Monthly Archives: February 2011

Mom's Grilled Cheese and Other Childhood Memories

What do you think of when you hear the term “comfort food”?

For me, several things come to mind… all, not surprisingly, connected to my childhood. Even though she worked a more-than-full-time job at the family bakery in Balboa, Calif., my Mom somehow found time to cook dinner six nights per week. Her only “day off” was Tuesday, when the whole family would go bowling together, and then eat dinner at the bowling center’s coffee shop.

In our family, “comfort food” ranged from a tuna-and-peas casserole to meatloaf, and from spaghetti to broiled hamburgers…

Posted in Editor's Journal

Wine Exports Bounce Back in 2010

United States wine exports rebounded to a new record of $1.14 billion in winery revenues in 2010, an increase of 25.6 percent over 2009 wine exports.

Volume shipments rose 1.9 percent to 425.5 million liters or 47.3 million nine-liter cases.

“This positive news indicates that our goal of $2 billion in wine export revenues by 2020 is achievable,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute President and CEO. “California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world…

Posted in The Wine Business

Canadian Consumption Up; Global Challenges Remain

They’re drinking a lot of wine in the Great White North these days.

According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, Canadians increased their total annual wine consumption to 40.4 million cases between 2005 and 2009. That’s an increase of 22.5 percent, a rate six times faster than the world average.

Looking ahead, research by ISWR, a British firm, predicts that the total will grow to 49.7 million cases by 2014 – a 19 percent increase…

Posted in The Wine Business

North Carolina Town Is a Boone to Romance

Valentine’s Day has come and gone for another year, but romance remains in the air thanks to the folks at Korbel Champagne Cellars.

As a Korbel spokesperson pointed out, romance is in every city in America because in every town there are stories of first loves, first kisses and special memories.

This was evident by the hundreds of cities that were nominated in a contest hosted by Korbel to find the “Most Romantic City in America.” After all the entries had been assessed, the North Carolina town of Boone was selected as the winner…

Posted in Wine Buzz

Petite Sirah Celebrates Its 50th 'Birthday'

Petite Sirah, known for its small berries and bold, concentrated flavor, burst onto the California wine scene in 1961 when Concannon Vineyard’s Jim Concannon chose to bottle the first varietally labeled Petite Sirah.

Previously used exclusively for blending, this unique grape varietal, with its jammy fruit flavors and generous, age-worthy tannins, has entranced oenophiles and consistently gained in popularity since its “birth” 50 years ago. Concannon Vineyard, along with an expanding community of vintners and growers, will honor Petite Sirah with numerous celebrations throughout 2011…

Posted in Wine in the Glass

Caring for Your Wine Glasses

Some of us invest a lot of money in our wine glasses.

Different sizes.

Different shapes.

Real crystal, as opposed to plastic.

Nothing is more disheartening than the sound of a favorite wine glass hitting a hard kitchen floor and shattering into a hundred pieces… unless it’s several glasses breaking at the same time…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

TAPAS Tasting Comes a-Knockin'

Do you love the wines of the Iberian Peninsula?

We’re talking about Spanish and Portuguese varieties such as Tempranillo, Albarino, Garnacha, Graciano, Mourvedre, Touriga, Verdelho, Bastardo, et al.

Virtually all of these varieties have been featured at various times by the wine clubs of Vinesse…

Posted in Wine in the Glass

A Wine Lover's Paradise in Las Vegas

For one who doesn’t do a whole lot of gambling, I sure seem to visit Las Vegas quite often.

It’s all part of the job, actually. As the editor of as well as The Grapevine newsletter, it’s my job to keep wine lovers up to date on the latest happenings and trends in the wonderful world of wine.

And with so many celebrity chefs operating restaurants in Sin City, it would be a sin if we didn’t check them out on occasion…

Posted in Editor's Journal

You May Never Want to Leave

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay is situated along California’s Central Coast, so you can just imagine that the vistas are stunning.

But that’s only part of the good news. You also should know this is a resort that takes wine seriously.

As part of its Vintner Series, the luxurious hotel provides guests with complimentary wine selections when they check in. In the Conservatory Lounge, a special by-the-glass list is featured. And, of course, wine pairings are offered as part of the six-course tasting menu at Navio restaurant…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

Are You Up for 'A Napa Night to Remember'?

The Uptown Theatre brings a diverse mix of music acts to the town of Napa – a great place to stay when touring Napa Valley.

Visits to the wineries up valley are sure to spawn many pleasant memories during the daytime hours, and the Uptown is doing its part to extend the pleasure with a special called “A Napa Night to Remember.”

The theater has teamed up with nearby hotels and restaurants to offer great packages that include VIP seating for shows…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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