Category: Wine

wine reviews, wine events, and all things wine related

Rutherford Ranch 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

I know what I just said about not often being in the mood for a Cabernet Sauvignon. Maybe it’s the temperament of the times, or maybe because “tis the season to rosé all day and sip white wine on the porch,” and I’m nothing if not a wine rebel. Hah. Anyway, the mood struck me for a classic Cabernet. And by “classic,” I mean a wine that is in keeping with its varietal character, in keeping with the stylistic expectations of the region—and so not fancy. Because, Friday, you know? Well, that’s when I reach for good old reliable Rutherford Ranch estate Cabernet.


J. Lohr 2018 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon

I was just in the mood for a Cab. That mood doesn’t strike me often, so when it does I want something deliciously reliable. Luckily I had just received a shipment of new releases from J. Lohr that included their Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. Done deal.

Photo Courtesy of J. Lohr

P.S. I didn’t pair this wine with a burger (though that’s a fab idea). I actually paired it with a pizza (also a fab idea—especially if you like a bit of peppery heat on your pie.)


Emeritus Vineyards 2017 Pinot Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

Last year, I was able to tasted the 2015 vintage of this very wine. This year, I’ve been able to reconnect with Emeritus, attending their bi-monthly webinar series, specifically catered to wine professionals. President Mari Jones, along with vineyard manager Kirk Lokka and winemaker David Lattin deep dive into how and why soil, climate, and clones, along with viticultural management practices, all effect the resulting wine.

So while I obviously enjoyed the Pinot Hill Pinot Noir last year, and even had a personal kind of geek-out on their vineyard location, this year I have a whole new level of appreciation. Education, man. It does something to you…

I also want to note that I enjoyed this wine as part of my date-night-in anniversary dinner. We paired the wine with a dish we simply call “Forbes.” The close-up picture of this dish is below the wine review. PM me if you want to know what it is 😉


This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: May 23—29

Holy frijoles there’s a lot that went on this past week. So much so that I had to break this little newsletter into sections. We start with a little COVID round up of what’s going on here in wine country. Yes, businesses are attempting to reopen, but it’s not as glamorous as all that. There’s confusion about county regulations in Napa, and Sonoma’s health advisor is putting the breaks on California’s “Phase 3.” And she’s not wrong to do so: The Sonoma Index Tribune reports that 134 new cases were uncovered in Sonoma County the week between May 19 and May 26 – rising from 390 cases to 524. The outbreak was traced back to workplace outbreaks, one of which was a winery.

In Food news, Eater asks who are restaurants really opening for? As eateries attempt to service guests on decks, patios, and other outdoor areas, there aren’t a whole lot of folks interested in dining out at the moment. Understandable.

The L.A. Times reports about Vernon meatpacking plant where at least 153 have come down with COVID-19. The facility has been shutdown for now. But if you’re thinking, “Well, I’m better off with seafood anyway,” the S.F. Chronicle discusses how last weekend’s fire at Fisherman’s Wharf is effecting the seafood industry.

A few other anecdotes from around the world: It seems like Scotland’s wine drinking culture may date back even further than originally thought. British Columbia is considering Pinot Noir as its regional grape. Italy finally created a DOC for rosé Prosecco. And the U.S. may follow the E.U.’s footsteps in ingredient labeling on wine bottles.

Of course don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs where Mike Veseth discusses the trend away from premiumization in the wine industry, while Tim Atkins features a piece by Christy Canterbury, MW about how to define and buy “fine wine.” There’s a few other goodies in the blogs for you as well that I’ll let you discover on your own. And do NOT miss Eric Asimov‘s piece about a wine lover’s battle with the olfactory-inhibiting coronavirus.



This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: May 17—22

Good Saturday morning! Here are some of the latest wine-related news (including a piece by yours truly) and blog posts I’ve been reading this week. A little overview of what you can find: For those of you who are feeling a little wander-lusty, it seems that Italy plans to reopen its borders starting in June. But how welcome will the U.S. be? This report from Japan Today gives Americans a realistic perspective on what relationships between Asia and Europe mean for potential travel. And if you think that’s a bummer for those who travel for leisure, check out what it means for traveling winemaker Nick Goldschmidt.

Of course we can always travel vicariously via wine—but your wine bottles out of the E.U. may start to look a little different.

Here at home, it looks like Sonoma County may start to see a slow, cautious re-opening of local businesses, including wineries and tasting rooms. (I just ask that if you do decide to visit my hometown, please be respectful of all the rules and regulations put in place. Thank you.) Oregon, on the other hand, seems to be going at it a bit more aggressively.

And of course don’t forget to check out the Blogs below. We’ve got some great opinion pieces, some wine science, and more. Cheers!