The label that draws a double take

The Honig, 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($16) has a unique label, and I’ve never come across anything quite like it. The label is inside the bottle and reveals a picture of vineyards that you spy through the white wine.

By | December 15th, 2011|0 Comments

Bubbly 101 … Toasting to a frothy mistake

The unassailable sparkle in bubbly was a result of Champagne’s cool temperatures which would halt fermentation in the fall and unleash it again in the spring when the wines warmed up. When the winemakers couldn’t win their war with the bubble, they decided to make peace with it, and ultimately celebrate it.

By | December 14th, 2011|0 Comments

If you’re a winemaker, why retire?

If you're a winemaker, why retire? The head winemaker behind our wine-of-the-week winner is John Pedroncelli and at 86-years old he’s still calling the shots. Yes, he has a team working under him, but he reports to work every day and he’s in great health.

By | December 14th, 2011|0 Comments

Bubbly 101

Are you prepared to celebrate anything and everything to keep the bubbly free-flowing from now until New Year’s Eve? Good. No worries if you happen to be a strapped shopper this year like most Americans, you can still partake in Bubbly Season. Just plan to budget indulgence with an inexpensive sparkler.

By | December 2nd, 2011|2 Comments

’Tis the season for Beaujolais nouveau

Today is the third Thursday in Novemeber, the day Beaujolais nouveau goes on sale. Beaujolais nouveau, as you know, is a red wine produced from gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France, and it’s only fermented for a few weeks before it goes on sale. This wine, for the record, is the freshest you’ll ever taste.

By | November 17th, 2011|1 Comment

The vegan and the hunter

The Clendenens – Kathy and John – report that they are still getting comments about the story that ran in the Press Democrat that in October with the headline: “The vegan and the hunter.”The reason? Kathy, the vegan, thinks it’s because there are a lot of people in Wine Country who are living in households where palates don’t see eye to eye. I thought it would be a good idea to check in with the vegan and the hunter to see what their Thanksgiving plans are and whether they’ll be able to make peace at the dinner table during the holiday.

By | November 17th, 2011|1 Comment

Kosta Browne is all the talk

Kosta Browne is all the talk. Its pinot is rock star and now it’s official. It was named the top wine of 2011 by Wine Spectator magazine today. The Kosta Browne 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir bested wines from around the world in the magazine’s annual list of “Top 100 Wines.”

By | November 16th, 2011|2 Comments

Oysters on call

Oysters on call Within 24 hours of being harvested, you can have fresh oysters delivered to your doorstep. What’s next? Fast food oysters at McDonalds? Not just yet. But in the meantime I’m happy to know about “The Oyster Girls” who have a traveling oyster bar, importing the best of Tomales Bay to north to oyster lovers like myself.

By | November 2nd, 2011|0 Comments

Goodwill sipping

The first annual Project Zin is this Saturday night at the Healdsburg Hotel from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and all the proceeds will benefit the Sonoma County Down Syndrome Support Group.

By | October 28th, 2011|0 Comments

How to remedy Mother Nature?

Wine Country has taken a hit with the recent rains and Saturday may bring another bout of rain. With the grape crop a victim of bunch rot called botrytis, how are people holding up? While Patrick Campbell, owner of Tierra Divina, has most of his grapes picked, he knows what it’s like to take a hit. He lost 20 percent of his 200 ton grape crop in Mendoza from hail in December and frost in September.

By | October 11th, 2011|1 Comment