Thursday, November 13, 2014

Washington Merlot Maniacs

The pro cyclist's road race season has ended and now cyclocross is where the action is.  The change in season signals a change in the Lucha Vino Challenges.  The spotlight will start shining on wines from non-cycling regions as well as some interesting intrastate challenges.  This week's matchup had its origins rooted in October, AKA Merlot Month.

Merlot dominant blends from Washington battle it out in the inaugural Merlot Maniacs challenge.  It's Walla Walla vs. a Red Mountain / Horse Heaven Hills / Yakima Valley Tag Team in a no holds barred Washington State Merlot fueled feud!

Kontos Cellars 2008 Alatus v. Nota Bene Cellars 2008 Miscela

Friday, October 3, 2014

Washington Albarino v. Rias Baixas

Spain has seen plenty of race action over the past 5 weeks.

First there was the Vuelta Espana, Spain's grand tour always seems to take a back seat to the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.  For that reason the Vuelta's organizers are always looking for new, and challenging, routes.  They changed things up this year by finishing with an Individual Time Trial in the Rias Baixas region rather than the usual flat, fast run into Madrid.  The finish might have been unusual, but the winner was certainly familiar - Alberto Contador recovered from breaking a bone in his leg in July to take the Vuelta victory in September.

Next came the World Championships that just wrapped up this past weekend.  There were some great races and another well known, yet unexpected, rider took the Gold Medal in the Men's Time Trial.  Brad Wiggins has had an wild ride the past three years, starting with a win of the Tour de France, followed by a falling out with his team and then culminating with the Gold medal last week.  Throw in a relatively unknown rider from Poland winning the Men's Road Race and Marian Vos' not winning the Women's World Championship road races and you have the recipe for an exciting week of racing!

In a salute to Northern Spain this week's matchup features an Albarino from Washington taking on a Rias Baixas Albarino.

Aniche Cellars 2013 Come and Go Albarino v. Paco & Lola Albarino

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Washington Tinto v. Rioja

The Vuelta Espana packed plenty of action into the past three weeks.  There wasn't a whole lot of drama or suspense once Quintana crashed his TT bike and Contador took the lead, but there was still plenty of exciting racing.

The Spaniards really seemed to be motivated for a good showing in their home race.  Alejandro Valverde, Joaquin Rodriguez and Alberto Contador were consistently at the front of the pack when the roads turned steep.

The Vuelta Espana is known for its strenuous mountain stages and mountain top finishes.  This edition stayed true to form and included some mountainess terain in Northern Spain passing by the Rioja wine region.  This week's matchup pays tribute to the mountains of Northern Spain and the racers that ride their bikes up these mountains like they have wings (or tiny hidden electric motors on their bikes).

This matchup features a Washington Tinto taking on a traditional red blend from Rioja.

2009 Pomum Tinto v. 2009 Bodegas las Cepas Cinco Denarios

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WA Wine Month Syrah Slugfest

August is Washington Wine Month and I've got the fever!  The only cure is more Washington wine...

This week's matchup features two Washington State Syrahs that are eager to duke it out for state supremacy.

In the blue corner representing the Walla Walla AVA is the Balboa 2009 Syrah

And in the red corner representing the Royale Slope is the Southard 2009 Syrah