here is a list of the whites I discovered and a little about them:

Albarino, This wine is from Spain. I keep finding this wine everywhere. I think this might be one of the best wines to pair with oysters (Unless you have Champagne). The mineral and briny taste of the oysters are complemented by the very citrusy and quick finish, it is a perfect pairing. I have found this very exciting wine from $8-15.

Torrontes, This wine is from Argentina. I LOVE this wine. To me I get all the aromas of peaches and tangerines and it’s very vibrant, crisp wine that’s perfect by the pool. I see this wine all the time now. I was first served this wine at a wedding reception and at first, I thought it was a New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc. You can find this wine in the grocery store for $10-15.

Vinho Verde, This wine hails from Portugal. I read about this wine in a magazine and I had never hear of it before and now I see it everywhere. It is really a thirst quencher and actually I like it with veggies, even avocados and aspragus and those can be tough to pair with wines. I found this great white in the grocery store for $8.99. Check it out and let me know what brand you like best. This wine surprised me so much. I thought only port came from Portugal.

Txakoli, This wine hails from Spain and it will wake up your mouth. It is a sorta a sparkling wine fizzy experience for me. A cross between 7 UP but it is not sweet. This is hard to pronounce but I am told you can pronounce it like this Choc-OH-Lee. It is a little harder to find than most wines. It will cost around $14-22.

Viognier, This wine is originally from France and it really has the aromas of Hawaii…WTH? Seriously this wine has the aromas of lechee from the islands, light and lovely mouth feel. You can find this wine for under $13-20. I made this wine once out of a kit and my friends really loved this with of all things ribs on the grill in the middle of the summer.

Well, this is some of my research I did last summer and here in the middle of winter, I figure nothing will warm you like thinking about the beach or pool!

It’s Wine O’Clock NOW!