Renew Your Wines for the New Year


It’s winter! Yes, already said this in our weekly posts, and it’s still true– cold, short days persist — but winter won’t last forever (we hope).


And that’s why you might consider renewing your wines for the New Year.


Tucked away in your “cellar”, whether it’s a fancy designer cave or a closet, we’ll bet you have some wines that need to see the light of day–and be uncorked!

Continue Reading >

Driving Home with that Great Bottle of (uncorked) Wine? Read this.


Let’s say, you’re on a wine touring vacation, and you just spent $200 for a fabulous Napa Cab at a pricey Napa restaurant. You’ve been wine tasting all day, and you and your friend can’t finish it all…what to do?


All states currently allow you to bring home your opened bottle of wine. However, there are some requirements. All require re-corking the wine; most require the bottle to travel in the trunk; and many (26) include Wine Doggie Bag provisions that make it obvious that the resealed bottle of wine hasn’t been tampered with.

Continue Reading >

Interested in the World of Wine? Here’s a great book…


It’s winter, it’s cold — you might even be snowed in! What better time to pick up a beautiful book about wine country around the world.


The book we have in mind is The Global Encyclopedia of Wine by Rebecca Chapa, Catherine Fallis MS, Patrick Farrell MW and 35 additional wine experts, published by the Wine Appreciation Guild (www.wineappreciation.com).

Continue Reading >

Super Sips for the Super Bowl


Super Bowl day has some fine opportunities for great wine. Pizza usually is in the line-up, and we’d suggest a Syrah, Zinfandel or one of the fabulous red blends now so popular, such as the Volker Eisele Terzetto. We know the big day is almost here, so when you go looking for Continue Reading >

Do Not Top Your Glass Off!


Will the wine geeks never stop? No! There are some geeky details that actually matter, and how full you fill your wine glass is one of them.


One of them concerns how full your wine glass should be.


Some restaurants indicate on the menu how many ounces you’ll get with a “by the glass” purchase. Others don’t.

Continue Reading >

Pinot Pinot Pinot!


Whenever someone says “I love Pinot!”, we always assume they mean Pinot Noir. We could be wrong. After all, there are several other worthy members of the Pinot family.


Pinot Gris (as in France) or Pinot Grigio (as in Italy, same wine) is a friendly, easy-to-love white quaffer that has earned many fans here in the U.S. in recent years. Pinot Grigio is Italy’s most popular white wine and in the U.S. ranks behind Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s rise in America has been rapid-fire. As noted in Charlie Olken and Joseph Furstenthal’s excellent reference, The New Connoisseurs’ Guidebook to California Wine & Wineries, “Just 20 years ago, there was no recorded Pinot Gris acreage in California, and even ten years ago, there were just nine hundred acres standing in local vineyards. Today, the California plantings have risen to 12,600 acres….” For a wine, that’s an overnight success.

Continue Reading >

4 Wine World Questions that Might Surprise You


1. What % of winemakers in America are women?

a. 10%

b. 20%

c. 30%

Continue Reading >

The Word on Sulfites



You’ve probably noticed the warning about sulfites on every bottle of California wine. This is important, because sulfites are used in winemaking to stop fermentation and to preserve the wine, and some people are allergic to them.


Fortunately, only an estimated < .005% of the population might comes down with a swollen throat that constricts breathing, wheezing ,diarrhea, headache or hives from ingesting sulfites.


Continue Reading >

Watching the Evolution of California Wine



With California now boasting more than 100 appellations, it’s easy to forget that there has been a long learning curve for California winemakers since the resurgence of winemaking in the late 1960s.


Recently, Milla Handley, founder of Handley Cellars and one of the pioneers of Mendocino County’s cool Anderson Valley, told us that, back in 1982, she “and others believed that the climate was only suitable for sparkling wine. So much of my focus was on sparkling wines.”  Milla produced only Chardonnay (produced with a mix of Anderson Valley and grapes from the warmer Dry Creek Valley) and sparkling wines until 1989, when she made her first Pinot Noir.

Continue Reading >

The Vineyard in Winter – Essence of Winter Sleep

winter grape vines ready for spring


The robins are out in the vineyard these days, scratching through the leaves to find grubs and worms and other goodies. Sometimes, their scratching is the only sound you’ll hear, aside from a whispering wind or the shrill cry of a hawk. Sometimes, the clip-clip of pruning shears will startle the silence as vineyard workers shape the vines for bud break. You might hear their low voices indistinct in the distance, murmured Spanish perhaps and if you’re lucky, even a song.


Continue Reading >