2016 September

Domestic Selection: Sauvignon Blanc, 1988, Hacienda

The Hacienda Winery is a family business. In days of take­overs and large company buyouts, it is refreshing to find quality wines from a winery owned and operated by the family. In 1879 the Cooley family moved west from Ohio in search of their share of the Gold rush. And as luck would have it,… read more »

A Recent Trip to Sonoma

Lately I have received a num­ber of phone calls wanting to dis­cuss recent trips to northern Cali­fornia for wine tasting and relaxation. I thought I would de­scribe my most recent trip to the Sonoma Valley in search of wine and rest. Both my wife (Sandra) and I have been working very hard this year, and… read more »

Adventures in Eating: Oatmeal Cookies

There is still nothing like a fresh baked cookie, whether with a glass of lovely desert wine, lem­onade, or fresh milk. Unfortunate­ly, it takes time to bake up a batch from scratch. That is why I love this old-fashioned “ice box” reci­pe. It is fast to make and a batch can always be on hand… read more »

Import Selection: Vouvray, 1988, Georges Meurgey

Vouvray is situated on the north bank of the Loire river just 6 miles north of the town Tours (If you ever find yourself in Tours, be sure to lunch at the Hotel de Bor­deaux. The food is exquisite). Vouvray is considered the best ap­pellation in the Loire Valley. The 3,950 acres that constitute the… read more »

Domestic Selection: Cabernet Sauvignon, 1986, Vanino

What do you get when you cross an entrepreneur and a nego­ciant? Vanino Wine Cellars. Steve Vagnino (drop the g for pronunciation) decided while in a hospital bed in 1985 that he was going into the wine business. What is interesting is that Steve is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and when he found… read more »

This Matter Of Aging Wine

For those of you who chose to practice the ageing of wine, here is a checklist of the important factors, and a review of the elements con­cerned. Look at the location where you are storing your wines. Measure it against the criteria described be­low. Temperature: The ideal temperature for age­ing wine is considered to be… read more »

Adventures in Eating: Bannock Bread

Back to Basics: Dutch Oven Cooking Here we are, with a grand built-in Thermador oven that bakes, broils, micro-waves and has convection power. There is one problem, though, when I am baking a cake, pie, etc., and need the microwave, you just wait. Such inconvenience! You are also able to bake food with the con­vection… read more »

Import Selection: Zinfandel, 1987, San Martin

A mission Padre was the first to plant grapevines in Baja California; on the site of the first lower Cali­fornia mission circa 1697. But viti­culture was known to Mexico far earlier than that. In 1524 the Mexi­can conqueror Cortez decreed that all Spaniards holding land grants in Mexico had to plant annually, for five years,… read more »

Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1986, Merry Vintners

The Merry Vintners is a small, 7,000 cases per annum, family winery in the rural outskirts of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. The winery was founded in 1984 by four partners; Charles Edwards and his wife D.J., their daughter Meredith and her husband Bill (Miller). Sounds quite ordinary so far… the catch is, Meredith (Mer­ry)… read more »

This Matter of Cellaring (Part Two)

Seasoned wine enthusiasts who have taken up the ageing of wines, find that they have to keep close track of their cellar. They watch a wine by tasting it along its path to maturity. When it has reached its peak of development, they then set out to consume it in a reasonably short term of… read more »