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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Coffee is healthy, too, just like red wine

Over the years research has shown red wine can lower your blood pressure, burn fat, prevent cancer and heart disease, and so on. Now coffee is said to have many health benefits including boosting your brain function (I guess that's like waking you up), improve your mood (ditto), but also lowers your risk of Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, cancer, and a host of others.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Research Into Curbing Rising Alcohol Levels

Anyone paying attention to the California wine business over the past couple decades knows the biggest difference in wine from then and now relates to the alcohol levels in the wine. Why have alcohol levels increased? Because the resulting style is what many critics, judges, and presumably much of the buying public wants. But there has been push-back. One group is trying to fix this with a long-term study in the vineyards and in the cellar. Wish them luck!

Article from WineLand

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wine Pairing with Halloween Candy

Since you no doubt currently have Halloween candy in your house now here is info on what to drink with it. Milk? Nah. Dr. Pepper? Eew. We're talking adult beverages. Yes, somebody has actually put time and thought into this!

Wine and your favorite Halloween candies.

If you're more interested in beer pairings someone has figured that one out, too.
From Craft Beer & Brewing

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sonoma County for Fall Color

National Geographic published their top ten list of places for autumn color. First on the list is Sonoma County. Sonoma? In California? Yes, oaks, maples, and grape vines. Peak season for the vineyards is the first half of November.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

High-End Wine Prices Heading Up

You a fan of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon? There's a little bad news for your wallet. Several factors are at work controlling the price of wine -- the economy and the grape supply being the biggest. The robust economy is saying raise prices. After a few years of ample grape supply this year's short supply is already saying raise prices (even though most of the 2015 wines won't hit the market for some time).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Autumn Wines

You mean wines are seasonal? You bet. A big Cabernet on a hot, humid day is no fun. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc when it's below freezing loses something. So besides worrying about matching your wine with your meal you want to consider the weather. I bet you thought choosing a wine would be easy.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It's Good Times in the Wine Biz

U.S. off-premise wine sales are up. Direct-to-consumer shipping from wineries is up. Wine job listings are up. Sonoma County's unemployment rate has hit an eight year low of 3.8%. U.S. unemployment is 5.1%; California is 5.9%. Sonoma County relies heavily on wine and tourism for jobs.

If there is a downside it seems to be rising premium wine prices. Maybe that's why the biggest growth category is Italian Prosecco, an inexpensive bubbly.

We should toast the good times!  (Hey, I'll use any excuse).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Coming soon: liquor tasting rooms

You can go to a winery, taste their products, and buy bottles. You can go to a brewery and buy their beer in pints to consume there and maybe fill up a growler or get some bottles to go. California has thousands of wineries and hundreds of craft brewers that can take of advantage of this direct-to-consumer product sales. But distilled spirits makers, no.

Sonoma County has over 400 wineries, about 25 breweries, and less than a dozen small spirits makers, but that's about to change.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Who is the Best Wine Critic?

When deciding what wine to buy should you listen to professional wine judges, wine writers, and the Internet buzz? Listen, sure. Do what they say, no.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Best of Sonoma County

Every year the local paper has a contest for the "best of" in Sonoma County as voted by their readers. There are various categories from best dog park to best hamburger. You might find some of these useful on your next visit.

Press Democrat Best of 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015

Questions -- and Answers -- on the 2015 Vintage

The Napa Valley Vintners Association answers the questions people have been asking about the current vintage.

Summary: Quality is good, quantity not so good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Diageo Selling Its Wine Brands?

UK drinks corporation Diageo has several wine holdings in the U.S. including Beaulieu, Chalone, Rosenblum, and Sterling. They are more well known for spirits such as Bailey's, Smirnoff, and Capt. Morgan. Diageo says the wines are only 4% of their sales.

Several years ago Diageo sold the real estate connected to Beaulieu and Sterling in Napa Valley, but retained ownership of the wines via a leasing arrangement with the buyers. Rumors of the sale have been floating around for a few months, but appear to be getting closer to happening.

Monday, October 5, 2015

2015 Sonoma County Harvest Fair

The annual wine judging for the local fruit is followed by a three-day drinkathon, I mean wine tasting event. There are hundreds of wines to try and these are just the gold medal winners!

The set-up at the fair doesn't really allow you to take notes (I would need about four hands to do that) so all I've got is groupings for the best to the not-so-good. I only tasted a small fraction of what was available. Following are my opinions. I only tried reds btw.