Unti Vineyards: Italy in Sonoma

If you visit Sonoma add Unti Vineyards to your list.  If you like food friendly wines (less oak, lower alcohol, more acidity) don’t wait to visit, just place an order.  Even if you’re not ready to order, sign up for their mailing list; their newsletter offers a glimpse of their personality with plenty of tongue-in-cheek … Continue reading

Wines for Spicy Fish Tacos

Spicy Goes with Sweet I had a recent experience with Moscato d’Asti and raw jalapeno slices – it was such a taste surprise!  I wanted to explore a little further, so I decided to try it with some spicy fish tacos.  I stopped at our corner wine shop on the way home and there was … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Malbecs

Meatloaf & Malbec Julie’s folks are visiting for the holidays, and her mom made meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner; comfort food at its best.  I don’t have a lot of experience with Malbec, but I had a couple of bottles on hand to begin exploring, just waiting for the right time.  We tried an … Continue reading

Meatless Monday: Red or White?

Farro & Quinoa stuffed squash was so good, even a confirmed meat & potatoes guy like me would be happy to have this as a regular “go-to” meal.  This single dish has such a variety of flavors and textures, you won’t miss the meat!  We tried this main dish with both red and white wines.  … Continue reading

Surprising Pairings with Bill Summerville

Bill Summerville + Kitchen in the Market = whirlwind evening full of food & wine pairings, laughter and learning.  Bill will be back for another twist on wine & food pairing in January, hopefully I’ll see you there! Bill is a managing partner and the sommelier at La Belle Vie, generally considered the finest dining … Continue reading

Champagne Season

Every year at this time, Surdyk’s has one or two “bubbly” tasting nights.  They have local wine distributors hosting tables with a variety of sparkling wines, all at sale pricing.  We have embraced sparkling wines this year as a nice part of almost any gathering.  One of our local distributors, The Wine Company, has really … Continue reading

Evening in Spain with Eight Open Bottles : Tempranillo & Paella Wine Dinner

We regularly get together for a wine dinner with four couples.  Dinners are both educational and entertaining; who wouldn’t have fun with eight open bottles of wine?  The hosts choose either a wine theme or a food theme, I pick the wines, and the other courses are split up.  We have enjoyed the opportunity to … Continue reading

An Exceptional Pairing: Cool Climate Syrah & Lamb Chops

One of my favorite pairings is a cool climate Syrah with grilled lamb chops, and this one was exceptional: Anthill Farms Sonoma Coast Syrah and Star Thrower Farm lamb chops.  Wow! I had planned a vegetarian dinner for Meatless Monday, but I realized Julie had an evening commitment.  It was my chance for lamb chops … Continue reading