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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Wine Manipulation

  Lots of folks like to laugh at Natural Wines and similar programs. Sometimes the laughter might be justified. Sometimes, maybe not.

  At the industry Wine Expo in Sonoma County on December 1st there was a side-by-side tasting of different "adjustments" made to a wine (see link below). There were also several vendors selling additives. I'm not saying any of these are bad or harmful or even can't be done to organic wines. It's just info to show some of the manipulations that might be performed in the cellar.

  Trial Tastings


Thursday, December 1, 2022

"Why Aren't More Millennials Buying Wine?"

Here are some basic truths about premium wine sales coming from the point-of-view of a Boomer. There are some issues with wine marketing and sales expectations.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

A Little Rockpile History

The Rockpile wine grape growing area in northern Sonoma County is one of the smallest AVAs in the country in total acres of grapes planted. There are 160 acres of vineyards sitting between 800 ft and 2,100 ft elevation in rocky, well-drained soil with maybe a foot of topsoil at the surface. 

The wines from here are a rare treat with so little vineyards planted. It's mostly zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon, but there are several others. The cab franc and petite sirah from here are also excellent. It's almost entirely red wine grapes.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Regions of California for Value in Wine

Everyone is aware of Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Napa wine prices. Lots of other regions qualify as expensive, like right here in Sonoma County. Good luck finding a Russian River Pinot for under $50 anymore. Heck, Willamette Oregon Pinot isn't exactly cheap.

Where can you look for good American wines at more reasonable prices?

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Fancy Boxed Wine

  Tablas Creek Vineyard of Paso Robles has a reputation of being a bit of an innovator in the wine biz. In the 1990s they introduced California to Rhone varieties and blends. Earlier this year they released quality wines in a three liter box, the equivalent of four bottles. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

History of Zinfandel

  Zinfandel is related to grapes growing along the Adriatic Sea hundreds of years ago. More recently, it's been found to be genetically identical to Italy's Primitivo and Croatia's rare Crljenak Ka┼ítelanski (good luck pronouncing that). The first Zinfandel in the New World showed up in New York 200 years ago and made its way to California in the 1850s. Zin was popular for a long time as part of jug red blends. 

  By the 1970s, it was falling out of favor to the likes of Cabernet and Merlot. A lot of Zin vineyards were pulled out and replanted, but many were saved by the popularity of White Zinfandel.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Terroir of Sonoma County

In wine terms, terroir has to do with the growing area for the grapes; the climate, soil, and topography. The whole natural environment that "raised" the grapes will affect the taste of the wine. Sonoma County is full of variations in all of these. The diversity is amazing.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

International Merlot Day

November 7th was Merlot Day and I missed it! Maybe it's a sign of how far the grape has fallen since its heyday in the 1990s. There are good Merlots out there, and they tend to be reasonably priced compared to today's hot wine, Pinot Noir, or to some of the other Bordeaux grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Cab Franc.

Here are a few places in Sonoma County to get your Merlot fix.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

What Drinks are You Likely to Bring to a Party?

Based on age, what type of alcoholic beverage will you bring to a party to share with other guests? The older you get, the more likely it will be wine.

   Click on image to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Yearly Changes in Alcohol Consumption

Wine, beer, and spirits consumption in the U.S. by year. Wine has lots of peaks and valleys. Beer has been on a slow decline that can't even be stopped by the craft beer movement. Spirits bottomed out in about 2000 and is coming back.

Click in the image to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Trends in Wine Sales by Price

This graph looks at different price points and shows the trend in sales. The cheap stuff is taking a hit. The sweet spot looks like $12 to $20. This is pretty typical in a good economy. The most current data is a year old.

Click on image to enlarge.