Monday, August 5, 2013

Coupon Giveaway and Concannon Vineyard Wine Review

  *Notice:  We're looking for 2 winners still.  Be sure that you are from the USA and that you are 21 or older.  We will close
this contest on Saturday, August 10th or earlier when the next 2 comment (according to the rules).  Thanks!*

Before I get to my review, I want to tell you that there are 4  $1.00 off these $7.00 (here in California) Concannon wines!
The first 4 people who leave a comment (and I mean talk about the ways in which they use wine and it has to be about 3 sentences long) WIN the $1.00 coupon!  You can also tell us if you've ever have had a glass or more and what kind you drank.  You may also comment on my review and tell us HOW you plan to use it and which one and even include a recipe!

One thing, I will not be revealing the comments that you leave until I have at least 4 comments and the winners will be chosen tonight, or until I get at least 4 comments!   Best wishes and cheers!

Jim ConcannonJoe, Jim, Joe Concannon


"If they could speak, the rocks of Concannon Vineyard would tell a tale rich in history. When James Concannon planted his first vineyards and built the winery in 1883, he established Concannon as a founding family of California wine. Now, with four generations of family involvement, our landmark winery shows our enduring commitment to creating outstanding, award-winning wine."

Video Gallery   a must see!

Background from a Press Release: 
"A new Conservancy tier of wines from Concannon Vineyard - sourcing grapes only from Livermore vineyards that are protected forever from urban encroachment - was announced today by John Concannon, fourth generation vintner.
“These wines are a tribute to my great-grandfather, James Concannon, who founded our winery in 1883,” says John. “He knew that the austere soil, full of rocks and gravel, coupled with the coastal fog and marine breezes from the San Francisco Bay, would concentrate flavors in the ripening fruit and allow him to make rich, complex, flavorful wines that are truly unique. Conservancy wines honor his legacy as they are sourced from vineyards under a new conservancy program for perpetuity. The wines are crafted to reflect true varietal character, express the unique terrior of the Livermore Valley and showcase the best of what this region has to offer.”

“My family is very proud of the fact that Concannon Vineyard was the first Livermore Valley winery to place its land into a permanent conservation easement. We acted in 1996 recognizing that rapid urbanization was threatening one of America’s finest winemaking regions and negatively impacting quality of life. Since that time, other vineyards have followed our lead, and today we can say that great wines will continue to come from the Livermore Valley for generations to come.”
“Concannon Conservancy wines also conform to the practice of growing grapes and making wine with minimal impact. Concannon Vineyard is proud to be one of the first seventeen wineries to be certified through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA),” he continued. This program provides third-party certification for California wineries that are at the forefront of sustainable winegrowing practices including environmental stewardship, conservation of natural resources and socially equitable business practices.

Concannon’s Conservancy includes Livermore Valley Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot; all have a suggested retail of $15.

A founding family of California wine, Concannon is the oldest continuously operating winery under the same family name, with four generations of family leadership at the helm. Concannon introduced America's first varietally labeled Petite Sirah in 1961, sparking a love affair with this varietal, and led with the introduction of Cabernet Sauvignon clones 7, 8 and 11 in replanting much of Napa Valley in the 1970s. As Concannon enters its 127th harvest, the pioneering winery continues to provide industry leadership in preserving an agricultural way of life by protecting vineyards from urban development. As part of The Wine Group, Concannon has completed a $30 million revitalization program, preserving the best of its winemaking heritage and practices while incorporating state-of-the-art technology to preserve wine quality. For additional information, please visit"

REVIEW:  Chardonnay

In the '80s it became a way of speaking to ask for "a glass of Chardonnay" in a restaurant and passé to simply request "a glass of white wine." Chardonnay is the most popular wine in America for a reason: It's cold, fruity and easy to drink. It's pleasant with just about any dish involving cheese, eggs, fish or fowl. Winemakers have divided into two camps over the style of Chardonnay; one school of thought emphasizes the high-toned, steely, fruitlike qualities of the wine with little or no use of oak, while the other emphasizes barrel and malolactic fermentation in addition to the fruit characteristic, which lends the wine a rounder, buttery taste. 

Benchmarks for Chardonnay are (rich and extracted) white Burgundies and (steely and crisp) Chablis. There are fine Chardonnays from just about every region, including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and New York.

My deceased Mother In Law, Shirley, God rest her soul, and my husband and I took a weekend trip to Monterey (much to tell about that trip including the aquarium) and we stopped at every sign for wine tasting at wonderful vineyards that we came upon just going up the 101.  

In Monterey we took our last glass and a couple of bottles of Chardonnay to our hotel room.  Good thing the only thing planned that night was a seafood dinner and coming back to the room and drinking through those bottles of wine (in the special wine glasses we bought at one wine tasting rooms.)  I fell in love with Chardonnay that day and night!

I was a little disappointed that this wine was a screw off top.   I guess I'm just used to the bottles with the corks and previous thinking that only good wines had corks.

Once I got past that shock, I poured the glasses for my girlfriend and I used 2 of the 6 wine charms that I had made for our glasses.  As a fun activity, we each made 2 more and she took home the 4 since I could make more of this craft activity on my own.  The instructions that I used can be found here. (come back again this week for the page that is under construction right now).  

I'm not as big a social wine drinker now than I used to be.  Depression meds. and wine are really not to be mixed together.  So I rarely drink wine, but I cook with it a lot!  For instance in this recipe for the cupcakes I had made for she and her husband and kids to take home at the end of our time together.  We made these together to start off our day.  

Pink Chardonnay Cupcakes adapted from All Recipes

Active time: 20 minutes (plus time for decorating)
Start to finish: 1 hour
Makes 20 cupcakes


For the cupcakes
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup Concannon chardonnay
6 egg whites
4-5 drops red food coloring

For the Concannon chardonnay buttercream frosting*
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Concannon chardonnay, at room temperature
4-5 drops red food coloring

For the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Alternate adding flour mixture and Concannon chardonnay into the creamed mixture.

In another large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites.  Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

For the frosting
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together powdered sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another 2 minutes.  Add vanilla and Concannon chardonnay, beating on medium for another minute. Transfer frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a large star tip, and decorate as desired. Sprinkle with pink sugar and pearls.

*Note: if decorating cupcakes with a swirl (see above photo), you will need to double this frosting recipe. One batch of this recipe yields enough frosting to cover 2 dozen cupcakes with a flat top.

MORE RECIPES (and a lot of  them along with tips on how to cook with wine)  Click here please?

Unofficially Day 5!

Questions:  What did you like or not like about the review?  Have you ever made wine charms?  If so can you give us the link to them?  Have you ever made wine cupcakes?  If so, can you give us the link to them.

The first 4 who write complete answers to the questions will win the 4 $1.00 off coupons (if you are age 21 or older).   I will not approve the comments until there are at least 4 qualifying COMMENTS and then I will announce the winners!  I will need your addresses if you win to be sent to (but wait to see if you won!) 
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