Monthly Archives: September 2009

Okanagan Fall Wine Festival Begins Tomorrow

     Looking for a spur of the moment getaway?

     Consider the annual Okanagan Fall Wine Festival in Canada’s
British Columbia province, which kicks off tomorrow and runs through
October 11.

    The nice thing about this festival is that you can pick and choose
the type of experience you want to have, not to mention the duration of…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

The Right Serving Temp for Red Wine

    QUESTION: I’ve heard that red wine should be served at room temperature. Is this true?

     ANSWER: Yes, assuming you live in a cave.

     For generations, we were taught that while white wine should be
cooled down prior to serving, red wine was best enjoyed at room

     Only one problem: When that advice initially was given, the man
giving it probably lived in a drafty castle that was not equipped with
a heating system — other than…

Posted in Wine FAQ

Resources for Planning a Fun-Filled Wine Trip

     There are 2,843 wineries in California (before I just blinked, anyway). Fortunately, not all of them have tasting rooms.

     But hundreds and hundreds do, which can make choosing which ones
to visit — even in a rather compressed geographic area — a real
conundrum. So it’s easy to understand why so many of them offer
amenities beyond wine tasting to attract visitors (otherwise known as
potential customers).

     According to a new Web site developed jointly by Wine Institute…

Posted in Editor's Journal

It's Not a Sin to Serve Wine with Salty Dishes

***image2***    We all know that too much salt in our diet is not a good thing.
But, when used in moderation, salt can bring dull dishes to life and
elevate such everyday food as sliced cantaloupe.

     And these days, specialty salts are all the rage. At the Dean
& Deluca store in the Napa Valley, more than 25 specialty salts
from around the world are on display. One — a black truffle variety —
goes for (are you sitting down?) $75 per pound.

     Salt has a love/hate relationship with food. On the “love” side,
there’s the aforementioned “elevating” role that it plays in cooking.
“Mom always used to say that salt brings out the flavor in food,” a
member of…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Draws 2,500

    Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, one of the country’s most prestigious
wine events and Sonoma County’s largest food and wine fundraiser of the
year, enjoyed record participation and attendance while raising more
than $400,000 for local Sonoma charities.

     The annual three-day, pre-harvest celebration — comprised of the
30th annual Showcase: Taste of Sonoma, the 17th annual Sonoma Valley
Harvest Wine Auction, and a series of vintner-hosted lunches and
dinners — shines a spotlight on Sonoma’s unparalleled culinary,
winemaking and hospitality heritage.

     In all, more than 150 wineries, 60 chefs and countless hospitality
providers and volunteers took part in the annual fete that drew…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

Don't Forget Veggies When You Fire Up the Grill

    Vegetables are notoriously difficult to match with wine. But when
you grill the veggies, the challenge becomes much less daunting.

     Perhaps that is why vegetables have moved up to No. 7 on the list
of the most popular grilled foods. (You can scroll down to see the full

     Grilling not only intensifies the natural flavors of a given
vegetable, but it provides the opportunity to make them more
interesting through…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Chile Joins the Sustainability March

     Add Chile to the ever growing list of winegrowing countries that is taking its responsibility to the land seriously.

     According to Decanter, the University of Talca recently completed
development of a sustainability protocol, providing winery owners with
a road map for achieving sustainability in their farming and…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

You Won't Sing the Blues with Clarksburg Wines

    In the South, Clarksville is one of the historic homes of the blues.

     In the West, Clarksburg is a California winegrowing region that in
recent years finally has been garnering the recognition it deserves.

     Grapes have been grown in Clarksburg — part of California’s Delta
region near the state capital of Sacramento — for generations. But for
most of that time, because the region didn’t have the name recognition

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Despite Economy, Wine Consumption Rises in 2008

    Overall wine consumption in the U.S. rose 0.9 percent in 2008 to
294.7 million 9-liter cases, according to the Beverage Information
Group’s recently released 2009 Wine Handbook.

     Although the growth rate has slowed slightly, this marks the 15th consecutive year of case gains.

     Changing demographic trends cited in the Handbook are favorable
for the wine industry. The 70 million people that make up the
“Millennial” generation (ages 21-30) are…

Posted in The Wine Business

What We Really Can Learn from Wine Competitions

    There has been a lot of chatter on the internet about reports
written by Robert T. Hodgson, who is now a winemaker following a career
as a college professor.

     Hodgson presented data indicating that judging at the California
State Fair Commercial Wine Competition has been inconsistent over the
past four years. He also wrote that “many wines that are viewed as
extraordinarily good at some competitions are viewed as below average
at others.”

     It didn’t take long for some bloggers to pile on, opining in no uncertain terms that wine competitions are basically…

Posted in Editor's Journal
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