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Have wine, will travel

Schedule your appointment-based wine tastings as early as possible

Yes, I’m advocating that you start drinking/spitting wine as early in the day as possible. Your taste buds are the freshest in the morning. Just as you are the most refreshed in the morning, so is your tasting palate, granted you didn’t eat a huevos rancheros with ghost or habanero peppers prior for breakfast. When I know that a winery only accepts reservations as they…

The 3 keys to wine tasting

Ok. You’ve charted your course to three wineries and you’ve even picked out a restaurant nearby to stop for lunch. Now comes the time to actually step up to the bar and try the wine. While you’re there, try to focus on these three components: Smell the wine Have you ever seen fellow wine tasters swirl the wine inside of their glass? That’s due to…

What is a Meritage?

Repeat it with me. Meritage rhymes with Heritage. Once more. Meritage rhymes with heritage. Got it? Good. Ok, by now you’re probably thinking just what is a Meritage? For that answer we have to travel to Bordeaux, France (and eventually back to the US). You’ve probably heard of Bordeaux. It’s both a town and wine region in France along with the name of a type…

The sexiest grape in the world

In all the wine world, there is one grape in particular you need to get to know—she’s the sexiest grape in the world. A subtle and often overlooked grape, she has been around for hundreds of years but often has been hiding in the shadows. She hails from two of the oldest wine producing countries in the world: France and Spain. And while some of…

Rosé & the Eiffel Tower

During my trip to France, I only had 1 full day in Paris. While that may seem like a total bummer, I did drown my sorrows with 5 days in Champagne (the region) afterwards, so all was not lost. So what was I to do? In consulting countless friends and family prior to the trip, they all agreed that I had to see the Mona…

Landmark Vineyards at Hop Kiln Estates

I discovered Landmark Vineyards at Hop Kiln Estates by accident. I was driving along Westside Road (my 2nd favorite road in Sonoma, a close second to Chalk Hill), going from Korbel up to Dry Creek. Between those two wineries, there is really only one road—Westside. It’s quite beautiful, with various wineries and vineyards on either side of the road. It’s secluded but yet still populated…

Wine & The Great American Music Hall

I was stoked. The San Diego legendary singer/songwriter Steve Poltz was coming to San Francisco to play a show. Sweet! While I was exceptionally excited for the music, I generally wasn’t too excited on the alcohol selection, let alone at this venue. Poltz was scheduled to play at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, a venue I had never been to prior. To…

Nalle Winery

Don’t blink as you drive along Dry Creek Road towards the southern end of the valley. There’s a sign sitting quietly off to the eastern side of the road. Granted, it did get an upgrade fairly recently, but it’s still quiet by comparison to others along the main road. Just to the side of the sign is an unpaved road and a small locked bar…

Cast Wines

Wait. “Am I in Dry Creek or the Russian River Valley?” I thought to myself as I sat there examining my glass of sparkling wine while deciding which of the two flights of wine to taste. You can get a glass of bubbly in the valley? Now that’s a treat I didn’t expect. Welcome to Cast. Cast Winery is located on the northern end of…

Frick Winery

To say that Frick Winery is a hidden gem is an understatement. The winery has a single sign on the main road leading up to the winery measuring maybe a square foot, if that. Chances are good to great you’ve even driven past it on your way into Dry Creek by way of Canyon Rd. Yet, you’d be missing out on a diamond in the…