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Letters from Lodi

An insightful and objective look at viticulture and winemaking from the Lodi
Appellation and the growers and vintners behind these crafts. Told from the
perspective of multi-award winning wine journalist, Randy Caparoso.

Randy Caparoso
 
July 18, 2024 | Randy Caparoso

While wine consumption in the U.S. slumps, American appreciation of wine grows unabated

1863 Edward Bryant home at Harris Vineyards, Clements Hills-Lodi AVA. Photo courtesy of Harris Vineyards.

Since the start of the year (2024) the media has besieged wine consumers with bad news about the state of wine in America. American wine consumption is down, at least in terms of per capita and total gallons. Yet enthusiasm for wine across the country is greater than ever. Let's discuss...

According to Wine Institute's most recent figures: In 2022 Americans consumed 2.86 gallons of wine per capita (the lowest amount since 2015's 2.85 gallons). Total wine gallons consumed by Americans in 2022 was 964 million, the lowest since 2015's 915 million gallons.

These figures hits home here in Lodi because this is by far the largest wine grape growing region in the country... 

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Time Posted: Jul 18, 2024 at 7:00 AM Permalink to While wine consumption in the U.S. slumps, American appreciation of wine grows unabated Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
July 16, 2024 | Randy Caparoso

In summer the living is easier with fresh salads washed down with contemporary style Lodi wines

Lorenza Wine's Melinda Kearney (miiddle) hosting a light summer lunch with her contemporary style, acid-driven red wines made from Cinsaut and Carignan.

It's summer. Perfect time to talk about... salads!

When weather gets hot, the body almost craves this healthy alternative to heavy, starchy meals. Salad lovers know that if you get crafty⏤like utilizing crisped bits of bacon, slivers of salmon, smoked tuna or crabmeat, slices of cheese like feta and mozzarella⏤you are essentially creating an entire meal in itself. 

If, of course, your spouse or kids complain, you can always fry tiny cuts of beef or pork to meet their carnivorous demands. Summer is like that. Instead of a big steak with a little side of salad, you have a big salad with a tiny side of meat. And besides, if you cut out potatoes, bread or rice, summertime salads are an ideal way of keeping weight or blood sugar down...

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Time Posted: Jul 16, 2024 at 6:00 AM Permalink to In summer the living is easier with fresh salads washed down with contemporary style Lodi wines Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
July 9, 2024 | Randy Caparoso

A summary of the full range of Lodi dry rosés, by grape variety and brands

Mokelumne River-Lodi appellation Grenache—the black skinned grape most commonly used for dry style rosés—in the early morning light.

So far the summer of 2024 has been... let's just say, ugh. A little hot.

Besides well chilled whites or sparklers, the perfect wines for weather like this are refreshingly dry rosés, which are made by more wineries than ever because this style of wine is, simply, more popular than ever.

Lodi produces such a wide range of dry rosés, a wine lover could, theoretically, enjoy a new bottle of Lodi rosé every day of the week for an entire month, yet never consume the same brand or bottling twice.

And all of them tasting exactly like a perfectly good dry rosé should: Light, easy drinking, not too fruity in the aroma (overly fruity rosés can be annoying), and just tart enough in natural acidity to prickle the palate, soothe the soul and freshen the disposition...

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Time Posted: Jul 9, 2024 at 7:00 AM Permalink to A summary of the full range of Lodi dry rosés, by grape variety and brands Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
July 3, 2024 | Randy Caparoso

Do not talk about what younger consumers think about wine unless you're under 30

Image from drobotdean by Freepik.

Anna Delgado (co-writer)

"When was the last time," I recently read in a Substack page called Wineshop Punk, "a wine writer sat down to have a glass with a young person?"

Wineshop Punk is penned by a 26-year-old named Anna Delgado. She herself is crazy about wine, having taken a job at a Lodi tasting room about two years ago. I sat down to share a couple of bottles of wine with Delgado two weeks ago, so I asked her, what's up with the wine interest?

She told me that she graduated with a degree in Political Science at UC Davis, and immediately set sail for the west coast of Ireland, where she stayed an entire year. Somewhere along the line she picked up a book called Adventures on the Wine Route written by Kermit Lynch and got hooked on the idea, or possibility, of working in the wine industry. Then she embarked on a course of formal wine education (through Court of Master Sommeliers)...

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Time Posted: Jul 3, 2024 at 6:00 AM Permalink to Do not talk about what younger consumers think about wine unless you're under 30 Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
July 1, 2024 | Randy Caparoso

Belize-born Lodi winemaker Joseph Smith releases a puristic Marsanne, razor-sharp Chardonnay and Provençal style rosé under his JSL family label

St

JSL Wines owner/winemaker Joseph Smith.

JSL Wines is a new Lodi-based brand, founded in 2021, but is far from new in respect to its owner/winemaker, Joseph Smith.

If you have enjoyed the wines of Klinker Brick Winery over the past decade and a half, for instance, you are very familiar with Mr. Smith. He has been the head winemaker of Klinker Brick since 2007.

In recent years Klinker Brick has come to be known for far more than the Zinfandels upon which the brand was built, now sold in 49 of the fifty states. Most significant, as a bow to the entire nation's rapid embrace of lighter, sleeker, fresh and pure styles of wines, Klinker Brick has become known for its Albariño, Grenache Blanc and authentic style of dry rosé⏤the latter, crafted from Southern French grapes and finished in a minerally, flower petal nuanced style reminiscent of classic rosés of France's Provence, tasting more like a Provençal style rosé than most rosés imported from Provence...

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Time Posted: Jul 1, 2024 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Belize-born Lodi winemaker Joseph Smith releases a puristic Marsanne, razor-sharp Chardonnay and Provençal style rosé under his JSL family label Permalink
Contact

Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
209.365.0621
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
209.367.4727
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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