Norton Safeweb

Monday, March 20, 2017

Paid Experts vs Your Peers

Traditionally we have relied on experts to tell us where we should go on vacation, what hotel we should stay in, where we should eat, and what wines we should drink. The articles by these critics were printed in magazines.

With the growth of social media everyone can publish their views on any subject. As we saw with the last election a lot of what gets put out there isn't even true. Still, a certain part of the readers will believe it because it's in print.

Friday, March 17, 2017

French Imports Growing

French wine imports into the U.S. have grown significantly over the past twelve months even though imports overall were flat.

Champagne is showing faster growth than domestic sparkling wine, but Prosecco leads with an increase of over 20%. The average price for a bottle of Prosecco is about $12 (that's why it's so popular) while it's over $50 for a bottle of Champagne.

Rosé from France is hot. The American rosé market grew by over 50% each of the last two years with the bulk of that coming from France. Merlot and Syrah from France are declining in sales, but are more than being made up for by other wines.

Info from Wine Industry Advisor

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sonoma Plaza

The cute, historic little town of Sonoma has become quite a wine destination. It's fairly close to the Bay Area and its airports. It's also convenient in that eating, drinking and lodging can all be within walking distance. This might all be great for visitors, but sometimes the locals are less amused.

The business district is centered around a large plaza with the commercial district going maybe a block past that in any direction.

From the Sonoma Index-Tribune, a recent article on drinking establishments in that small area.

Summary: There are 28 winery tasting rooms on or near the town square plus about 20 restaurants, many having full bars.Plus there's "historic" Steiner's Tavern, the local dive bar, right there on the square!
  
image from bestinsonoma.com
 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wine Industry Myths & Secrets

Every industry has some little things they would prefer the consumer didn't know. Or maybe folks outside of the industry make assumptions and those get passed along and eventually become "facts."

Ask someone who works for an airline if they would ever drink the coffee or eat the food served on a plane. Have you seen the movie Waiting about the restaurant biz?

Some wine industry myths and secrets follow. Some people in the industry might not agree with all of these.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring 2017 Events in Sonoma County

Listed below are major wine and non-wine events in Sonoma County for March into June 2017.

It's a perfect time in the wine country with warming temperatures, vines starting the new year's growth, wildflowers, and lots of exciting events to tempt you.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Drink up. It's in our genes.

Why do we like wine, beer, and spirits so much? Even during America's Prohibition people risked jail for a drink. It turns out we can't help it. Our prehistoric ancestors first developed the desire for alcohol.

The scientists who study this call it Drunken Monkeys.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Step Aside Coffee ...

Maybe you've seen one of these funny sayings:


Is this you? Well, a Marin County coffee roaster and the Napa Valley Vintners got together and created your dream beverage. The Molinari Caffe in downtown Napa (where else?) has come up with wine-infused coffee. The beans are soaked in wine, dried, then roasted.

Now you can combine the stimulant of coffee with the relaxing qualities of a glass of wine in one beverage. No, I don't know why someone hadn't thought of this earlier.

The coffee is available at a few Napa Valley wineries and is sold online, but is apparently sold out right now. As you can guess, everybody wants some.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Top-Notch Dining in Sonoma County

Besides an abundance of premium wine Sonoma County offers lots of great restaurants. I mean dozens and dozens. But if you want to get a world-class meal where should you go? You won't find a lot of pretense, but you will find great food and a great experience.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Fountaingrove District AVA

The Fountaingrove District became an official appellation, or AVA, about two years ago in March 2015. An American Viticultural Area is a federally approved name for a specific grape-growing region. Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley are well-known AVAs. There are almost 200 of them in California and now there are 17 in Sonoma County.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Barrel Tasting Tips

It's coming! The 40th annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in northern Sonoma County on the first two weekends in March. That's followed by Sonoma Valley's version the third weekend of the month.

The Wine Road Barrel Tasting has turned into a huge event. It's best to know a few things before you go.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rich Guys Gone Wild

A wealthy couple with high government connections start up a winery in Napa Valley. This is really nothing new. A number of rich folks have done the same.