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PamelaF

Digest San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section

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Hello All,

After consulting with Marlene and JAZ, it we decided to also post a digest of the SF Chronicle's Thursday Wine section.

The wine section includes feature articles on California wineries, wine industry news and trends, tasting notes, and tasting room reviews.

Crossing over from the Food section, there is a weekly column on wine and food pairing, with recipes, and a weekly cheese column.

Enjoy!

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, December 16, 2004

Clink to a fine Drink, special to the Chronicle by Steve Pitcher

Grower-made Champagnes are an attractive, and affordable, alternative to the big names.

Prices of grower Champagnes are reasonable compared to the big name brands for a number of reasons.

"The big houses go through layers of markup, which accounts for their prices," Westby says. "And it's mass-produced wine -- good wine, to be sure -- but mass-produced."

Also, the grandes marques spend lots of money on promotion and advertising, which must be recouped somewhere, says Mark Mitchell, manager of D & M Wine and Liquor Co. in San Francisco. "Grower-producers don't have these expenses," Mitchell says. "They leave it up to their importers to do the marketing and sales. And the growers have an incentive to keep prices low -- they see it as a means of cracking the U.S. market."

Theise writes, "In Champagne there are more than 2,000 vintners who live solely from the wine they grow, produce and bottle. They do not belong to co- ops, nor sell any portion of their fruit to the grandes marques."

You don't have to be an expert to spot a grower Champagne, provided you know the code. Usually found in the lower right-hand corner of the front label (in tiny print), two initials preceding some numbers provide the key. A bottle marked "RM" (for Recoltant-Manipulant) or "SR" (for Societe de Recoltants) signifies that there is an actual person, or family, behind the wine in the bottle, and that the grapes came from the producer's own vineyard(s); it's estate-bottled Champagne.

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: 27 vintage and nonvintage Brut Grower Champagnes

Disgorgement date fesses up to a wine’s age, Linda Murphy

Books, Linda Murphy

“The Home Wine Cellar: A Complete Guide to Design and Construction”, by Perry Sims

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: The Kew Club using Orangerie whisky.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Crab paired with sparkling wine

Recipe:

Crab, Avocado & Blood Orange Salad

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Rogue River Blue matches with pears, dried fruit, nuts and dessert wines.

Bring on the bling – rappers give Cristal and Hennessy street cred, special to the Chronicle by Natalie MacLean

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

The Wine Institute petitions for a change in vintage labeling requirements . . . St. Helena Vinicultural Society is re-forming . . . and more.

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

Party wines $6 - $10

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, December 23, 2004

Silky smooth with a floral bouquet, the charm of older Napa Cabernet, special to the Chronicle by Thom Elkjer

Cabernet has been king for decades, there's a lot of it, and there are stellar producers for every taste. Furthermore, there's a lively trade in older Cabernet, not just in restaurants but in auction houses, on the Internet, and increasingly in high-end retail shops. It's out there, and you're more likely to encounter it than anything else. Even people who tell me they don't like Cabernet coo with delight when I serve them one that's reached silky, violet-scented maturity. So when the moment comes to go back in time, catch a Cab.

The next rule is to stick with estate wines that come from one place, not a mix of multiple places. Estate wines come from the winery's best vineyards, the ones that have proven themselves over time, and receive correspondingly attentive care from winemakers. That's why selecting the estate is more important than knowing the personalities of past vintages.

"If you like a particular estate's wine, then there's no such thing as a bad year," says Doug Shafer, president of Shafer Vineyards in Napa.  . . .

"It's not the year, it's the age of the wine," says vintner Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena in Calistoga. "We tell people they can drink our estate Cabernet for the first year or two after we release it, and then to wait another five years before they touch it again." At that point, the wine should be 10 years old, which he describes as "when the magic begins." . . .

Five years on, according to winemakers, the biggest Napa Cabs may go into a "closed" phase where both the aromas and flavors seem muted, muddied, or simply missing in action. That's why Bo Barrett urges his customers to avoid drinking his best wine between five and 10 years of age, and why wines from a supposedly killer vintage (think 1997) can be disappointing if consumed at the wrong time.

The article also includes notes on vertical tastings of some well known Napa Cabs and tips for buying and drinking the wine.

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: 31 Napa Valley Cabernets from 2000 and 2001 over $50.

Bargain Wines, special to the Chronicle by Leslie Sbrocco

Sparkling wines from around the world for $8 - $12.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

Chalone Wine Group is sold . . . as is Byron Winery . . . Congress approves agricultural funds for fighting Pierce’s disease . . . and more

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Garlicky standing rib roast matches with Napa Cabernet.

Recipes:

Best Way Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib)

Roasted Garlic Pan Sauce

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Pecorino Toscano pairs well with pears or fennel and Chianti Classico, or a California Sangiovese.

Uncorked, Carol Emert

Interview with Boz Scaggs, who has owned property in the Mayacamas Mountains for several years and will launch a wine brand next year.

Carol Emert also announces that she is changing careers and will be leaving the Chronicle.

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, December 30, 2004

A ‘Sideways’ glance at 2004, W. Blake Gray

An “interview” with Jack and Miles about the major wine trends of 2004.

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti declares 2002 a fine vintage,special to the Chronicle by Gerald D. Boyd

Includes notes on DRC wines from 2002

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

California brut sparkling wines are paired with appetizers.

Recipe:

Pâté & Pear Crostini

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: 31 vintage and nonvintage California brut sparkling wines from $14 - $50

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Stilton pairs with nuts and port, or an Amontillado sherry.

Low yield and good quality characterize California’s 2004 harvest, W. Blake Gray

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Organized Chaos using Elisir M.P. Roux liqueur.

Bargain Wines, Carol Emert

Premium bag-in-box wines, 3 liters, $15 - $25

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, January 6, 2005

Chilly Dreams, Dan Berger

Joseph Phelps Vineyard takes a chance on Pinot Noir at Freestone, in a cold-weather region of western Sonoma County. Also, a sidebar article on some of the biodynamic farming practices that are being used at Freestone.

Phelps has spent a cool $25 million on the project, and bills are still rolling in. So I asked [winemaker Craig] Williams for a gut reaction to it.

"Well," Williams said slowly, "I don't see many benefits and I do see lots of drawbacks." Not a ringing endorsement, but the payoff -- if it happens -- could be one of the finest Pinot Noirs made in California.

Spirits, Doug Frost

A look at the history of rum.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Mushrooms and eggplant present two options for pairing full-bodied Cabernets with something other than the expected meat dishes.

Recipe:

Vegetable-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: 27 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons over $50

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Soumaintrain is a washed rind cheese from Burgundy that pairs well with marc de Bourgogne or, for a lighter option, an Alsatian-style Pinot Gris.

Bargain Wines, Carol Emert

More bag-in-box wines, 3 liters from $10 - $32/

The Tasting Room, W. Blake Gray

Martinelli Vineyards and Winery in Windsor, Sonoma County A rustic exterior and causal tasting room hide the elegant wines of well-known winemaker Helen Turley.

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, January 13, 2005

Oakland to Auckland, Linda Murphy

A profile of former Ravenswood assistant winemaker, John Kemble, who moved to New Zealand in 1992 to start his own winery.

Farmers say extra ‘hang time’ for grapes costs them money, Dan Berger

Winemakers seeking grapes that hang on the vine weeks longer than they did in the past and growers who believe they're losing money by this practice met in almost equal numbers on neutral ground in St. Helena on Monday.

Roughly 570 winemakers and grapegrowers filled the Native Sons of the Golden West hall in St. Helena Monday to hear five world-renowned grapevine experts talk about the effects of hang time on today's wines.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

January 26 – 30 is Zinfandel Appreciation Week in San Francisco . . . DeLoach Winery is sold . . . the wine industry helps with tsunami relief . . . and more.

World View, Jancis Robinson

Are European wineries giving up geographic authenticity for “designer” labels and brand names?

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Pear Martini using Belle de Brillet liqueur

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Duck can pair well with many different types of red wine.

Recipe:

Pomegranate & Tea-Braised Duck with Pasta

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections:

22 New Zealand Red Wines $15 - $70

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Grano Padano from Italy is very versatile and can pair with sparkling wine, fino sherry, full-bodied reds or even dessert wines.

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

A selection of whites and reds from California, Australia and Argentina, all $10 or less.

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, January 20, 2005

Peasant Turns Prince, Steve Pitcher

New DNA information about the origins of the Petite Sirah grape is helping to increase its popularity.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

Gallo acquires Barefoot Cellars . . layoffs at Mondavi . . . new USDA heath guidelines call wine “beneficial” . . and more.

Spirits, Richard Carleton Hacker

Vintage port that is ready drink now.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Lamb pairs well with Petite Sirah.

Recipe:

Lightly Spiced Lamb with Dried Figs

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: 14 California Petite Sirahs (2000 – 2003) priced from $10 to $50.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

l’Edel de Cleron, is a pasteurized version of the famous Vacherin raw milk cheese. Because the cheese is pasteurized it can legally be imported to the U.S. This soft-ripened cheese pairs well with Pinot Noir, or with a Riesling when it is fully ripened.

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, January 27, 2005

Over a Barrel, W. Blake Gray

A profile of Germain-Robin, maker of high quality brandy in Mendocino County since 1982.

Today the company uses only grapes from Mendocino County, which Coale and Hubert both say is the perfect terroir for brandy makers.

"Mendocino County will be 100 degrees during the day and 55 at night," Coale says. "Heat develops flavor, but cool maintains acidity. Acidity is really great for distillation. The reason Spanish and Mexican brandies are flabby in the back of your mouth is they're hot-climate grapes. There's no acidity."

Germain-Robin buys some of its Pinot Noir from sparkling wine producer Roederer Estate, a convenient arrangement because brandy makers and sparkling- wine makers both pick grapes earlier -- to get lower sugar levels and consequently less alcohol -- than still-wine makers.

"Pinot Noir is the best grape for brandy," Hubert says now. "It has the balance and the acidity. It's racy and elegant at the same time. Pinot Noir is very fascinating."

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

A new study finds that cork taint is found in 8 percent of bottles . . . news on direct shipping legislation in New York . . . and more.

The Tasting Room, W. Blake Gray

Graziano Family of Wines, no frills wine tasting in Hopland, Mendocino County.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with delicate, lemon-tinged white fish.

Recipe:

Petrale Sole Rolls with Cauliflower Puree

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: 11 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blancs (2002-2003) from $11 to $20.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Fiore Sardo, sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia, goes well after dinner with vin santo, Malvasia or amontillado sherry.

Bargain Wines, W. Blake Gray

Easy drinking reds for cold weather comfort. Merlot and Syrah from California, Washington, Australia and Italy, priced at $12 or less.

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, February 3, 2005

MoueiX Files, Linda Murphy

A profile of Christian Moueix, who has gone from famed Petrus in Bourdeaux to Dominus in Napa, after more than 20 years it is now known for its fine Cabernet Sauvignon.

"The climate is perfect to make wines of elegance. I love the soil and the jewel-box sort of valley. The gentle slope of 3 to 5 percent is perfect. I get no feeling from (vineyards on) hillsides and mountains, but I saw Napanook as perfect. It gave me a special feeling from the first day.

"We had the chance to make the (first-growth Bordeaux) Haut-Brion of Yountville; I knew that I should not miss the opportunity."

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

A world tour of reds and whites at $11 or less, from Washington, California, South Africa, Australia, Chile, Italy, Spain and France.

Letters to Wine

The Tasting Room, W. Blake Gray

A taste of the Rhone Rangers and the wild west at McDowell Wine & Mercantile in Hopland, Mendocino County.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Dog’s Nose using hot Guinness and gin

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Turkey sausage and aromatic vegetables pair with Merlot.

Recipes:

Vegetables, Pasta & Sausage in Broth

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections:

Tasting notes on 10 Sonoma County Merlots (2000 – 2003) priced from $11 to $42.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Raclette, with or without the traditional preparation, pairs well with Riesling or Pinot Gris.

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, February 10, 2005

Spain Reigns, Leslie Sbrocco

An overview of the regional wines of Spain.

Spanish wine has been transformed through a combination of factors including new technology, changing tastes and an infusion of winemaking talent. "By applying modern techniques to working with a wealth of interesting indigenous grape varietals, a new generation of winemakers is creating beautifully crafted wines"

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Oysters and sparkling wine, a natural choice for Valentine's Day. Champagne for dessert too!

Recipes:

Oysters with Mignonette

Champagne Sabayon with Rasberry Puree

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Blanc de Noir and Brut Rose sparkling wines. Tasting notes for domestic and imported wines, one group under $40, another group over $40.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Crottin de Cavignol pairs with Sancerre when young, red wine when older.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Jamaica Farewell using rum and apricot brandy.

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

An mix of unusual varietals, sparkling wine, and sweet sherry under $15.

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, February 17, 2005

Perfect Partners Beer & Cheese, Janet Fletcher

Theories aside, beer excels with cheese because of the harmonies and contrasts the beverage brings to the match.

"It's rare to find wines that echo any flavors in cheese," says Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of New York's Brooklyn Brewery and author of "The Brewmaster's Table" (HarperCollins, 2003). A nutty aged Gouda might find a complement in sherry, he admits, but dry table wines largely lack the nut and caramel aromas found in aged cheeses, aromas plentiful in malty beers like nut- brown ales, stouts and porters.

"With wine, you're almost always working just with contrasts," says Oliver. "That's not as satisfying as also working in some harmonies."

Bargain Wines, W. Blake Gray

Lively white wines for spring (and not a single chardonnay), all priced $10 and under.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Chardonnay and butter.

Recipe:

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Napa Valley Chardonnay (2001, 2002, 2003) priced from $13 to $50.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Bright orange Mimolette can pair with a spicy white such as Pinot Gris or a buttery Chardonnay.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

California’s white wine crush is down 7% for 2004 . . . packaging wine in aluminum . . reorganization at Stevenot . . and more.

Spirits, Natalie Kennedy

Featured cocktail: Bloody Mary

Recipes:

Bloody Mary Mix*

Michelada

Lemongrass & Thai Chile Infused Vodka

*There has been a correction to this recipe for Bloody Mary Mix, the correct amount of tomato juice is 2 quarts.

Beer of the Month, Linda Murphy

New Feature: Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, February 24, 2005

Knocked Sideways, W. Blake Gray

In less than 15 years, Merlot blossomed from a subservient blending partner for Cabernet Sauvignon to its current status as America's most popular red wine. Many oenophiles have turned up their noses since the mid-1990s, when "a glass of Merlot" became synonymous, for casual drinkers, with a glass of red wine. But sales never stopped rising, and Merlot passed Cabernet as America's best-selling red wine in 2000, according to the Wine Institute.

Now everything has changed, thanks to just two lines in the movie "Sideways." In a much-quoted scene, the wine snob character Miles tells his easygoing friend Jack before a double-date dinner: "If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am not drinking any f -- Merlot."

Suddenly, America's favorite red wine is also its most uncool.

Pinot Noir gets its close-up, W. Blake Gray

The author’s own top ten list of California Merlot

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

The courts are deciding what “Napa” means . . . new wine magazine “Saveur’s Wine Country” launches this summer . . . and more.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

A robust pork dish, with olive and caper flavors, pairs with rich and intense Napa Valley Merlot.

Recipe:

Wine & Tomato-Braised Pork Loin

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Napa Valley Merlot (2000, 2001, 2002) priced between $13 and $70.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Mt. Tam triple cream cheese from local Cowgirl Creamery pairs well with sparkling wine.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Aviation Cocktail using maraschino liqueur

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, March 10, 2005

Philosopher / Winemaker Paul Draper runs Ridge Vineyards with a different, broader bottom line, W. Blake Gray

As one of the most respected and long-tenured vintners in California, Draper's influence is felt in many ways, from the proliferation of single- vineyard designations to the idea of stewardship of land. And he neatly straddles the wine cultures of Europe and America. He's a longtime proponent of the American grape, Zinfandel, as well as of American oak barrels. Yet in the European style, he stresses balance and the taste of terroir over opulence.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Coco cocktail using Pisco brandy, chocolate liqueur and espresso

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Unusual flavors to pair with Napa Valley Cabernet.

Recipe:

Red Wine Vinegar & Dr. Pepper Marinade for Meat

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in the $30 - $50 range.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Ardrahan is a washed rind cheese from Ireland pairs with Irish Stout or amber ale.

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

This week's selections are from Argentina, Australia and California. All $10 or less.

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, March 17, 2005

Paradise by Design, Lynne Char Bennett

Profile of restaurateur Pat Kuleto’s Kuleto Estate Family Vineyards and the winery’s executive chef Janelle Weaver.

Kuleto makes wines to fit the foods he likes, by Linda Murphy

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

Unusual varietals that go well with food, all $10 or less.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

Wine & Spirits magazine list the most popular restaurant wine brands . . . and more.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Beef marinated in coffee and red wine pairs with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Recipe:

Kuleto Rib-Eye

The Chronicle's Wine Selections: More Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon in the $30 - $50 price range.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Bravo Farms in Visalia makes natural, raw-milk cheeses. Their Tulare Cannonball is an Edam-style cheese that pairs well with sherry and beer.

Spirits, Traci Barr

Tips for using ice properly with cocktails.

Beer of the Month, Linda Murphy

Smithwick's Irish Ale

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, March 24, 2005

Here, kitty kitty, Linda Murphy

A discussion of the terms used to describe the aromas in wine.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Anchovies add a deep “umami” flavor to dishes, this pairs well with a Sauvignon Blanc.

Recipe:

Kale & Lentils

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections:

Sauvignon Blanc (2003 & 2004) from Marlborough, New Zealand, priced from $10 - $23.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Tomme de Savoie pairs well with light wines like Riesling or Beaujolais.

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

Lots of choices from California and Australia, priced $6 - $10.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Romanza using Campari with grapefruit and orange flavors.

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, March 31, 2005

Alsatian Sensation, Steve Pitcher

The tradition in Alsace (pronounced Al-soss) is to make white wines -- mostly Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat -- in a dry style, which distinguishes them from their counterparts across the German border, where the great majority of Rieslings, for example, are slightly sweet.

Alsatian whites are pure, flavor-packed expressions of the fruit from which they are made, and thus of the earth in which that fruit is grown. Almost all are blessedly unencumbered by the wood-based flavors imparted by the use of new oak barrels for fermentation or aging.

And they are bargains compared to many other imported wines of comparable quality. The majority of Alsatian wines sold in this country cost less than $20.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Recipes:

Grapefruit & Jicama Salad

Candied Pecans

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: 2003 German Riesling: Trocken, Halbtrocken & Kabinett priced from $13 - $28.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Harvest Moon washed rind cheese from Colorado pairs well with high-acid Alsatian wines.

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

Wine documentary that excited France is out of balance 'Mondovino' plays on anti-globalization fears, W. Blake Gray

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, April 7, 2005

Lovable Rogue, Thom Elkjer

Profile of Carl Doumani, a Napa Valley fixture for 35 years.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Summertime Cocktail using blackberry liqueur

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

Napa Valley Grapegrowers released recommended grape pricing for 2005 . . . and more.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

German food pairs with German Riesling

Recipe:

Rhineland-Style Sauerbraten

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections:

2003 German Riesling: Spatlese, Auslese & Beerenauslese

Tasting notes on 36 wines priced from $13 to $75.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Harley Farms Monet, fresh goat cheese from Pescadero pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc.

Bargain Wines, W. Blake Gray

A mix of varietals, all $10 or less.

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, April 14, 2005

Kosher Keepers, W. Blake Gray

Wines for Passover.

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

California bargains, $10 or less.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

California Agricultural Statistics Service on varietal trends . . . grape prices . . . and more.

Spirits, Sonia Fuentes

St. George Spirits, a distillery with tasting room in Alameda that creates eau-de-vie, grappa and flavored vodka.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Recipe:

Roasted Halibut with Warm Citrus Herb Vinaigrette & Roasted Mixed Vegetables

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Kosher wines, tasting notes on 23 wines, priced from $8 to $45.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Marin French Cheese Co. wins a gold at the World Cheese Awards for Brie.

Beer of the Month, Linda Murphy

German dunkelweizen

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, April 21, 2005

Happily above par, Linda Murphy

Profile of Arnold Palmer who has recently released wines with his own label, made at Luna Vineyards in Napa.

Sidebar: Athletes and wine

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

Wine sales and prices are increasing . . . Symington declares 2003 vintage port . . . and more.

Bargain Wines, W. Blake Gray

A few Pinot Noirs, Reisling, Rioja and "Jest Pink", all $10 or less.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Italian sausage and peppers are a good match for simple blended reds.

Recipe:

Sausage Sandwich

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Miscellaneous California red blends, tasting notes on 15 wines priced from $9 to $43.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: The Rembrandt using genever gin and Drambuie.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Spanish Murcia cheese pairs well with Amontillado sherry.

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, April 28, 2005

Take my wine . . . S’il vous plait, W. Blake Gray

Can France continue to rely on its past glory to sell wine?

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Asparagus and Sauvignon Blanc

Recipe:

Asparagus Soup with Garlic-Parmesan Crostini

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Eleven New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs from outside of the Marlborough region, priced from $24 to $14.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Pecorino Pepato, a bold cheese with black peppercorns can make spaghetti cacao e pepe and pairs well with dry white wines like Frascati.

Spirits, Amanda Gold

A review of “Mambo Mixers” by Arlen Gargagliano, a book on Latin cocktails.

Recipes:

Chilean Strawberry Pisco Punch

Pineapple Caipirinha

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

Allied Domecq is a takeover candidate . . . TTB fees opposed . . . Robert Mondavi awarded honor by France . . . and more.

As others master Pinot Noir, Burgundy’s mystique evaporates, W. Blake Gray

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

10 wines to drink right now, $10 or less.

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, May 5, 2005

A Hand in Time, Angela Frucci

Campania is southern Italy balances ancient grapes with modern techniques

Some California wines cost less back East , W. Blake Gray

Pennsylvania official uses buying power for discounts

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Chicken salad pairs with Pinot Grigio

Recipe:

Chicken Salad with Avocado & Green Olives

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Eleven Italian Pinot Grigios, priced from $7 to $20.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Queso de la Serena is a sheep’s milk cheese from Spain pairs with Tempranillo.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

Direct shipping legislation in Texas . . . La Famiglia brand purchased . . . and more.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Margarita Jelly Shot

Bargain Wines, W. Blake Gray

Two Viognier and a range of Syrah all priced $12 or less.

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, May 12, 2005

The fog chasers, Stephen Yafa

Sonoma County’s Green Valley AVA has a micro-climate defined by fog.

World View, Jancis Robinson

Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s Central Otago region.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Pairings for Chianti Classico

Recipe:

Rigatoni with Cinnamon-Scented Meat Sauce

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: Chianti Classico

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Lincolnshire Poacher, a cheddar-like artisan cheese, pairs with Madeira.

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

Wines for dining outdoors, $10 and under.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

Wines sales are up in the US . . . Texas opens to direct shipping . . . and more.

Spirits, A. E. Ball

Flavored Vodka

Recipes:

Cortez Cucumber Vodka

Cortez Cucumber Gimlet

Chez Spencer Blood Orange Lillet

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, May 19, 2005

Back to the Roots, Burke Owens

A quest for exotic wines from ancient regions

Welcome the best of the wines from back East, W. Blake Gray

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Debonnaire and the Debutante using Dubonnet and Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

High-end buyers like their wines “bold and ultraripe” . . . new ways to prevent cork taint . . . new tasting room for San Luis Obispo area wineries . . . and more.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Zinfandel and Santa Maria-style barbecue

Recipe:

Santa Maria-Style Tri Tip

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: South Central Coast Zinfandel, price from $10 to $44.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Petit Agour is a Basque sheep’s milk cheese. It pairs well with amontillado or oloroso sherry.

Bargain Wines, W. Blake Gray

Sauvignon Blanc from around the world. 10 selections all $10 or less.

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, May 26, 2005

Red Fizz, W. Blake Gray

Australian-style red bubbly is a grown-up pleasure

Classic poetry shows Champagne used to be red

What to eat with sparkling reds

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Braised beef stands up to full-bodied red wine

Recipe:

Orange-Braised Beef

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: California Rhone blends and miscellaneous red varietals, priced from $10 to $50.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Myzithra a whey cheese from Greece pairs with a brisk white wine such as a Pinot Gris.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

More news on direct shipping laws . . . economic report on the Sonoma County wine industry . . . and more.

Beer of the Month, Linda Murphy

Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg.

Letters to Wine

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Section for Thursday, June 2, 2005

Shafer’s green acres, W. Blake Gray

One of Napa Valley’s premier wineries shows that sustainable farming can enhance already superb wines.

Wine Business Insider, Cyril Penn

The courts upheld an earlier ruling that any wine with “Napa” in its name must include at leat 75% Napa County grapes. Bronco Wine Co. will release a new wines under their “Napa Creek” brand that comply and these wines will be available at Trader Joe’s for $3.99 . . . some wineries are considering IPO’s . . . and more.

Pairings, Lynne Char Bennett

Gewurztraminer pairs with spicy dishes.

Recipe:

Five-Spice Tofu with Vegetables

The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: West Coast Gewurztraminer, priced from $9 to $22.

The Cheese Course, Janet Fletcher

Brebiou, a soft, creamy pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from the world’s largest “industrial” cheesemaker in France. It pairs with Chardonnay or sparkling wine.

The Cocktailian, Gary Regan

Featured cocktail: Renaissance Negroni using Germain-Robin Liqueur de Poete

Bargain Wines, Leslie Sbrocco

Rosés and blends for summertime, all $10 or less.

Letters to Wine

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