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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Problem with Wine Judging

Judging at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Image from

Critics and judges make a living from attempting to tell us what's worth our time and money. They can even rank the products, such as the top ten movies of 2015, the best vehicle for a growing family, or the best wines under $20.

What makes these critics experts on a given subject? Well, they most likely know a lot more about it than you, but does having in-depth knowledge make you a better judge? Possibly not, especially when it comes to more subjective fields like art, music, or wine. Within these subjective areas there probably is a certain level of judging for basic competence in that field. But once past this basic competence how do you pick a top choice for others?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Autumn is the Perfect Time to Visit

Sonoma County in the fall ... is there anything better? Okay, maybe Hawaii in January, but this is a wine blog not a travel site. Where was I.  Oh yeah, there are several reasons autumn is the best season to spend some time here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2015 Sonoma County Harvest Fair Winners

The Harvest Fair is a yearly professional wine contest open to any grapes grown in Sonoma County. Hundreds of medals are given out. The first weekend of October is a public tasting at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. I'll be there--I never miss it! Here are the winners for 2015.

Searchable database

Spreadsheet PDF

Monday, September 21, 2015

Late September Harvest Update

We are well into September when the harvest should be just getting into full swing.

Yeah well, that was the old days before the California drought. With warm, dry winters and springs the grape cycle starts early and finishes early. It seems like it's earlier every year.

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to tell that your wine habit might be out of control

You like fine wine. You love wine, actually. You might obsess over wine. Are you a wine snob? Do you have a wine problem? Here's how to tell.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lesser Known Wines You Might Want to Try

Everybody knows Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir -- probably Pinot Gris, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, and Syrah, too. There are many more obscure wine grapes then there are well-known ones. Following are a few of these unknown wines (unknown to Americans anyway). You may find something you like or you might discover it's no wonder they're not popular.

Sample for curiosity's sake, but at your own risk.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Starving artists, Sonoma County style

A nice article on a couple guys running a small business. It just happens to be a winery in Sonoma. There are dozens of these kinds of people in the wine biz for every Kendall-Jackson or Chateau St. Jean -- from Adrian Fog to Zichichi. You never hear of them or get to try their wines because their output and distribution is so small. That's too bad.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Basic Info on Wine Types, Part 2 (Reds)

The previous post gave some general definitions used to describe wines then related the major types of white wines and how you might use them.

Today we're on to red wines then discuss some other types of wines.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Basic Info on Wine Types, Part 1 (Whites)

There are thousands of wine grape varieties. A couple dozen make up the vast amount of wine sold in the U.S. There are types of wines just like there are different types of apples. Apple varieties all taste different and have different uses like eating, juicing, or baking. It's like that with wines as different varieties are best in different situations.