Posts Tagged ‘Merlot’

Dreams of real, velvety wines (or, dream case of Lodi drinking reds)

June 17th, 2015
Dreams of real, velvety wines (or, dream case of Lodi drinking reds)

  We have this recurring dream. It’s almost mid-day. We wake up late, after some wine-soaked conversation deep into the night before, and still haven’t yet eaten. So after stopping at a tiny charcuterie for some cooked sausages, marinated olives, a round of local bread – tasting as sweet and silky as pancakes in the inside, crunchy as toasted crusts on the outside – and a bottle of wine, we follow a winding brook at the foot of a steep hill outside the village, in search of a table in the sky. The residual chill from earlier morning hours is.. VIEW MORE »

Lodi’s thirty-six % solution: delicious wines from less familiar grapes

June 3rd, 2014
Lodi’s thirty-six % solution:  delicious wines from less familiar grapes

One of the more interesting things to come along over the past year have been the “Seven % Solution” tastings popping up here and there.  Originally conceived by a Healdsburg wine retailer, the 7% is in reference to the idea that 93% of the wine grape acreage in California’s North Coast consists of just eight grapes, going into most of the popular varietal wines sold today:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. However, the Lodi AVA – California’s largest single winegrowing region – skews the 7% formulation somewhat.  Lodi is steady in multiple.. VIEW MORE »

Reliving Merlot, classic chicken paprika, and Maya’s passionate talk in Sideways

December 4th, 2013
Reliving Merlot, classic chicken paprika, and Maya’s passionate talk in Sideways

Days are shorter, darker, gloomier.  So it’s always something of a relief that the holidays are also upon us:  we’re cheered colorful, twinkling lights, sounds like the opening notes of Jingle Bell Rock, smells of cooking spices emanating from the kitchen, and the rich, velvety taste of a good red wine. Especially Merlot.  That is, red wines made from a grape that, just 10-15 years ago, looked liked it was well on its way to becoming America’s favorite varietal wine.  But somewhere along the line the popularity of Merlot ebbed; even if, today, Merlot remains America’s fourth most popular varietal.. VIEW MORE »

Lodi’s Mediterranean identity reflected by huge diversity of grapes

September 25th, 2013
Lodi’s Mediterranean identity reflected by huge diversity of grapes

Harvest is a great time of year for photographing wine grapes, which become the most identifiable by their colors, shapes and overall morphology during that fleeting window just before they are picked. Because Spring bud break and flowering occurred as much as two weeks ahead of normal in 2013, Lodi‘s harvest commenced during the first week of August with earlier ripening grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and higher acid/lower sugar Pinot Noir destined for sparkling wine production. Traditionally, harvesting of black skinned grapes for the making of fuller bodied red wines doesn’t start in earnest until mid-September, but this.. VIEW MORE »

Lodi’s alternative wine grapes, headed towards photo finish

September 5th, 2013
Lodi’s alternative wine grapes, headed towards photo finish

According to the 2012 Grape Acreage Report put out by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, approximately 10.2% of the total acreage of fruit bearing wine grape vines in California can be classified as “other” — including many of the “alternative” style varietals more common to Lodi than in other American wine regions, such as Albariño and Aglianico, Cinsaut and Souzão, Vermentino and Verdelho, Graciano and Teroldego, Marzemino and Montepulciano, Symphony and Schönburger, Touriga and Torrontés, Pinotage and Piquepoul, and many others of, frankly, commercially obscure identity, from Albalonga to Zweigelt. The other 89.8% are among the following list of California’s 16 most widely planted varieties or.. VIEW MORE »