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.
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 »
Each year, the Lodi ZinFest‘s Friday night Vintner’s Grille at the Lake is a special affair when you can mix and mingle with Lodi’s finest winemakers and growers, while watching the sun sink into Lodi Lake in its customary spring blaze of violets, blues, reds and oranges. Then comes the crisp, cool air of our Lodi evenings in May, the stars shimmering over the mirrored water… magic! This year’s Vintner’s Grille takes place on May 13th, 2011 at 6-9 PM, and the dinner menu is a Delta inspired, zin-friendly feast that you do not wish to miss: Tomato & basil..Continue »
Foods and wines we really love at the ZinFest Cooking School… In addition to the ZinFest Wine School at Lodi’s ZinFest Wine Festival taking place this coming May 14 in Lodi Lake Park, wine lovers may enjoy delectable tastes of the region’s wine country cuisine under the tent of the ZinFest Cooking School. There’s a lot to be said about accessibility in a sensory sense, and everyday affordability. One of the joys of the lush, juicy, pure and fruit forward qualities characteristic of wines grown in the Delta is their ease with foods that we all actually love to eat…..Continue »
Winemakers who have been working with Zinfandel vineyards grown on both the east and west sides of the Lodi AVA (i.e. American Viticultural Area) have long known that there are some differences between the wines, despite overlapping characteristics reflecting the pretty much consistent Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta influenced macroclimate and soil types found in Lodi. Just within the heart of the Mokelumne River AVA, where the vast majority of Lodi’s heritage plantings (Zinfandel vines 30 to over 100 years old) are located, there is enough variation of Tokay sandy loam in the soil to make an impact. Many of the..Continue »
Lodi is invading the beautiful, sun splashed seaside towns of Southern and Central California! No less than 10 of Lodi’s finest wineries will be present and accounted for at the 2nd Annual California Wine Festival, which takes place in two outdoor venues, on two sets of dates: the first, in the laid back, sea salt scented, Surf City atmosphere of Doheny State Beach in Orange County’s Dana Point (April 29-30, 2011); and the second, in chic, sophisticated Santa Barbara (July 14-16, 2011). Orange County alone is home to over 3 million people; many of them with a growing thirst for..Continue »
In the seasonal rhythms of life, spring is when the earth is breathing out; and we respond in kind, taking our bites and draughts with renewed energy and fervor. Or as in Van Morrison’s The Beauty of Days Gone By: marveling at how youth is served, even as we age… When I recall just how it felt When I went walking down by the lake My soul was free, my heart awake When I walked down into the town… The mountain air was fresh and clear The sun was up behind the hill It felt so good to be alive..Continue »