Monday, December 21, 2009

To Print or not to Print? That is the Question.

The Board of Sonoma County Vintners have begun discussions on requiring wineries in Sonoma County to print "Sonoma County" on their labels in addition to the sub-appellation, which is currently listed. The benefit is getting more exposure wherever Sonoma County wines are sold. Napa Valley made this move a while ago. Personally, I view Napa Valley as the Disneyland of wine countries. Not to say there aren't great wines being produced within Napa Valley but the wine tasting experience can be very different. Napa is busy, can be more expensive and have larger brand names attached. Sonoma, still has a family owned and operated feel. The tasting experience in Sonoma tends to be more personal, a slower pace, more relaxing and becomes more of an adventure as you seek out the smaller wineries. Knowing this, I spend a lot more time in Sonoma and really enjoy it. I will admit from working in the industry, no matter how many times you say "Sonoma" with regards to a winery's location, some people still ask, "Is that in Napa?"

I agree, distinguishing Sonoma from Napa is important but if the Board of Vintners require Sonoma County to be on the the label, my concern is it is only a matter of time before Sonoma becomes the Disneyworld of wine country. There is no doubt that there will be a long road of discussions before a decision is made. I say, proceed with caution. The right consumers who currently enjoy Sonoma wines are aware of the sub-AVAs and their significance. If not, the consumers who are truly interested will be the ones to approach the Internet, Google what they are drinking and learn more about it. The curiosity to learn more is what will drive consumers to indulge in the region and attract the right consumers who are more likely to become long term devotes to Sonoma County. Could there be other more innovative was to capture and educate on Sonoma County wines?

I be will following the discussions and outcome of this decision. More to come.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another Favorite Wine Quote:

"What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile."

~William Sokolin

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Detour: Single Malt Scotch

Yes, this is a Wine Blog but from time to time, I will find liquor and cocktails worth mentioning. For instance, last night, I had the privilege of tasting The Dalmore, King Alexander III Single Malt Highland Scotch. It retails between $220-$250, well worth the hefty price tag.

Matured in 6 different casks including French wine casks, Maderia drums, sherry butts from Jerez, Scilian marsala barrels, port pipes from Douro and bourbon barrels from Kentucky, this scotch leaves you feeling warm and comforted. On the palate there is a little peat, citrus, vanilla and finishes exceptionally smooth.

Most definitely one of the best single malt Scotches I have ever tried. Time to start saving!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bitch Bubbly

I came across "Bitch" wine a few years ago at my local grocery store. It caught my eye because:

A) It is wine
B) It has a pink label and
C)'s called "Bitch!"

Originating in Australia by winemaker Chris Ringland, this wine is made from Grenache and retails for around $10. This is the perfect wine for a girls night or when you are flat out feeling like know! It also serves as a great dinner wine, not too heavy, not to light with lots of fruit.

With the recent release of, "Bitch Sparkling," made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, I can't wait to get the girls together and test this out!

Tasting Notes to Come!!