We got to see some fabulous oldsters this weekend in Sonoma . That is vineyards with some gnarly old vines (see photo). Fitting since it was Andy’s birthday! To give you some perspective on the impact of vine age on wine, it takes about 3-to-4 years from the time a vine is planted until it bears mature fruit for use in wine. Until then, any grapes produced are discarded. When a vine is about five years old, it can produce what is considered a full crop. From then to about thirty years, the vine is in full production mode. After […]
Wine Recommendations for Small Budgets
At Snob Free Wine Tasting Companion, we take the position that while you may not be a wine snob just because you drink expensive wine (it’s a matter of attitude) that enjoying wine doesn’t need to break your budget. Luckily there are folks out there who are doing homework on your behalf. One of those people, Dr. Jim, tastes and rates wines and classifies them in price categories. For budget conscious readers, we’re linking to his recommendations for $10-$20 and $20-$30 bottles. How do you know if you’ll like what Dr. Jim likes, or anybody else’s recommendations for that matter? Well…you don’t. […]
Wine Tasting in Livermore? Yup!
If you’re like many Bay Area residents, you may be surprised to learn that Livermore, for many years a sleepy remote rural area off of Highway 580 in San Francisco’s East Bay, has not only grown up to become a full fledged suburb, it now hosts a growing array of wineries. Here’s a quick summary of how to enjoy yourself in one of the Bay Area’s up and coming wine tasting areas. The Wine Institute in an online article in October, 2014 provides these great tips for making the most of your day. Livermore Valley Wine Tasting by Foot, Bicycle or Train First-time […]
It’s a misconception that screw caps go with cheap, poor quality wine albeit a hard one to overcome since Baby Boomers associate these with the cheap wine of their youth. Actually, there is no technical reason wines with a screw cap won’t age as well or better than those with a cork. Needless to say, the cork industry and those wine producers that use cork in their bottling process would like consumers to believe otherwise. According to the Press Democrat, a Sonoma County paper, Northern California Wine Country wineries conducted a “…$300,000 campaign on local radio and Facebook where area wineries such as […]
The Wine in Your Glass Starts Here
As with most of our food and drink, we buy it at the market with little to no thought about how it got there. It’s been interesting for us to understand wine as an agricultural product; grapes grown in vineyards that are planted, tended with care, harvested and then taken through a process that culminates as the wine you enjoy in your glass. If you visit the wine country this time of year, it’s glorious. While vines have been pruned in January, so are generally still without leaves, in between the rows of vines are beautiful colors of green grass […]
Secret Wine Santa in February?
An anonymous woman in San Francisco’s East Bay is gifting unsuspecting restaurant-goers with great wine! The “Secret Somm” is out and about in Danville, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon, Dublin, Amador, Livermore and San Ramon, otherwise known as the Bay Area’s Tri Valley. Some of you “boomers” may remember the old TV show called “The Millionaire” in which a wealthy man dropped a million dollars on a regular guy. Secret Somm conjures that up, albeit not at the same dollar amount by any means! Nice thought though. If I lived in the Tri Valley area I’d start eating out more!
You are of course starting to scratch your head and maybe even wring your hands. “What am I going to get my sweetie for Valentine’s Day?” you ask. It won’t surprise you that we have a great idea for you! Order your Snob Free Wine Tasting Companion, Wine Smart in a Day now and you can both enjoy wine tasting on an outing to a winery or at home. If you’re thinking of adding wine and chocolate to your book gift, go for it! It’s truly delicious! Here’s a simple, Snob Free guide to pairing the two. With White Chocolate […]
Visiting Bay Area Wineries: Tour Guide Tips
Napa and Sonoma counties in Northern California are the hub of wine making in the U.S. Considered part of the San Francisco Bay area, Napa in particular, with roughly 500 wineries, is a destination for four million visitors a year. Though many visitors – whether from the surrounding Bay Area or from out of town – may like to be spontaneous in their excursions to wineries, it pays to give some thought ahead of time to which wineries you’re going to visit. Based on his experience as a tour guide in Napa and Sonoma, Andy Hyman, Snob Free Wine Tasting […]
Wine Tasting Tips from Napa Pros
When trying new wines, use these steps to engage all of your senses in the experience. 1. View the color of the wine in your glass. Taking a few seconds to view the wine in your glass is an important step in anticipating what you are about to taste. We unconsciously do this with all our food and drink; we anticipate what we are about to consume. Viewing wine may make you think about citrus, berries, tropical fruits or tree fruits and set the stage for what you will taste. 2. Swirl wine in the glass. There is a practical […]
Snob Free Wine Tasting Companion Ready to Roll!
Cheers! After over a year of arduous work, Snob Free Wine Tasting Companion, Wine Smart in a Day, (Napa & Sonoma Edition) is available for sale. We’ve acknowledged numerous folks in our book who were so very helpful along the way however one person who simply must be thanked here is Lynda Banks, our book designer. Without her…well, you’ll see. Her talent shapes every page. The first hundred copies have sold and we’ve gotten great feedback about the humor and ease of reading. Three of our friends said they read the whole book in one sitting and discovered a lot they didn’t know about […]