Award-winning wine columnist Dan Berger has been writing his nationally syndicated column since 1979 and continues to be one of the most outspoken and informative people writing about this subject can be very to understand.
I’ve preached for years that too many restaurants serve red wines too warm — even ritzy joints that have trained wine waiters. Many of them ought to trade in their tastevins for dunce caps.
Ask a wine lover which is better: a Chardonnay that’s only 75 percent varietal plus 25 percent French Colombard or a wine that’s 100 percent Chardonnay. Before you get an answer, you’ll likely get a question back: “Where was the fruit grown?”
In this era of allegations of widespread fibbing, I began to muse about all of the “facts” we see on wine labels, some of which are conscious mistruths.
The host of a wine/food radio show was concluding an hour-long interview. With five minutes left, he asked me: “If you were stranded on a desert island and had only one varietal wine to drink, what grape would it be made from?”
I’ve known Clark Smith since the 1970s and have written about his wine exploits often because he has always viewed wine as a challenge, not as a business.
Researching a story the other day, I discovered that more than half the 45,000 acres of grapes growing in Napa Valley (22,800) now are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon.
Those seeking alternative red wines might be intrigued by the latest efforts from the world of Petite Sirah – especially since it has improved so much in the last decade.
About 20 years ago, I was a judge at the Virginia Governor’s Cup wine competition, where, after two decades of slow improvement, many of the wines were dramatically better than they had been.
Jordan Vineyards was founded on the principle that northern Sonoma County can make superb Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc, which it has done with the same winemaker since 1976.
To some people, wine is a destination, a place to experience multitudes of exotic taste treats, an elixir, a hedonistic beverage that makes food taste better and acts as a social lubricant.
Just over 50 years ago, a proposal arose to create a dedicated agricultural zone to protect a small, remote but verdant area known as the Napa Valley.
If you regularly order wine when dining out, what follows may not seem particularly egregious. But each frustrating episode happened to me in the four decades of writing about wine.
It’s painful to lose a good friend, doubly so when the person is wonderful, warm, and charming. So the loss of two such wine men in the last several weeks has been especially agonizing for so many.
The first hint I had that some California white wines could age came in 1986 when I was cleaning out my “wine cellar” — an old walk-in dairy refrigerator that kept all my wines very cool year-round.
HEALDSBURG — As much justified acclaim as the Napa Valley has received in the last 30 years for the greatness of its Cabernet Sauvignons, so has Sonoma County gained similar praise for the excellence of its Pinot Noirs in the last 20… albeit with a more limited audience and a lot more recently.
A French wine maker took me by surprise: He allowed me to try his sparkling wine, to get an idea about what sort of flavors it had, and then asked for my glass.
Marketing fads develop rapidly, almost explosively. But they are transitory, flaming out quickly. Longer-term trends usually unfold more slowly, like the petals of a flower opening in spring.
A decade ago, I wrote an April Fool’s Day wine column about an optimistic winemaker in Sweden (!) who had planted cabernet sauvignon, anticipating that climate change would put him ahead of the curve.
Walk-around holiday parties entailing wines usually include finger foods with simpler flavors. So aim for wines everyone will appreciate — simple, young, and unpretentious, for the reasons listed below.
Once there was a well-known wine columnist who thought it amusing to write about which wines went with every American holiday or celebratory moment — a tactic that reached absurd depths the day Jimmy Carter was sworn in as president.
Decades ago, the late Orville Magoon asked some workers to clear brush on an old, long-neglected hillside vineyard on his Guenoc estate in Napa County that was part of his Lake County property.
The devastating fires throughout wine country over the last week hit so many areas of the multi-county region in so many ways that it’s hard to calculate or quantify the magnitude of the losses.
The chief of design for the Ford Motor Comp. probably knows the design chief for Cadillac. But regardless of how friendly they may be in off hours, trade secrets are always verboten.
Shortly after the historic Freemark Abbey Winery in Napa Valley was purchased by Jackson Family Wines, Freemark wine maker Ted Edwards did a portfolio tasting for the new owners, Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke.
Trivia question: If you should hear a conversation in which Person A asks, “Is this wine sweet or dry?” and Person B replies, “Yes and no” — and is correct! — what wine is being talked about?
Dried and/or fresh herbs mark the aroma of a well-made sauvignon blanc, which was precisely the reason the grape variety seemed to be so daunting to many people almost exactly 50 years ago when Robert Mondavi began selling his first such wine, from the 1966 harvest.