1990s

Domestic Selection: RS Reserve, 1989. William Wheeler

Bill and Ingrid Wheeler, own­ers of the William Wheeler Win­ery, met while Bill was posted in South America as a U.S. Foreign Service officer. In 1970 they bought a 175 acre Sonoma County ranch. They planted their first vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon) during 1973-1974 and harvested their first grapes in 1975 (these they “sold off”). They… read more »

Adventures in Eating: Lover’s Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I am such a sucker for holidays, particularly Valentine’s Day. Val­entine’s Day is the perfect opportu­nity to tell the people who mean the most to you that you love them. Even the most unsentimental will fall prey to this day of love. Singer James Taylor says, “Show­er the people you love with love. Show them… read more »

Import Selection: Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon, 1991. Hardys

Hardys is Australia’s second largest wine producer. The compa­ny dates back to 1953, when Thomas Hardy, just 23 years old, founded Bankside Cellars, three miles from Adelaide in the then “Colony of South Australia”. Ex­hibiting a pioneering spirit, an ex­cellent head for business and a nat­ural flair for wine making, the energetic young man from… read more »

Domestic Selection: Meritage, 1989. Konocti

The Konocti Winery is located in Lake County, to the north and east of Napa, Sonoma and Mendo­cino Counties. It lies on an ancient volcanic plateau dominated by Cal­ifornia’s largest natural lake, Clear Lake, and the 4,200 foot extinct volcano, Mt. Konocti, from which it derives its name. Lake County’s vineyards date back to the… read more »

Adventures in Eating: Split Pea with Ham or Turkey

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, visions of plush arm­chairs, crackling fires and steam­ing bowls of homemade soup keep “dancing in my head”. Every year, just before the holiday season be­gins, I make a silent vow: I will not become a stressed-out maniac. I will not demand perfection when baking. I will not… read more »

Import Selection: Pinot Gris, 1991. Dunavar

This wine comes from the larg­est mountainous wine-growing re­gion in Hungary, Mátraalja, in the foothills of the Mátra mountains. Running from east to west, this mountain range offers ideal viticul­tural conditions to about 30,000 acres of grape vines which thrive on its sunny, south-facing slopes. There are three major quality strata in Hungarian wines. Vin… read more »

Domestic Selection: Cabernet Sauvignon, 1989. McDowell

In 1970, Richard and Karen Keehn purchased over 500 acres in Mendocino’s McDowell Valley. Although grapes for wine produc­tion had been cultivated in this val­ley and sold to Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino wine makers without interruption since the 1890s, no­body had ever put a winery there. The region boasts low fertility, gravely loam soils, ideal… read more »

Domestic Selection: Blanc de Noirs, Five Star. Sebastiani

Wow! Two superb Sebastiani bargain wines practically back-to-back! (Remember this September’s wonderful “Emilia-label” Cabernet #992A? It’s still available at only $7.29 ea., if you’re new and you missed it!) This winery has man­aged to stay in the same family’s hands despite tumultuous times; Prohibition, The Great Depres­sion, hostile take-overs and what­ever else has come along… read more »

This Matter of Cellaring

I have had many inquiries lately as to the availability of cellaring equipment and or building one. Building one is not as hard as it might seem, and you just might have the equipment required at your home. I found a room in the house (closet, pantry etc.) that I could spare (a friend cut… read more »

Adventures in Eating: Veal Chops with Garlic Thyme Sauce

I am what you would call a “foodie”. Don’t bother looking it up in Webster’s, because it won’t be there. I can give you a brief def­inition of this word coined by food critics, writers, photographers and chefs: “A foodie is a person who considers food not only vital to his body, but to his… read more »

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