Monthly Archives: October 2012

Smells Like Rhone Spirit: Tablas Creek’s Esprit

To commemorate the release of the 10th vintage of the Esprits, the 2010, Tablas Creek general manager Jason Haas convened vertical tastings of both the red and white Esprit for invited journalists and wine buyers in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I attended the tasting in San Francisco, and was delighted to have a chance to compare the vintages and to look back at these wines which have been so inspirational to California-based fans and producers of Rhone wines. Continue reading

Posted in Paso Robles, Rhône | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lodi Gets Unstuck: Longtime Winegrowing Region Gains Visibility

At over 550,000 total acres, Lodi is one of Calfornia’s largest appellations. It has over 100,000 acres of vines, more than twice the plantings of the entire Napa Valley. Its first commercial winery, El Pinal, was built back in 1858. Nonetheless, the area has had a very low profile until recent years. In Matt Kramer’s 2004 New California Wine, for example, there’s absolutely no mention of Lodi, despite the book’s extensive coverage of most of California’s other wine regions. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Zinfandel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Portugal: Small But Mighty in the World of Wine

For a relatively tiny country—smaller in area than the state of Kentucky–Portugal is a prodigious producer of wine. It has long been the source of some of the wine world’s great fortified wines—Port from the Douro and vintage Madeira from the island of Madeira off the coast of North Africa. Since the country’s entry into the European Union in 1986, Portugal has also increasingly become a source for great dry whites and reds, as well as some very good sparkling wines. Continue reading

Posted in Port, Portuguese Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Delicious Wine & Food Travel? Visit Rioja

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip this past summer to one of Spain’s oldest and most renowned wine regions, Rioja. The scenery in this vast river valley in northeastern Spain is entrancing, ringed by picturesque mountain ranges and filled with vineyards and medieval hilltop towns. The locally grown food stuffs and meals are super fresh and top notch. The wines are delicious and full of history and interest. And the people could not be more gracious. I am dying to go back, and I encourage fellow lovers of food and wine to consider prioritizing Rioja as a delicious and delightful vacation destination. Continue reading

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