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A Press Democrat Blog

Tasting Room

The Wine Guide

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 »

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? James Beard Award-winning Chefs

Hamel Family Wines is hosting a dinner April 25 that will feature the caloric magic of five James Beard Award-winning chefs. If you’re wondering how to get a ticket to this decadent, six-course dinner at this sleek Sonoma winery, forget it. It was an auction lot and, I might add, one of the most popular offerings at the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction in August. The single lot, which raised a record-breaking $260,000 that afternoon, was snapped up because of its… Read More »

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 »