Monthly Archives: January 2011

What's So Confusing About 'Sonoma County'?

In 1989, a regulation went into effect that many feel helped put California’s Napa Valley on the map.

The regulation required that those two words – “Napa Valley” – be included on any wine produced in the valley, even if the name of a more specific viticultural area (such as “Rutherford” or “St. Helena”) already appeared on the label.

Not long thereafter, similar regulations went into effect for the Paso Robles and Lodi growing areas…

Posted in Editor's Journal

Mustard Festival Spices Up Things in Napa Valley

Evidence of the coming spring arrives early each year in California’s Napa Valley.

The fall colors of the most recent harvest now a faded memory, the stark rows of grapevines up and down the valley floor seem to have been covered in a blanket of yellow.

Long before Punxsutawney Phil shows his face in Pennsylvania, wild mustard plants seem to almost submerge the Napa vines…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

A Special Night in 2008

There’s no better way to enjoy fine wines than at a dinner featuring a menu that was developed specifically to complement those wines.

We like to share wine dinner menus with you to help get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen – because every dinner is better with wine, and can become spectacular with the right wine…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Touring Tips on 3 Continents

If you love to visit wineries, there is no shortage of opportunities – either here in the United States, or in the world’s numerous other winemaking countries.

Let’s take a look at three such opportunities, beginning in California’s Sonoma County, then heading south to Argentina, and ending up across the pond in Italy. You’ll read about two wine estates, as well as a new book packed with touring tips.

Fasten your seatbelt! Here we go…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

One Good Deed Leads to Others

The Rutherford Dust Society Board of Directors has strengthened its long-standing commitment to supporting local community projects in the Rutherford AVA by increasing its donations overall by over 60% in 2010.

This includes a 95% increase in donations to the historic Rutherford Grange to assist with its restoration project.

Posted in Wine and the Environment

The Hidden Secrets of Italy's Langhe Region

***image2***Piedmont, Italy’s largest winegrowing region, hides within itself the Langhe, a self-contained and unique landscape wedged between the Ligurian Apennine to the south, the Tanaro River to the west and north, and the province of Asti to the east.

The Langhe offers a varied landscape of hills and valleys of remarkable fertility and beauty, which have given rise to a refined culinary tradition. You may come across the “Langhe” name when tasting some of the distinguished products made there: the Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto and Moscato wines; the Piedmont hazelnut and the delicious sweets that it inspired; or the Alba truffle…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

The Wine and Music Connection

***image2***Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the great composers of classical music.

Chris Thile is a mandolin virtuoso who has played in a number of acclaimed “Americana” bands, including the critically acclaimed bluegrass group, Nickel Creek.

Their musical styles and preferences may be quite different, but these two talented men share an appreciation of wine…

Posted in Wine Wit

Love Bubbly? Scan Those By-the-Glass Lists Carefully

Ever hear of Pierre Peters Champagne?

How about Jean Milan?

Or Larmandier-Bernier?

Chances are good that you haven’t, unless you frequent hip restaurants and notice them on the by-the-glass list…

Posted in Editor's Journal

A Tasty Dish for Between the Games

Having friends over to watch the Bears-Packers and Jets-Steelers games today? This dish would make a great between-games meal.

It serves 4, and pairs perfectly with California Chardonnay.



* 16 jumbo shrimp

* Salt and black pepper, to taste

* 2 sticks butter

* 1 teaspoon tomato paste

* 1 teaspoon lime juice

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Are You Ready for Some Football?

***image2***It’s not going to be pretty tomorrow when the Green Bay Packers travel to America’s Second City to take on the Chicago Bears for the NFL’s National Conference championship.

The winner gets a trip to the Super Bowl two weeks later. The loser is done for the season. And it’s one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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