Winemakers

Santa Lucia Highlands

California’s Overlooked Treasure: Santa Lucia Highlands

Photo by Frank Gutierrez, Wagner Family of Wine Right smack dab in the middle of the state of California sits the Santa Lucia Highlands in the massive Salinas valley—California’s prime agricultural region located 20 miles southeast of Monterey between the Gabilan and Santa Lucia mountain ranges. They grow everything there from lettuce to raspberries, and chances are your local grocery…

Opus One

Opus One: The Evolution of an Icon Pt. 2

When I told some friends I was going to visit Opus One on my birthday they scoffed. “Ooooh, GOD! They are sooo pretentious there!” they said. “Don’t forget to kiss the ring on the way in”. I brought my Mom and Mrs. B along for the ride because, hey, it was my birthday. Not sure what experience others had at…

opus one

Opus One: The Evolution of an Icon pt. 1

Twenty years ago if you were in a restaurant and ordered a bottle of Opus One you were important. You were a fine wine connoisseur and you liked the best. Opus One raised the bar for Napa Valley and for domestic wine. If you were drinking Opus One you were drinking a regal wine that presidents and diplomats held in…

barrymorepg

5 Wine Trends to Watch in 2013

Sweet and Flavored Wine Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you talk to) Chocolate flavored wine caught on in 2011. Americans love sugar—we were raised on Coca-Cola and Kool-Aid. Anyone who’s tried the South Beach diet knows there’s sugar running rampant through our food supply from Ketchup to Cereals and “non-fat” packaged goods like yogurt. Our craving for sweetness has…

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The Winner of the Houston Rodeo Wine Competition Is…

After two days of blind tasting wines at the Houston Rodeo Wine Competition, the Grand Champion has been announced. I was invited to be one of about a hundred judges (including fellow sommelier friends Bill Elsey and June Rodil from Austin) tasked with judging assigned flights of wine served blind. This was my first year, but there are some judges…

Mondavi

If Robert Mondavi Were Alive Today

“Indeed enjoying fine wine at the family table, surrounded by your loved ones and friends, was not just joy – it was one of the highest forms of the art of living” – Robert Mondavi.   It’s hard to believe it’s been four years already since Robert Mondavi’s passing. Yet, his legacy is going strong. Mrs B. and I only…

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3 Northwest Wineries to Discover

2010 was a classic vintage in Oregon and Washington. As the wines from the vintage start to enter the market, wine lovers might feel like a kid in a candy store with all the choices of what to buy. Here’s a few brands you may or may not have heard of, but are worth discovering. “2010 was the best vintage…

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An Afternoon at Saintsbury in Napa Valley

You’d think a Napa winery that has been around for almost thirty years would have a big tasting room for tourists to pile into by the bus load. For many visitors to Napa, stepping into large tasting rooms give the immediate impression of a cash cow. Have you seen our club? We have a wine club. Join our club. Subscribe…

wine barrels being toasted

HOW Wine Barrels are Made and Toasted

Wine Barrels & Toasting On a recent visit to Australia’s Barossa Valley, I had a chance to stop by Yalumba and see how wine barrels were made and prepared for the winemaking process. Yalumba is one of the few wineries in the world with their own cooperage on-site. This gives the winemaking team more control over quality, price and the…

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