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Nestled in the picturesque countryside of northern California, south of Geyserville just off the 101, two iconic glass spires glow vividly against the deep blue sky framed by vine studded rolling hills sweeping off into the distance.
In The Billionaire's Vinegar, Benjamin Wallace investigates one of the largest, if not the largest, alleged frauds in the wine business. The Billionaire's Vinegar is a fascinating look into the world of high stakes, high priced wine. Loads of wine obsessed rich people looking to possess rare and elusive bottlings. You can see why this book is fascinating - it quickly caught my attention, and I was engrossed to the end.
Summer is finally here! While its stays nice and chilly in San Francisco, we have heard that the heat wave has already started in other parts of the country. When the weather turns warm, I turn to lighter wines served chilled. For those white haters out there, don't despair, there are red wines that can be served chilled and roses to try. Here are our picks for wine to try this summer:
When The Rivers Ran Red examines the impact of Prohibition on California's wine country, particularly the famed Sonoma County. Vivienne Sosnowski spent many hours researching this little discussed topic, including hours of oral interviews with the few survivors of Prohibition, who were in their 90's by the time Ms. Sosnowsky interviewed them. I have to admit that this book made me see red when reading it. Living in San Francisco, we are in close proximity to the wine country, and I particularly love Sonoma Valley. I could only imagine the impact that Prohibition had on so many hard working Americans in the wine industry.
From the author of Bright Lights, Big City comes Bacchus & Me, Jay McInerney's exploration of the world of wine. A successful author and a connoisseur of fine wine, McInerney was approached to be the wine writer for Conde Nast's House & Garden. Today, McInerney is the wine columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Bacchus & Me is compilation of stories that he wrote while at House & Garden.
What was once a minor blending grape in Bordeaux France has emerged as the national grape of Argentina. What maybe this grape you ask? Why, it's Malbec. To celebrate this magnificent grape, April 17th has been designated Malbec Day!
Another pick from Trader Joe's. This wine was purchased for $9.99, a steal for a Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley, which is near Santa Barbara California. For those of you who remember, this region was part of the Sideways journey. I am pretty picky about Pinot and this is one of the growing regions that I think produces some of the best Pinot Noir in California. My fave is Russian River and the Santa Maria Valley isn't far behind.
We don't want to commit sacrilege but we have the perfect wine for both Passover and Easter or maybe a joint celebration if you reside in a household that celebrates both. But, we will warn you that these may not be the wines for your Passover if you want Kosher wines. But, trust us. Whether you have never heard of Gruner, may have heard it in passing or consider yourself a Grunerphile, this wine will make the perfect perfect accompaniment to matzo ball soup, roast chicken, ham or turkey. We know, we have tried them out.
Easter is around the corner and you might be asking yourself what wines to serve to accompany Easter dinner. We know that a number of you maybe serving ham and chicken. There is no better combination than pork with Pinot, and it goes pretty well with chicken as well. We say Pinot, we are talking about the major players in the Pinot family, which includes the famed Pinot Noir, the sublime Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris in some circles, and the elusive Pinot Blanc. Notice that these are the main players in the family. Like the popular playboy, Pinot Noir gets around, resulting in a number of mutations and crosses with other grapes. It certainly keeps it interesting.
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