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Winemaker Karl Wente Judges Iron Chef America Battle on December 4

I’m a fan of the Iron Chef America series. I enjoy seeing what some of the best chef’s in the world (and their talented teams) can do with a “mystery” ingredient. The show exposes me to some chef’s and restaurants I’ve not been aware of previously too. I also appreciate the focus on food and the craft of cooking instead of interpersonal drama.

There are two things I don’t see enough of on Iron Chef though: wine and West Coast judges. Perhaps it’s been done, but I’ve never seen Iron Chef America use wine as the secret ingredient. And, while West Coast chefs are frequent contestants — and chefs Elizabeth Faulkner and Michael Chiarello are currently battling on The Next Iron Chef — judges from this region are uncommon. San Francisco’s Martin Yan has made appearances, but he is really focused on Asia. There have been many entertainment celebrities too, some of whom are based in southern California. But they don’t speak to our food scene.

This Sunday, one of those issues will be remedied. There will be two Californian judges for the Holiday Battle between Iron Chefs Morimoto and Michael Symon. The judges will be Karl Wente, winemaker at Wente Vineyards, bi-coastal TV chef and author Candice Kumai plus Iron Chef veteran Donatella Arpaia.

I don’t know the secret ingredient. But it won’t be wine. It’s a shame to bring a winemaker onto the show and not take advantage of his particular expertise. And wine is a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into both savory and sweet dishes. But Karl Wente is there due to the Food Network’s joint venture with Wente Vineyards on the “entwine” wine label, not because this particular show will have a wine focus.

Karl_Wente_vineyards-cropNonetheless, I think Karl Wente will be more interesting than most of the non-culinary guest judges. He’s got an excellent technical background: a Chemical Engineering degree at Stanford and Masters degrees from U.C. Davis in horticulture/viticulture and food science/enology. He has been in charge of all of the winemaking at his family’s Wente Vineyards for several years. Prior to that, he worked for Peter Michael Winery and at Brown Brothers in Australia.

Fortunately for Iron Chef America viewers, Karl Wente is not just a wine and chemistry geek. I’ve seen him do consumer tours at the winery. He’s well-spoken and doesn’t rely on technical jargon. The kitchen in his backyard, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, is arguably the best in eastern Alameda County too. It’s current executive chef, Matt Greco, spent the last ten years cooking at top restaurants in Manhattan, including two New York Times 3-star establishments, Café Boulud and A Voce. So, Karl should be able to make astute comments about the Iron Chefs’ dishes.

I’m looking forward to an entertaining show that gives some well-deserved attention to West Coast palates. And maybe, just maybe, there'll be a glass of wine in there somewhere.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. Photo of Karl Wente courtesy of Wente Vineyards. All rights reserved.

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Expanding Your Wine Horizons

New Year’s resolutions are often made but rarely kept. They are usually positive goals we create to improve ourselves or our lives. But resolutions frequently involve stopping behavior that has become ingrained. So they are difficult to stick with. That’s especially true if the habits we’re trying to break are one’s we actually enjoy.

Here are some resolutions that build on things you enjoy, rather than forcing you to give them up. Giving these a try will expand your horizons and you’ll actually have fun in the process.


Drink a red wine with fish.

There are many “rules of thumb” when it comes to pairing wine and food. They are well-intended, meant to make creating palatable combinations simpler. But some of these general guidelines seem to have become hard and fast rules. That's not right. You can play it safe and stick to the rules. But you’ll learn more, and have fun, by breaking them from time to time.

And there’s another potential benefit to drinking red wine with fish. Eating more seafood and less red meat is a healthy choice. If you prefer red wines, you may be eating red meat than you ought, just because of the pairing. I know I do. By letting ourselves enjoy reds with seafood, we'll be doing our bodies a favor.

Among the fish most likely to work with red wine are salmon, swordfish and tuna, all either pan roasted or grilled. Go easy on the salt. Skip the lemon. Feel free to pour on the mushrooms. Here are three types of West Coast red wine to try with them.

  • Pinot Noir, especially youthful wines from Oregon or cool climate areas in California
  • Merlot, particularly medium-bodied versions with only gentle oak.
  • Grenache and blends thereof, look for wines with little oak and moderate alcohol.


Drink a white wine with red meat.

You don't necessarily need to open another bottle of wine when moving from light starter course to mains. White wines are generally lower in alcohol than reds. So, going all white occasionally may keep your liver happy. And whites are often less expensive than reds of similar quality too.

When pairing red wine with fish, the main concern is that the two might clash badly. That’s not the case with white wine and red meat. Here the challenge is choosing wines that won’t be overwhelmed by the meat.

  • Oaked California Chardonnay will go well with fatty meat, such as Kobi or Wagyu beef. The wine will also pair with lean meat, like filet mignon, if the meat is served rare or medium rare, especially if it comes with a cream or butter sauce.
  • Rhone-varietal whites (Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier) work well with many different pork preparations as well as veal.
  • Riesling is also a good choice for pork and it’s ideal for Asian meat dishes such as Indian or Thai curries, Vietnamese beef pho, as well as spicy or sweet and sour Chinese fare.


Try wines made from uncommon grapes.

There are so many wineries and vineyards that you could drink a different Pinot Noir every day for the rest of your life. But you’d be missing an awful lot of fun wine. New World wine laws are much less limiting than those of Europe with respect to what wines can be produced in a given region. You can find well over a hundred different varietals to sample just within California. Here are three suggestions to get you started.

2009 Uvaggio Vermentino - Okay, Vermentino isn’t too bizarre. It's an aromatic white wine with aromas, flavors and textures that vary substantially based on where and how it is grown. It can be citrusy and mouth-watering or heavier and softer on the palate with stone fruit. Briny minerality is common. Odds are though that you haven’t tried one unless you drink a lot of wine from Northern Italy or Southeastern France. Uvaggio’s fruit comes from Lodi. And the wine is darned good. It’s a low alcohol white that goes great with linguini in clam sauce.

2009 Robert Foley Charbono - Charbono is found in France’s Savoie region where it’s known as Corbeau Some say it’s identical to Argentina’s Bonarda, that country’s 2nd most common red grape. Still others claim, incorrectly, that it’s Dolcetto. In California you can call it almost extinct. Once common in the Napa Valley, it was pulled out over the years in lieu of the much more profitable Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s making a minor comeback now and Foley has long been a proponent. Charbono offers tangy berry flavors accompanied by plenty of tannins and acidity. It’s a good wine for pizza or grilled meat, but not one to try with fish.  

2008 McCrea Counoise Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (Red Mountain AVA, Washington) - Counoise is a red grape most commonly found in France’s southern Rhone Valley, especially Chateauneuf du Pape where it is a minor component in blends. Even there it isn’t grown widely with less than 20 acres under vine, according to Harry Karis. The scant planting is due primarily to Counoise’ susceptibility to gray rot and resulting inconsistency of yield. Wine made from Counoise is similar in some ways to Pinot Noir; light tannins, moderate alcohol, notable acidity and strawberry flavors. Unlike most Pinot Noir though, Counoise tends to have black pepper and blue fruit flavors too. McCrea lets Counoise star in this wine, mixing it with just 20% Syrah. It is medium-bodied and fresh with lovely red fruit. Pair it with food as you would Pinot Noir.

Wente Vineyards also makes a Counoise varietal wine from Livermore fruit as part of their Small Lot series. Theirs includes both Petite Sirah and Barbera.


Seek out unusual blends.

American wine laws give winemakers more freedom in making blends too. And there are some pretty interesting ones to be found in California. Here are three of my favorites.

2008 Cypher “Louis Cypher” Eclectic Red, Paso Robles - Winemaker Christian Tietje starts with four Portuguese varieties: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cao, Souzao and Tinta Roriz (aka Grenache). Added to that are five other grapes: Teroldego (mostly found in Northern Italy), Zinfandel, Carignane, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. Even the oak is a blend, French and Eastern European. The wine is dark and delicious, bursting with red fruit with notes of dark flowers and exotic spice.

2010 Vina Robles White4, Paso Robles - This winery is based in Paso Robles but it’s owners and winemakers are from Switzerland, a small country with several languages. In White4, they stuff four grapes that wouldn’t normally congregate (Viognier, Verdelho, Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc) into one bottle and it works out just fine.

2010 Matthiasson Napa Valley White Wine - This is an odd blend that critics and wine geeks love. It's that good and it's unique. A majority of the wine is Sauvignon Blanc blended with it’s natural Bordelais partner Semillon. But then things go south — geographically, not qualitatively — with two varieties from Italy. The grapes in question Ribolla Gialla and Friuliano (known as Tocai Friuliano until the Hungarians got assertive) aren’t even that common in Italy. The end result is a wine that is clean yet waxy, ripe yet fresh, light yet solid, this yet that.


Taste wine with new people.

I’m not suggesting that you ditch your spouse or stop drinking wine with your regular gang. However, adding more people to your wine tasting circles will expose you to their favorite wines and wineries. And they'll enjoy hearing about yours.


Take a wine class.

It can be intimidating to buy wines from a region you know nothing about. Taking a class focused on a particular country, region or varietal will introduce you to a lot of new wines. It will provide context that can add to your enjoyment. And you may make some new wine friends too.

 

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. Banner photo Copyright Sunnybeach. All rights reserved.

Highlights from the AWA Trade Tasting

Yesterday, I attended the AWA (Angeles Wine Agency) trade tasting in the Fire House at Fort Mason in San Francisco. It’s amazing how many wines their vendors were able to pack into the relatively small space. Yet, it remained a very comfortable and orderly tasting. I didn’t even try to taste every wine, but did sample quite a few.

With all the usual caveats about judging wines in group tasting environments, here are some of the wines that I feel very confident in recommending. Due to the huge variety of wines, I’m not going to be any more specific about the wines’ quality than to say they are very good and merit your attention. They are listed  in alphabetical order by producer.

California wines:
2007 Anglim Zinfandel St. Peter of Alcantara, Paso Robles
2006 Ceja Vineyards Pinot Noir Carneros
NV DeRose Vineyards Hollywood Red
2006 Heart O’ The Mountain Pinot Noir Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains – the leaner of the two, red fruit and spice
2006 Heart O’ The Mountain Pinot Noir Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains – more body than the 06 and black fruit-focused
2007 Moshin Vineyards Pinot Noir Molinari Vineyard
2007 Moshin Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
2007 Moshin Vineyards Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley

Imported wines:
NV Col Vetoraz Prosecco di Valdobbiadene – the best Prosecco I’ve ever had
2007 Domaine Castagnier Gevrey Chambertin
2007 Domaine Castagnier Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru
2007 Domaine du Coulet Cornas Billes Noires
2007 Henri Delagrange Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune
2006 Henri Delagrange Volnay Clos des Chenes
2006 Domaine des Escravailles Rasteau La Ponce
2007 Domaine Fevre Chablis
2007 Fevre Fourchaume-Vaulorent 1er Cru
2009 Domaine de la Fouquette Rose - lovely fruit on the nose and palate, including grapefruit
2008 Guillemot-Michel Macon Villages
2008 Oliver Hillaire Cotes du Rhone Rouge
2008 Lafond Lirac Blanc
2008 Eric Louis Sancerre Cuvee Pauline
2007 Olivier Jouan Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Les Ruchots
2005 Parusso Barolo – beautiful nose of cherry and spice
2007 Poderi Foglia Conco Rosso
2004 La Rasina Brunello di Montalcino
2008 La Tour du Lion Chateauneuf du Pape
2006 Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Sixtine
2008 Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Sec Cuvee Silex

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Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check outour comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Wine Events for February 16 - 24

The next 10 days offer almost 50 excellent opportunities to taste and learn about the wines of Northern California. Here's a long-weekend itinerary I'd love to follow:

richardsanford
California Pinot Noir Pioneer Richard Sanford

All events listed below are in chronological order within each region. I also recommend checking the increasingly jam-packed events calendar at NorCalWine.com for future events. Some require advance reservations or ticketing.

To go directly to a particular region, click the appropriate link below.
East Bay - Lake County - Lodi & Sacramento - Mendocino - Monterey & Santa Cruz - Napa Valley - Paso Robles - San Francisco & Peninsula - Sierra Foothills - Sonoma County - Upcoming Highlights

Event organizers and publicists get your events published here by posting your events in the calendar at NorCalWine.com. Posting events there requires a one-time registration (easy, peasy), but is totally free of charge. And it only takes a couple of minutes. I’ll soon post a guide here with tips on how to make event posts as effective as possible.

East Bay

Thursday, February 16

Dutcher Crossing Winery presented by Diablo Tasters Guild at Faz — Danville: 6:45pm - 9:30pm
An evening with winemaker Kerry Damskey and Dutcher Crossing wines paired with fine cuisine.

Friday, February 17

Dark & Delicious 2012 at Rock Wall Wine Co. — Alameda: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
55 preeminent Petite Sirah wine producers and 30 fabulous Napa and Bay Area restaurants and/or food caterers. [THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. NO TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR.]

Saturday, Februrary 18

Cedar Mountain Winery, Presidents' Day Weekend Barrel Tasting — Livermore: noon - 4:00pm
Sample 2009 Syrah and 2005 Souzao Port.

Thomas Coyne Winery Winter Open House — Livermore: noon - 5:00pm
Bring a picnic and enjoy sweeping views of the Livermore Valley.

Sunday, Februrary 19

Cedar Mountain Winery, Presidents' Day Weekend Barrel Tasting — Livermore: noon - 4:00pm
Sample 2009 Syrah and 2005 Souzao Port.

Thomas Coyne Winery Winter Open House — Livermore: noon - 5:00pm
Bring a picnic and enjoy sweeping views of the Livermore Valley.

Taste with the Winemaker of Carica Wines at Rock Wall Wine Company — Alameda: 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Enjoy complimentary samples of Carica's newest releases, including Petite Sirah and Sauvignon Blanc with Winemaker Charlie Dollbaum.

Monday, Februrary 20

Cedar Mountain Winery, Presidents' Day Weekend Barrel Tasting — Livermore: noon - 4:00pm
Sample 2009 Syrah and 2005 Souzao Port.

Thomas Coyne Winery Winter Open House — Livermore: noon - 5:00pm
Bring a picnic and enjoy sweeping views of the Livermore Valley.

Taste with the Winemaker of Carica Wines at Rock Wall Wine Company — Alameda: 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Enjoy complimentary samples of Carica's newest releases, including Petite Sirah and Sauvignon Blanc with Winemaker Charlie Dollbaum.

Wednesday, February 22

Evening With The Winemaker at Winemaker's Pour House — Livermore: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
This week's guest is Fenestra Winery of Livermore Valley.

Thursday, February 23

Capiaux Cellars tasting at The Vine — Danville: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Winemaker Sean Capiaux pours his Pinot Noir... and maybe an O'Shaughnessy Cabernet.


Lake County

Saturday, February 18

Ceago Winemaker Dinner at the Tallman Hotel — Upper Lake: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Owner Jim Fetzer, winemaker Barney Fetzer and family members will be there to introduce the wines and pairings.

Lodi & Sacramento

Sunday, February 18

Sip and Savor a Monthly Wine Appreciation Class at Oak Ridge Winery — Lodi: 10:00am - noon
Conducted by G.M. "Pooch" Pucilowski, Chief Judge for the California State Fair Wine Competition

Pour Your Heart Out Wine Tasting & Silent Auction at Carvahlo Winery — Clarksburg: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
A benefit party for Mended Little Hearts of Sacramento.

Mendocino County

Saturday, February 18

Int'l Alsace Varietals Festival Technical Conference — Boonville: 9:00am - 11:30am
Winemakers from around the globe discuss winemaking and grape growing specifically for Alsace varietals.

7th annual Int'l Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting — Boonville: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Meet the winemakers and taste Alsace-style white wines from around the world, including Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Muscat.

Alsace Festival Winemakers Dinner at Shaffenberger Cellars — Philo: 6:30pm
Enjoy a sumptuous dinner with the winemakers and learn more about their wines in the elegant private dining room at Sharffenberger Cellars. [THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. They do have a waiting list in case of cancellations.]

Monterey County & Santa Cruz

Friday, February 17

Wine 101: Lecture & Tasting with Sommelier Ronaldo Goularte at New Leaf — Santa Cruz: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Learn the fundamentals of wine, viticulture and viniculture, in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

Saturday, February 18

Swirl, Sip & Celebrate National Drink Wine Day at Holman Ranch - Carmel Valley: 11:00am - 6:00pm
Stop by and celebrate National Drink Wine Day!

Wednesday, February 22

Ventana Estate Pours & Discusses the Arroyo Seco Region at Food Inc. Trattoria — Monterey: 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Learn about the history and terroir of the vineyards while tasting Pinot Noir.


Napa Valley

Ongoing Events

Saturday February 11 - Monday, February 20
The Ultimate Decadent Tasting at Trefethen Family Vineyards — Napa: 10:00am - 4:30pm

Enjoy special selections of Trefethen wines paired with handmade confections produced by one of Napa’s finest chocolatiers.

Friday, February 17

Cornerstone Cellars Winemaker Dinner at Bardessono — Yountville: 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Enjoy a  special 5-course tasting menu drawn from Lucy’s Garden by Chef Victor Scargle, inspired by the wines of Jeff Keene.

Saturday, February 18

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Release at Nichelini Family Winery — St. Helena: 11:00am - 5:00pm
Leona Marini, 4th generation, will be on hand to offer food pairings and stories.

Winemaker's Dinner & Bob James Concert at Miner Family Winery — Oakville: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
An intimate concert in the caves followed by a a four-course dinner prepared by La Saison chefs Natalie & Jonathan Niksa paired with new release 2009 Miner Cabernets.

Sunday, February 19

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Release at Nichelini Family Winery — St. Helena: 11:00am - 5:00pm
Leona Marini, 4th generation, will be on hand to offer food pairings and stories.

Monday, February 20

6th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at CIA Greystone — St. Helena: 4:00pm - 8:00pm
A rare opportunity to mingle with noted winemakers, famous chefs, and wine-loving celebrities.


Paso Robles

Sunday, February 19

Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience: Seminar & Luncheon — Paso Robles: 10:30am - 1:00pm
Hear from winemakers and principals who have chosen the Rhone Ranger route in Paso Robles, and who are forging the area's reputation as California's "Rhone Zone".

Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience - Grand Tasting: 1:30pm - 4:00
Taste nearly 150 wines from the complete membership of the Paso Robles Rhone Rangers, including top single Rhone varietals and the best in Rhone blends.

Monday, February 20

RN Estate Supper at Artisan — Paso Robles: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Three course prix fixe menu served “family style”

Sharp's Hill Vineyard / Enoteca Winemaker Dinner at La Bellasera — Paso Robles: 6:30pm - 10:00pm
An expertly paired four course dinner featuring Sharp’s Hill wines and delicious items from Enoteca Restaurant

San Francisco & Peninsula

Thrusday, February 16

Schramsberg Vineyards w/Keith Hock at KL Wines — San Francisco: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
The oldest sparkling wine house in California will be here to feature their delicious sparkling wines, including the J. Schram.

Saturday, February 18

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting at Fort Mason — SF: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Your chance to taste the award winners. Now you get to be the judge.

California Chardonnays at Beltramo's Wines — Menlo Park: 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Taste nine of Beltramo's favorite California Chardonnays, including Shafer, Walter Hansel, Paul Hobbs and Kongsgaard.

Monday, February 20

Peter Franus Winemaker Dinner at Cafe des Amis — San Francisco: 6:00pm -
Peter Franus has one simple philosophy: Wine should be delicious!

Tuesday, February 21

Donkey & Goat Winemaker Dinner at AQ Restaurant — San Francisco: 6:00pm - 11:00pm
Featuring local wine producer Jared Brant of Donkey & Goat Winery in AQ’s intimate Cellar Room.

Shafer Vineyards Winemaker Dinner at Spruce — San Francisco: 6:30pm
This dinner will showcase Shafer’s range of styles paired beautifully with a menu crafted by Chef Walter Abrams.

Nemerever Vineyards Tasting & Dinner at Taj Campton Place — San Francisco: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Founding partner Bill Nemerever will take guests through a tasting of some of his Cabernet Sauvignons followed by dinner paired with the wines.

Wednesday, February 22

Wente Vineyards Tasting w/ Karl Wente at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant — San Francisco: 4:30pm - 7:30pm
Meet fifth-generation winemaker Karl Wente and taste a flight of his best wines.

Thursday, February 23

Brack Mountain Wine Company at KL Wines — San Francisco: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Winemaker Dan Fitzgerald features his new releases of Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.


Sierra Foothills

Friday, February 17

Presidents' Wine Weekend Wine Tour in Calaveras — Murphys: 11:30am - 5:30pm
A customized Calaveras wine tasting tour

Saturday, February 18

Barbera for President! at Vino Noceto — Plymouth: 11:00am - 5:00pm
See why Vino Noceto Sangiovese and Barbera make for a winning “ticket” in the Valley.

Presidents' Wine Weekend Wine Tour in Calaveras — Murphys: 11:30am - 5:30pm
A customized Calaveras wine tasting tour

Acoustical Music at Casque Wines — Loomis: 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Matt Cooksey plays.

Sunday, February 19

Barbera for President! at Vino Noceto — Plymouth: 11:00 am - 5:00pm
See why Vino Noceto Sangiovese and Barbera make for a winning “ticket” in the Valley.

Presidents' Wine Weekend Wine Tour in Calaveras — Murphys: 11:30am - 5:30pm
A customized Calaveras wine tasting tour

Monday, February 20

Barbera for President! at Vino Noceto — Plymouth: 11:00 am - 5:00pm
See why Vino Noceto Sangiovese and Barbera make for a winning “ticket” in the Valley.


Sonoma County

Friday, February 17

VinOlivo Grand Tasting at The Lodge at Sonoma — Sonoma: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Sip Sonoma Valley's best wines as you get to know the personalities behind the wine. Sample food from more than 25 of Sonoma's purveyors.

Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Guitar ballads with Brian Ward

Saturday, February 18

Mardi Gras Celebration at Meadowcroft Wines — Sonoma: noon - 4:00pm
The St. Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band, down home Louisiana cookin', a Second Line-Parade, award winning wines and of course BEADS!

Sunday, February 19

Amphora’s Zinvitational: Zinfandel and Cioppino at Amphora — Healdsburg: 11:00am - 4:30pm
Current, library and barrel-sample Zinfandel plus Cioppino, sourdough and green salad.

President's Day Celebration at Old Roma Station — Healdsburg: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Limited production wines from Bluenose, Hart’s Desire, J. Keverson, Kelley & Young, Sadler-Wells, Sapphire Hill, Skewis, Shippey and Willowbrook.

Sundays on the "Terraza" at Santa Rosa Vintners Square — Santa Rosa: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Bring a picnic. They'll will provide the wine, bocce ball court and live music.

Thursday, February 23

J Vineyards & Winery Winemaker Dinner at John Ash & Co. — Santa Rosa: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Join J Vineyards & Winery Assistant Winemaker, Scott Anderson, for an excellent dinner paired with five J wines.


Looking Forward

If the tastes of Schramsberg sparkling wine at K&L this week leave you wanting more — a lot more — you might consider Camp Schramsberg. A luxury food and wine event in Napa Valley, it will be an experience you'll remember for years. It's a three-day event starting on March 11.

Don't forget, the Rhone Rangers Weekend Celebration of American Rhones is March 24 & 25. The seminars will probably sell out — especially the bacon pairing — so get our tickets soon.

 

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook. Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved. Event details are subject to change without notice.

Free: Hospice du Rhone 2010 iPhone App Available

I'm really looking forward to Hospice du Rhone this year. it's coming up soon, April 29 - May 1, in Paso Robles. To help people like me, and you, get up to speed on everything that will go on there, the wineries involved, etc., the HdR organization has put out an iPhone app. This is the first event based iPhone app i've seen.

I downloaded it as soon as it hit the Apple App Store on Monday. There's a lot of cool stuff in there that could well be of use to you regardless of whether or not you go to the event. There's winery and varietal information, Rhone wine quizzes and more. And the price is right. Free!

Sonoma William posted an in-depth HdR 2010 iPhone app review at Simple Hedonisms if you want to learn more.

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