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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Barefoot Wines -- a success story

Barefoot Wines has continued to grow even in a somewhat sluggish U.S. market. They hit 17 million cases of wine sold last year. Did you know they were owned by Gallo, the largest wine company in the world? Therein lies the reason for their success.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Arsenic in Wine--The Lawsuit

Some people are alarmed by recent testing showing some inexpensive American wines have high levels of arsenic. Before you dump your Sutter Home down the drain you should read this article from Forbes.

Of most interest, the people filing the lawsuit happen to have a company that will gladly test the arsenic levels in wine. Creating ones own demand? Maybe.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Visiting Wineries with Kids

You want to visit wine country in the worst way, but you have those little anchors. How do you keep everybody happy? It depends on the ages and number of the little darlings. I'll divide up the ideas below based on younger and older children. Visiting with a baby? You'll have to take turns babysitting while your spouse tastes. The best idea, of course, is to leave them with grandma.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Genetically Engineered Wine

University of Illinois research has produced genetically engineered yeast that will reduce the toxins that cause hangovers. The researchers say they can increase the health benefits by adding more resveratrol plus figure out how to make it taste better.

A win win wine. It sounds too good to be true!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Best Drives, Highway 128

I recently saw an online article from Yahoo Travel (I know what you're thinking, someone actually reads Yahoo)? Anyway, it listed the seven best under-the-radar vacation drives in the U.S. So they stayed away from roads like the Pacific Coast Highway and the Blue Ridge Parkway as these are so well-known, and busy.

Monday, March 16, 2015

SUI, Shopping Under the Influence

We should know better, but lots of people do it. I shop Amazon often and a bit on everything else from Lands End to Walgreens. I love Amazon, but can't recall shopping drunk, but apparently lots of people are guilty of SUI.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Barrel Tasting, Round Two!

It's the second weekend for the Wine Road's Barrel Tasting event on March 13-15, 2015. This covers the appellations of Russian River, Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys at nearly 100 wineries. The first weekend of this event is always the busiest so this second weekend will be a bit calmer. It will be warm, sunny, and the barrel samples will be flowing. What's not to like?

If you can't make it this weekend, next weekend (March 21-22), is Sonoma Valley's version of a barrel tasting.

image from

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wine Makes You Better Looking!

I'm not talking about "beer goggles" where the person doing the drinking thinks everyone around them is beautiful--until the next morning. I mean if you drink wine then you are better looking to others. The caveat is only drink one glass of wine to look your best.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sonoma's Best Wine?

  There are many grape varieties grown in Sonoma County--Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Zinfandel are the top five. So what do we do best? By "we" I mean the folks that actually do all the work growing and making the wine. I just drink it--as should you!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring 2015 Events in Sonoma County

It's springtime! 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.

Here the the major wine events and some non-wine ones.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How to buy an inexpensive bottle of wine

Not everyone wants to spend twenty-five bucks or more for a bottle of wine. Maybe it doesn't make sense to spend that much if you're serving it with grilled burgers. If it's a gift maybe you don't like the person that much.

So if you want to shop in the ten-to-twenty dollar range how do you pick something?

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.