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Thursday, August 11, 2022

California's Lesser Known Wine Regions

California's Napa and Sonoma wine regions are well-known. There are many other wine areas that are not so familiar, maybe you could call them underappreciated. Here are a few I know about and consider high quality. Maybe you want to give them a try, too.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Sonoma County Beer Guide

Sonoma County has over 400 wineries. You're not surprised there are wineries here, but maybe you are surprised by the number of them. There are also over 25 breweries, many tap rooms, plus a handful of cideries and distilleries, too. Here are the breweries, big and small, the famous, and ones you've probably never heard of.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Off the Beaten Track in Sonoma County

When you visit major tourist regions, there are going to be lots of other like-minded people. Sometimes you want to get away from the crowds, traffic, noise, and tourist traps, especially after you've visited the same area a couple of times. Or you might just want some local charm. Some parts of Sonoma County (and Napa) can be quite busy during vacation season and on many other weekends, but it's actually pretty easy to avoid the crowds.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The People of Sonoma County

People are stereotyped by where they live (hello Texas and NYC) and Sonoma County is no different. Here's a look at the people of Sonoma County.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Short History of Wine in California

A short history of wine making in California brought to you by the University of California at Davis (America's wine school).

The highlights from the article:

  • The California missions, beginning in the 1700s, bringing in the Mission grape.
  • The Gold Rush in Northern California in the mid-1800s with an influx of people to Northern California, including grape growers and winemakers from Italy and France.
  • Prohibition, 1919-1933, when the tap was (mostly) turned off.
  • Judgement of Paris, 1976, putting California on the world wine map.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Odd Drinking Laws

Yes, some are from the Bible Belt, but you'll find oddball drinkin' laws from all over the world.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Why Wine Prices Will Keep Going Up

Silicon Valley Bank does an extensive survey and analysis of the wine industry, publishing a yearly report. One part of this year's report looks at what will be affecting costs in the coming year and longer term. Everyone wants to blame inflation, but there's more to it.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Wine Dorks

In honor of National Be a Dork Day, July 15th, let's take a look at wine dorks.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

What Benefits to Expect From a Wine Club

There's nothing like a package from one of your favorite wineries periodically showing up at your home or office on an otherwise dreary weekday to brighten the mood.

As many clubs seem to be getting stingier, some things that were taken for granted as benefits are no longer there. A few of these so-called clubs are really just mailing lists in that they don't offer any real benefits to you, the person buying the wine and helping keep their business profitable. Read up on the club, ask questions, choose wisely.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The Demise of the Wine Club

This is specifically looking at clubs from wineries, rather than the retail store clubs that send you wine from various wine producers.

As wineries tightened up financially with the lockdowns followed by the mad rush of people post-pandemic, a few things became obvious. Tasting fees increased along with offering a seated experience. This, I think, is for the better. The other thing I've noticed as the lack of benefits for wine club members at quite a few wineries. What were traditional benefits have gone away and the advantage of being in some clubs is not there.

Friday, July 8, 2022

If You are an Old Fart

A recent study shows moderate drinking by those over 70 can ward off cardio problems. So if you qualify as an old fart, have that glass of wine every day!

Older People and Moderate Drinking

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Small Family-Owned Wineries of Sonoma

Sonoma County has many small family-owned wineries. In fact, most of the 425 or so wineries in the county fall in this category. It's just that you haven't heard of most of them. 

Following is a sampling of small wineries having tasting available. If you're looking for a lavish environment to sample wines, this isn't it, as none of these are too fancy. They are operations that put their money back into the grapes and the winemaking rather than architecture, fountains, and landscaping.

These are all premium Sonoma County wineries, for sure, but none will break the bank.