Archive for March, 2012

Is Lodi Zinfandel the most food versatile wine in the world?

March 29th, 2012
Is Lodi Zinfandel the most food versatile wine in the world?

Zinfandel is far, far more food versatile wine than you may think… But it wasn’t always like that.  Just twenty years ago the country was still awash with pink colored “White Zinfandel,” and obsessed with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.  So much so that many of California’s mainstream wineries went so far as to drop red Zinfandel from their lineups – often opting to sell it as a pink wine instead! This may have been good thing, as it turns out, because all it did was dramatize the inevitable resurgence of true red Zinfandels; especially towards the end of the.. VIEW MORE »

Stellina’s spice of life in a rarefied Zinfandel neighborhood

March 26th, 2012
Stellina’s spice of life in a rarefied Zinfandel neighborhood

Some 200 years ago the French gastronome Brillat-Savarin wrote that “the discovery of a new vineyard does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a new star.” The exciting thing about the Lodi AVA is that new discoveries like this are happening with more frequency, as vineyards that for a long time were farmed in virtual anonymity – their fruit blended into big production wines by producers like E.&J. Gallo and Woodbridge – are now gaining recognition in boutique scaled single vineyard bottlings. Introducing the 2009 Stellina Lodi Zinfandel ($24):  a beautifully bright, violet hued, flowery red.. VIEW MORE »

At long last, a pink wine that makes you smile…

March 22nd, 2012
At long last, a pink wine that makes you smile…

Fill the bowl with rosy wine Around our temples roses twine And let us cheerfully awhile Like the wine and roses, smile… – Abraham Cowley (The Epicure) Strange as it may seem, nowadays it takes guts to make a good, fruity pink wine.  Think of it:  of the 80-something Lodi wineries in business today, how many of them produce a White Zinfandel?  Almost none.  Even in the land of Zinfandel grapes, gone are the days when a specialty winery can offer something bright, soft and simple to drink, and be proud of it.  Almost as if wineries must produce big,.. VIEW MORE »

Peltier Station Teroldego, raw meat and Sheryl Crow

March 20th, 2012
Peltier Station Teroldego, raw meat and Sheryl Crow

If there was a wine he would want to drink every night, according to JC van Staden, the winemaker at Lodi’s Peltier Station, it would be one like the 2006 Peltier Station Reserve Lodi Teroldego ($35). Peltier Station’s Teroldego is, as Old World wine enthusiasts might say, a “banker” – meaning solid, stolid, and dry as a miser’s heart – and as such, one that combines award winning charms (garnering a gold and “Best of Class” at this past January’s 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition) with some serious caveats.  The charms:  a deep ruby color, as dark as blood,.. VIEW MORE »

For chicken cooked in wine: bountiful Lodi whites to choose from

March 16th, 2012
For chicken cooked in wine:  bountiful Lodi whites to choose from

Wine stirs the spring, happiness bursts through the earth like a plant… – Pablo Neruda ‘Tis the season of transition, here at the end of winter and the start of spring.  At the table, our taste for red wines goes from heavier (like Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah) to lighter (like Garnacha, Primitivo or lighter Zinfandels); or better yet, directly into cool, refreshing white wines. In the kitchen we start to make changes, too – from red meats to whites, from cooked vegetables to salads.  Here’s an idea for an ideal transitional dish:  coq au vin blanc – a classic.. VIEW MORE »