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Raymond Blending Seminar Chris Sawyer PicmoneySommelier Christopher Sawyer (left) and his teammate work on their blends of the 2012 vintage two years ago

TASTE News Service, February 14, 2016 - Raymond Vineyards Proprietor, Jean-Charles Boisset, Director of Winemaking, Stephanie Putnam and Thane Knutson, Assistant Winemaker, recently hosted 10 hand-selected sommeliers from across the country to participate in the seventh annual Sommelier Selection Blending Session. The sommeliers were selected for their depth of knowledge and experience, and together they represent some of the best and brightest sommelier talent in the nation.

Monday, 01 February 2016 14:14

January 29, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Korbel Brut Rose Pink Wrap Bottle 2 Picmonkey

California Brut Rose N/V

 

Korbel Champagne Cellars

California

Suggested Retail: $13.99

 

“For a long time rosé wines got no respect. But things have changed. Pink wines are hot—if not that exact shade of pink.

”Korbel Champagne Cellars, which has been producing sparkling wine in Sonoma County since 1882, recently came out with new packaging for their California Brut Rosé. It embraces pinkness. New packaging technology has allowed them to envelop the entire bottle in pink. The winery defines the new bottle wrap as ‘limited edition,’ so we presume that the duration of this presentation may depend on its popularity.

Friday, 29 January 2016 16:54

Legendary Grapegrowers Give Away Grapes

Beckstoffer Lake Co Vnyd PicmonkeyBeckstoffer Amber Knolls Vineyard

TASTE News Service, January 29, 2016 – The Beckstoffer name is synonymous with the highest quality vineyards in Northern California wine growing regions including Napa Valley, Mendocino County and the Red Hills of Lake County. It's the latter where Andy and David Beckstoffer will offer ten experienced or aspiring winemakers the opportunity to receive grapes, free of charge, from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 harvests from their vineyards in the Red Hills AVA.

Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:09

Chefs Come to Napa for 2016 Truffle Festival

Ken Frank and Truffle Chefs at La Toque PicmonkeyDr. Paul Thomas and Robert Chang of the American Truffle Co. are flanked by Chefs David Barzelay, Frank Tramonto, Ken Frank, and Stefano Ciotti 

 

By Betty Teller

January 28, 2016 - What do a former lawyer turned chef of an underground restaurant, an Italian chef who began his career as a teenager, and a well-known restaurateur have in common? They were the exciting guest chefs for the 2016 Truffle Festival.

Friday, 08 January 2016 18:35

January 8, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Hall Cab S bottle 2 Picmonkey2004 Cabernet Sauvignon

 

HALL Wines

Napa Valley

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $55 (current 2012 vintage)

 

“This week’s ‘Pick’ is a wine you’re not likely to find. Pictured is an etched bottle of a 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon presented at the 2007 groundbreaking for the new HALL facility in St. Helena (the company spells its name in all caps). Many wineries have been built in California in the last couple of decades, and many have celebrated grand openings on their completion. Few of them have attracted media and friends of the owners to celebrate just the plan to build a winery, but it’s different when a world-renown architect is employed.

Friday, 25 December 2015 18:28

December 25, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Domaine Carneros Brut Rose withshadow Picmonkey2012 Brut Rosé

 

Domaine Carneros

By Taittinger

Carneros

Alcohol: 12.3%

Suggested Retail: $37

 

“Good sparkling wine is appropriate for celebrating the new year. It’s also appropriate for just celebrating life in general and is a treat too frequently thought of as only for special occasions.

Sparkling wine is the generally accepted term that encompasses all wines containing bubbles, from pricey top-of-the-line imports through the cheap stuff served at all-you-can-eat Sunday brunches. Most California producers have agreed that the word Champagne refers to products that come from a particular part of France and should no longer be appropriated by wineries outside that region. Wonderful as wines from Champagne are, they’re no longer necessarily superior to their California counterparts.

Saturday, 19 December 2015 19:18

December 18, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Dry Creek Vnyd 2013 OldVine Zinfandel bottle rgb1 Picmonkey2013 Old Vine Zinfandel

 

Dry Creek Vineyard

Dry Creek Valley

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $32

 

“Some issues here could be confusing. Dry Creek Vineyard and Dry Creek Valley might sound redundant. And ‘Old Vine Zinfandel’ sounds good, but what does that really mean?

“Opening this bottle at dinner with a relative, I was asked if it had any connection to the Dry Creek Ranch golf course. It doesn’t, but the question wasn’t unreasonable since the course is located on the northern fringe of Lodi, an area south of Sacramento that is known to produce good Zinfandel.

Thursday, 03 December 2015 15:51

California Craft Brewery Count Tops 600

CA Craft Beer graphic Picmonkey

TASTE News Service, December 3, 2015 - The California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) today announced another milestone in the growth of local brewing, with more than 600 craft breweries in operation across the state. More breweries call California home than any other state in the nation.

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 10:28

Haverton Hill Creamery Honored

Sheep at Haverhill Dairy Picmonkey

TASTE News Service, December 1, 2015 - C After putting its craft sheep butter on grocery store shelves in late 2014, the sheep dairy and farmstead creamery won first place in the craft butter category in the 2015 American Cheese Society Awards.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 23:36

New flight into Sonoma Wine Country announced

Horizon Air Q400 PicmonkeyTASTE News Service, November 11, 2015 - Direct flights from Orange County into Sonoma Wine Country will begin on March 16, 2016, according to Alaska Airlines. Flights from Orange County will depart at 12:15 p.m. and arrive at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa at 1:46 p.m. Flights from Santa Rosa will depart at 12:40 p.m. and arrive in Orange County at 2:11 p.m.

John Wayne Airport will be the second airport that offers non-stop flights from the Los Angeles basin. The other is LAX. Other destinations are Portland, San Diego, and Seattle. John Wayne Airport will be convenient for travelers from beach cities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, as well as the inland areas of Irvine, Orange, and Anaheim.

The new route will be served by Horizon Air's 76-seat Q400 aircraft, which it currently uses on all flights to Sonoma County.

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