Gina Dallara: July 2009 Archives

deloachbag.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Russian River-based DeLoach Vineyards continues to innovate in the sustainable wine realm with its newest initiative, the "Barrel-to-Barrel" by-the-glass program. Created for eco-conscious on-premise accounts like The Fairmont San Francisco, DeLoach's program - which features nearly 100% recyclable mini barrels and equally recyclable 10L "eco-bag" wine inserts - virtually eliminates the waste associated with buying and serving wine.

ABC Deems Label Too Titillating

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cycles_glad.jpegBy Courtney Cochran

Alabama's Beverage Control Board apparently didn't like what it saw when its members spied the label on Cycles Gladiator wines, which feature an 1895 Parisian poster of a nude woman and a bicycle. So much so, in fact, that the board banned the wines from store shelves throughout the state. Joey Kennedy, columnist and blogger for Alabama Live, was quick to call the board "prude" and even went so far as saying he thinks naked women ought to be able to "sell anything." But it seems that in Alabama, naked women - including those on tasteful 19th Century art posters - can't do much, least of which sell wine.

From Bottle to Bulletin Board

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Cuvaison_cork1.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Cuvaison gave new meaning to recycling when it kicked off its National Cork Recycling Program at last month's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Reps for the sustainable Napa winery - which utilizes solar power and is certified Napa Green - collected more than 5,000 corks at the swank Colorado festival and say their efforts were rewarded with choruses of 'It's about time!" and 'Great idea!' from fellow vintners.
Submitted by My Wines Direct
By Amy Sherman


Warm weather means days at the beach or the lake, dining al fresco and backyard barbecues. To help make the most of your next get-together here are some tips, simple and delicious recipes and wine pairing ideas. Whether you're a guest or planning the whole shindig we've got you covered. Find a few standbys and you're set for the season!

P. S. I Love You

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ps.jpegby Courtney Cochran

Once upon a time, there was a wine so big, so bold and so outrageously outsized that its fans felt ashamed admitting it was their favorite. "Oh no," naysayers would insist, "a wine that big just can't be good with food. Why, it's so ridiculously over the top as to hardly even resemble what I think of as a wine."

Despairingly, lovers of Petite Sirah would retreat to enjoy their prodigious darling in the privacy of their own homes, away from the prying eyes of fellow drinkers who insisted that a wine must have impeccable balance - meaning it could harbor neither outsized fruit nor high-octane alcohol - in order to be enjoyed.

Blind Tasting 411

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by Courtney Cochran

Come on, admit it: you're dying to know. Just how do professional sommeliers identify the seemingly endless varieties of wine out there with just a quick sniff and a little taste? Allow me to enlighten you: it's not brain surgery.

People are constantly asking me how I can divine a Pinot from a Zin, tell a Riesling from a Sauvignon Blanc and ID that soupçon of chicken coop in my Chateauneuf du Pape. The answer is actually quite simple: practice! Just as it does for riding a bike, practice makes perfect for honing your blind tasting skills.

In fact, I'm quite sure that with a little practice lots more folks could master the art of blind tasting. Sure, it takes some professional insight and guidance at the get-go to make sure you're doing everything correctly, but once you've got that part squared away I think you'll be surprised by how decidedly un-mysterious tasting wine blindly can be.

Wine With a Side of Fries

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What to quaff with these salty treats

by Courtney Cochran


Whatever wise guy once said "some of the best things in life are free" had it all wrong.

Most of the best things in life, in my estimation, are just the opposite: cable TV, fabulous vacations, exquisite meals in high-end restaurants and fancy cars are just a few examples of some of the better things in life that are most decidedly NOT free.

Given my realist tendencies, you can probably understand my frustration when somebody started referring to French Fries not long ago as "Freedom Fries." Although I understand the not-so-subtle political agenda behind the re-naming, I can't help but poke fun at the unintended implications of the new name. Because, as is the case with most good things in life, there's absolutely nothing "free" about fries.

Rounding Out the Portfolio

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round_pond.jpegRound Pond Presses More Than Olive Oil From Its Estate

By Robert P. Farmer

Years ago, when I first had the pleasure of visiting the Round Pond Estate, I was struck by its tucked-away beauty in the heart of Napa's cabernet country. What struck me next was the fact that cabernet was not coming out of this tucked away beauty. Instead, Round Pond was well known for olive oil.

Its neighbors are some of the world's best-known cab producers. Without listing them all here, suffice to say you know who they are. And it's not accidental that they are all mashed into this little patch of the greater Napa Valley. Rutherford affords idyllic conditions for growing cabernet sauvignon. Generations of winemakers have subsequently been crafting the benchmark for the varietal here.

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