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A Press Democrat Blog

Tasting Room

The Wine Guide

Unique Exhibit: 40 Oak Barrels Turned into Art

Stop by DeLoach Vineyards in Santa Rosa Friday, Saturday or Sunday to see a one-of-a-kind exhibit. Artists have clearly met with their muse to craft the oak barrels in an interesting way. They have been painted, sculpted and in some cases, turned into furniture. The exhibit is in honor of The Wine Road’s 40th Anniversary. All the barrels were sponsored by local businesses and many have already been bought, sight unseen. These “reinvented” barrels will be on public display at… Read More »

The 40th Anniversary of the Paris Tasting

This year marks four decades since the infamous Paris Tasting of 1976, the one in which French judges were mortified when they picked California wines as victors in blind tastings. The “Judgment of Paris,” as the tasting came to be known, put California winemaking on the map, inspiring people all over the globe to take its craft seriously. This year there will be a myriad of celebrations throughout Northern California and the country to celebrate the 40-year milestone. They include… Read More »

Does Organic Wine Taste Better? Study: A hands down yes

This has long been the belief of the organic and biodynamic camps, but proving it scientifically has always seemed next to impossible. However, a new study by members of the American Association of Wine Economics, reveals a significant link between organic wine and high scores from three highly esteemed wine publications. The study focused on a pool of wine – 74,148 bottlings produced in California between 1998 and 2009. The publications it drew scores from are The Wine Advocate, The… Read More »

Q& A with Vanessa Robledo, the new CEO of Mi Sueno Winery

Vanessa, 38, joins her sister Lorena and brother-in-law, winemaker Rolando Herrera, as CEO of  their Napa Valley winery, Mi Sueno. Mi Sueno, founded in 1997, means “my dream” in Spanish. Before reeling through the Q&A, here’s a recap of Vanessa’s backstory. Vanessa, you recall, turned heads when she was president of Sonoma’s Robledo Family Winery. She grew the business from a 100-case producer in 1997 to a 20,000 cases a year in 2007. Vanessa targeted the affluent Hispanic middle class,… Read More »

Test Your Wine IQ: Do you know when a wine is flawed?

Consider this 60-second alert your “flaw flash warning.” After you take our pop quiz, you’ll be able to sniff out a problem wine. True or False? A wine is flawed if it smells like: A)        band-aid? B)         barnyard? C)         wet, musty cardboard? D)         cat pee? E)         rotten eggs? F)         petroleum? G)        nail polish? Okay genius, here’s the skinny: If your sniffer picks up band-aid, wet cardboard, rotten eggs or nail polish, you’ve got a flaw on your hands. The other… Read More »

Petaluma native Hoby Wedler is recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30

28-year-old Henry “Hoby” Wedler may be blind, but he’s also a visionary. It’s not surprising Forbes magazine picked Wedler in the Food & Drink category. The Petaluma-born wine educator has been leading blind wine tastings at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville since 2011. He blindfolds the unsuspecting and leaves them with this startling revelation: sight can be detrimental when it comes to tasting. Forbes selected 600 leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in its fifth annual “30 Under 30” list covering… Read More »

Wine and the politics of Holiday Feasts

Every year, without fail, there’s someone at the Holiday table with the wrong politics. It begins as an annoyance, a nuisance, an irritation. But if the conversation goes on too long it becomes a full on debate and then a filibuster. Wine, thankfully, can be used as way to change the course of the banter. Think of it as an interception … a much needed interception, in fact, when a Donald Trump supporter and a Bernie Sanders backer sit down… Read More »

“SOMM: Into the Bottle” premiere– why sommeliers have a story to tell

The SOMM sequel kicked off of the Napa Valley Film Festival, and 750 people were packed in Napa’s Uptown Theater to see what boy genius Jason Wise had come up with next for oenophiles. Wise said part of the impetus for making the sequel was to satisfy those who felt SOMM wasn’t as “educational” as it could be about the wine world. The director took up the challenge in a big way. The film covered everything from the wines of… Read More »