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.
For food and wine lovers, is there anything more chilling, yet strangely stimulating, than that explication enunciated by Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Hannibal Lecter, in conversation with Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling, in The Silence of the Lambs? While these days fava beans are associated with very gourmet, very chichi, Italian cuisine, it’s actually a pretty basic, ancient staple — the fruit of a vetch resembling a monstrously sized pea, consumed for thousands of years by Europeans and Asians before more varieties of legumes were “discovered” in America — and the Lodi Farmers Market, which started its weekly run this past Thursday..Continue »
Slow Food Lodi visits with Lodi’s Lucero Organic Farms The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture Program) offered by Lodi’s own Lucero Organic Farms is now in full swing, offering you a choice of two box sizes ($19 per half share, $29 for a full) that can be picked up each Wednesday all the way through mid-December… and guaranteed: you will enjoy a staggering variety of the most exquisite tasting vegetables and fruits imaginable, all lovingly grown 100% organically by Ben, Karen and Curtis Lucero. During a visit with the Luceros early last month, we learned that Ben Lucero, like his parents,..Continue »
Sugarplum fairy came and hit the streets Looking’ for soul food and a place to eat… – Lou Reed TAPAS — the Tempranillo Advocates Producers & Amigos Society — holds its 2011 Grand Tasting this Sunday, June 5 in San Francisco’s Fort Mason (Herbst Pavilion); and if you’re a wine lover forever seeking bold, soulful, food friendly, yet rich and elegant alternatives to the usual cabs and chards dominating our wine markets, you probably don’t want to miss this event! Forty-five of TAPAS’ winery/growers will be pouring their wines, all made from the Spanish or Portuguese grape varieties distinguishing this..Continue »
A quintessential Lodi wine country story… When things go bad, the old saw goes, you take lemons and turn them into lemonade. Steve Felten, the colorful yet pensive winemaker/proprietor of Klinker Brick Winery, tells us that when he was first forced to turn grapes into wine, he wasn’t exactly thrilled by the prospect. “It started in 1995,” he says, “when we lost our contracts with Gallo, which drove us into making wine to sell on the bulk market… we had to do something with our grapes. After a while, it made sense to start bottling these wines under our own..Continue »
f I could make a red wine that was good for your heart A spicy wine worthy of age Would it be enough for your point-scoring lust? Would it help to ease the pain? Make a stain? … I said, I know it’s only Zinfandel, but I like it I said, I know it’s only Zinfandel but I like it, like it, yes, I do Oh, well, I like it… I like it… I like it… – Randall Grahm (parody sung to The Stones’ It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll) Good photography is like good poetry, or verse set to music: ..Continue »
Cheese, like wine, is a product of natural fermentation; and like wine, the variations of end-products are virtually, and deliciously, endless.
Yet as incredibly varied as wines and cheeses can be, matching them really comes down to just a few basic, great notions, which was the subject of last weekend’s ZinFest Wine School seminar: entitled Lodi Wine is Cheese Central Friendly, and focusing on four Lodi grown Zinfandels with four unique and delicious cheeses chosen by Cindy Della Monica, proprietor of Downtown Lodi’s bright and shiny, new Cheese Central.Continue »
The only things outnumbering the delicious variety of Zinfandels and other outstanding Lodi grown wines at the 2011 ZinFest Wine Festival this past Saturday, May 14 were the blissed-out faces of the people who came from far and wide to enjoy this classic modern day Delta celebration. In fact, according to the Lodi News-Sentinel, there were over 6,000 Lodi wine lovers at this year’s ZinFest; up about 47% from last year’s event, which drew about 4,200 zinners. Bokisch Vineyards‘ Markus Bokisch, Lodi’s renowned Spanish grape specialist, was quoted to say that “there were a lot of great questions,” especially “on..Continue »
Warming up to Lodi’s ideal BBQ wines… Who doesn’t associate the welcome length of spring days, and incoming sun soaked waves of summer, with barbecue? It’s an American thang, although you might think of it as a perennial return to basic, human, primal instincts; reminding us of one of Woody Allen’s classic quips: Why does man kill? He kills for food, and not only food… frequently there must be a beverage! In our case, preferably a good Lodi grown wine, ideally matched with… Smoky baby back ribs or pulled pork with tomato based barbecued pork Grilled smoky pork with..Continue »
Read all about what’s going down music-wise at this Saturday’s ZinFest Wine Festival! The ZinFest Piano Bar Joe Spraker’s awesome piano prowess will ease your zin sippin’ with songs — a little rock, a little country, and a lotta fun! Enjoy a glass of wine at the ZinFest Piano Bar, located in the Wine by the Glass corner between the Main Stage and the Mokelumne River. Strolling musical hijinks by Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players There’s nothing like hot pickin’, foot stompin’ bluegrass to get the blood and spirits rolling, and Snap Jackson & the Knock on..Continue »
Understatement of the year: there will be a lot of terrific wines to taste at the 2011 Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival on Saturday, May 14 (12-6 PM) at Lodi Lake Park. Over 250 of them, produced by over 50 participating wineries. Therefore it might be a good idea to plan ahead, and save your palate for the wines you’d really like to try. To help you make those plans, here is a list of wines you will see at the Saturday ZinFest, along with a few insights and average retail prices: Gnarly Head – It’s official, Gnarly Head makes the..Continue »