Blogs from Napa Valley, California, United States, North America


I love this short video. Wine Clip: Why I Drink ChampagneKaren MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible and editor of WineSpeed, tells you about the reasons why she drinks Champagne. For ... read more
Domaine Carneros, another favorite

North America » United States » California » Napa Valley January 22nd 2021

Tan-fastic: Tannin in wine provides two things: structure and ageability. Found in the grape’s skins, seeds, and stems, tannin is a natural preservative. Red wines, with considerably more tannin than white, can thus age longer. Tannins belong to a class of complex compounds called phenols, powerful antioxidants. Some scientists believe that antioxidants offer a way to also slow fresh food spoilage by reacting with chemicals that cause oxidation. Paul Kilmartin, a professor of wine chemistry at New Zealand’s University of Auckland, discovered that plastics impregnated during the manufacturing process with discarded grape solids retained the tannin's antioxidant benefits. Testing their effect on packaging for various edible oils, Kilmartin was able to extend the oil’s shelf life up to 30%. Yes, thirty three of the wo... read more
The big wine fires
Smoke taint is real.

From Winespeed: While in the Army and stationed near Fresno during WW II, Joe Heitz got a part-time job at Italian Swiss Colony in Asti, Sonoma County. After getting bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of California at Davis after the War, Joe worked under the legendary André Tchelistcheff at Beaulieu Vineyard. In 1961, he left to start Heitz Cellars. Five years later, in 1966, he made the first famous vineyard-designated Napa Valley wine—Heitz “Martha’s Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville’s “Martha’s Vineyard,” owned by Tom and Martha May. When it was released, the 1966 Heitz Cellars “Martha’s Vineyard” was $7 a bottle—an astronomical price since Heitz’s regular cabernet sauvignon, released just three years earlier, was only $1.99 a bottle. Tucked against the Mayacamas mountains on the west side of Oakville, Martha’s Vineyard i... read more
Red wine for your health
Buy the Wine Bible

This was a rude awakening to me, but makes sense. From Karen at Winespeed: Amount (in U.S.$) that a restaurant dish’s price rises ($0.18) for every increase of one letter in the average length of words describing that dish. Now that restaurants are cautiously reopening, you can check it out for yourself. According to Dan Jurafsky, author of the James Beard book award finalist The Language of Food, "When a restaurant uses longer words to describe a dish, it charges more for the dish.” Jurafsky is also professor and chair of linguistics and professor of computer science at Stanford.More startling numbers: Humans metabolize alcohol 40 times faster than other primates, according to a new study, published last month in the journal Biology Letters. According to the study, humans produce an enzyme called... read more
Titos, numero uno!
Only three??

OK, all of you chardonnay sippers out there, beware! We can all use a little bit more wine knowledge than we already think we have. Do you need it to enjoy wine? No. But would you like to be slightly more knowledgeable than your average "Two Buck Chuck" neighbor or friend who seems like a "know-it-all"? Here are some wine basics: It takes about 2.8 pounds of grapes to make one bottle of wine. Over 21 million people visit the California wine country each year. Ninety per cent (90%) of the wine... read more
Oregon grapes
To red wine health

We can always learn more about the wine we love. Thanks to Karen at Winespeed for her research and webpage.What is the exact genetic offspring of a mother vine called? The noun “clone” refers to plants of the same species that have identical physical characteristics. The DNA of a grapevine is not stagnant, so in Nature, clones emerge and evolve as the result of natural genetic mutations taking place over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. A grape variety may have many clones (like pinot noir), or relatively few (like sauvignon blanc). Two different clones of the same grape variety may taste remarkably different. Clone is also a verb. In viticulture, “to clone” means to propagate a group of vines from a “mother” vine that has desirable characteristics. These characteristics may include qualities ... read more
Real name for wire cage?
Domaine Chandon in Yountville

Vino things you probably never thought of. If you did, you might be a lot like me? • In 1801, Thomas Jefferson spent 12% of his $25,000 Presidential salary on wine.• There are over 5,000 wine grape varieties in the world—many of which have multiple names.• The Book of Jonah is the url= read more
Barrels for the winemaker
Love those corks

North America » United States » California » Napa Valley February 24th 2020

I read this interesting little tidbit about alcohol consumption: ... read more
Pure malts, love them!

Wednesday March 1, 2017 As I said yesterday "wine related it will be". I had never imagined how much wine it would be. Not that we drank a lot, but being in Napa Valley, everything seems to gear around wine. Wineries and wine tasting opportunities all over the place. Really impressive!! It had one major drawback nevertheless, finding a good cup of coffee is difficult. The only wine tasting we participated in was in a real medieval castle "castello di amaroso" in the town of Calistoga. Very interesting and very well done. It was built by the owners of The Castello winery in 1993, using raw materials brought from Europe. The rest of the day we toured around and finally ended up n Sonoma, apparently the hart of the Napa Valley. In line what we did ... read more

North America » United States » California » Napa Valley February 28th 2017

Tuesday February 28, 2017 We started again where we had left off, sort off that is. Our world tour was interrupted last year in New Zealand and we traveled back to the US, where we ended up spending time in the area of Los Angeles. Now we have started again, but did so in San Fransciso. A very early rise to get the "red eye" flight at 7.30 out of Miami to San Francisco, which meant that we had to get up at 4.45. "What do you mean vacation?" We went of to a bad start, leaving home and entering the highway, a simple question brought a brief spel of panic: "Did you bring the passports?" You guesed the answer: they were in my backpack sitting on the couch at home. Luckily the question was popped ... read more

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