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A Press Democrat Blog

Tasting Room

The Wine Guide

How Many Rabbis Does It Take To Make A Kosher Wine?

One. But that rabbi comes with a whole lot of rules. A rabbi oversees the production of kosher wine to make sure they uphold Jewish dietary law. Most kosher wines require kosher ingredients, the use of rabbinically-certified equipment, and to be handled from vine to glass by Sabbath-observant Jews. For those on the lookout for tasty kosher wine and recipes for Passover, there’s a terrific new cookbook on the market. Jeff and Jodie Morgan, owners of Berkeley, Calif.-based winery Covenant,… Read More »

Boost Your Wine IQ in 60 Seconds: Gruner Veltliner

We know you’re living life on the run, but this Austrian grape varietal is definitely worth a minute of your time. While 30-plus grape varieties are grown in Austria, gruner veltliner is the one to keep your eye on. It’s the highest quality and Austrians devote the most vineyard acreage to it. I recently tasted a gruner veltliner produced by Carlisle and was unduly impressed. Vintner Mike Officer is revered for making old vine zin, but it turns out he’s… Read More »

Ancient Oak Cellars Has Moved

The winery made headlines in 2012 when it became the first tasting room in downtown Santa Rosa. But after nearly three years in Corrick’s Stationery Store on 4th St., the tasting room has new digs down the block in the Downtown Deli. Ancient Oak Cellars purchased the deli at 621 Fourth Street, and this weekend is the tasting room’s grand opening. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday the tasting room will be open until 9 p.m. and it will serve small… Read More »

What Is Your Dawn Wall?

Rock climber Kevin Jorgeson is now a household name in Wine Country, the local hero. The man who free climbed the 3,000 foot Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park will be asking you: “What is your Dawn Wall?” That is if you show up at the Earth Day celebration at Iron Horse Vineyards April 19. Joy Sterling of Iron Horse said she approached Jorgeson to be the guest speaker about a week after he finished his climb… Read More »

Sixty Seconds to Boost Your Wine IQ.

Do you turn your nose up to pink wine? If you do, shame on you and your prejudiced palate. This week the Press Democrat’s Blind Tasting features rosé since many of the 2014s are rolling onto the market, and we’ll continue to highlight the best and the brightest with other tastings. Rosés are decidedly pink, but the bone-dry nature of so many will surprise that uppity palate of yours. In this 60-second communique we can prep you for all you… Read More »

Wine is Your Passport

We can travel the world without ever flying the friendly skies. Wine is rife with opportunity; with it we can transport ourselves anywhere. The Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting March 28 in the Bay Area is a perfect opening to use “wine miles” to learn more about France’s Rhone region. First up – a peek at the tasting. The Rhone Rangers, with more than 100 winery members, will be offering the largest tasting of American Rhone wines with 300-plus pours. More… Read More »

Got A Minute? Boost Your Wine IQ

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to wine flaws. The good news is none of the flaws will make you sick if you take a sip. The bad news is that you’ll have to part with an otherwise delectable wine. Here’s a quick hit list of the flaws you might come up against when you’re winetasting: 1)   The smell of wet, musty cardboard. (TCA) 2)   The smell of Band-Aids. (Brettanomyces) 3)   The smell of struck match or… Read More »

Vintner Richard Arrowood is a Class Act.

I have long admired Arrowood, the vintner who turned heads at Chateau St. Jean with his chardonnays in his early days, circa 1977. At his 50th anniversary retrospective, it was a rare treat to taste through 54 bottlings, a pool of wine ushering us through his three-tier career. We began with the wines he crafted at Chateau St. Jean. Then we tasted through his Arrowood Vineyards & Winery creations. We followed those up with bottlings from his boutique winery, Amapola… Read More »

Siduri founders’ crazy caper.

When Jackson Family Wines purchased the pinot savvy Siduri, it made me think of the founders’ crazy caper. Here’s a recap of it from a story I wrote on Adam and Dianna Lee last year: The bold and audacious couple did their part to tip the scales in their favor back in 1995. They heard the influential wine critic Robert Parker Jr. of “The Wine Advocate” was at the Meadowood Resort in Napa Valley. “We might have had a bit… Read More »

Super Bowl With A Twist of Sonoma County.

  If you’re a sports fan who doubles as a wine enthusiast – it doesn’t get any better than this. Sonoma County wine producers will be the official suppliers for Super Bowl 50 in the Bay Area in 2016. These vintners will get more than their 15 minutes of fame. Try eight days. That’s how long “fan village” will be held before the game in February 2016. About 1 million impressionable visitors are expected to spend time in this village.… Read More »