An Interview with @WanderAndWine

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We recently had the opportunity to interview the beautiful Hana-Lee who is responsible for the @WanderAndWine account on social media. Hana-Lee is a writer, Certified Specialist of Wine and Sommelier who lives in Santa Barbara, CA. Her travels have not only inspired her to enhance her wine skills, but also her perspective on life. Her content is always intriguing and keeps her audience engaged. See below for more information on her and her experience with Kascadia wines! 


How did you get into wine? Is there a specific story you can share with us describing how wine sparked an interested for you?

Though I drank wine while spending a semester abroad in Italy (but let’s be honest, I wasn’t exactly drinking the finest Italian wines!). It wasn’t until I lived in San Francisco after college that I really started to get into wine. San Francisco is a foodie paradise, and since I love good food and trying new restaurants, I naturally started getting more interested in what I was drinking when I went out to eat. Being so close to wine regions like Napa and Sonoma and having access to cool San Francisco wine bars made it easy for me to explore the world of wine. My friends and I would take day trips to wine country, meet at local wine bars and attend wine events in the city, and I soon realized that I didn’t just enjoy drinking wine, but wanted to learn as much as I could about it. Learning about wine became a passion very quickly!

Do you have any food pairings you would suggest for any of the wines we sent you? Do you have any recipes you'd like to share?

While I’m a firm believer that you should drink what you like, regardless of whether it technically pairs well with your food, you can’t argue with a great wine and food pairing! It can be eye-opening when you get to experience the magic of a great match.

I tried the 50th Parallel Pinot Gris with prosciutto and local goat Gouda and it was a fantastic pairing. Given the touch of sweetness in the wine, I think it would also be a great match with Asian or Thai food. I also tried the Meyer Family Mclean Creek Pinot Noir, which was a bit heartier than some PInot Noirs, and had a nice blend of red fruit, baking spice and savory characteristics. I’d probably pair it with duck or pork roast, or something heartier like Beef Bourguignon. Yum! The Painted Rock Red Icon, on the other hand, had a more tannic structure, full of black pepper, dark chocolate and earthy notes. I’d hold onto this one for a while to let it age a bit, but if you want to enjoy it now, try decanting and serving it with a delicious steak.

Kascadia Wine

Who is your biggest inspiration in the wine world and why?

That’s a tough question! It’s impossible for me to say I have one major inspiration, because I find so many different people, places and wines inspirational. When I travel to different wine regions and meet winemakers and producers, I’m always inspired by their stories of how they got into wine. More often than not, they were on a very different path in life but a chance job at a winery or restaurant changed their course. It’s really cool to hear!

That being said, I find so much inspiration in Santa Barbara’s wine community. The dedication, passion and knowledge of winemakers and wine professionals in this area is infectious. It’s a community of generous, welcoming and hardworking people who are dedicated to crafting exceptional wine from our region, but aren’t afraid to have fun along the way. Wine can be serious on some levels, but this community reminds us to find time to pop open bottles, cook a great meal in your backyard, and share laughs and stories with friends. Finding a balance of working hard, doing what you love and making time to enjoy life, that’s inspirational!


To view Hana-Lee's Wander & Wine website click here

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Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Creamy Burrata with Sourdough Crostini

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Here at Kascadia, we never need an an excuse to make our ultimate burrata dish. It’s fresh, delectable and perfectly compliments every season and every reason. Close your eyes and imagine yourself...sinking your teeth into a crunchy sourdough crostini, smothered in juicy slow roasted cherry tomatoes and velvety smooth burrata cheese. Exactly...I had you at Burrata.

Now open up that bottle of wine that you’ve been eyeing all week and play something from our Kascadia playlist for goodness sake. We are going to tell you how to make the yummiest burrata appetizer that you’ve ever had! Don’t take our word for it. Your guests won’t be able to keep their hands off!


Burrata cheese

Heirloom cherry tomatoes or any yummy bite size tomatoes your heart desires

Fresh basil

Olive oil for roasting and Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling 

Aged balsamic

4 medium cloves of garlic peeled; not chopped


Sourdough loaf to make crostini


  1. Place whole cherry tomatoes and cloves of garlic in a minimum 1” inch deep baking pan.
  2. Generously drizzle regular olive oil all over the tomatoes and garlic.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and mix well.
  4. Bake tomatoes and garlic in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Remember to stir at 20 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, let’s cut up the bread! Cut your sourdough bread into crostini size pieces.
  6. Lightly brush regular olive oil onto the cut sourdough crostini pieces and pop those babies onto a medium heat skillet on the stove. Cook each side of the crostini until it is golden brown. We like our crostini golden and slightly crispy on the outside!
  7. So now your pan of tomatoes, olive oil and garlic should look like a juicy roasted tomato tapenade. You can pull that out of the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Arrange your delicious tomatoes and burrata cheese together on a dish. Julienne chop the basil and throw that on top.
  9. Drizzle Extra Virgin olive oil and aged balsamic over your burrata and tomato masterpiece.
  10. Last step - take your crunchy and yummy crostini and take a dip in the roasted tomato and burrata.
  11. You’re welcome :)

Click here to listen to our Kascadia Happy Hour Spotify Playlist

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Meet the WineWeirdos

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Have you ever heard of the WineWeirdos? If not, look no further! We've got the 411 on your new favorite video wine reviewers. 

After watching a few of their entertaining YouTube videos, we quickly realized they are not weird at all. In fact, the WineWeirdos are simply unconventional wine nerds, just like us! They began their journey in 2010 on Youtube and never looked back. Their engaging videos entice viewers with short, concise and entertaining wine reviews. This is a perfect guide for you enthusiasts looking for a new wine to add to your collection.  

Michael Landucci, the founder of WineWeirdos takes his audience on a voyage through the tastes, smells and the unique attributes of each bottle of wine. One of his fellow co-captains, Christopher  is a popular co-host on his channel where together they truly entertain from the video start to finish! 

WineWierdos has reached over 880 subscribers and 167,241 views on YouTube. They've also created quite the buzz on social media reaching over 17.4 thousand followers on Instagram. Go WineWeirdos Go! The Wine Weirdos recently reviewed our 2014 Painted Rock Red Icon and our exclusive 2014 Painted Rock Cabernet Franc.

Check them out for yourself! 2014 Painted Rock's Red Icon review. Click here.

Wine Weirdos

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The Tipsy Housewife Interview

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April Lee, otherwise known as Chicago based chef, foodie and blogger - The Tipsy House Wife tasted our Meyer Family Vineyard Gewürztraminer and loved it! We had the refreshing opportunity to interview April this week and got an inside look on her life and inspiration behind her content. Check it out below - you won't be disappointed! 

tipsy housewife wine influencer

April Lee (@TheTipsyHouseWife) 

What gives you the butterflies about wine? Why is wine meaningful to you?

What gives me butterflies about wine is discovering a wine that I didn't think I would like and finding that it literally dances in my mouth. I especially enjoy the way wine can adapt to different foods and I love exploring ways to create dishes that bring out the complex flavors of wine. Wine is meaningful to me because I feel that it is the "old soul" of alcohol. Everything about wine has so much history and you can taste it while drinking it. There are many times I've had felt like I was standing in the vineyard where the wine came from while drinking it. I also admire the blood sweat and tears that goes into making wine.  I just truly love the history behind wine. 

What would you pair the Meyer Family Vineyard Gewürztraminer with? 

I knew right away that I had to create a dish that was salty. I knew the juxtaposition of the sweet and salt would pair well so I created the Bleu cheese and Bacon Cheesecake. I wasn't wrong. 

Check out her recipe here

We absolutely adore your content! Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from any and every type of person who is dedicated to nourishing others. Whether it's the at home cook trying to put a meal on the table for themselves or their family, or the world renowned Chef trying to put a meal on the table to appeal to the masses.  Food is a love language and that love can be shown by anyone who makes the effort to put together ingredients to create something greater. 

cheesecake recipe wine pairing

Instagram: @thetipsyhousewife

Facebook: @tipsywife


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50th Parallel - A Winery You Don't Want to Miss Out On!

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We are so excited to announce that 50th Parallel Estate Winery is joining the Kascadia Wine Merchants team! 50th Parellel is not only a top BC winery, but they have an even better team behind them. Between their proprietors, winemakers and exceptional wine, 50th Parallel shines bright in the wine industry!

Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel along with their highly skilled team have created a world-class wine destination only 15 minutes from the Kelowna airport by crafting international award winning wines while hosting five-star events and unique catered dining experiences. In 2018, they are scheduled to open the next phase of the estate which includes a new events space, fine dining restaurant, extensive wine cave system and a glass ‘Transparent’ tasting room.


The project is being built in stages. In 2009, the couple hand-planted the first 10 acres of vines. Curtis then engineered a planting machine tuned to the needs of the steep rocky property and now planting is complete with an impressive 50 acres now under vine. They are now sourcing additional new properties to expand their vineyards. In 2011, the first wines were released from 50th Parallel; a modest 700 cases. In 2016, the winery produced close to 14,000 cases of wine. The first portion of the main winery building opened for harvest in 2014 and the expansion, including the restaurant and new tasting center, will be open in spring 2018.

Viticulturally, the stunning 61-acre property boasts more ‘Grand Cru’ vineyard qualities found in one place than many of the top vineyards in the world. Internationally, the world is waking up to the growing number of award winning wines coming from this place and the development honors the praise. Everything you see, feel, and taste is focused on the wine and the special place it comes from. The name '50th Parallel' was chosen to represent a unique and real physical location, a meeting place that people will understand the minute they see the property.

Overall, 50th Parallel has award winning wines (specializing in Pinot Noir) that you do not want to miss out on. Raise a glass with us to celebrate this blooming partnership and order their wines on our website now! 


The Kascadia Team

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