Barbera and Nebbiolo: California vs Piemonte

Well, I write a lot of notes but have neglected to document one of my most important nights in Italy last fall. Part of me is disappointed and part of me relieved. At the sacrifice of finding every little nuance in every wine I tried, I took the opportunity to just be present and appreciate … Continue reading Barbera and Nebbiolo: California vs Piemonte

“Cal-Ital” wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains

The Santa Cruz Mountains (SCM) appellation is known mainly for Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.† But wine makers around here actually do grow an assortment of other grapes including Syrah, Merlot, Zinfandel, and plenty of others in experimental quantities. Aside from that, many of them buy grapes from other regions and in general, make … Continue reading “Cal-Ital” wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains

Italian Castles and Wines —in Napa Valley!

Leave it to me to go to Napa Valley and only find Sangiovese, Aglianico, and Italian castles! A few weeks ago I spent a long weekend in the Mayacamas Mountains, the mountain range that separates Sonoma Valley from Napa Valley. In the afternoons I ventured down and east to the Napa side to explore some … Continue reading Italian Castles and Wines —in Napa Valley!

Old and New World Nebbioli

The Nebbiolo vine is just not that successful on international soils. It can't compete with blockbuster grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, which seem to have found a little place to hole up in all corners of the globe's wine regions. No one is writing books or planning tours around "Napa Valley" Nebbiolo or "Barossa … Continue reading Old and New World Nebbioli

Amador Foothill Winery Aglianico

Finally a California wine with some real tannins! (And it's not a Rockpile Petite Sirah — because that would be too easy!) Ooooh, I just love it when these lovely little gems come out of the woodwork and hit me upside the head. Thank you! I needed that! "What was it," you ask? Well the … Continue reading Amador Foothill Winery Aglianico

The (Italian) wines of Murphys, California

Go to Murphys. But don't go for the wine! Okay, well maybe a little bit of it is good. But don't count on too much from this area.*  Still, it's a fun town to visit. A couple of weeks ago, in celebration of our eighth wedding anniversary, my husband, Jeff, and I went up to … Continue reading The (Italian) wines of Murphys, California