Let’s learn a couple new things about wine Kids! (And by Kids I most definitely mean anyone over the age of 21 who is a child at heart).

Every time I attend a wine or spirit event I learn a little bit more about the world of alcohol. A couple of week's ago I attended 9th Annual STARS of Santa Barbara at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hosted by Ian Blackburn's Learn About Wine where I was once again schooled of a variety of areas of wine. And now with no further ado: WINE Factoids!!!

Let's learn about Mourvèdre? What's Mourvèdre you ask?
Mourvèdre is a Rhône style grape that is difficult to grow on its own so its usually only use a blending wine for both strong, dark red wines and rosés. The taste has a tendency to change according to its growing area but overall it often has a gamey or earthy flavors. Mourvèdre has a true affinity for Grenache, it softens it and gives it structure. For that reason you will see the two in a GSM blend.

And what’s a GSM blend you ask?
GSM (which stands for Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre). This blend originated from the blending of wines from the Southern section of the Rhône wine region in France (which is probably most famous for their Châteauneuf-du-Pape). Countries such as Chile, South Africa, the United States, and especially Australia have embraced this blending trio.

The buzzword of the event was Happy Canyon. What is Happy Canyon and where is located?
Happy Canyon is the newest AVA (which stands for American Viticultural Areas aka an Appellation, which just means where the grapes are from) in Santa Barbara County (in November of 2009). Happy Canyon is also SB's smallest AVA. It lies north and west of Lake Cachuma it is differentiated by its hotter temperatures and the minerality of its soil. Varietals grown in the area include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot as well as many Rhône varietals like Syrah. Happy Canyon is now home to six major vineyards and two wineries.