2014 Markus Wine Whites

When wine drinkers see the word Lodi they almost always think of zinfandel first. No surprise, really, given the number of top-notch varietals coming out of that area. What these same aficionados might not realize, and most regular consumers are largely unaware of, is that there are a number of fine white wines coming out […]

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Truchard Vineyards Are Not To Be Missed

For years I’ve been driving through Los Carneros – that rolling strip of vineyards and farms hugging the bottom of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys – without really understanding what it was I was looking at. Then I spent an afternoon at Truchard Vineyards. Now I get it. Want to learn more? Check out the rest of my review for the American […]

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Let’s Go Shopping — Back To The Bargain Aisle

In the coming months I’ll again be beating the drum of “try something new!” Remember, one of the nice things about making attempts to climb out of your wine rut is that you don’t have to go broke doing so. A recent listing in one of my favorite wine mags proves this point convincingly. What […]

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Where Should We Go? Cline. We Should Go To Cline

For years, when friends who were vacationing in California asked me what wineries they should visit, I would send them to Cline Cellars. My experiences at Cline have been consistently positive ones. Despite always being busy, crowded with eager guests, the staff there always found the time to treat each visitor in a friendly, generous, and relaxed manner. […]

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Let’s Go Shopping — A Griller’s Dozen

Everybody’s heard of a baker’s dozen, right? Well, with summer on its way, and many folks already working the backyard grill, here are some reds that will partner nicely with whatever it is you’ve got cooking. Think of them as a griller’s dozen. $19 2010 Dry Creek Heritage Zinfandel (Sonoma County; abv 13.5%) A big […]

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Thirty Wines For $10 Or Less

Back in June, Wine & Spirits magazine did a big favor for bargain shoppers everywhere with its “Top 100 Values of the Year” edition. Most interesting for the hard-core coupon clippers were those selections at $10 and under. With the holidays in full swing, and the need for potent potables looking like a run-away train, […]

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**UPDATE** Tasting Notes

Latest entries include offerings at various price points from the Finger Lakes, Napa Valley, Burgundy, the Southern Rhone, Washington State, and Corsica. Cheers! WHITE 9/26/12 2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling, Columbia Valley (11% abv., $9, Safeway): Moderately off-dry with a residual sugar of 2.23 g/100ml, this simple riesling is a blend of grapes from throughout […]

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Marietta Cellars “Old Vine Red” Lot 56 Geyserville

RED 4/10/12  Marietta Cellars “Old Vine Red” Lot 56 Geyserville (13.5% abv., $13.99, Du Vin Fine Wines): Dark and deep in the glass, with prominent notes of raspberry jam, sweet spice, and vanilla. A bit on the fruity side, with some oak peeking through, but that’s overcome by the overall smoothness and drinkability. The Bilbro […]

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We’re Not Worthy

I am quickly moving from sympathy to frustration with people who begin conversations about wine with self-flagellating disclaimers: “I’m no connossieur……” “I know nothing about wine….” “I choose wines by the label/price/winery name/bottle shape/weather report/horoscope/fill in the blank…..” “I only drink merlot/pink/chardonnay/Australian….” and on and on. I cringe whenever these apologies crawl weakly out of a friend’s […]

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