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Monday, March 2, 2015

Impact of Wine on Sonoma County's Economy

We'll actually start with the craft beer market as this is all the rage now. The big guys in Sonoma County are Lagunitas, Russian River, and Bear Republic breweries. Per a recent article in the Press Democrat in 2013 the craft beer industry added $170 million to the local economy, a 25% increase from the year before. Seems pretty substantial, until you see wine's impact.

In 2012 wine-related tourism was a $1.25 billion industry in Sonoma County and that's double from 2005. The total economic impact is estimated at $13 billion according to The North Bay Business Journal. Two-thirds of the county's gross product is from wine. This is from wine making, vineyards, labor, wine making equipment like barrels, construction, tourism, etc.

BTW, Napa also reports a $13 billion wine economy. For the entire state it's over $60 billion.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Barrel Tasting, Here it Comes!

Sonoma County's version of March Madness is three weekends of special events coming out of wine barrels! The first two weekends are the Wine Road Barrel Tasting in northern Sonoma County (Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valleys). The third weekend is Sonoma Valley's turn with Savor Sonoma Valley.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Guy Fieri, Fountaingrove, and Petaluma Gap

There have been several newsworthy events in Sonoma County this week already--and it's only Wednesday!

One involves Guy Fieri, the others concern new appellations.

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Professional" Wine Tasting Tips

I suppose if there was a certification for "professional tasting room visitor" I would easily pass the test. Wine tasting is actually pretty simple: You find a winery tasting room, you go in and probably pay a small fee to taste several wines, and maybe buy something to take home.  But there are some pro tips I can pass along to make it most enjoyable.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The 2014 Grape Harvest was a Big One

The '14s are in the barrel or even in the bottle. The numbers for the West Coast are coming in on the size of the wine grape harvest and it's large. Note that quantity and quality aren't always the same though the weather seemed pretty close to ideal for a high-quality harvest throughout the West.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What Wine for International Flirting Week?

Yes, there is such a thing as Flirting Week, and why not? And it should be a whole week because one day isn't enough. 

You can decide what is a "flirt" for yourself. Is it saying something goofy and positive about someone else's appearance or is it liking every one of their Instagram photos? Should you even be doing this because you already have a Significant Other? Hey, don't ask me, I ain't Ann Landers!

We're here to find out what wine goes with flirting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Who needs a "holiday" for this?

I mean really? Today, Feb 18th, is National Drink Wine Day. If only this were followed by Nat'l Drink Beer Day and Nat'l Drink Tequila Day then we'd have one helluva week!


In a related event, this Sunday, Feb 22nd, is National Margarita Day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to choose what wineries to visit

You've made the decision to visit wine country so now what? There are hundreds of wineries just in Sonoma and adjoining Napa Counties alone. No one can come up with the perfect list for you, but here's a way to narrow your choices. This is Sonoma-centric, but can be applied to anywhere.

Friday, February 13, 2015

American Champagne Labeling

  Most Americans mistakenly define Champagne as any sparkling wine whether it's from the U.S., France, Italy, Spain or elsewhere. Huh? Isn't it all Champagne? Well, no. It's a "Champagne-style wine" maybe. The American wine industry in the past has freely used place names from Europe as the names for wine styles. Champagne, Chablis, Burgundy, and Port are actually wines from those places in Europe.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's the Best Wine?

People want to ask the "experts" in a field what's best. What was the best movie of 2014? What's the best new car? Or what's the best wine?  That is, what should I be drinking? I thought I'd touch on this subject because I often get asked what is the best or at least what is my favorite wine.

Fair question, but a question no one can answer but you.

Monday, February 9, 2015

What Wine for Nat'l Pizza Pie Day?

February 9th is National Pizza Pie Day -- not to be confused with Nat'l Pizza With Everything Except Anchovies Day, or Nat'l Cheese Pizza Day or Nat'l Pizza With the Works Day. So this is the day to have your pizza customized just the way you like it.

Almost every American has pizza at least once a month. I haven't had one since that wood-oven margarita pizza last Wednesday! Our questions is, of course, what wine with pizza? Well, it turns out this question isn't easy to answer.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What Makes Sonoma County Special for Wine?

The previous blog post talks about why California is so great for wine grapes. Taking that a step further, why is Sonoma County such a perfect place for premium wines? As mentioned in that earlier post climate and soil are the two key ingredients for producing the best wines.