Food and Wine

Sonoma Distilling Co. founder and whiskey maker Adam Spiegel. (Courtesy photo)

Sonoma Distilling Co. offers tours, and pours of its craft whiskey

Sonoma County, home to some of California’s finest wineries, is beginning to establish itself as a leader in creating premium craft beer and spirits.

Sonoma Distilling Co. founder and whiskey maker Adam Spiegel. (Courtesy photo)
Ramey Wine Cellars. (Courtesy photo)

A new generation puts its stamp on Ramey Wine Cellars

Ramey Wine Cellars has established itself, over many years, as one of this country’s top wineries.

Ramey Wine Cellars. (Courtesy photo)
Stappi Red Bitter is refreshing over ice, or in a nonalcoholic or even low-proof cocktail. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

An ode to Stappi, Italy’s red bitter soda

I don’t know if my love affair with Stappi is because of the bitter edge to the sweet soda or because of its vibrant vermillion color and the super-cute little bottles.

Stappi Red Bitter is refreshing over ice, or in a nonalcoholic or even low-proof cocktail. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
The Oak Farm Estate Vineyard Tasting Center in Lodi. (Courtesy)

Exploring the gateway to the Lodi wine region

Things are often initiated through a glass of wine.

The Oak Farm Estate Vineyard Tasting Center in Lodi. (Courtesy)
The Stone Terraces Vineyards (Courtesy Photo)

The 2017 vintage port wines mark consecutive years of excellence

Hot, dry growing season produced concentrated flavors

The Stone Terraces Vineyards (Courtesy Photo)
Glenmorangie’s Allta was made by Bill “Dr. Bill” Lumsden, the distillery’s director of whisky creation, distilling and whisky stocks, and a pioneer in finishing whisky in oak barrels that once held other spirits. He discovered and developed the wild yeast used in making Allta. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)

Glenmorangie experiments with wild yeast in its scotch

Bill “Dr. Bill” Lumsden, director of whisky creation, distilling and whisky stocks at both Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, is a grand wizard.

Glenmorangie’s Allta was made by Bill “Dr. Bill” Lumsden, the distillery’s director of whisky creation, distilling and whisky stocks, and a pioneer in finishing whisky in oak barrels that once held other spirits. He discovered and developed the wild yeast used in making Allta. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)
Distillery tanks at Hendrick’s Gin Palace (John Paul)

Hendrick’s unveils “Midsummer Solstice,” a limited-edition gin

To preview their new cocktail, created exclusively for the Napa Valley’s Bottlerock event later this month, Hendrick’s Gin has released “Midsummer Solstice.”

Distillery tanks at Hendrick’s Gin Palace (John Paul)
The 2018 Inspire Napa Valley VIP Dinner at Abreu Vineyard (Courtesy photo)

Ways to immerse yourself in the wine experience this spring

We live near or among some of the world’s finest vineyards.

The 2018 Inspire Napa Valley VIP Dinner at Abreu Vineyard (Courtesy photo)
The Dolomites mountain range serve as a majestic backdrop for many of the vineyards in Trento. (Courtesy photo)

Looking beyond prosecco for Italian sparkling wine

We often mistakingly define all Italian sparkling wine as prosecco.

The Dolomites mountain range serve as a majestic backdrop for many of the vineyards in Trento. (Courtesy photo)
Downtown Paso Robles. (Courtesy photo)

Don’t overlook the Cabernet Sauvignon of Paso Robles

The Paso Robles wine region was built on zinfandel.

Downtown Paso Robles. (Courtesy photo)
When a bar is crowded, consider skipping the fancy cocktails. (Courtesy photo)

A few words about bar etiquette

For many, bars are sacred spaces. People go to them to make memories, and to forget.

When a bar is crowded, consider skipping the fancy cocktails. (Courtesy photo)
Cartograph Wines map a path to your palate

Cartograph Wines map a path to your palate

Serena Lourie and Alan Baker led adventurous lives even before they became partners in Cartograph Wines in 2009.

Cartograph Wines map a path to your palate
Vineyards in the Pfalz region of Germany produce notable rosés of pinot noir.

Rose is breaking out of its stereotypes

While it is now something we enjoy year-round, good rosé is still…

Vineyards in the Pfalz region of Germany produce notable rosés of pinot noir.
San Francisco’s Taste of the Nation will be Thursday, March 28, from 6:30-9:00 PM at the Regency Ballroom. (Dustin Downing/ Special to S.F. Examiner)

Chefs and sommeliers join forces to end childhood hunger

An estimated one in six children in America lives with hunger, including more than one in five kids in California.

San Francisco’s Taste of the Nation will be Thursday, March 28, from 6:30-9:00 PM at the Regency Ballroom. (Dustin Downing/ Special to S.F. Examiner)
Limerick Lane Cellars south of Healdsburg. (Courtesy photo)

The Limerick Lane Cellars story is one of stewardship

Jake Bilbro is only the third owner in Limerick Lane Cellars’ 106-year…

Limerick Lane Cellars south of Healdsburg. (Courtesy photo)
Winemaker Clement Marchand whose family has been making wine at their village in the Pouilly Fume’ region of France since 1650. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Sauvignon blanc no longer a second-choice white wine

Sauvignon blanc, a varietal with roots in both the Loire Valley and…

Winemaker Clement Marchand whose family has been making wine at their village in the Pouilly Fume’ region of France since 1650. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Dave McGee, founder and co-winemaker at Monochrome Wines. (Courtesy photo)

Paso Robles vintner sets out to prove the white wine skeptics wrong

Experimentation is a distinctive characteristic of winemakers who began, as hobbyists, making…

Dave McGee, founder and co-winemaker at Monochrome Wines. (Courtesy photo)
Marco Senghor, owner of Bissap Baobab. (Photo courtesy of GoFundMe)

San Francisco Mission’s popular Bissap Baobab to close

Just two years after purchasing the Mission District building that houses the…

Marco Senghor, owner of Bissap Baobab. (Photo courtesy of GoFundMe)
In 2018, wineries shipped over six million cases directly to consumers throughout the country except Utah, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, four states that still prohibit it. (Courtesy photo)

More wine drinkers are opting to skip stores for direct shipping

Recently, for a friend’s birthday gift, I phoned a local Sonoma County…

In 2018, wineries shipped over six million cases directly to consumers throughout the country except Utah, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, four states that still prohibit it. (Courtesy photo)
The new tasting room at Clos du Val winery (Courtesy photo)

Clos du Val winery continues to make history

It is the perfect scenario for a Hollywood movie. A dream come…

The new tasting room at Clos du Val winery (Courtesy photo)