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Move over Fred Franzia

Move over Fred Franzia. Matt Cornfoot, who worked for Franzia for 17 years , has developed a brand called Rare Red that’s turning heads because it can be found for five bucks Five Buck Matt?

By | May 9th, 2011|5 Comments

Mike Lee, one of the best and the brightest

When we lost Mike Lee this week, we lost a true innovator, a smart risk-taker, a brilliant entrepreneur who made millions by betting on quality.

By | May 4th, 2011|2 Comments

Jess Jackson, remembered for his enterprise

Jess Jackson, the self-made vintner who died at 81, will be remembered for his enterprise. The key to Jackson’s success was his realization that America’s soda-pop palate was poised for a sweeter-styled chardonnay.

By | April 21st, 2011|1 Comment

What!?! Wine Country inspired a backyard vineyard in Minnesota?

What!?! Wine Country inspired a backyard vineyard in Minnesota? I was recently at a wedding in Washington D.C., when my cousin Jodi told me her news: She has a backyard vineyard. Yep. Eight sturdy vines. That wouldn’t have been so shocking on the face of it, but my cousin happens to live in Rochester, Minnesota.

By | April 5th, 2011|1 Comment

Will Barrel Tasting be a frat party?

Will Barrel Tasting be a frat party? As you recall, in years past there was some generational sniping between baby boomers and the Millennials. In fact, some people in their 40s complained LOUDLY about the unabashed party-inclined younger set, ages 21 to 31, who enthusiastically paired wine with beer and martinis.

By | March 2nd, 2011|17 Comments

If the Oscar winners were sparkling wines …

If the Oscar winners were sparkling wines ... Then Colin Firth, who won best actor for The King’s Speech, would be Le Reve, a blanc de blanc, that’s austere and elegant. And Natalie Portman, who won best actress for “Black Swan,” would be J Schram, a rich, complex brut with a big personality.

By | February 28th, 2011|1 Comment

State Dinner debacle?

On Presidents Day the former White House executive chef, Walter Scheib, was on hand during the induction ceremony to the Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. When asked earlier about last year’s State Dinner debacle, Scheib said it never would have happened during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s reign as First Lady. Why? Read on.

By | February 22nd, 2011|2 Comments

Weekend wines

Weekend wines There’s nothing like planning ahead, especially when it comes to palate prep. So even before you finish your 80-hour work week, remind yourself you live in Wine Country where it’s protocol to peruse a great line-up of wine for uncorking: Here are some great ones to kick off the weekend:

By | February 17th, 2011|1 Comment

15 minutes of vintner fame

Feb. 21s t is the celebration of the fifth annual Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. We’re told there are still some $175 tickets available and people can read more about the event and register at www.ciavintnershalloffame.com.

By | February 17th, 2011|0 Comments

You in? Are you going to Zap?

You in? Are you going to ZAP? Are you a fan of snappy, back-talking zins or do you prefer the gallant, well-mannered ones? These extremes and everything in-between will be poured at the 20h annual ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) Tasting Saturday, Jan. 29 at San Francisco’s Fort Mason.

By | January 21st, 2011|4 Comments