One of my favorite under-the-radar "winelands" is the town of
Grapevine, Texas, just outside Dallas.
While the city
of Santa Barbara, Calif., is gaining widespread recognition for its
relatively new "urban wine trail"--as you'll read about tomorrow here on
VinesseTODAY--Grapevine has been attracting visitors to its downtown
winery tasting rooms and wine bars for years...
When traversing the Silverado Trail--that's the road less
traveled that more or less parallels busy Highway 29 in the Napa
Valley--one must-stop is ZD
, a maker of wonderful Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, among
And this summer, ZD is providing two
reasons to visit beyond just the wine-tasting experience.
Let's talk about alcohol.
No, not vodka or
whiskey or tequila. Frankly, once I "got into" wine more than two
decades ago, I haven't consumed much of the "hard stuff." With so many
different types of wine to enjoy, why would I?
talking about the alcohol level in wine. Like so many things in life, it
is something that is cyclical. (Just try saying "cyclical" after
consuming a vodka martini, and you'll understand why I stick to
Considering that my Dad was born in Wisconsin, it's amazing
that I only recently discovered the wonders of
I've always known just enough about cheese to
be dangerous, and have depended on others--true experts on the
subject--when putting together cheese-focused features for The
Grapevine, the official newsletter of the wine clubs of
It doesn't sound as if it would be a controversial topic, but
in Oregon, it is.
In Oregon, zoning is a big deal.
Environmentalists have been fighting urban sprawl in the Portland area
for years, and each of the state's counties has its own restrictions on
how land can be used.
As an example, on land zoned
specifically for farm use, wineries historically have been banned from
operating full-service restaurants.
It's that time of the year again: time to get out of the house,
hit the road, and enjoy your favorite beverage in a setting other than
your dining room or a local restaurant.
Summer is the
season of wine festivals, concert series at wineries, and a plethora of
other wine-related special events. Virtually every day of the week, in
"wine country" areas across the land, there's something going on that
includes wine in the bargain.
For instance, where will
you be on Saturday, June 25?
For the last six years, Mike Lee had been making wine for
Patianna Organic Vineyards in Mendocino County.
Lee, the job was a case of going back to his roots. He had started out
as a "small winemaker," but his skills in the cellar seemed to dictate
That was the story of his tenure at Kenwood
In the world of journalism, there are numerous topics that
accommodate critiques by presumed experts on the given
Examples: movies, plays, books, TV programs
and restaurants. And, of course, there's plenty of "wine reviewing"
It's pretty difficult to get a wine review
"wrong" because virtually every palate is different, and wine is
perceived differently by different people. Ultimately, a wine review
typically is just one person's opinion.
Last week, we regaled (or perhaps bored) you with tales from
our annual trip to the wine-and-music weekend known as Jazz on the Vine,
hosted by the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake,
Here's hoping "regaled" is correct, because we're
about to finish our Jazz on the Vine report right here, right
First, in answer to several queries from folks
who just couldn't wait (they apparently were regaled as opposed to
bored), yes, we did have an opportunity to sample "The El" from the Off
the Rail Cafe.
It's Saturday morning as I write this. I'm sitting at a table
outside the Off the Rail Cafe, a breakfast-and-lunch coffee house at the
corner of Lake and Rhine, one of the busier intersections in the
Wisconsin town of Elkhart Lake.
It's about a quarter
to 8, and over the past 15 minutes, exactly three cars have driven by.
"Sleepy" doesn"t even begin to describe Elkhart Lake before "the season"
begins over the Memorial Day weekend.
The reason I'm
sitting outside, in 37-degree weather, fingers beginning to numb, is
that the Off the Rail Cafe isn't open yet. Imagine that: a coffee house
that doesn't open until 8 a.m.--when two-thirds of the morning hours are
already gone. Sleepy, indeed.