Strey Cellars

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Move Over White Claw!
I have found wine fascinating from the beginning of my wine journey. I could not have told you then that ten years later I would be embarking on my second year writing a wine blog. I could not have told you then that ten years later, I would be a few months shy of celebrating my fifth year of working at a tasting room in Ventura County. Not only that, but that I would consider a winery my home away from home. I could not have told you then, that one day I would like red wine, in fact, I would prefer red over white. And I definitely could not have told you then, that I would love sparkling wines. I never really liked bubbly drinks, even as a kid. I didn’t like sparkling apple cider, or soda. In fact, I remember being 18 years old, I was friends with
To Judge OR Not To Judge
They say, “don’t choose a book by it’s cover” but how many of us are guilty of choosing a wine by it’s label? Not gonna lie, I am a sucker for a cool label. Particularly the more artsy ones, is there a scantily clad goddess with wind tousled hair and a crescent moon? I’m sold. Humor? I’m in! If the label has managed a fantastic pun, or clever tagline, I want it. I also tend to be disappointed. While eye-catching labels are super fun, they can definitely lead to an anticlimactic wine drinking experience. I am not saying all wine with a fun label isn’t good, it’s just not the best way to shop for wine. I thought I would give you a few tips on choosing the perfect wine, by navigating the label, and not being bamboozled by advertising. The label IS very important, but legally, you don’t need
Blending
In the past, I have talked a lot about single grape varietals. Strey Cellars initially focused on these solo red varietals, since they tend to be our favorites, however, here we are approaching our sixth anniversary and things have changed. While initially, it was really important for Strey to make a name for itself in Ventura County, CA with wines that were 100% single origin; whether it be Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, or Syrah. We have been proud of our big California style wines and have enjoyed sharing them in the tasting room. In 2013 our winemaker, Scott tried his hand at a blend, you may have heard of it? Slanted… at the time we weren’t sure how our customers would react to a blend because some people have a very “snooty” attitude towards wine blends. You see, there is this idea that it’s “easy” to make a good blend
New Year, New You
Sometimes I write these blogs, and I feel like I’m writing one of those holiday letters that your grandma sends out yearly. You know, the ones you anxiously read to find out if Grandma outed anyone’s divorce, or simply to see if you even made the cut? Well, I won’t be outing anyone today, but I sure do feel like I have a lot to update my Strey Family on! Does anyone else feel like they’ve bit off more than they can chew in 2020? Even though I am not much of a “resolution” person, I absolutely feel the energetics of the new decade. All around me people are letting go of old habits, posting sweaty gym selfies, sharing inspirational quotes, and de-cluttering their homes. Katie and I both went full Marie Kondo on not only our houses, but at Strey Cellars. There is nothing like a new year to
Santa, Baby
It’s hard to believe it’s nearly the end of the year, Christmas and Hanukah are days away, it feels like a mad dash to this finish line, which really is just a new beginning. So many of our customers and members make it a point to pop in during December because Strey truly transforms into a Winter Wonderland. Even for those of us who identify with the term “Ba Humbug”, can’t help but to be amazed by the twinkle lights, suspended Christmas tree, Secret Santa Sacks, and ugly sweater donning wine bottles. It truly feels like the North Pole when you step foot inside Strey Cellars these days! It’s snowman weather, for sure, making it a great excuse to wear cozy sweaters, fluffy socks and snuggly scarves. The wine particularly loves this temperature! If you’re one of those winos who prefers to always keep your wine in the fridge, look
A Day in the Life of a Winemaker: Racking
I used to imagine a winemakers life was so glamorous. Sauntering through the neatly kept isles of vines, plucking sun-kissed grapes, as shadows stretch across the soil. Pulling samples of wine from barrels, tasting the fruits of their labor, breathing in the rich aromas. Waling into the winery during harvest to be greeted with that scent of yeasts and fruit… How exciting it must be to walk through the doors of the tasting room, being congratulated on a lovely vintage by wine club members and customers, basking in their creations. And then I worked my first harvest. Four years ago I was so giddy with the thought of helping to make wine, I am not sure what I expected, maybe a combination of Lucy stomping grapes, and an assembly line of endless bottles that couldn’t be corked fast enough so I would just have to drink them? First of all,
Nice Package
When you take your first steps into the wine world, it can be extremely overwhelming. Especially if you have not had much experience with wine in your life. There is this daunting energy that can be put off based on movies where wealthy people order obscenely expensive bottles of wine that are 200 years old, from an ancient winery in the South of France. I see a lot of wine misrepresentation in movies, and it frustrates me a little bit, because it’s sends this message that good wine has to be expensive and old. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but I am going to do you a favor, stop pining over ancient wines… and stop “laying down” your bottles of California wine. That $1,100 bottle of wine is not even drinkable, while yes, there was a time that wine was made to be laid down for years and
Nerd Alert
There are two types of wine lovers: (A) the type that loves to drink wine, go wine tasting, talk about wine, and eat food with wine. Basically the type that just enjoys the fun, delicious nuances of wine. (B) the type of wine lover that probably does all of the above, and then gets geeky. These are the type of people who apprentice with winemakers, and maybe even try their hand at wine making themselves. They are the ones who are not put off by the mind boggling amount of science involved in wine making. I proudly fit into the first category. In the first few years of my love affair with wine, I absolutely fantasized about making wine, and devoured books about wine, but ultimately, I am not a science person… or a physical labor person for that matter. In 2014 I started volunteering in Ventura County and eventually
Moon Farming
Our world is filled with cycles and seasons, ruled by what exactly? Ancient mythology tells stories of gods who’s jealousy, love lives, and personal drama have affected the Earth. Giving power to goddesses like Demeter, the goddess of  harvest, crops, grains, and fertility. Before her heart was broken when Hades kidnapped her daughter, Persephone, everything was always fertile, luscious and hearty. In Demeter’s grief, she allowed all of the crops and plant life to die. This upset the balance of the Earth. Thanks to contributions from several other gods and goddesses, Persephone was rescued from Hades and reunited with her mother. While Persephone had been in the Underworld, she had fallen in love with her captor, and felt conflicted. Then there was this pomegranate situation and Zeus ruled that Persephone would spend six months in the Underworld and six months on Earth with her mother; but not because he cared
Wine Trends
So, I was thinking about wine… I’m almost always thinking about wine, obviously. In this case, I was thinking about some trends I have noticed, and even a few I predicted. You’re welcome for all the delicious Rosé at Strey Cellars. 5 years ago Rosé wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now, but I used my spidey senses (AKA Housewife Life) and really supported the Rosé idea… every year… While “Rosé Season” has been a thing for a while, Rosé totally outgrew it’s summer only status. We are allowed to drink it all day every day, now. I personally think we can thank moms for breaking that particular stigma. Our 5 o’clock comes much earlier than yours, and Rosé pairs nicely with goldfish crackers. Dads started jumping on our Rosé all day bandwagon, too, particularly as they became drier. There is absolutely no shame in drinking pink, especially if