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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Taste and Smell (and Wine)

Our sense of smell is able to recognize thousands of odors even if they're very faint. We have millions of olfactory sensors in our nose. Of the five senses (smell, taste, hearing, sight, touch) we remember smells the longest.

By comparison, our sense of taste is very rudimentary.  How does this all play into enjoying wine?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Wine & Coffee

As the joke goes, "Take the bench coffee. Wine, you're up."  But this is more about the similarities
between the two industries.

I first realized this when visiting the Big Island of Hawaii several years ago. It's home to the famous Kona Coffee area. As the Kona Coffee Council says, the area has the right combination of sunshine, rainfall, and volcanic soil. Sounds like a promotion for a wine region.

Many of the little coffee companies have a tasting room--just like wine regions. As we're approaching one I heard the host tell other guests, "This one got 95 points!" Well, we've all heard this before.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Live from Sonoma, California

Check out the happenings on the historic Sonoma Plaza from this webcam


If your timing is right you'll see one of my sons walking to work  :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wine Varietals: Out With the Old, In With the New

Napa and Sonoma don't seem to have a lot of variety in what they grow. Napa means Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay; Sonoma means Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the cooler areas and Cabernet and some Zinfandel in the warmer regions. There are sizable plantings of Merlot, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc, too.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mechanical Harvesting in Sonoma/Napa

Part of the romance of the Wine Country has to do with the amount of manual labor put into making your wine. People out in the hot sun pulling individual leaves; people out in the vineyard at 3 am to cut each grape cluster lovingly off the vine; young maidens stomping the grapes ...

In the future most of the vineyard work may be done by machine.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Winemakers Drinking Beer

A new Podcast features various winemakers drinking some of their favorite beers. The first one is the winemaker from Kokomo Winery in Dry Creek Valley at the Bear Republic Brewery in Healdsburg. 

After a lot of intro stuff the fun begins about seven minutes in.

Winemakers Drinking Beer – podcast

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving Wines from Sonoma County

That Great American Holiday of overeating is here. The good news is wine aids conversation and digestion. In fact, it's been found that one kind of fat found in dark turkey meat, malonaldehydes, when combined with a glass of Cabernet or Syrah, was eliminated from the blood stream! (I always believe the good news studies).

So here we go with a list of wines you might look for to pair with that turkey dinner. The traditional turkey dinner calls for white wines and lighter reds.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Assumptions Made by Wine Drinkers

This isn't about the person who buys an occasional bottle at the supermarket, but about the more regular wine drinker--the person who considers themselves a bit of an expert. We've all made these mistakes. We've all bought one wine over another because we liked the label better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November photos

November 9, 2016 in Bennett Valley and Sonoma Valley.

Bennett Valley isn't a well-known grape-growing area. It is primarily about Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah. The first wine grapes were planted here during the Civil War.

Sonoma Valley is much larger and established in the minds of wine drinkers. It is a 17 mile long valley with over 75 winery tasting rooms. Bennett Valley has one tasting room open to the public (Matanzas Creek).

Friday, November 4, 2016

Wine Tasting Tip #14 -- Miscellaneous Stuff

A series of posts on visiting winery tasting rooms.
This one contains a few basic items to make your trip more enjoyable.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sonoma Restaurants with Views

Sonoma County is full of excellent restaurants. It's also full of great views of mountains, valleys, vineyards, and the Pacific Coast. Where can you put the two together?