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Friday, December 15, 2017

Petaluma Gap AVA

The federal government organization known as the TTB, part of the Treasury Dept., regulates wine. One thing they decide on is the appellations, or American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), you see on the label. Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, for instance, were proposed to and approved by the gov't regulators.

The 18th AVA in Sonoma County, the Petaluma Gap, was recently approved. The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance has been at this for awhile and now it's official.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Exercise Your Brain -- Have a Glass of Wine

Okay, it's another study on a benefit of wine consumption. There are so many of these you might wonder which ones are legit. This one comes from a Yale neuroscientist so I think he might be kinda smart. Basically he says the act of smelling, sipping, swishing, and deciphering everything you're experiencing with wine exercises the ol' gray matter quite a bit.

Drink up, get smarter

Monday, December 11, 2017

Update: A Couple Months After the Fires

It's been about two months since the destructive Wine County fires. Currently the damages are estimated at a staggering $9 billion. Destroyed or damaged were thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses. About two dozen wineries had damage with a handful having significant or total destruction.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Best of Sonoma County

The local paper, the Press Democrat, does a yearly poll of readers to select everything from the best winery tasting room to the best dog park in Sonoma County. The 2017 list is out.

The Best of Sonoma County

Because of the October fires some of the winners no longer exist (until rebuilt):
restaurants Sweet T's and Willie's Wine Bar, Paradise Ridge Winery (they still have a tasting room in Kenwood), and part of Annadel State Park is still closed. As an aside, my doctor was voted #2 best family doctor in the county. He's retiring next month. Doh.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wine in Cans: Is it Coming? (finally)

Alternative wine packaging has been talked about for several years. From boxes like Tetra-Paks to cans there's been a largely unsuccessful push to get away from the 750 ml glass bottle. But maybe canned wine is about to take off.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Top 100 Wines of Sonoma

This is a list from a writer at using results from one local wine judging plus her own tastings. I've only sampled a small fraction of those on the list though I'm familiar with many of the wineries. It's one data point you can use when you go shopping for a nice bottle of wine.

100 Best Wines of Sonoma 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Where Chardonnay's Characteristics Come From

You've got the natural flavors of the grapes along with where they're grown, you throw in some oak maybe and you've got the characteristics for the finished wine. That's kind of close for most wines, but not for Chardonnay. Chard is, I can't say this gently, a little bland without some help.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Pinot Noir Clones

Grape varieties have genetic mutations called clones. Pinot Noir has hundreds of clones with a few dozen being commercially popular. Other grape varieties have only a few clones. Why is this? First, Pinot Noir is a very ancient grape variety and has changed through generations of growing in different places. Second, it's thought to be more genetically unstable than other varieties.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Shame on You. Give Us Back Our Holidays

In the last few years a few retail big box stores have started opening on Thanksgiving Day trying to get a jump on Christmas dollars. Not everyone has been in favor of this as traditionally Thanksgiving has been a family day, not a shopping day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Getting Out of Your Wine Comfort Zone

Most of us have a level of complacency  with our wine choices. I expect very few wine drinkers are true experimenters.

Getting out of your comfort zone usually means trial and error and that can be expensive. Who wants to spend fifty bucks on a wine they hate? Or even fifteen?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ten Places to Visit in Sonoma County

I was reading a Wine Enthusiast article about 10 Places to Visit in Napa Valley and thought Sonoma needs one of those lists! Okay, there are probably a few of those out there already. Here's another.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Stages of Drinking

Happy holidays! It's that time of year. Here's a little something to help you recognize your current state while you're yucking it up with family, friends, and coworkers.