Most everyone is familiar with the names of the big wine regions in California: Napa, Sonoma, Central Coast, etc., but what about the smaller AVAs (Approved Viticultural Areas)? Within Sonoma lies a little AVA called Russian River Valley, which is known for producing some of the finest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in California.
Peas and carrots. Broccoli and cauliflower. Tri-colored bell peppers. Sure, I like a good veg medley from time to time, but what I really crave most days is a great wine "medley."
I've noticed lately that more and more rosé wines are turning up in our market. Around here, most people would see a rosé and write it off immediately as one of those syrupy, sweet blush wines like white zinfandel. Rosés, in fact, are actually more on the dry side. Time to crush the stigma.
It has toasted new marriages. It has christened ships before their maiden voyages. It has been raised in honor of those no longer with us. And year after year, it has been guzzled wildly at the very second each new year arrives. It is Champagne!
Making a holiday shopping list can be pretty stressful. Fret not: Wine and spirits are the perfect gift for all of your 21 and older loved ones. I guess it could seem like a bottle of booze is a pretty impersonal thing to give someone. You just have to make it a very personal gift. Think of something special about each person and equate it with a wine or spirit. If your buddy took a trip to the Caribbean, get him a great bottle of high-end rum, along with a fun recipe book for fruity cocktails. Not only would your friend enjoy trying some tasty rum drinks, but he would be revisiting his vacation thanks to you.
After a great meal, what's better than something fantastically sweet and decadent? After several courses of salty and savory delights, my palate screams out for sugar, in whatever form I can find it. Of course, I have often been guilty of such gluttony during my meal that there is simply no possible way that I could cram a piece of cheesecake or chocolate torte or really anything solid into my mouth. Enter the solution to this dilemma: dessert wine. If you can't eat dessert, why not drink it?
Thanksgiving is almost here: Have you planned your menu, yet? More importantly, have you chosen your wine, yet? Wine should be an integral part of any gathering. It can make a festive occasion even more festive, and it can make a tense gathering way more tolerable.
For most of us, the geography of the winemaking world doesn't extend past California, France, Italy and Australia. Those are the big boys, so why would anyone look for wine anywhere else? I'll tell you why: There's fantastic wine to be had around every corner, so you owe it to yourself to branch out.
Who among us has never tried a Chardonnay? I would imagine that anyone with even a minor interest in wine has sipped on this rich white varietal at some time or another.
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Washington state and Oregon? Is it coffee? Depressing weather? Hippies? Grunge rock and flannel? For me, it's wine. Washington is the second largest producer of fine wines in the U.S., after California, and Oregon produces Pinot Noirs that rival the finest red Burgundies. Let there be no mistake: This region is a force to be reckoned with.