March 2007 Archives

Another Appellation for Monterey

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otr_another_appellation.jpgThe federal government late last year approved the establishment of the San Bernabe American Viticultural Area (AVA), located in southern Monterey County. Delicato Family Vineyards applied for the 24,796-acre area that includes its famed San Bernabe Vineyard property.

This is the "the world's most diverse" vineyard, according to Delicato. Almost two dozen grape varieties are grown there, including: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah/shiraz, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, barbera, gewürztraminer, white riesling, lagrein and valdiguié. More than 5,580 acres are planted to wine grapes, which is divided into 135 unique vineyard blocks, each farmed individually to maximize grape quality.

Closet Merlot Drinkers, Unite!

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lrg_merlot.jpg

There's no reason to hide our love of top-notch Merlot.

The current attitude among wine fans about Merlot - don't get caught dead with it - is a fashion trend, not a wine evaluation. Like many bashin'-fashions, it arose in response to over-exposure. Starbucks was cool once, before it was on every block downtown. Even Jennifer Lopez went from scorching hot to the, ahem, butt of jokes when she put out too many movies, videos, and albums too quickly. Same with Merlot. So it's useful to remember when Merlot was first emerging into the limelight.

Closet Merlot Drinkers, Unite!

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lrg_merlot.jpg

There's no reason to hide our love of top-notch Merlot.

The current attitude among wine fans about Merlot - don't get caught dead with it - is a fashion trend, not a wine evaluation. Like many bashin'-fashions, it arose in response to over-exposure. Starbucks was cool once, before it was on every block downtown. Even Jennifer Lopez went from scorching hot to the, ahem, butt of jokes when she put out too many movies, videos, and albums too quickly. Same with Merlot. So it's useful to remember when Merlot was first emerging into the limelight.

fw_winecellar_chardonnay.jpgChardonnay's attraction is like that of a movie star. It's the most widely planted premium wine grape in America, it has millions of fans and it shines in any setting--from backyard barbeques to presidential dinner parties. In fact, one of the surest signs that Chardonnay currently leads the fine-wine parade in that people are starting to jump off the bandwagon. While some of them simply seek a change (a trend known as ABC--"Anything but Chardonnay"), others have a bone to pick. Chardonnay, they complain, just doesn't taste like Chardonnay anymore.
WINE STORAGE
Dedicated wine bars and wine-oriented eateries know that storing and protecting the stock is top priority, but what about restaurants where wine is secondary? Here's what to look out for when wining at non-wine establishments:

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