The two-day annual Family Winemakers of California Tasting in San Francisco (FW) is the most comprehensive showing of California wines in the state. It's the one event all year in which great small producers like Paloma and Seavey regularly participate.
West of West is the early August weekend festival devoted to wines made from grapes farmed on the far western coastline of Sonoma County. This year was the event's third outing, and it was one of the most enjoyable and well organized regionally focused wine events I've ever attended.
Sta. Rita Hills is definitely starting to fulfill its promise as a source of characterful, balanced and terroir-driven wines, from flavorful Chardonnay and Viognier to minerally and complex Pinot Noir and Syrah.
Petite Sirah is, along with Zinfandel, one of California's heritage and most distinctive grapes. It can produce wonderfully complex, rich, black fruited wines, often with floral, blueberry, tar, licorice and peppery dimensions.
The standard joke in the wine business the past couple years has been, "What's the difference between syphilis and Syrah? You can get rid of a case of syphilis." I, for one, think it's high time that Syrah got some love.
Only in its second year, it seems like World Pneumonia Day might be moving from spark to blaze -- engaging governments, child health organizations and advocates in an effort to spotlight the leading killer of children.