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The Downtown Lodi harvest menu, and becoming the 2014 SIP SAVOR Wine Tasting Champion

August 19th, 2014
The Downtown Lodi harvest menu, and becoming the 2014 SIP SAVOR Wine Tasting Champion

WHO WANTS TO BE THE 2014 SIP SAVOR LODI WINE TASTING CHAMPION? One of the two events taking place under the SIP SAVOR LODI Grand Tasting tent at Wine & Roses Hotel on Sunday, September 28, 2014 (1-4 PM) will be a double-blind tasting to determine 2014 Lodi Wine Tasting Champion. This contest will be open to all consumers who can find a seat (limité!) under the seminar tent before it begins at 2 PM. Each contestant will be double-blind tasted on 5 Lodi AVA grown wines and asked to identify each one. No, we won’t make it “easy.” But.. VIEW MORE »

Mettler Family’s Aglianico is a harbinger of many great wine grapes to come

August 14th, 2014
Mettler Family’s Aglianico is a harbinger of many great wine grapes to come

The latest Mettler Family Vineyards release is the 2012 Mettler Family Lodi Aglianico ($40); an estate grown red wine of vivid purplish cast, teeming with intensely focused cherry and plum pie-like aromas, tinged with licorice and finely polished vanillin oak subtleties. Plump, full and zesty on the palate; with a layered feel furnished by round yet densely textured tannin. You may not know the Aglianico grape. Few Americans have; but it is an ancient Italian grape with an enduring history as a distinct cultivar, going back before the time of Christ. It is still celebrated today for its thick, deeply.. VIEW MORE »

Appreciating Zinfandels (especially from Lodi) like a sommelier

August 12th, 2014
Appreciating Zinfandels (especially from Lodi) like a sommelier

In seminars at the 2014 Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Experience (i.e. ZAP) in San Francisco this past January, some of California’s top sommeliers presented Zinfandels from their perspective: in terms of terroir, or “sense of place.” Why terroir; and not, say, varietal character? The Zinfandel grape produces red wines that, more than others, are usually appreciated or evaluated in terms of their fruit profile – a rich, full, often jammy berryishness – rather than sensations reflecting geographic origins. But for many wine lovers, Zinfandel can be just as noble a varietal as, say, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or any other.. VIEW MORE »

Old vine, old time Six Hands Chenin Blanc from Cresci Vineyard

July 30th, 2014
Old vine, old time Six Hands Chenin Blanc from Cresci Vineyard

Six Hands Winery has just released a 2013 Six Hands Cresci Vineyard Lodi Chenin Blanc ($16) that is as dry as a desert, yet gushy in varietal perfumes of wild honey, green melon, white flowers and underlying minerality. On the palate, the first impression is a lemony crisp snappiness, followed by a silky smooth glycerol feel extending into a bone dry finish:  very contemporary in its fine, clean, appealingly spare lines, with an emphasis on flowery fruit rather than alcoholic weight or oak (the wine’s silky texture resulting from brief aging and lees contact in neutral oak barrels, following stainless.. VIEW MORE »

Barbecue & wine: Van Ruiten Family’s Matt Ridge tests a tried-and-true theory

July 22nd, 2014
Barbecue & wine:  Van Ruiten Family’s Matt Ridge tests a tried-and-true theory

  At Lodi’s Tin Roof BBQ it’s all about barbecue.  Gloriously meaty, outdoor-smoky, not-too-fatty and not-too-sweetie barbecue, which is exactly the way that owner/chef Richard Berardi likes it. Mr. Berardi started up Tin Roof BBQ nine years ago on Guild Avenue in the east side of town as, strangely enough, someone who didn’t like barbecue.  “I’m a refugee from an Italian restaurant family,” he tells us, “and if there’s one thing you know about Italians, they’re always fighting… I wanted to get away from all that dysfunction and do something different.” And so barbecue it was.  The beauty of this.. VIEW MORE »