Thursday, July 16, 2015

Washington Chardonnay vs. Chablis

The Tour de France completed its first week of racing this past Sunday.  Normally the first week of a grand tour is relatively straight forward with multiple flat stages that favor the sprinters and a couple of more difficult "hilly" stages for the one day race specialists that are commonly called "roeleurs" or "puncheurs."

This year the first week of racing featured exciting racing every day with the yellow jersey changing hands almost daily.  There were big crashes, exciting finishes and general mayem.  In other words, an absolutely perfect compliment to the Lucha Vino challenge.

The first challenge of this year's le Tour features a Washington Chardonnay taking on a challenger from Chablis.

Cloudlift 2011 Chardonnay v.  Domaine Servin 2013 Les Pargues Chablis

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Washington Nebbiolo vs. Barolo

The Giro d' Italia just completed this past weekend.  This year's route started and finished in Northern Italy with plenty of action in the first and last week of the race.  Alberto Contador took the overall victory after building a lead in the individual time trial and withstanding some fireworks in the final mountain stages.

The Italian favorite, Fabio Aru, finished with style by winning the final two mountain top finishes in the race.  Those were good enough to cement his second place finish and to win the Best Young Rider award.

All the action in Northern Italy spills over into this week's Lucha Vino challenge with a Washington Nebiolo taking on a mighty Barolo challenger.

2012 Cotes de Ciel Nebbiolo v. 2011 Vietti Barolo Castiglione

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WA Walla Walla Cabernet vs. California

The first week of the Giro d' Italia and the Tour of California took place simultaneously during the second week of May.  The races were physically separated by thousands of miles.  Yet, both featured similar high intensity racing.

Many racers commented that the first week of racing in this year's Giro was the hardest ever.  No more showing up and racing into top form during the first week.  This year the top riders were doing battle from the very first day.

Meanwhile, over in California the racers were locked in a series of stages featuring long breakaways and intense bunch sprint finishes.  Mark Cavendish dominated the sprints taking 4 victories out of the 8 stages.

This week's Lucha Vino matchup features a battle royale of Cabernet heavyweights from Washington and California.

2011 Laurelhurst Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon v. 2011 Kokomo Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cider Madness!

March has to be one of the best months for sports on the calendar.  The Belgian one day classic bike races are going full bore, optimism abounds with Major League Baseball's Spring Training and, perhaps best of all, the NCAA Basketball tournament brings Madness to the forefront for three thrilling weeks!

I got into the March Madness spirit with my own version of the Final Four: Cider Madness.  Washington Cider vs. Oregon Cider in a thrilling new take on brackets and bracket busters.

The Lucha Vino Cider Madness Final Four featured cider from Alter Ego, Swift and Hard Row to Hoe.

Alter Ego and Hard Row to Hoe ciders are made by two excellent Northwest Winemakers, Anne Hubatch of Helioterra and Judy Phelps of, well, Hard Row to Hoe!

This final four turned into quite the knock down, drag out, no holds barred battle royale...