Are you a global sipping citizen?

Ask a retailer you trust to point out a few of the most popular and then taste through them. Among the best are Cotes du Rhones from France, whites from Italy, malbecs from Argentina and garnachas from Spain.

By | August 3rd, 2009|0 Comments

Is this label pornographic?

How would my old high school buddy Evelyn Stathakes, who lives in a small town in Alabama, answer my quiz? She apparently picks B – Only in Alabama.

By | July 28th, 2009|3 Comments

Have you rediscovered the hot currency of trade?

Wine has been the common currency in trade in Northern California’s Wine Country, but these days the strapped have broadened its scope.

By | July 24th, 2009|1 Comment

Cocktails for the top contenders at Cyrus

Today when the spotlight is on the winner, the hoopla, the spectacle, I hope you’ll join me in keeping your eye on the big picture, the maneuverings in Wine Country as a result of this well-publicized odyssey

By | July 21st, 2009|3 Comments

Fred Franzia won and lost.

Stefan Solytiask, on the professional panel, said Fred Franzia’s claim that his wines can stand up to the best of Napa most of the time in a consumer tasting is questionable. Yes, in this tasting one of Franzia’s wines did stand up to pricier Napa cabs, but to do it he relied on Napa grapes. Most of Franzia’s wines are produced from Central Valley grapes.

By | July 15th, 2009|2 Comments

There’s a mystery at Cellars of Sonoma in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. Can you solve it?

The bar looks like it could be in an old western film, dating back to the late 1800s. It has three arches with smoked mirrors in each, with the upper part of the bar mahogany and the bottom, oak.

By | July 6th, 2009|2 Comments

Wanted: consumers to sit on the tasting panel of the Fred Franzia wine challenge

Why is the tasting drawing interest? Because Franzia is a hero or a villain, depending on who you ask. Because no one else in America would have the audacity to create a $2 brand. Because Franzia rankles Napa vintners when he chides them for producing high-priced wines. All of the above.

By | June 30th, 2009|196 Comments

Francis Ford Coppola is pairing film and wine. But what’s wrong with this picture?

Coppola spent a year in Buenos Aires and since it is well known that he is a vintner, he received many wines to try: Argentine malbec and torrontes.

By | June 26th, 2009|18 Comments

A blind tasting with strangers cruising near Alcatraz

I met an English couple on a ferry in the San Francisco bay Sunday who were intent on catching a glimpse of Alcatraz, the rocky island with a checkered past. They had just finished taking a picture of the eerie island that housed the nation's most notorious criminals when I [...]

By | June 17th, 2009|0 Comments

Truce? One millennial has a plan to put an end to generational sniping

Zack Zimmerman is on a peace-keeping mission. The 24-year old millennial has just created the website Wine for Millennials & Beyond (http://www.meetup.com/Wines-for- ) to "bridge the gap between generations and dilute the preconceived notions-"Millennials-and-beyond/Q: Seems like it would be an impossible feat to make the passionate politically correct. How will [...]

By | June 12th, 2009|0 Comments