MEXICAN-AMERICAN VINTNERS ASSOCIATION
The clink of glasses and buzz of conversation blend into the pulsing rhythm of “La Bamba” as the wine tasting in the Robledo Family Winery’s big, wooden barn swings into its second hour. The band is good, the beat near-irresistible, and some of the tasters don’t resist, shimmying gently as they make the rounds of tables featuring wines from the Napa Valley and Sonoma County. It’s a typical harvest festival, the kind of celebration you see all over wine country as the growing season winds up to its inevitable climax. Except this event isn’t just about the 2016 grape harvest. It’s also the annual get-together of the Napa Sonoma Mexican American Vintners. Nomacorc. READ MORE.
KUVEE: The Brainy Wine Bottle
One of you wants white wine to go with the roast turkey; the other wants rosé. Is there a way out of this situation without the pair of you seeing red? The folks behind the new Kuvée wine system are here to help. Vivino. READ MORE.
These are the three things everyone knows about Chianti: it’s an Italian red, it comes in cute straw-covered bottles that double as candleholders, and, at least according to one movie villain, it pairs well with fava beans and a certain type of organ meat. We can’t speak to that last assertion, but the first two aren’t as true as you might think. Here’s what is true about the famous, and delicious, wines made under the Tuscan sun. Vivino. READ MORE
Geneviève Janssens laughs as she recalls going to work as a young woman at the Robert Mondavi Winery.Was she scared? “No. When you are young you don’t feel scared,” she says. “You are like a little bird and you fly.”
Janssens may not be the first name you think of when you think of the legendary winery, which turned 50 this summer. This is, after all, a story of brothers, Robert and Peter Mondavi, two Napa Valley legends who went separate ways and led the Robert Mondavi andCharles Krug wineries, respectively, and Michael and Tim Mondavi, Robert’s sons, who ran the Mondavi winery until its purchase in 2004 by Constellation Wines. Nomacorc. READ MORE
Merlots & Medals
Lined up with gleaming stickers of gold, silver, and bronze slapped on their labels, award-winning wines stand at attention on shelves across the country like so many grape generals turned out for a military parade. But does a Merlot with a medal taste better than one without? And, perhaps more importantly, does it sell better? The relevance of wine competitions has been emphasized this year with a flurry of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of one of the biggest wine showdowns ever, the famous Judgment of Paris tasting where California vintages bested some big names in French wine—a huge score for the New World that established the Golden State’s credentials as a major player and sent sales soaring. Nomacorc. READ MORE
.A History of Bubbly
Bubbles are big – the market for sparkling wine has been steadily increasing for decades, with consumption reaching close to 20 million cases in 2014, according to The Wine Institute. And more than half of those bottles — popped open to celebrate everything from major milestones to making it through another Monday — were made in the USA. It’s a sparkling success story that stretches back centuries, peopled by dreamers and innovators and soaring from disastrous days to flashes of good fortune. And it all began in Ohio. WineCoolerDirect.com. READ MORE.
All the President’s PInots
Wine and the White House have long been a solid pairing. Start with George Washington, who sent a four-bottle silver wine cooler to Alexander Hamilton “as a token of my sincere regard and friendship for you.”
Contrast that with stingy Richard Nixon. He kept the good bottles for himself, trickily palming off cheaper stuff on his guests.Almost no one knows more about POTUS and Pinot than Brian Abrams, author of the 2015 book Party Like a President, which chronicles the presidential vices.He calls Thomas Jefferson the “Connoisseur-in-Chief” for spending a small fortune stocking the White House cellar and introducing fine French wines to America. But he certainly wasn’t the only founding father to put the party in party politics. Vivino. READ MORE.
Chardonnay is the diva of diversity. Corseted, but not too tightly, in French oak, the wine is full-bodied, rich, and lavish. Stripped down to its essence in stainless steel tank fermentation, it’s sprightly and fresh with a zingy bite of green apple. So it’s hardly surprising that chardonnay reigns as the queen of white wine, the most popular single varietal, red or white, in the United States and one of the most widely planted grape varieties in the world.But did you know chardonnay was almost wiped out in California during Prohibition because the thin-skinned grape couldn’t survive the journey back east for the still-legal home winemaking that kept the industry alive? Or that prior to 1968 chardonnay production in the Golden State was so low that the variety was put into the “miscellaneous” category by state agricultural officials? Turns out chardonnay’s back story is as multi-faceted as the wine it produces. Shafer Vineyards. READ MORE.
As a kid growing up in a California winemaking family, Jody Bogle had the opportunity to learn the business from the ground up—literally—sometimes getting out of bed at first light to work the fields during the long, hot summers.She hated it.“It’s just not what a 13-year-old girl wants to be doing,” Bogle says now with a laugh.That’s changed. Nomacorc. READ MORE.
Wines of Note
You may know pop-folk star Brett Dennen for songs like “Ain’t no Reason,” and “Wild Child.” But did you know he also makes some rockin’ roses.In a sing-and-sip pairing, Dennen just launched his sixth album, Por Favor, a collection of songs that explore a period of vulnerability in his life, and a new wine. The wine is Dennen Vacationer California Rosé, a blend of Tempranillo, Syrah and Tannat; made with California-based vintners JW Thomas Group, it’s his second vintage venture. His previously released sparkling wine, Dennen Charismatic Fool Rosé, earned an impressive 91-point rating from Wine Spectator. We caught up with Dennen, who is also a Vivino member, as he prepared to go on tour to support Por Favor and chatted about everything from the importance of female fans to the poetry of wine criticism. Vivino.com. READ MORE
Women Make Their Mark in the Vineyards
The winter sun is shining brightly for the finals of the Napa County Pruning Contest, the annual rite that pits the valley’s best vineyard workers against each other in a contest of skill and speed. Eyes narrowed, lips fixed in firm lines, the finalists work their way down the rows with mathematical precision, snipping the overgrown vines at just the right spot and tearing away the dead canes in one fluid movement.They’re the best-of-the-best, the workers who’ve been chosen to represent their wineries and management companies, and they’re ready to fight hard for cash prizes, championship buckles and, not least important, bragging rights. Nomacorc. READ MORE
The Day California Wine Beat the French and Shocked the World, Vivino.com
David v. Goliath. Spinks v. Ali. Napa Valley Chardonnay vs. white Burgundy.Sure, those first two upset victories may have gotten a little more attention, but the day a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay took top honors among white wines in a Paris tasting remains a wine world milestone. “We were chasing a dream, and it actually worked,” says Bo Barrett, CEO of Chateau Montelena. Read more
Homestyle for the Holidays, Nomacorc.com
As a member of one of California’s oldest winemaking families, Cheryl Indelicato has a rich heritage of family tradition to draw on when it comes time to celebrate the holidays.
Her grandfather, Gaspare Indelicato, planted a vineyard in Manteca in Central California after arriving in this country from his native Sicily more than a century ago. Along with his three sons, he established what today is Delicato Family Vineyards and Cheryl is part of the third generation leading the way for an up-and-coming fourth wave. Nomacorc. READ MORE
How a screw-up led to sweet success, Vivino.com
It was 1982 and layer-turned-vintner Jess Jackson had a big problem. It was his first year making Chardonnayunder his newly minted Kendall-Jackson label and the fermentation of a batch of grapes from his Lake County property had “stuck,” which is when the yeast that eats up the sugars and turns them into alcohol quits on the job early, leaving sugar in the wine and making it too sweet. Read more.
Chinese Wine, a growing industry, Vivino.com
Quick, name the country that has the second-largest number of vineyard acres. Did you say Italy? France? The U.S.? Wrong, wrong and wrong. Read more
X Marks the Spot, Xinomavro and other Greek wines, Vivino.com
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts goes the old saying. Unless, of course, the Greeks in question are carrying gift bottles of wine. Those you should accept with alacrity. Read more
5 Unique Tasting Room Experiences in the Valley, Vivino website
You know the drill. Visit a winery. Get a glass. Swirl, sip, repeat. But some wineries are raising the bar on the tasting experience, offering activities ranging from sporty to cerebral. The idea is to give visitors a unique connection with wine, and to create memories that last longer than the lingering finish of a fine Napa Cab. Read more ...
Wine Retailing tips from a vino veteran, Nomacorc Blog
Wine salesman Pat Kelley has seen all sides of the industry, from growing grapes to working the floor of a major retailer. So he knows what he’s talking about when he tells you what it takes to succeed in this business. Here are five of his top tips: Read More
It’s sunset in San Diego and residents and visitors alike flock to the city’s ocean side bluffs to watch a glowing sun paint the sky. Turns out sunset isn’t the only impressive show in town. Sure, San Diego is known for its great weather, gorgeous beaches and family-friendly attractions. But this border city is a treasure trove of arts and cultures as well, boasting dozens of galleries, theaters and music hot spots tucked into more than 100 colorful neighborhoods. Classic, contemporary or cutting edge, you’re sure to find something to suit your artistic taste. And here’s a tip: Don’t be afraid to be adventurous. There are hidden gems around every corner. Read More