Monthly Archives: December 2009

Chimney Rock: A Star of Napa's Stags Leap District

     Growing grapes and making wine in the Stags Leap District of the
Napa Valley is the vinous equivalent of being granted a license to
print money.

     It’s not quite that simple, of course, but nobody would say that
Stags Leap is a challenging place to farm exceptional grapes.
Obvioisly, Mother Nature gets the final word each harvest season, but
it’s no mere coincidence that many of California’s greatest wines come
from this area – the home of Chimney Rock Winery.

     The district’s name is derived from the legend of a nimble stag,
said to have escaped a hunter by making a fantastic leap from one of the…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction

America's Burgundy

     If there is one winegrowing area in California that most closely
emulates the Burgundy region of France, it’s the Russian River Valley
of Sonoma County.

     Just as in Burgundy, the two varieties that reign supreme in the
Russian River are Pinot Noir among reds and Chardonnay among whites. So
many wineries – most still family-owned and relatively small – are
congregated in the area today that an organization has been formed to
help visitors plan their excursions and navigate the terrain: the
Russian River Wine Road.

     From a humble beginning with nine member wineries, the Wine Road now encompasses more than a…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Gold Medal Wines on the Olympic Peninsula

    Memorable wine touring experiences in the state of Washington are
by no means limited to the Willamette Valley and Walla Walla.

     Not far from Seattle, but still a bit off the beaten path, you can
explore the wineries of the Olympic Peninsula. And it truly will be an
exploration because chances are you’ve never even heard of any of the

     The reason: Most of them churn out fewer than 2,000 cases of wine
per year. With such limited production, combined with strong local
demand, it’s rare to encounter an Olympic Peninsula wine anywhere
except on…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

Next Spring, Hop on Over to Hopland

     I’ve always thought of Hopland as sort of the “gateway” to Mendocino County wine country.

     Which makes no sense whatsoever, when you think about it.

     The town was named for its historic crop of great significance: hops… which are used in the making of beer, not wine.

     And if you’re looking for a fabulous handcrafted beer on a hot summer day, Hopland definitely is…

Posted in Editor's Journal

A Sandwich for Zinfandel Lovers

     Normally, we wouldn’t recommend serving Zinfandel with a roast
beef sandwich. Such a sandwich is more suited to Pinot Noir or Syrah.
But when you had some green onion and horseradish sour cream to the
sandwich, the added “zip” makes Zinfandel the perfect choice. This
recipe makes 3/4 cup.


Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Add Some Zip to Bowl Game Sandwiches

     A great way to watch the bowl game of your choice on New Year’s
Day is with your favorite submarine sandwich and a nice, cold glass of
wine – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling… whatever
you like.

     Particularly if you’re serving Sauvignon Blanc, a splash of olive
vinaigrette can really make the sandwich… and the wine…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Post-Holiday Gifts… To You, From You

     So… was Santa good to you this morning?

     Did he bring you everything you wanted? Or did sitting on his lap at the mall turn out to be just another holiday scam?

     Oops… sorry. Didn’t mean for any “bah-humbug” to sneak into today’s posting…

     Look, none of us got EVERYTHING we asked for. That’s why the
stores have After-Christmas Sales. (Okay, okay… we know that’s not
the real…

Posted in Wine Buzz

The Great Glassware Debate

    QUESTION: I’ve heard that I should use different glasses for red wines and white wines. Is this true?

     ANSWER: It’s not absolutely necessary. After all, traditionally, Italians drank their wine in tumblers.

     That said, using the right glass for a particular type of wine definitely can enhance the…

Posted in Wine FAQ

A Wine-Tasting Trip to Yosemite?!?

     One of America’s great natural treasures is Yosemite National
Park, some 310 miles from Los Angeles and 214 miles from San Francisco.

     If you’ve never been, you have to go. From its shear granite
cliffs to its glacier-carved valleys, and from its majestic waterfalls
to ancient sequoia groves, the Yosemite Valley is a place of beautiful

     Yosemite sits within Mariposa County, and here’s a tasty tidbit you may not have known: Mariposa is home to…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

2010: The Best Year Ever to Visit V. Sattui


     The Napa Valley has turned into a world-class travel destination,
offering 3-star resorts and Michelin-recognized restaurants to
complement its acclaimed wine estates.

     But there’s another side to Napa that only in-the-know… or
extremely lucky… visitors ever encounter. It’s the less pretentious
side of the valley, and it’s embodied by a winery in St. Helena that is
celebrating a very special anniversary in 2010.

     It’s V. Sattui Winery & Italian Market, which is about to turn…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction
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