WineCountry Staff: April 2010 Archives

2 for 1 Wine Tasting Offers

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Wine and cheese tasting @ Strewn Winery

Image by Vincent Ma via Flickr

NAPA VALLEY, CA - The cost of wine tasting in Napa Valley can easily add up if you're not careful. Before you know it, you've gone to 3 wineries and may have spent close to $80 if not more for one couple. Those tasting fees don't include purchasing any of the fabulous wine you've been tasting either.

So, be a smart Napa Valley wine taster this year. See the list of wineries below who offer 2 for 1 wine tasting offers year-round. Print and present to tasting room staff on your next visit to their winery.

Need to find out where all of these wineries are located? Use our handy Napa Valley printable map to plot your wine tasting course!
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April Showers Bring...Springtime Bubbles

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By Courtney Cochran

The intermittent showers that doused Northern California earlier this week may have been met with dismay by those unlucky enough to be caught in their midst sans paraplouie, but their arrival signals an altogether more sunny trend we can anticipate along with May flowers:  the opening of brunch season.  And just in time for the ordering of countless benedicts, the donning of polo shirts and pastel getups and the lazing away of innumerable hours at cozy outdoor tables comes a bubbly literally tailor made for the season:  Pommery's Springtime Brut Rosé Champagne ($65)

Top 10 Most Asked Wine Questions (With Answers!)

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By Courtney Cochran

Ask.com, that fount of Internet-based info dedicated to answering every pressing question site visitors can dream up (top searches in '09 included What is Twitter?, What is the meaning of life?  and - not kidding - What is Miley Cyrus' phone number?), kindly shared with us their top ten most frequently asked wine questions.  And since we figure we know a thing or two about that topic, at least, we took a pass at answering these burning vinous questions.  

Miley's number, however, is another story. 

"Secret" Spring Whites

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By Courtney Cochran

Surprise pals with your vinous prowess as you uncork these lesser-known whites this spring.

AlbardoubleTreeSpecial.jpgiño
Famously made in northwestern Spain's ocean side Galicia region, Albariño is also grown stateside by a handful of adventurous growers including central coast white wine powerhouse Tangent.  A crowd pleaser thanks to its medium body, food friendliness and fruit basket aromatic profile, Albariño works as well with fish tacos as it does with fruit salad and lighter meat dishes - though it may shine brightest of all when sipped on its own. 

Arneis
Wonderfully full-bodied, this aromatic variety from northwestern Italy has surprising heft for a white wine, making it an excellent choice for food pairings where you might otherwise look to red.  But take note: Arneis' eclectic flavor profile - think blossoms, pears and herbs, punctuated by an almond finish - make it tricky for food pairings, though it may just be tailor-made for chicken salad tossed with dill, almond slivers, pear slices and a kiss of dried cranberry.
Note: look for versions from Roero DOC.

Top 10 DIY Wine Tasting Themes

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Wine glasses

Image by slack12 via Flickr

By Courtney Cochran

As a wine writer and some time hip wine party planner, I'm asked time and again about how to throw a great wine tasting at home. Naturally, I've no shortage of ideas. And given that the recession has inspired ever more tasters to turn to their own homes and devices to explore the vinous world in all its grape glory, I here submit my top recommendations for easy-to-implement wine tastings in your home. As for wrangling the troops, that's entirely up to you.  

The Wine Next Door
With wine now made in all 50 of our great states, it's never been easier to host a tasting highlighting wines raised in your own 'hood. Whether your area specializes in Rhône reds (AZ), crisp Rieslings (NY), Bordeaux reds (CO) or Seyval Blanc (GA), there's bound to be something interesting to get to know.  For a cool twist on this theme (or for those whose local wines may be far from new news), try a tasting that features wines from little-known locales around the US. 

Special Bottle Sunday
Inspired by the national phenomenon that grew out of longtime, Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher's Open That Special Bottle Night, Special Bottle Sunday is just what it sounds like: an evening to invite over your friends to share special wines you've all been saving for...you can't remember any more.  The theme makes for a wonderfully congenial tasting that focuses on great friends and great wine - and reminds you all that you don't have to have a reason to enjoy the better things in life.
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Easter Sunday Openings in The Napa Valley

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Each holiday season The Council produces a list of "Businesses Open" ... and this Easter is no exception.
 
Click Here for this helpful summary of Easter Sunday openings for wineries, restaurants, and spas.
 
Happy Holidays from
The Napa Valley Destination Council!

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