Wine Education: August 2010 Archives

Napa Valley in a Bottle

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conncreek.jpgConn Creek's Barrel Blending Experience will teach you what each growing region has to offer.

By Ethan Fletcher

Tired of enjoying a nice Napa Cab and then forgetting everything about it the next time you want to buy a bottle?

You might want to check out Conn Creek's Barrel Blending Experience, a two-hour seminar that provides a unique introduction to Napa Valley's famed Cabernet Sauvignons. Best of all, you'll walk out with something a little harder to forget: your own bottle of custom-blended wine.

Falling somewhere between wine tasting, a history lesson, and a high school science lab, the blending experience shows off Napa Valley's unusually diverse wine-growing regions by letting you play winemaker. Inside its recently completed AVA Room, the Yountville winery has collected Cabernets from the region's 13 distinct subregions. The Cabs are lined up in barrels underneath posters that detail their unique regions, climates, and soil types. Wines are ordered according to their characteristics, starting with the three lightest varietals, which offer the softest tannins, and ending with the three boldest Cabs.

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Wine Sampling's Small (Read: Big) Idea

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home_hero_2.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

It seems obvious to eco-conscious winos that wine packaging should be shrinking, but until lately that idea has been little more than just a soupçon of wishful thinking.  But Nor Cal's TastingRoom.com is turning that hunch into reality, thanks to the company's innovative new line of 50mL bottles (compare to a standard wine bottle's 750mL) that allows consumers to taste tiny amounts of wines from a growing roster of winery partners.

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