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Friday, May 25, 2018

Summer 2018 Sonoma County Events

Following are major wine and non-wine events in Sonoma County for the months of June through Labor Day weekend. Lots of stuff happening and it's going to be a fun summer. Come say hi!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Thinking About That Dream Job in the Wine Biz?

  "What if your hobby became your job?" is the aspiration of many. The nice thing about the wine business is you can actually make a living on most of the jobs. With the economy humming along now it might be a good time to think about the career change as there are jobs aplenty.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Anderson Valley, Mendocino County

Mendocino County, Sonoma's neighbor to the north, is quite the wine growing region in its own right. Many, though, may know it more as the ancestral home of the marijuana business in California. There are a dozen named wine growing areas (appellations) in Mendocino with Anderson Valley probably the most well-known.

Friday, May 18, 2018

True Stories from the Tasting Room

Things I've been told in the winery tasting room. And this is just in the past few months!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Thing With Wine Scores

Many wine critics use a point system to rate wines. The idea is to lend some objectivity to the quality of a wine against its competitors. At one time there was a ten point scale that only looked for flaws and that may still be used by winemakers and such. The hundred point scale used now has its own problems as many see a wine with under 90 points as not so great. A 75 point wine? You'll never see that mentioned in print. Too bad that happened.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Garagiste Wine Festival, Sonoma

Garagiste is a term used to denote very small wine producers -- often making a few hundred cases of wine a year. There are actually a lot of them, but you've never heard of these wineries as they don't exactly have a marketing department. Their wines are generally sold to friends and folks that happen to stumble across their wines. Just like we did at this tasting.

Over half of all U.S. wineries make 1,500 cases of wine a year or less. Most of the ones at this festival were much smaller than that.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Rosé All Day? NO

Just NO
If you are linked to a lot of wine-related social media people and businesses you might get tired of seeing people pretending to drink out of the bottle (done in humor, I think) or of someone drinking a glass of wine in a vineyard (I suppose that might be a dream of some wine geeks). Mine is with so many people pushing pink wines. One more "All day rosé" sign and I think I'll puke.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Online Alcohol Sales Increasing

Per Slice Intelligence, a marketing research firm out of Silicon Valley, online alcohol sales & delivery increased about 33% from 2016 to 2017.

Blame it on (or thank) Amazon. I buy everything from hardware items, to kitchen pantry foods, to drug store stuff online instead of running out to a store because it's easy and convenient. The same is happening with alcohol, with wine being the biggest part. It makes sense that wine is the key piece of this as most wines are high value and low availability (you aren't likely to order Bud Lite online when you can find it cheap at most any store).

Unfortunately, many wineries do a mediocre job with their e-commerce. It just might be worth the investment to do it right.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Blog stats

Maybe nobody cares but me :) unless you also happen to have a social media presence or are a serious data nerd, but from Google's analytical tools here are a few stats on this blog:

Monday, May 7, 2018

Keeping Birds Out of the Vineyards -- Starwars Style

  When the grapes ripen late summer and into the fall they can make a great meal for birds. You can see flocks of  a thousand starlings swirling around vineyard land. There are several different methods used in an attempt to keep them from taking most of your crop (and your money).

Friday, May 4, 2018

How to Tell if a Wine Will Age

Some people buy wine with the hopes of aging it and getting something better two or ten or twenty years down the road. It's risky business trying to find wines that age well, having the proper conditions to store them, and knowing when to open the prized bottle. Here we'll try to figure out how to tell if a particular wine will age.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Rebuilding After the Fires

The October 2017 Wine Country fires decimated neighborhoods -- there's no other way to put it. Afterward it looked like a coordinated bombing campaign had happened. Once the shock wore off those affected had to start the rebuilding process. They were warned it would be a marathon, not a sprint. But instead of 26.2 miles it's starting to look more like a hundred.