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All Rights Reserved 2014-04-21T04:58:10+01:00 John Wood wine blog Star Sommelier of Sonoma County http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/test/ <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> 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mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]-->Star Chefs.com recently announced the <a href="http://www.starchefs.com/features/editors_dish/rising_stars/2009/napa_sonoma/html/index.shtml" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">2009 winners </a>for their Napa Sonoma Rising Stars Award.And Geoff Kruth, of <strong>The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant</strong> in Forestville, was honored as the Star Sommelier in Sonoma County.<br /><br />One of Kruth’s tips that the judges liked: <strong>When in doubt, serve champagne with soup.</strong> It provides a nice contrast in textures.<br /><br />Kruth is a Master Sommelier, one of less than 150 throughout the world, and he founded the non-profit Guild of Sommeliers.<br /><br /><strong>Other Sonoma County Stars include:<br /></strong>CHEFS: Eric Korsh and Ginevra Iverson, Restaurant Eloise<br />HOTEL CHEF: Jesse Mallgren, Madrona Manor<br />RESTAURATEUR AWARD: John Toulze, the girl and the fig, fig café, and Estate<br />SUSTAINABILITY: John Stewart and Duskie Estes, Zazu and Bovolo<br />MIXOLOGIST: Scott Beattie, bar manager at Cyrus Restaurant and author of <em>Artisanal Cocktails<br /></em><br />Check out this <a href="wine-country-food/restaurants/restaurant-eloise/">video of Eric Korsh </a>just before he and wife Ginevra Iverson opened <strong>Restaurant Eloise</strong> in Sebastopol...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/test/">more</a> So Much Wine, So Little Time, So What? http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/so-many-wines/ <p><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/pictures/sonoma-wine-bottles.jpg" border="0" align="left" />     Earlier this week I took a few bottles of wine to a friend--actually, she is my teacher but explaining the exact relationship would be a distraction from my point--who had expressed a fondness for both syrah and sangiovese.</p><p>     When I gave her the package of wine she plopped down in the middle of the studio and began examining each label, a look of delight on her face.  She reminded me of a child on Christmas morning, excited, eager, grateful.</p><p>     I felt a little sheepish.</p><p>     It is so easy, here in Sonoma County, to take wine for granted, especially if you work close to it, as I do...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/so-many-wines/">more</a> You Say Chardonnay, I Say Sauvignon Blanc http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/sonoma-sauvignon-blanc/ <p>     After I mentioned that I loved the <a href="http://www.pellegrinisonoma.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pellegrin</a>i 2007 Sauvignon Blanc in my Mouthful column last week I got a note from its maker, Kevin Hamel, thanking me for the comment.Sauvignon Blanc, he said, is still a hard sell in the market.</p><p><br />     This surprises me...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/sonoma-sauvignon-blanc/">more</a> Really? You Sure Don't Look 108 http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/no-entry-requirements/ <p>There are a lot of little things about the wine industry that drive me nuts:  Overoaked sauvignon blanc, overextracted pinot noir, 17% zinfandel, screw caps that are harder to open than corks are to pull, cutesy names that marketers decide are women-friendly.Fruit flavored wines...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/no-entry-requirements/">more</a> Uncork Knights Valley Wines But Leave Knights Valley Untouched http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/uncork-knights-valley-wines-/ <p>At what point will we succeed in killing the goose that lays the golden eggs? Is there a chance that we won’t?<br />Much of the glory of Sonoma County is its geographic diversity and its pristine rural outposts, beautiful areas that look much as they did a century and longer ago.<br />There’s Rockpile, our newest appellation, located west of Lake Sonoma.<br />There’s Lakeville, on the southeastern edge of the county, an area that makes me think of Thomas Hardy’s fictional Wessex County.<br />There’s Two Rock west of Petaluma, the Sonoma Coast north of Cazadero and Knights Valley, tucked away north Calistoga.<br />All of these areas are threatened and constant vigilance is necessary to halt the greed that would transform the entire county into what we have watched our neighbor, Napa County, become, a monocultural playground for wealthy tourists.<br />Thanks to the Sonoma Land Trust, Lakeville has been saved from plans by the Graton Rancheria to build a huge casino and five-star hotel.<br />There is a battle raging over the proposed conversion of hundreds of acres of Sonoma Coast redwood forests to vineyards.<br />And now, Knights Valley is under siege.Actually, it has been for years, as wine baron Jess Jackson has increased his vineyard holdings and is seeking permits to build an enormous visitor and events center...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/uncork-knights-valley-wines-/">more</a> Francis Ford Coppola Presents Rosso & Bianco http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/francis-ford-coppola-presents-rosso-and-bianco/ <p><img class="caption" src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/pictures/francis-ford-coppola-presents-rosso--bianco.jpg" border="0" alt="Vineyards at Rosso & Bianco" title="Vineyards at Rosso & Bianco" align="left" /> </p><p>I confess:  I am an exuberant fan of Francis Ford Coppola.I love his movies, I love his willingness to take creative risks, I love his love of the pleasures of the table, I love his love of life...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/francis-ford-coppola-presents-rosso-and-bianco/">more</a> Why Do We Still Need to Apologize for Rosé? http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/sonoma-county-rose/ <div><div style="margin: 0px"><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/sonoma-rose.jpg" border="0" title="Sonoma Rose" align="left" /><font face="Georgia" size="3" style="font-family: Georgia; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal">My friend Katie up and moved to the East Coast last winter.  After completing a course in black and white photography-- film! go, Katie!--at The <a href="http://www.salt.edu" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Salt Institute </a>for Documentary Studies in Maine, she has landed in Brooklyn for a while to look for a job.  She’s a genius sound engineer as well as an <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/superduperk/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">excellent photographer</a> and whoever snags her will be lucky.  She was engineer at KRCB FM for several years and we had great fun making crazy promos.   <br />I get email updates from her now and then and the one that came last night got me to thinking.<br />She and a friend stopped by a wine shop in Brooklyn and asked the clerk for recommendations.  Thirty minutes and lots of talk later, they left with a rosé.<br />“I know, rosé,” she apologized, “but it was good with pizza.”<br />It’s okay, I wrote back right away, rosé is cool.Katie is young and not all that experienced with wine so she gets a pass.<br />But the idea is prevalent, including among drinkers who should know better.  Why do we still need to apologize for rosé?  When is it going to lose the taint smeared on it by white zinfandel?<br />Rosé has many qualities that make it a great choice as an aperitif and as a table wine to enjoy with a wide range of foods.  Most rosés are relatively inexpensive, they are dry (i.e., not sweet) and they have bright, crisp acidity and subtle but pleasing flavors that complement many foods...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/sonoma-county-rose/">more</a> Copeland Creek 2005 Pinot Noir http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/copeland-creek-2005-pinot-noir/ <p>I promised myself I wasn’t going to talk or write about a wine I discovered a few weeks ago.I wanted to keep it to myself so that when my finances improve a bit--there’s always the next book advance to anticipate--I’ll be able to snag a case or two.<br />But I can’t resist.<br />It has been a long time since I found a pinot noir that reminded me why I wrote a feisty little article entitled <a href="http://www.micheleannajordan.com/Articles.html" target="_blank">“Sex and a Single Grape”</a> a number of years ago (more than a decade before “Sideways”)...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/copeland-creek-2005-pinot-noir/">more</a> Jug Wine Sundays at Preston of Dry Creek http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Preston-of-Dry-Creek-Winery/ <p>Jug wine isn’t what it used to be and I mean that in a good way. What’s on supermarket shelves may not have changed much since the days of Hearty Burgundy but here and there throughout Sonoma County, you can find outstanding wines in three-liter jugs.<img class="caption" src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/preston_of_dry_creek_jug_wine.jpg" border="0" title="Preston of Dry Creek Jug Wine" align="left" /></p><p>Take Preston’s Guadagni.<br /><br />Sold only at the winery on Sundays and limited to two jugs per customer, the bottle is filled and labeled on the spot, as you chat with the Prestons and nibble a few homemade olives.<br /><br />Guadagni is a tribute to Lou and Susan Preston’s late neighbor, Jim Guadagni, known to locals as the Mayor of Dry Creek...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Preston-of-Dry-Creek-Winery/">more</a> It's Hot and I'm Thirsty http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Rose-in-Sonoma-County/ <p>The temperature is soaring towards 100 degrees in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-places/sonoma-county-california-wine-country/">Sonoma County - California Wine Country</a> this week, and suddenly a glass of warm red wine isn’t very appealing. No, when it’s hot outside I prefer a cold wine--either a simple, clean white or even better, an icy dry rose.</p><p><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/drink-rose.jpg" border="0" align="left" />I like to say that no one plans to make dry rose and holds aside grapes for that purpose (except Sola Rosa, a Sonoma County winery whose sole focus is dry rose)...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Rose-in-Sonoma-County/">more</a> Sonoma Wine Blending Seminars http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Sonoma-Wine-Blending-Seminars/ <p><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/sonoma-wine-blending.jpg" border="0" alt="Sonoma Wine Blending Seminars" width="113" height="201" align="left" />There are a lot of wineries in Sonoma County competing for you time, attention and dollar.  Every once in a while a winery comes up with a new angle on how to get you, the treasured consumer with credit card in pocket, in the door.  For example, the food-wine pairing angle is thriving, with <a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/lynmar-winery/" target="_blank">Lynmar Winery </a>a more recent addition, and <a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/st-francis-winery-and-vineyards/" title="St.Francis Winery">St...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Sonoma-Wine-Blending-Seminars/">more</a> Joseph Phelps’s Freestone Vineyards Open in West Sonoma County http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Freestone Vineyards - Joseph Phelps Vineyards/ <p style="margin-bottom: 0in" align="justify"><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/freestone-vineyards-visitors-center.jpg" border="0" width="162" height="106" align="left" />The long awaited Pinot Noir project of Napa Valley’s Joseph Phelps Vineyards is underway, with a brand new tasting room open in Freestone in West Sonoma County. </p><div align="justify"> </div><p style="margin-bottom: 0in" align="justify">In 1999, Phelps planted 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 acres of Chardonnay on three separate sites above Freestone in the <a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-places/sonoma-coast/" target="_blank">Sonoma Coast</a> appellation.</p>...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Freestone Vineyards - Joseph Phelps Vineyards/">more</a> Why are you telling me about Passport if it’s sold out? http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Passport-to-Dry-Creek-Valley/ <p>Good question. While<strong><a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-events/annual-events/passport-to-dry-creek-valley/" target="_blank"> </a><a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-events/annual-events/passport-to-dry-creek-valley/" target="_blank">Passport to Dry Creek Valley</a></strong> is sold out this weekend, there’s still time to get in on the lottery for next year (<strong>or check out Craiglist for last-minute tickets for this year</strong>)...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Passport-to-Dry-Creek-Valley/">more</a> When Growers Turn Into Winemakers http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Sonoma Wineries/ <p style="margin-bottom: 0in" align="justify"><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/robert-young-plowing.jpg" border="0" width="94" height="123" />Robert Young grew grapes for nearly 35 years before his family started to make their own wine under the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/robert-young-estate-winery/">Robert Young Estate Winery</a> label in 1997.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in" align="justify">Look around Sonoma County and you’ll find lots of examples of growers who start their own winery. Clay Mauritson’s family grew grapes for 130 years before he was the first to venture into winemaking in 1998 with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/mauritson-wines/">Mauritson Wines</a> in Dry Creek...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Sonoma Wineries/">more</a> April in Carneros http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/april-in-carneros/ <p style="margin-bottom: 0in" align="justify">This coming weekend (April 19-20) it’s “<a target="_blank" href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-events/annual-events/april-in-carneros/">April in Carneros</a>” time, a two-day event featuring food and wine at 20 Carneros wineries.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in" align="justify">Carneros is unique among wine regions in these woods in that it straddles two counties, Napa and Sonoma. It’s also special in that both cool weather varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as warm weather varietals like Merlot, can thrive here...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/april-in-carneros/">more</a> In Northern Sonoma, Historic Asti Winery Reopens http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/asti-winery-reopens/ <p align="justify"><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/asti%20winery.jpg" border="0" width="102" height="125" align="left" />The historic Asti Winery quietly reopened to the public last week, with Cellar No.8 opening a tasting room in the facility that was once the second most popular destination in California after Disneyland.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/cellar-no-8-at-asti-winery/" target="_blank">Cellar No...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/asti-winery-reopens/">more</a> Musical Chairs Part 2, or if One is Good, Two is Better http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Kokomo-Wines-Family-WIneries-Paradise-Ridge-Winery-New-tasting-rooms/ <p align="justify"><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/sonoma-wineries-musical-chairs.jpg" border="0" /> If having one tasting room is good, having two must be better.So it seems as SonomaUncorked is seeing a lot of double these days all over Sonoma County...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Kokomo-Wines-Family-WIneries-Paradise-Ridge-Winery-New-tasting-rooms/">more</a> Musical Chairs Part 1 http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/c-donatiello-winery-westside-winery/ <p align="justify"><img src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/musical%20chairs.jpg" border="0" title="Musical Chairs - Sonoma Wineries" hspace="10" align="left" /> Just when you think you know the lay of Sonoma County winery-land, a round of musical chairs gets it all mixed up again. </p><p align="justify">The former <a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/belvedere-winery/" target="_blank"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/belvedere-winery/">Belvedere Winery</a></a> in the Russian River Valley will open soon as <a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/c-donatiello-winery/" target="_blank"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country/wineries/c-donatiello-winery/">C...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/c-donatiello-winery-westside-winery/">more</a> Spring is Here! http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Sonoma-County-Wine-Country-Bud-Break/ <p align="justify"><img class="caption" src="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/images/stories/mini-bud-break-sonoma-county-ca.jpg" border="0" title="Bud Break in Sonoma County" hspace="10" width="131" height="81" align="left" /></p><p align="justify">Here in Sonoma County spring is definitely in the air.The heavy rains of the first part of the year have yielded to sunshine and temperatures nearing 70 degrees every day, and those circumstances make the grapevines very happy...<a href="http://www.sonomauncorked.com/wine-country-wine-blog/Sonoma-County-Wine-Country-Bud-Break/">more</a>