Recent Blog Posts

FROM DISHWASHER TO WINERY OWNER – THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE IN NAPA VALLEY

FROM DISHWASHER TO WINERY OWNER – THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE IN NAPA VALLEY

by Liz Thach, MW   The sun was slowly setting over the Western mountains of Napa Valley as the more than 200 guests at the Mi Sueno Winery celebration sat down to a 4-course dinner at the Michelen star Restaurant at L’Auberge de Soleil. Champagne was poured as Cristina Londono with Telemundo gracefully stood to […]

NEW ACT PROTECTS NEW ZEALAND’S GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS FOR WINE

NEW ACT PROTECTS NEW ZEALAND’S GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS FOR WINE

The SOMM JOURNAL   Web Exclusives New Act Protects New Zealand’s Geographical Indications for Wine by Catherine Fallis, MS As vibrant, warm, happy and lively the place, people and wines are, it is only after 25 years of global success that the New Zealand wine industry is locking down place name protection on a global […]

CHAMPAGNE SABERING ON HEADS & TAILS TV

CHAMPAGNE SABERING ON HEADS & TAILS TV

Check out this fun clip of our very own grape goddess, Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, sabering Champagne on the Penthouse terrace of the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco:  

ARAGON’S CROWN JEWEL – CARINENA

ARAGON’S CROWN JEWEL – CARINENA

Cariñena has the distinction of being a town, an appellation and a grape: a tight trio nestled in the Ebro Valley of Aragón midway between Barcelona and Madrid. It became a D.O.P.  (Denominación de Origen Protegida) in 1932 making it one of the oldest officially recognized regions in Spain. Cariñena is the only region in […]

NOTABLE WINES:  A NEW WINE BRAND SIMPLIFYING THE WINE AISLE

NOTABLE WINES: A NEW WINE BRAND SIMPLIFYING THE WINE AISLE

PRIMEWOMEN.COM by Catherine Fallis MS, Publisher, Planet Grape Wine Review   Notable Wines: A New Wine Brand Simplifying the Wine Aisle

BUENA VISTA WINERY TO HOST 2017 GALA BENEFITING HDSA

BUENA VISTA WINERY TO HOST 2017 GALA BENEFITING HDSA

Press Release SONOMA, CA – Buena Vista Winery will be transformed into a Roaring Twenties destination on Saturday, July 1, 2017 when the winery hosts the Great Gatsby Gala to benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA). With a goal to raise $100,000 to support the HDSA mission, the event will honor Jean-Charles Boisset, […]

DOG HIKES IN THE VINEYARD AND PANORAMIC VIEWS AT KUNDE WINERY

DOG HIKES IN THE VINEYARD AND PANORAMIC VIEWS AT KUNDE WINERY

by Liz Thach, MW There are not many places in the world where you are invited to go hiking in the vineyards with your dog, but at Kunde Family Winery in Sonoma Valley, California, everyone is welcome. However space is limited because these special hikes with your four-legged companion sell out fast. “We decided to […]

NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS WINE STYLE ON FRONT LABEL

NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS WINE STYLE ON FRONT LABEL

Notable Wines aims to take the mystery out of wine shopping. This spring they launched two Chardonnays, a “Fruity & Crisp” Chardonnay from Australia, and an “Oaky & Buttery” Chardonnay from California, both at $14.99. I was just commenting to a colleague that we often find ourselves observing then rescuing folks in the wine aisle trying […]

PARADISE RIDGE WINERY HOSTS WOW DINNER TO BENEFIT AT RISK YOUTH

PARADISE RIDGE WINERY HOSTS WOW DINNER TO BENEFIT AT RISK YOUTH

by Liz Thach, MW Perched on a hilltop overlooking the vineyards and a spectacular sunset view, Paradise Ridge Winery in Sonoma County is not only an ideal location for winetasting, but also as a dinner and special event venue. That is why it was an excellent location for the most recent WOW (Worth Our Weight) […]

WHAT MAKES THE SONOMA COUNTY BARREL AUCTION SO INNOVATIVE?

WHAT MAKES THE SONOMA COUNTY BARREL AUCTION SO INNOVATIVE?

By Liz Thach, MW for PLANET GRAPE WINE REVIEW Each year there are a variety of charity wine auctions held across the US, but the one that wins the innovation crown is the Sonoma County Barrel Auction. This is because auction organizers challenge local wineries to craft a unique, one of a kind wine blend […]

BEYOND SAUVIGNON BLANC – PRIME TIME FOR PINOT NOIR IN NEW ZEALAND

BEYOND SAUVIGNON BLANC – PRIME TIME FOR PINOT NOIR IN NEW ZEALAND

Beyond Sauvignon Blanc – Prime Pinot Noir Time in New Zealand Catherine Fallis April 19, 2017 Food and Wine I love former West End actor Oz Clarke’s description of New Zealand’s brash, pungent Sauvignon Blanc, an iconic style created by Cloudy Bay winemaker Kevin Judd. He calls it a “cloudburst, thrilling, shocking, lime zest, capsicum, love […]

CELEBRATING THE FRESH FLAVORS OF SPRING WITH SHAFER VINEYARDS

CELEBRATING THE FRESH FLAVORS OF SPRING WITH SHAFER VINEYARDS

From SHAFER VINEYARDS in Napa Valley, California Spring has sprung and the aromas and flavors of the season are bright, zesty, and fresh. Annette Shafer offers an all-new round of recipes which deliver the best of this time of year to your table. Enjoy! SPRING HEIRLOOM CARROT SOUP WITH PRESERVED MEYER LEMON SPRING HERB GRILLED […]

COOL COASTAL SIPPER

COOL COASTAL SIPPER

I like to say that Albariño is Miguel Migs. If you know music, you know this is the cool dude who mixes it up for the dance clubs in SoMa, San Francisco. With notes of apple, pear, lemon, lemon rind and toasted almond, tropical fruit, and occasionally, a vein of chalky minerality, this delicious, dry, […]

ROSE CHAMPAGNE NOT JUST FOR THE LADIES

ROSE CHAMPAGNE NOT JUST FOR THE LADIES

January/February 2017 Glass of Bubbly Issue 16 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis   Despite the general perception, Rose Champagne is not for ladies only, although the very thought of it brings mouthwatering visions of decadence and frolic to mind. Rose is actually the weightiest and richest of Champagne styles, is made in non-vintage, vintage and luxury […]

LE MESNIL’S RISING STAR

LE MESNIL’S RISING STAR

November/December 2016 Glass of Bubbly Issue 15 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis With a budget of $400 US, or $850, one can easily obtain one of the best Champagnes in the world, a bottle of Salon or Krug Clos de Mesnil. With any luck, the Grand Cru Chardonnay-based bubbly will be expressive, generous and fine, though […]

BOTTEGA LIQUID METALS

BOTTEGA LIQUID METALS

September/October 2016 Glass of Bubbly Issue 14 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis   Are you gold, rose or platinum? Like the iPhone 6sPlus, Bottega Liquid Metals offers choices of platinum, gold and rose gold metal coated bottles to showcase their premium Italian sparkling wines. The innovative and eye-catching packaging includes Moscato (platinum), Prosecco (gold) and sparkling […]

SMALL DISCOVERIES

SMALL DISCOVERIES

January/February 2016 Glass of Bubbly Issue 10 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis With its iconic hand painted flower bottle, Perrier Jouet’s Cuvee Belle Epoque, formerly known as Fleur de Champagne, is one of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands, let alone Champagnes. To make their current releases even more memorable, the house teamed up young designers […]

AUSTRIA’S WALTZING VARIETAL

AUSTRIA’S WALTZING VARIETAL

February/March 2016 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF RIESLING Benchmark old world Riesling is one of the world’s great vinous treasures, and Austria delivers it in spades. Supremely intense, rich, pungent and dry, quite different from the lacy, low alcohol, delicate, minerally, acidic […]

NO MORE GEEK SPEAK

NO MORE GEEK SPEAK

February/March 2017 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis FOR SOMMS ON THE FLOOR, HOSPITALITY COMES FIRST Food servers have it down to an art, whether by training, instinct or experience. No server would earn big bucks by selling the restaurant’s food with ego-infused technical geek speak. Beyond that, no chef would […]

BEYOND TAPAS

BEYOND TAPAS

December/January 2016 2017 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis BASQUE PINTXOS TAKE IT UPSCALE Tapas, simple bites such as cured meats, chorizo sausage, olives, or fried seafood have their origin in Southern Spain. One story claims that King Alfonso X stopped in Cadiz to rest from a long journey and ordered […]

WHERE VIOGNIER SHINES

WHERE VIOGNIER SHINES

October/November 2016 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis THE ANCIENT GRAPE IS AT ITS BEST IN CONDRIEU AND SOUTH WEST FRANCE Viognier (vee oh nyay) was grown in the Northern Rhone during the Roman Empire. When the Romans were forced out of Gaul in the 5th Century, the vines remained uncultivated […]

OUT FROM UNDER THE SHADOW OF NAPA VALLEY

OUT FROM UNDER THE SHADOW OF NAPA VALLEY

August/September 2016 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis DISCOVERING THE LONG ESTABLISHED, NEWLY RECOGNIZED COOMBSVILLE AVA Just five minutes east of bustling downtown Napa with its popular riverfront and Oxbow Market is the bucolic, off-the-beaten-path Coombsville, a cool southern valley area protected by an ancient caldera which was granted AVA status […]

WHERE PINOT REIGNS

WHERE PINOT REIGNS

June/July 2016 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis AN INAUGURAL BARREL AUCTION MARKS A 50-YEAR MILESTONE FOR WILLAMETTE VALLEY WINES While wine grapes were cultivated in Southern Oregon in the mid and late 1800’s, it wasn’t until 1965 that marked the first plantings the Willamette Valley, when David and Diana Lett […]

PROSECCO DOC MOVES TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY

PROSECCO DOC MOVES TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY

Press Release PROSECCO DOC MOVES TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY The denomination is making important steps in its commitment to a healthy environment For years, the debate on sustainability and its various meanings has become an unavoidable topic of discussion in the world of agriculture at every level, from local to international, from producer to consumer. Clear, consistent, […]