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Thursday, July 29, 2021

And You Thought a Toilet Paper Shortage Was Bad

 A year ago we were scrambling for TP and sanitizer. More recently, everything from computer chips to chicken wings to restaurant wait staff have been in short supply as the economy recovers and consumers ramp up their spending. Well, prepare for the Big One, especially in three states.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A Shift in Wine Regions

Wine grapes are the canary in the coal mine when it comes to growing crops on a warming planet. Wines, especially premium wine grapes, grow in narrow bands that are largely climate-based. It's not just heat, but cold, rainy seasons, wind, length of the growing season, and sunlight that play a factor in wine grape quality.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

What do Consumers Look for When Buying Wine?

 This is my own non-scientific list of things people use to buy wine when in a retail store. It's in order of my guess for most to least important (but not insignificant) reason to pick a particular wine.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Consumer Trends During the Pandemic

What changed in people's minds when it came to making buying decisions in 2020 (besides trying to find toilet paper)? Not so much the mechanisms they used, like buying more online, but what drove them? Will these trends continue? How does it relate to wine?

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Napa Valley in Transition

  It's not just Napa, but changes often show up in Napa first. Maybe that's just because more people are looking there. Things there seem to be in flux with rising costs, changes in retailing, fires, and the pandemic.

Monday, July 12, 2021

New Grapes in Bordeaux

The French government has tight control over wine grape growing in their country (other countries do the same). Bordeaux is only allowed to grow certain grapes with the best-known being Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petite Verdot for reds and Sauvignon Blanc for white (there are a few others).

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Weather and Wine

  Premium wine grapes grow in a fairly narrow climate range. They are generally planted for a average amount of yearly rain, maybe some is expected during the growing season, maybe not. High and low temps matter at different times in the vineyard. Heating degree days, humidity, and wind are also factors.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Joining Wine Clubs -- a Personal Experience

  Wine Clubs, the way to automatically get too much wine shipped to your house if you do it wrong. For wineries, it's a known and constant income stream. There are reasons to join wine clubs. Here's my own experience.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Tasting Zinfandel in Dry Creek

Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County has a deserved reputation for Zinfandel. Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and others do well there, too, but Zin is king. 

So what are some wineries to check out? There are already lots of lists for the Ten Best Zinfandels in Dry Creek. This one is a little different because, honestly, there is so much great Zinfandel in DCV that any list is never definitive. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Beginnings of the New Tourism

 A former felon (for marijuana cultivation) now runs a cannabis farm with a license allowing tourists to visit and spend the night. Huckleberry Hill is in the redwoods of northern California's famous Emerald Triangle. A little bit of weed country tourism that is about a three hour drive north of the Napa/Sonoma wine country.

Article from

Thursday, June 24, 2021

French Wine Disaster

Wine grapes are the canary in the coal mine for food crops. Premium wine requires a certain weather pattern to produce the best wines. With a little wine experience it's easy to taste the difference between a Napa cabernet from 2011 (cool, rainy) and 2012 (a typical sunny, warm year), for instance. Or the difference between a cab from south Napa County (cool) and upvalley (hot). 

Climate change is starting to cause problems for the people growing grapes. It's not always about more heat, but about more variability. 

Link: French wine disaster

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Sonoma Wineries With Sculpture Gardens

Sometimes you might want something a little different from just a standard wine tasting. Maybe a little art. A couple wineries known for there sculpture gardens on their sprawling estates are Donum and Paradise Ridge.