Who knew? Bubbly is as lethal as a Red Ryder BB Gun

The pressure inside a bottle of bubbly can launch a cork at 50 miles per hour and it can lead to serious eye injuries. The Red Ryder BB Gun is beginning to seem tame in comparison, eh? ”When a cork flies, you really have no time to react and protect [...]

By | December 27th, 2016|2 Comments

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)   [...]

By | December 6th, 2016|1 Comment

This Thanksgiving, politics off the table

Keep politics out of the table talk this Thanksgiving. Everyone is focused on Thanksgiving, the big feast and, yes, politics. Everyone is plotting how to keep the holiday dinner from being a political nightmare. What does one do when you have staunch republicans and feisty democrats at one table? Simple. [...]

By | November 22nd, 2016|2 Comments

Election night wine picks for frayed nerves

There is one thing, and perhaps only one thing, that unites Americans this election: anxiety. In a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, half of the people (52%) said the election “is a very or somewhat significant” source of stress in their lives. This anxiety is showing up on [...]

By | November 7th, 2016|5 Comments

Boost Your Wine IQ: Verdicchio, a varietal worth knowing

Verdicchio originated on the hills above the coast of eastern Italy. The flavor profile is dry, tart and crisp, with subtle fruit flavors. This zesty wine is the consummate seafood pairing with the likes of calamari and fish stews. With our warm Mediterranean climate in northern California, seafood is prized. [...]

By | October 31st, 2016|1 Comment

Boost Your Wine IQ: Sauternes, a worthy splurge

In the most expensive of all dessert wines, Sauternes are produced from mostly semillon and a little sauvignon blanc. The flavor profile is intense, infused with apricot and honey. Delicious food matches include pecan pie, as well as apple and pear tart. Now that you have snapshot of Sauternes, you [...]

By | October 31st, 2016|2 Comments

Boost Your Wine IQ — Port’s Backstory

In the 17th century, when England and France were at war, the British opted for Portuguese wine, but they found it a little off-putting. But by adding brandy, Portuguese wine became more palatable. Voila! Port was born. The popular after dinner drink is sweet, robust and smooth. When you drink [...]

By | October 31st, 2016|0 Comments

Spook-tacular Pairings

Grown-ups may like liquid treats, but they’re more than happy to pair them with the goodies they can raid from their kids’ trick or treat bags. Traci Dutton of The Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena has some tasty pairings in mind for these adult tricksters. While I haven’t [...]

By | October 25th, 2016|2 Comments

Boost Your Wine IQ: Is it possible to bottle the wind?

In a word – yes. The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers pride themselves on crafting wines that reveal their distinct, wind-swept terroir. The public at large will get a chance to taste these bottlings at the Petaluma Gap Wind to Wine Festival Nov. 6 at the Sheraton Petaluma. The Grand Tasting is [...]

By | October 20th, 2016|3 Comments

A sommelier in your own home?

I’m not suggesting that SommSelect is the equivalent of a sniffing, swirling, sipping robot with exquisite taste. Or am I? SommSelect is the brainchild of Brandon Carneiro, a Sonoma State graduate. His clever idea is to help every home have 24/7 access to a sommelier. Sommselect.com offers a daily pick [...]

By | September 20th, 2016|0 Comments