Too Much Wine Too Little Time

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2006 Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel

Since 1895 Seghesio Family Vineyards of Sonoma County have been producing award winning wines of distinct quality.  Founded by Edoardo Seghesio, the estate vineyards have been hand farmed by the family for four generations.  Seghesio has made the Wine Spectator top 100 wines list 3 times for their Sonoma Zinfandel, as well as many reputable scores given for their other various Zinfandel’s they produce. The winery has also been given much kudos for their family tables tasting, a glimpse into the past when tasting wines were private in a relaxed atmosphere and paired with foods other than a wine cracker or piece of cheese.  Seghesio’s family tables tasting includes sampling of limited release wines along with small plates made from old family recipes.   This offers a nice change from the crowded tasting rooms of today, where you are lucky to find a spot at the tasting bar without being elbow to elbow with other patrons. The wine I have in my glass is the old vine Zinfandel which is produced from some of the oldest vines in the county.  The grapes used to make this wine come from Alexander and Dry Creek Valley with the average age of the vines being 90 years old.  The wine offers raspberry and tobacco on the nose, with the spicy tastes of classic Zinfandel.  I am a huge fan of Zinfandel wines and this one is very nicely made with just the right balance and structure where none of the elements over power one another.  While this wine could stand up to some really bold flavors and pair nicely with a variety of foods, it is very easily consumed on its own. Check out the entire line of Seghesio Family wines at seghesio.com and check your local stores to purchase a bottle tonight.

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A Snow Day and Napa Valley

Here in my New Jersey home on an unexpected day off, I am watching the snow build up outside as we are hit with what will probably go down as the blizzard of 2010 for our area of the state. You see until now we have been very lucky with the past two major snow storms staying in the southern portion of our state, which is rather unusual. As I have lived in the area all my life I knew it was only a matter of time before at least one good winter snow storm hit us this season, and today is “the big one”.  Aside from clearing the snow, a job I hate, I don’t mind a day off. It allows me a chance to catch up on many things, including the web site which is something I have been a ways behind on. I can also day dream and do a little planning for that upcoming Napa Valley trip.  We have made it an annual pilgrimage starting with our first visit in 2005 for my 50th birthday, a gift from my wife and I am returning the favor for her 40th as I have previously mentioned.  This will be the first time we have ventured out so early in the year so I am a bit nervous. March weather in Napa can be a gamble with early spring rain a big possibility. We chose March over January hoping to catch a nice week as January almost certainly guarantees rain. The trip will also be different in that we will travel as a group of eight instead of the usual four of us (our Brother and Sister in law wine travel partners) that normally make the annual visit. Four very good friends that have never been to Napa are being added this time, and that makes this special trip even more exciting to be able to share some of the great places we have already been to, so I have been working hard on setting up an itinerary with some great stops. I know I was in awe of the Valley on my first visit and would expect they will feel the same. With 34 more days to go I sit here, watch the snow and think about another visit to my favorite place (which by the way is expected to see sun and temperatures in the low 60’s today). Please don’t let it snow on March 17th so I can make it on the plane!

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Finger Lakes Wine Festival

Celebrate the “Taste of the Lakes”, the event of the summer for 2010!

Sip and savor over 600 wines from 80 plus wineries. This three day event will be held July 17th – 19th rain or shine on the grounds of Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen New York.

The main festival will be held Saturday July 18th and Sunday July 19th with over 80 wineries pouring over 600 local wines. Enjoy cooking demonstrations and culinary classes while sampling culinary delights along with some great wines.  Local artists will display their arts, crafts and jewelry. Regional bands will perform live on three stages. A Champagne Breakfast, Tasters Banquet, Brewers Garden, pace car rides will also be available and much more. The event will kick off Friday July 17th from 6:30pm-9:30pm, with “Yancey’s Fancy Cheese Launch of the Lakes”. Join in a Toga Party along with award winning cheese, wine, live music and fireworks to cap off the night. The Main Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 5pm. For more information, specific event times and to purchase tickets visit the web site at: http://www.flwinefest.com Tickets for some events are limited so make reservations early!

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Sonoma Artisan Cheese Festival

California’s Artisan Cheese Festival is a four day event to be held March 26th – 29th celebrating handcrafted cheeses, food, wines and beers from California and beyond. Educational seminars, Artisan Grand Gala Dinner, and festive Sunday market place will all be a part of this great event.  Offering consumers a chance to enjoy and learn about fine artisan cheeses. Times will vary so for more information and reservations call 707-283-2890.

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20th Annual Savor Valley

Join 21 Sonoma wineries March 20th and 21st 2010, sampling 2009 vintage wines straight from the barrel, taste their new releases and award winning wines paired with culinary creations prepared by local chefs. Come enjoy some of the best wine and food Sonoma has to offer. Tickets are $55 and $20 for the designated driver. Event will be held both days from 11:00am – 4:00pm. For more information and tickets call 866-794-9463

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Sonoma 32nd Annual Barrel Tasting

Come taste local Sonoma wine along the wine road. Tastings at over 100 wineries for two big weekends, March 6th - 7th and 13th - 14th 2010. Taste wines from the barrel, talk with winemakers, purchase futures and explore the beautiful Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys. Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door. The event will be held from 11:00am to 5:00pm each day. You must be 21 years of age or older. Advance ticket sales end March 1st. For tickets and winery listings call 800-723-6336 or visit http://www.wineroad.com/annualevents/3

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Celebrate Napa Valley’s Mustard Season

Visit downtown Napa along the river front to celebrate the Napa Valley Mustard Season. Taste regional foods, gourmet products and mustards from around the world. The event will take place at the Market Place on Saturday March 13th and Sunday March 14th from 11:00am to 5:00pm in downtown Napa at Riverfront, historic Napa Mill and other river walk locations. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. To purchase tickets call 707-944-1133 or visit the Mustard Festival web site at: http://store.mustardfestival.org/eventtickets.aspx