Category: Wine

wine reviews, wine events, and all things wine related

This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: August 2—August 7

Happy Saturday all. Hope you don’t mind, I took a few days off following my birthday/WSET Diploma Level 1 exam…extravaganza weekend. But I have, of course, been keeping up with the latest wine (and food) news. So let’s take a look at what’s going on lately.

Locally, Sonoma (finally) has implemented fines for breaching (what I call) COVID-courtesies. So mask up if you’re coming up to Wine Country or pay the price—literally. In spite of that, a common phrase around here is, “The grapes don’t know there’s a pandemic.” True enough, and harvest has officially kicked off. If you’re in the industry getting ready for harvest, be sure to check out the Wine Institute’s harvest protocols webinar materials. Also of interest my industry readers may be Nielsen’s latest data on COVID impacts on on-premise sales and UC Davis’s white paper on developments in remedying smoke-tainted grapes.

Looking around the world, Japan has a fun new canopy management situation; Portugal is making waves as a leader in the fight against climate change; and the quality of the Chinese wine-scene may be on the rise.

And don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs for some independent insight and fun, including a top 16 list of the best wine-related documentaries to watch.

Lastly, on a personal note, if you haven’t seen the latest in my video series with Wine Industry Network, check out my interviews with Dry Creek Vineyard President, Kim Stare Wallace, and Tablas Creek General Manager/Proprietor, Jason Haas. More to come, so keep your stations tuned to WIN.

And I have received a few inquiries about my posts chronicling my WSET journey. I’ve pulled them down for now—the goal is to edit and consolidate for clarity and organization. So if you are/were looking for those or wondering what the story is, that’s it. I’ll try to get them back up if/when I can. Thank you for your patience with that.

That’s all for now. Hope everyone’s doing well. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment, write me a note, connect with me on social. Would be nice to hear from you.



This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: July 26—July 31

Happy weekend my friends. I’m going to keep my intro here pretty short because, as you may or may not know, tomorrow is my birthday. My birthday present: sitting my first WSET Diploma Exam. Wish me luck.

For those of you following along on my WSET Exam-Type Questions series, never fear. These will continue for a few more weeks, as I’ve written out several that still need to be posted.

Regarding current events, the food and wine industry (like so many others) continues to be in a state of flux. COVID cases continue to rise here in wine country, as with the rest of the country. Tariff drama remains. US alcohol shipping laws seem to be going sideways. And the fight to create and celebrate a more diverse professional food and wine industry continues.

Scroll through. There’s some fun stuff too. Veraison in Lodi’s looking good. There’s some new wine literature for your fellow wine geeks. Take a photo tour of Sicily. And anybody want some tennis shoes made from wine? Here yah go.

Enjoy your weekend reads. Stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind.



Delfino Farms’ Edio Vineyards New Releases: Primitivo and Albariño

I always love when I discover new-for-me wineries. But in this case, it’s pretty much a new-for-everybody winery.

You may have heard of Delfino Farms, they’ve been around since the 1960s (under the name Kids Incorporated until 2017). Edio and Joan Delfino founded the business, along with their seven children. Today, second generation Chris Delfino and his four children, Christine, Peter, Benjamin, and Derek own and run the family enterprise.

So, where does wine fit in? According to the Delifino family, founder Edio grew up amongst the vines of St. Helena, studied agriculture in Cal Poly, which is what ultimately brought him to El Dorado County, where the family farm thrives today. Up until recently, it’s been all about apples—fresh apples, apple pie, apple cider. But in 2018, the Delfino’s celebrated their first vintage of wine grape harvest—an occasion that also celebrates the return to the family’s “original” agriculture endeavor. “Dedicated to our hardworking, intelligent, strong, sharp, and driven father and grandfather, Edio Delfino, an inspiration to his entire family.”

Thank you to Christine and the whole Delfino family for sharing this first vintage with me.


A Bite of Bourgogne: Wine Reviews

A few weeks ago I participated in a virtual “getaway” to Bourgogne. My tour and tasting was lead by the always energetic award-winning sommelier and “virtual experience guru” Belinda Chang, along with expert Bourgogne consultant Anette Hanami. We also had a few guest speakers native to the region, including Anne Moreau from the Domaine Louis Moreau.

Of course, a virtual media tour is nothing like the real deal. But the event, hosted by Sopexa, was not just a lively discussion on Bourgogne as a whole, but a detailed breakdown of region’s nuanced classification system.

To discuss everything we learned would take several lengthy posts. So, I’m not going to do that. But what I do want to share are the two wines I received in conjunction with this event. In order to divide Bourgogne into digestible parts, we were split into “teams,” each of which focused on a separate region. I, along with three other women in wine, was on team Hautes Côtes de Beaune. The following two wines are just a small sip of what I experienced during Soprexa‘s “Escape to Bourgogne.”



This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: July 19—July 24

Time for my weekly newsy catch-up. Hopefully you all are staying safe and smart out there. If you’re in wine country, you’ll be forced to be: The Press Democrat reports that Sonoma will soon join its fellow North Bay county neighbors and start implementing fines for those not adhering to COVID-courtesy rules. This includes folks not wearing masks as well as businesses not enforcing the proper protocol for employees and consumers. If you are a California tasting room and are not sure just what rules apply to you, the California Wine Institute has put together a list of tasting room re-opening resources just for you. And if any of this gets you down, check out this photo reel of 150 years of Sonoma picnics.

On the other side of the country, Wine Spectator reports on how New York tasting rooms are coping with their new re-opening rules and regulations dictated by Governor Cuomo. Meanwhile in Ohio, wineries have actually seen boost in business. But, sadly, an Ohio winery event has been linked to a virus outbreak.

Oh, and you know what else has seen a boom in the age of corona? Weed.

Over in the blogosphere, check out Jason Haas’s letter opposing the looming wine tariffs. In that same post is a link where you can send in your oppositional vote as well. And, once again, it looks like there are a few posts that seem to be “speaking to each other:” Eric Asimov talks about his connection to nature and the outside world being the “greatest thing my job has ever given me.” (Personal note: As a wine journalist myself, I agree and relate to 100% to this piece.) Tim Atkins’ Margaret Rand talks about experiencing wine from an artistic point of view. And, meanwhile, Tim Gaiser gives us tips on logical, deductive wine tasting. Which point of view do you most relate to?

There’s loads more to read. So, scroll through, have some fun.

That’s all from me for now. Have a wonderful weekend.