Uncorking the Best…August 31, 2011

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The world of Wine can be so confusing.  What are the types (grape varietals) where do they come from?  Do the years make a difference?  Why is wine so damn expensive?  If it’s cheap does that mean is gonna be lame?  Why are wine guys pretentious and creepy?  Are those wine magazines right about ratings?  Is it uncool to drink Merlot?  Do people really pay a hundred bucks for a bottle of Napa Cabernet?

People always seem to ask many of the same questions about wine.  And during the wine tasting events, we’ll demystify these questions and more about the world’s wine regions, varietals, vintages, and how your own taste is much more important than any magazine’s rating system.

I’m a big years guy.

What do the years (vintage)  have to do with wine?  A lot, as the weather has a huge effect on grapes, varying the quality of the wine quite a bit from year to year.  2007 was a great year for California and 2009 a great year in parts of France.  Do your homework with the years because a bad year can produce some great wines too.  A good year in Napa like 2007 was great year for Chardonnay Cabernet, and Pinot Noir varietals.

During a “bad” year certain grapes can do better than others.  What’s behind a bad year?  Factors such as too much rain, too cold or too hot at the wrong times. Other factors like our recession can play into it as well. 2006 a decent year, got looked over, because 2007 was such a great and much talked-about year.  Since people were holding on to cash, the 06’s were discounted in price quite often.   My favorite wine years in Napa are 2001, 20202 and 2007.  2000 and 2003 were not so good.  In France ’09 is turning out to be a banner year, along with ’00, ’03 and ’05, which are also pretty great vintages hailing mostly from Bordeaux. Read More…

History of Wine in CaliforniaAugust 31, 2011

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Nearly three-quarters the size of France, California accounts for nearly 90 percent of total wine production in the United States. The production of wine in California alone is one third larger than that of Australia.  If California were a separate country, it would be the world’s fourth-largest wine producer. Read More…

Take a Trip to Wine CountryAugust 31, 2011

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Concierge Trip Planning Service

I first went went to Napa about fifteen years ago.  At the time I didn’t know that much about the area.  Napa itself is an amazing place, with beautiful rolling hills and grapevines everywhere.  The hot sun streams through the trees, and everywhere you look there are amazing views, one after another.  Plus WINE everywhere you look, as of course wineries abound.  And Sonoma with its bigger sunnier hills looks like a Impressionist painting. Read More…