Recent Blog Posts

WINTER WINE COCKTAILS

WINTER WINE COCKTAILS

Simple Winter Sangria & Mulled Chardonnay Cider from Adirondack Winery in New York Simple Winter Sangria Recipe Date: November 21, 2016 Cook Time: 00:00:00 Difficulty: Easy Measurements: Imperial (US) This simple winter sangria is sweet and spicy and perfect all year round! Best of all, you can make it white or red! Ingredients 1 bottle Adirondack […]

SUNNY HOLIDAY CHEER

SUNNY HOLIDAY CHEER

It’s here! Holiday shopping, festive parties, and the time of year to rock the ugliest sweaters ever made. I have selected some of my personal favorites wines and spirits of 2016 to assist you with your holiday beverages and up your game. These are all value-priced and easy to find online @drync or @eBay wines, or at your […]

GAME ON – TWO WINES FOR TURKEY DAY

GAME ON – TWO WINES FOR TURKEY DAY

What wines go with Turkey? That also pair nicely with all the sides? Now that is a bit complicated. So why don’t we reverse engineer this scenario and start with, what will my friends and family enjoy, that won’t steal the show or dent my budget? Check out this eclectic Italian duo. I recommend this […]

BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU 2016 EST ARRIVE!

BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU 2016 EST ARRIVE!

Each year for the past 30 years, Beaujolais Nouveau makes its debut across the world on the third Thursday of November, just in time for the holiday table, when cheap and cheerful red is just the ticket. This year is no different, though some palates are fatiguing of the banana/tutti frutti and bubblegum flavors often […]

KEVIN ZRALY SAYS HE HAS TO “LET GO” OF WINDOWS

KEVIN ZRALY SAYS HE HAS TO “LET GO” OF WINDOWS

by Dorothy Gaiter, Grape Collective   Photo collage by Piers Parlett “First,” Kevin Zraly explained in that calm way of his, “I’m not retiring.” Forget the headline, “A Heralded Wine Instructor’s Last Class Before Retiring. “Let me tell you what’s going on,” he offered, and so I stopped hyperventilating. Thank goodness! The world’s most famous […]

AWARD WINNING CHEESE EXPERT LAURA WERLIN HOSTS SEMINAR AT DUTTON-GOLDFIELD WINERY

AWARD WINNING CHEESE EXPERT LAURA WERLIN HOSTS SEMINAR AT DUTTON-GOLDFIELD WINERY

Press Release Sebastopol, California, October 18, 2016 – Dutton-Goldfield Winery is pleased to announce their upcoming wine and cheese pairing class with award winning cheese expert Laura Werlin on Saturday November 12 at 3pm. In this rare opportunity, guests will taste limited production, single vineyard Dutton-Goldfield wines alongside some of America’s greatest cheeses in a sit-down […]

ITALIAN WINE SCHOLAR PROGRAM RECEIVES ENDORSEMENT FROM THE ITALIAN TRADE COMMISSION

ITALIAN WINE SCHOLAR PROGRAM RECEIVES ENDORSEMENT FROM THE ITALIAN TRADE COMMISSION

Press Release The Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar Program received official endorsement from the Italian Trade Commission (ITA). The Italian Trade Commission is a governmental body whose role is to promote the internationalization of Italian companies in line with the strategies of the Italian Ministry for Economic Development. It identifies and connects Italian and […]

MOVE OVER BACCHUS, AND MAKE ROOM FOR THE GRAPE GODDESS

MOVE OVER BACCHUS, AND MAKE ROOM FOR THE GRAPE GODDESS

Hotelie Magazine, Fall 2016 By Sherry Negrea Read this interview with Planet Grape’s trailblazing Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis here:   http://pubs.sha.cornell.edu/i/738678-hotelie-fall-2016

YACHT CRUISE CELEBRATING FERRARI-CARANO’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY

YACHT CRUISE CELEBRATING FERRARI-CARANO’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY

Last Thursday a small group of wine merchants, wine writers and wine bloggers was invited aboard the Eldorado, a luxury yacht belonging to the Ferrari-Carano winery in Sonoma, to celebrate the winery’s 35th anniversary. We set sail for a two-hour tour from Schoonmaker Marina in Sausalito, and made our way into the San Francisco Bay under […]

BONNY DOON VINEYARD PRESENTS ‘GRAPETIONARY A-Z’

BONNY DOON VINEYARD PRESENTS ‘GRAPETIONARY A-Z’

Press Release Charles Communications Associates San Francisco Wednesday October 5, 2016   Taste 26 wines representing each letter of the alphabet from A-Z at Bonny Doon’s Popelouchum Estate Vineyard in San Juan Bautista Saturday, October 29, 2016   WHAT Swirl, Sniff, Savor. Repeat x 26.   Bonny Doon proprietor Randall Grahm invites you to stroll […]

BAROSSA GI ZONE AND OLD VINE CHARTER

BAROSSA GI ZONE AND OLD VINE CHARTER

 San Francisco, September 2016 At a tasting recently organized by the Barossa Grape & Wine Association we had the opportunity to learn more about this high-powered Australia appellation and it’s wines, especially those savory signature Shiraz reds. According to the group: “Geographical Indication (GI) is an official description of an Australian wine zone, region or sub-region. The […]

By September 30, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
LABOR OF LOVE – Wine Family Women of Piemonte

LABOR OF LOVE – Wine Family Women of Piemonte

BOOK REVIEW BY CATHERINE FALLIS MASTER SOMMELIER Suzanne Hoffman first visited the northern Italian region of Piemonte with her second-generation Sicilian mother, Frances Castrogiovanni Manale, in 1999 while her husband was away in China. Upon arrival, they found it cold, wet, foggy and not very inviting. At table, however, the real pleasures of this region […]

By September 23, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
ORGANIC OLD VINE GRENACHE PLAYS A STARRING ROLE AT CHATEAU LA NERTHE

ORGANIC OLD VINE GRENACHE PLAYS A STARRING ROLE AT CHATEAU LA NERTHE

Kick starting the week was a delicious and informative tasting with Chateau la Nerthe Export Manager Christophe Bristiel and Pasternak Wine Imports West Division Manager Ben Cuaresma at the San Francisco home of Planet Grape Wine Review co-panelist Deborah Parker Wong. Christophe explained that Chateau la Nerthe owns Prieure de Montezargues and Domaine de la […]

By September 14, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
MARLBOROUGH MOVES BEYOND SAUVIGNON BLANC

MARLBOROUGH MOVES BEYOND SAUVIGNON BLANC

By Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis Last week the Planet Grape Wine Review team attended a tasting of New Zealand wines at 1760 in San Francisco hosted by Chuck Hayward with Marcel Giesen and Giesen’s Chief Winemaker Nikolai St. George. The title was “Searching for the Crus of Marlborough” and through four flights of wines it was clear that […]

CARACCIOLI CELLARS A Rising Star from California’s Central Coast

CARACCIOLI CELLARS A Rising Star from California’s Central Coast

    Read the latest column by Catherine Fallis Master Sommelier   http://www.glassofbubbly.com/ http://winereview.planetgrape.com/category/sparkling_wines/  

WANNA GET RICH? MEET OUR PANELIST MASTER CICERONE RICH HIGGINS

WANNA GET RICH? MEET OUR PANELIST MASTER CICERONE RICH HIGGINS

  Meet Planet Grape Guest Panelist/Contributor Rich Higgins, Master Cicerone and Brewmaster. Rich was the third person in the world to earn the Master Cicerone distinction, the highest of four levels of certification. He is also a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. His consulting practice includes Restaurant Beer Program Implementation, Beer Dinners […]

ZINFANDEL FANS ENJOY WINE AND MUSIC AT ZAP CELEBRATION IN SONOMA COUNTY

ZINFANDEL FANS ENJOY WINE AND MUSIC AT ZAP CELEBRATION IN SONOMA COUNTY

By Liz Thach, MW, Planet Grape An energized group of Zinfandel fans gathered at Trentadue Winery in Sonoma County this past Sunday for ZAP’s Simply Summer Celebration. ZAP, which stands for “Zinfandel Advocates & Producers” is one of the most active grape varietal organizations in the US, hosting many exciting events for members and guests […]

BEACH WINES AND EXOTIC BURGERS

BEACH WINES AND EXOTIC BURGERS

Please indulge me and let me start out with a little story from my days as Wine Director/Sommelier at a famous Bay area restaurant. One day a new owner appeared, a French Chef who had his own Somm coming in a few months. I felt obligated to stay on, though it became more challenging by the […]

MONTEPULCIANO THE GRAPE VS MONTEPULCIANO THE REGION

MONTEPULCIANO THE GRAPE VS MONTEPULCIANO THE REGION

By Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis With so many clonal names like Brunello, Sangioveto and Prugnolo Gentile, in Italy, and around the world, Sangiovese is still Sangiovese. The grape is the grape. So wouldn’t it make sense that across to the Adriatic coast in Abruzzo, Montepulciano the grape would be the grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano back […]

CELEBRATE SUMMER WITH MADAME LILY BOLLINGER

CELEBRATE SUMMER WITH MADAME LILY BOLLINGER

Rose is chic and easy when it comes to sunny summer entertaining, but to take it up a notch, add Champagne. After all, the ultra chic Madame Lily Bollinger famously said, “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with […]

ROCK THE BOX

ROCK THE BOX

Summertime, and the living is easy. What better time than now to try a few wines in that portable package, the box? Today’s box wine is everything from organic French Chardonnay to premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Pick up a few different boxes just for fun. Write down the name of the wine and price, […]

24 0F 72 PASS ADVANCED SOMMELIER EXAM IN PHOENIX

24 0F 72 PASS ADVANCED SOMMELIER EXAM IN PHOENIX

After a grueling three days of exams, including a timed blind tasting of six wines, a practical tableside service exam with multiple tables to attend to, a Business of the Sommelier written exam and spirits tasting and finally a theory exam, 24 of 72 candidates made it through to become Advanced Sommeliers last night at […]

THE MONTEFALCO CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT CHANGES IN WINEMAKING REGULATIONS

THE MONTEFALCO CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT CHANGES IN WINEMAKING REGULATIONS

July 2016, Italian Ministry of Agriculture  The 2016 harvest will bring with it new bottling and blending opportunities, as well as a wine with a brand new name Authenticity and territorial recognition have always been the key elements ​​for the promotion of the distinct and unmistakable wines from Montefalco. An important turning point in the […]

MELVILLE – ALL NATURAL BEAUTIES IN SANTA BARBARA

MELVILLE – ALL NATURAL BEAUTIES IN SANTA BARBARA

by Fred Swan Kurt Amman, GM of Melville winery in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, leans down to show me their new under-vine weeder. Not every winery tour begins this way. But Melville is serious about organic growing and, especially, about avoiding stuff like Round-Up. Cover crop is necessary to do organic right in this […]