Food and Wine

The Tenuta dell ‘Ornellaia estate in the Bolgheri region. (Courtesy Photo)

The little wine that could: Le Serre Nuove dell ‘Ornellaia

Twenty years have passed since the famed Tenuta dell ‘Ornellaia introduced the first true “second vin”

The Tenuta dell ‘Ornellaia estate in the Bolgheri region. (Courtesy Photo)
A Rose Margarita. (J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)

Signature cocktails that never get old

You can enjoy your party a lot more if you offer a signature cocktail or two.

A Rose Margarita. (J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)
Old Forester Master Taster Jacquelyn Zykan. (Brian Bohannon/Old Forester/TNS)

Bourbon taster: The best job ever

Jackie Zykan is a master taster for Old Forester bourbon.

Old Forester Master Taster Jacquelyn Zykan. (Brian Bohannon/Old Forester/TNS)
Silvia, Primo and Annalisa Franco, producers of Nino Franco NV Rustico Prosecco Superiore - the top wine on Wine Enthusiast magazine’s top 100 wines list of 2019.                                 Courtesy photo

Prosecco leads Wine Enthusiast magazine Top 100 Wines of 2019

‘Tis the season for major wine periodicals to release their lists of top 100 wines.

Silvia, Primo and Annalisa Franco, producers of Nino Franco NV Rustico Prosecco Superiore - the top wine on Wine Enthusiast magazine’s top 100 wines list of 2019.                                 Courtesy photo
Winemaker Jesse Katz’s newest project is Aperture Estate. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

The winemaker of the stars opens new estate near Healdsburg

Young veteran winemaker Jesse Katz, producer of Sonoma County Bordeaux-style wines under his Aperture Cellars brand since 2009, is about to take a huge step.

Winemaker Jesse Katz’s newest project is Aperture Estate. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
The Jermann Estate in northern Italy has been producing fine wine for generations. (Courtesy photo)

Lux Wines and virtual reality offer immersion into Italian wine portfolio

Tour showcases prominent estates with top-rated vintages

The Jermann Estate in northern Italy has been producing fine wine for generations. (Courtesy photo)
Valpolicella region yields varied choices of Italian wines

Valpolicella region yields varied choices of Italian wines

Verona, in northeast Italy, is a romantic city, steeped with history and beautiful vistas along the Adige River.

Valpolicella region yields varied choices of Italian wines
Heirloom tomato salad with six-month Manchego cheese at Bellota Restaurant, south of Market. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Sustainability and affordability drive Rioja Bodegas LAN wines to U.S. Markets

There is so much to love about Spanish wines from Rioja and other regions.

Heirloom tomato salad with six-month Manchego cheese at Bellota Restaurant, south of Market. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Hidden Ridge Vineyard. (Courtesy photo)

Taking direct consumer wine distribution to a new level

Following a similar model to Netflix, HBO and others in the film industry, Wine Access, is now partnering with established winemakers to produce their own exclusive wines.

Hidden Ridge Vineyard. (Courtesy photo)
David Ramey (Courtesy photo)

New releases expand the boundaries of traditional California-style chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape varietal in the United States…

David Ramey (Courtesy photo)
Croft Pink, a rose style of the famous Portuguese port, is great chilled as an aperitivo, neat or on ice with club soda. It also has become a hit as icy frose. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Port is no longer just an after-dinner drink

We talked to Adrian Bridge, CEO of the Fladgate Partnership in Portugal, about the newer apertivo-style ports.

Croft Pink, a rose style of the famous Portuguese port, is great chilled as an aperitivo, neat or on ice with club soda. It also has become a hit as icy frose. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Chef Dustin Valette and fourth generation vintner Jason Passalacqua. (Karen Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Healdsburg’s Passalacqua Winery takes a minimalist approach

Jason Passalacqua is a fourth generation winemaker in the Dry Creek Valley.

Chef Dustin Valette and fourth generation vintner Jason Passalacqua. (Karen Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Empirical Spirits is a new line of distillates from Noma restaurant alums. The very plain labels belie the complex spirits inside, including this Charlene McGee Blend, made from juniper berries smoked over juniper wood and aged in sherry casks. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Copenhagen’s Noma alums create spirits with flavors—and names — like no other

“Lars and Mark were looking for a new way of expressing flavor and all the work they’d done in that (Noma) space for so many years.”

Empirical Spirits is a new line of distillates from Noma restaurant alums. The very plain labels belie the complex spirits inside, including this Charlene McGee Blend, made from juniper berries smoked over juniper wood and aged in sherry casks. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
The Dirty Bicicletta is a breezy sipper of Campari, wine, soda water and citron flavored soda, called cedrata. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago TribuneTNS)

Holding onto summer with an Italian drink that got a little dirty

It’s a malleable recipe that invites improvisation, which leads us today to the Dirty Bicicletta.

The Dirty Bicicletta is a breezy sipper of Campari, wine, soda water and citron flavored soda, called cedrata. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago TribuneTNS)
The outdoor Live Fire Chef Dinner series at Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

California’s Long Meadow Ranch Live Fire Chef series showcases local food, wines

It is a location that reaps the benefits of the Long Meadow Ranch business model to source the finest organic wine and foods.

The outdoor Live Fire Chef Dinner series at Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
The Seavey Vineyard in Napa Valley (Courtesy photo)

Merlot month helps restore respect to a legend

Not all problems with merlot were caused by the “Sideways Effect.”

The Seavey Vineyard in Napa Valley (Courtesy photo)
This villa at Bricoleur Vineyards is available for those who prefer lush accommodations. (Courtesy photo)

Bricoleur Vineyards opens a new retreat in California

They are either following an aggressive business plan to turn their 40-acre estate into a hospitality retreat or willingly flying by the seat of their pants.

This villa at Bricoleur Vineyards is available for those who prefer lush accommodations. (Courtesy photo)
Vineyards in Bordeaux. (Courtesy photo)

The Iconic Bordeaux wine region is coping with climate change

Although still the premier Bordeaux red varietal, merlot is being scrutinized as a potential future victim of rising temperatures.

Vineyards in Bordeaux. (Courtesy photo)
Oak barrels inside the Texas Tavern room at Firestone and Robertson Distillery’s Whiskey Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News/TNS)

Whiskey with a Texas flair

Their homegrown Fort Worth brand known as TX is now on its way with August’s sale to Paris-based Pernod Ricard.

Oak barrels inside the Texas Tavern room at Firestone and Robertson Distillery’s Whiskey Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News/TNS)
The amount of alcohol associated with “double” and “triple” varies from brewery to brewery. (Courtesy photo)

Beer politics and random brew questions

In the current campaign cycle, Big Beer backs Republicans while smaller breweries tilt Democratic.

The amount of alcohol associated with “double” and “triple” varies from brewery to brewery. (Courtesy photo)