The Wine List Debate, Napa Without Cab, and More


A few quick sips from the wonderful world of wine…


“Harvest is always exciting. It’s a little bit like New Year’s Day.”

That’s what winemaker Tami Lotz of Mumm Napa told KTVU television after a heat wave in California’s North Coast region prompted grape picking to commence a little earlier than planned. Harvest shifts are running from 7 a.m. until past midnight, and are likely to switch to 24-7 by the beginning of next week.

Read more here.


Speaking of heat waves, the evolving and erratic weather patterns are forcing some vintners in the Napa Valley to take a long, hard look at their future. The big question: Could it be a future without the valley’s most-planted variety, Cabernet Sauvignon?

Dan Petroski, winemaker at Larkmead Vineyards, isn’t willing to wait and see what happens. He and his crew are preparing land for a “research block” devoted to varieties that tend to thrive in warmer climes.

To read about the project, click here.


We love nothing more than perusing the pages of a thick restaurant wine list in search of the perfect bottle — which we define as one that will pair nicely with the various dishes being ordered by the folks around the table, and preferably without costing an arm and a leg.

Now, some restaurants are trading in those books for single-page wine lists. The reason? Apparently, a single-page list is much less intimidating to most diners. For a look at the page-versus-book debate, click here.

I’ve never been a fan of “either/or” mentality, so may I suggest another alternative? Maintain that thick book for those who enjoy having lots of choices, but also print out a truncated list for those who prefer having fewer choices.

Both could be left at the table, and the diners could decide which to use.


Congratulations to La Crema on its 40th anniversary.

To commemorate the occasion, founding winemaker Rod Berglund took time from his current duties as co-owner and winemaker at Joseph Swan Vineyards to craft a 40th anniversary cuvee — a Pinot Noir — with current winemaker Jen Walsh.

If you’re ever dining out or simply seeking a good glass of wine at a bar or lounge, look for La Crema on the list. It’s one of those dependable “go-to” picks when you don’t have access to your own stash of Vinesse-curated wines.

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Posted in Editor's Journal, Wine Buzz
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