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The Wine Guide

Auction Napa Valley, the Best of the Best

Surprise was the hot commodity at this year’s Auction Napa Valley, with John Legend taking the stage and performing “All of Me.” Expressions on people’s faces shifted from shock to delight. To capture the color of the auction weekend – the hijinks, the humor, the bidding mentality – here’s this year’s list of “bests,” from best quote, to best lot, to best dish. For those who went to the auction events and for the curious who didn’t, here are some… Read More »

Casting Call for a ROCK STAR Winemaker

Word just in … the new Real Reality T.V. Show “Best Bottle” is looking for winemakers – established and aspiring — who can show their mettle and make the tastiest wine. First season is California vs. Oregon where two teams compete against each other to find America’s new Rock-Star Winemaker. Crazy as it sounds Julia Child, the woman who had high hopes for a cultivated society in her country, would find this delightful; she would be proud that in America… Read More »

Let the Bidding Begin. Auction Napa Valley’s E Auction opens Sunday

If you didn’t snag a ticket to Auction Napa Valley, there’s still a way to experience it from the comfort of your own home. The E-Auction is open for bidding at auctionnapavalley.org for good deed wine-lovers across the globe. Bidding will last nearly a week, with the E-Auction closing in waves starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, 2015. E-Auction lots are currently available for preview at auctionnapavalley.org Monies spent will benefit community health and children’s education. Here are some of the categories of the E-Auction… Read More »

Hey wine geeks, looking for some weekend fun?

Check out the Historic Tool Museum at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma. It’s open this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here’s a Q&A with vintner Jean-Charles Boisset for a deeper look at this unusual museum. Q: What’s the most significant aspect of this tool museum? A: The inspiration for this museum developed at Louis Bouillot, in Burgundy, where we have over 3-4,000 historical winemaking tools that have been collected by our family and also purchased from… Read More »

The clever vintner behind Sidebar

David Ramey is the vintner behind our wine-of-the-week winner – Sidebar, 2014 High Valley Sauvignon Blanc at $25. In this Q&A Ramey gives us a closer look at Ramey Wine Cellars’ new brand that kicked off with the 2014 vintage. Aside from the sauvignon blanc, there’s also a 2014 Kerner, a crisp white grape grown in Lodi’s Mokelumne River area, and a 2014 rosé made from syrah grapes grown in the Russian River Valley. Q: What role do you play… Read More »

“Tasting in the Dark” Tips

Hoby Wedler, blind since birth, leads the popular “Tasting in the Dark” at Geyserville’s Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and he has plenty of tips for the sighted. The first tip?  Wedler tells his blindfolded group of tasters to become fully aware of the “distraction” of sight. He encourages them to rely on their other senses while tasting. What follows is Wedler’s five-point strategy for getting the most out of wine. 1)                Swirl the glass. 2)                Smell the glass. 3)                Taste… Read More »

Rock Climber Shares Photos

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 sharing his photos in an exhibition this Sunday at Iron Horse Vineyards’ Earth Day celebration this Sunday.   Joy Sterling of Iron Horse said she approached Jorgeson to be the guest speaker about a week after he finished his climb in mid-January.   “I’m very… Read More »

Heading into the Sweepstakes Round

In Day 2 of the Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge we will ferret out the best of the best, the sweepstakes winners, a selection from an initial pool of 1000-plus wines submitted to the contest. A perk for those of us judging was dinner last night at the Kosta Browne Winery at The Barlow in Sebastopol. Who says dinner in a warehouse can’t be classy? The cellar, done up in lights, makes a great backdrop for an elegant evening.… Read More »

The latest player to get serious about wine

For those looking for deals at $1.99 and up, the Grocery Outlet in Santa Rosa offers plenty to peruse. It has expanded its wine department and now has more than 500 labels. The Grocery Outlet is the latest to join the ranks of other area grocery stores who take wine seriously. They include G&G, Oliver’s, Pacific Market, Sonoma Market, and Big John’s in Healdsburg. Melissa Porter at the Emeryville headquarters of Grocery Outlet, said of its 220 stores, the one… Read More »

The Story Behind Syrah du Soleil

Vintner Barry Collier lost his wife Sue in 2007, but he’s bottled her memory in Syrah du Soleil. This Thursday Collier will give a check for $10,000 to the Forbes Norris ALS Research Center in San Francisco. He’ll also pour the wine named after Sue which was responsible for raising that amount. In 2004 Sue was diagnosed with ALS — Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, best known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. With this disease, the muscles become smaller and weaker, and gradually… Read More »