Sips and Tips

    A few sips and tips to kick off your wine week…

     * Sorry to learn of the passing of Robert Young — no, not the “Father Knows Best” actor, but rather the legendary grape grower. If you’ve ever had a Robert Young Vineyard Chardonnay from Chateau St. Jean, you understand what an important contribution this man made to the world of wine. Less well known but equally important, Young was the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. Today, many people believe Alexander Valley Cabs are every bit as good as Napa Valley Cabs — and most are available at a fraction of the price that many Napa Cabs command. Young was 90.

     * A great way to see downtown Chicago, believe it or not, is by boat. The Wendella company offers trips up and down the Chicago River (which splits the downtown area), featuring narration on many of the interesting buildings that line or can be seen from the river. And on the last Wednesday of each month, the company offers wine-tasting cruises. For $60, you get the usual architecture education, accompanied by samples of about eight wines, plus food from Buca di Beppo (a restaurant known for being able to feed a lot of people at one time). So, if you’re planning a visit to Chicago, check out the Wendella Web site at

     * Later this week here on, we’ll bring you a timeline of significant events in the 75-year history of Wine Institute, which serves as the wine industry’s voice in Washington, D.C., and America’s state capitals. That timeline also provides a fascinating “snapshot” of wine’s history here in the United States.

     Enjoy your week… and enjoy it even more by pouring a glass of wine with dinner.

Posted in Editor's Journal
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