Monthly Archives: January 2010

Wine, Chocolate and… Redwood Sculptures?

     One wouldn’t normally think of a Best Western hotel/motel as a
tourist attraction. Like most of the major national chains, it’s simply
a place to get a good night’s sleep on the way from one locale to
another.

     But there’s a Best Western in Sacramento, Calif., that you
absolutely must see if you ever find yourself near California’s state
capital. It’s the Best Western Sandman, located at 236 Jibboom Street,
just off Interstate-5.

     There, you’ll encounter an amazing collection of sculptures sawed
and carved out of redwood. Al Sarti is the art patron who envisioned…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

The Ultimate Pairing Dinner

     A great way to learn more about pairing wine with food is to attend a winemaker dinner.

     At most such affairs, you’ll enjoy dishes you’re not likely to prepare at home, matched with wines from a specific winery.

     The tab can be high (sometimes soaring into three figures), but just as often falls into a more…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

A Taste of the San Joaquin Valley

     Seventy percent of all California winegrapes are grown in the San Joaquin Valley.

     That may come as a shock to those who assume virtually all of the state’s wines come from Napa Valley or Sonoma County.

     To help raise the profile of the San Joaquin Valley, a unique
tasting room and visitors’ center has opened in the town of Madera.
It’s called…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

They Said It… Our Editor Reacts

     * Said Clifton Fadiman: “To take wine into our mouths is to savor a droplet of the river of human history.”

     Says our editor: So why didn’t they serve wine in history class?

     * Said Maurice Healy: “I took one sip; I closed my eyes, and every beautiful thing that I had…

Posted in Wine Wit

For the Wine Lover Who Has Everything…

     Need a birthday or housewarming gift for the wine lover in your life?

     Bet they don’t have a Wine Regions Cheese Board.

     Every home where wine is served needs a cheese board (or two), and this one is shaped like France and…

Posted in Wine Buzz

Coasting the Mendocino Way

    One of the best ways to experience the culinary bounty of
California’s Mendocino County is to explore the wineries of the
Anderson Valley during the day, and then head for the coast for a
memorable meal.

     Highway 128, which can be picked up just north of Cloverdale off
Highway 101, serves as the “main drag” through Anderson Valley, and
will take you all the way to the Mendocino Coast.

     Head north on California Highway 1, and you’ll encounter the
communities of Albion, Little River, Mendocino and Fort Bragg, each
offering unique wining-and-dining experiences…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

A Little Bit of France in Mendocino County

     Quick: What’s the fastest growing white wine variety in America?

     Chardonnay? Nope. It’s the No. 1 white wine in this country, but its growth rate has been somewhat flat in recent years.

     Pinot Grigio? This variety is growing in popularity, but certainly not with lightning speed.

     No, the “winner” is…

Posted in Editor's Journal

Ferrari-Carano: Sustainable From Vineyard to Bottle

     Sonoma County’s Ferrari-Carano winery has long practiced sustainable farming techniques to help protect the land.

     Don and Rhonda Carano realized that to achieve their goal of
producing memorable wines of outstanding quality, they needed to start
in the vineyards and not focus solely on the winemaking. Inspired to
meet their present goals while preserving the land for…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

10 Reasons to Switch to Screw Caps

    Over the years, the wine clubs of Vinesse have featured numerous
wines from Bonny Doon, the winery founded by Randall Grahm.

     The eccentric Grahm has always been two or three steps ahead of
the curve, embracing international grape varieties before just about
anyone else, and crafting wonderful blends when 100% varietal wines
were all the rage.

     He also was among the first vintners to embrace the use of screw
caps on wine bottles, and even came up with a Letterman-style list of…

Posted in Wine Wit

MOLASSES-INFUSED PORK BELLY

     We normally recommend Chardonnay or some other white wine to accompany pork chops. But this pork dish is tailor-made for Cabernet Sauvigon.

     That’s right – the most noble of all red wines.

     Trust us….

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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