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Pebble Beach: Nation's Premier Food & Wine Event When it Comes to Wine

Richard Jennings | Posted 04.18.2014 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Opening Night Reception at Pebble Beach Food & Wine (all photos courtesy PBFW) The country's greatest annual food and wine event with an emphasis o...

Santa Barbara's Happy Place For Bordeaux Varieties

Richard Jennings | Posted 06.01.2014 | Taste
Richard Jennings

I predict you will be hearing a lot more about Happy Canyon wines in the coming years.

In the Spirit of the Season: Charity and Vintage Port

Richard Jennings | Posted 02.18.2014 | Taste
Richard Jennings

With Christmas less than a week away, this post brings together two topics I associate with this time of year: charity, and the delicious, complex, ...

West Sonoma Coast: Distinctive, Cool Climate Pinot, Chardonnay & Syrah

Richard Jennings | Posted 08.22.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

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.

Character and Value: Italian Volcanic Wines

Richard Jennings | Posted 10.07.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Is there a connection between Italy's volcanic activity, or volcanic soils, and wine production?

Santa Barbara vineyards

Richard Jennings | Posted 07.23.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Two more Santa Barbara County producers I visited last month whose wines greatly impressed me possess winemakers who are highly respected by their peers.

Santa Maria Valley: Low Profile, Cool Climate Excellence

Richard Jennings | Posted 07.07.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

With the new developments at these three Santa Maria producers, I expect the appellation's profile will soon be rising.

Exploring Terroir and Balance in Santa Barbara County

Richard Jennings | Posted 06.26.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Santa Barbara is making some of California's most interesting, compelling and balanced wines.

Sixth Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine: A Culinary Extravaganza

Richard Jennings | Posted 06.11.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

What would you choose for a special meal if you knew it was going to be your last? This is a question often debated amongst chefs

Fabulously Food Friendly and Ageworthy Grüner

Richard Jennings | Posted 06.02.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Ever need a wine that will pair especially well with healthy food choices -- grilled vegetables, salads, light chicken and fish dishes?

Good Value 'House Wine'? Try a Côtes du Rhône

Richard Jennings | Posted 05.21.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Are you looking for a versatile wine you can enjoy with all kinds of casual food? France's gigantic eastern appellation -- the Rhône -- may be a better value than you might think.

Zinfandel: The Highs and Lows of ZAP 2013

Richard Jennings | Posted 05.15.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Zin is not an easy grape from which to make fine wine. It ripens very unevenly - leading to clusters containing both harshly acidic, unripe grapes and very ripe grapes. It also has a thin skin that causes the ripe grapes to turn to raisins if not picked soon enough.

Rich, Tempranillo-Based Wines

Richard Jennings | Posted 05.06.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

If you like rich, complex, high quality red wines, you owe it to yourself to get to know the wines of Ribera del Duero.

Is Chardonnay Entering Its Golden Age?

Richard Jennings | Posted 04.29.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

California certainly has a long history with the variety, and there are numerous older vineyards, going back to the 1970s, that are hitting their stride as sources for lower yielding, more complex grapes.

Southern German Food And Wine Delights

Richard Jennings | Posted 04.22.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Contrary to the traditional picture of German food and wine in America as revolving around heavy, meat and starch laden dishes accompanied by off-dry and sweet wines, what we experienced on this trip was truly gourmet food with a light touch, featuring seasonal and locally grown meats, vegetables and fruits.

Il Caberlot: A Love Story

Richard Jennings | Posted 04.15.2013 | Taste
Richard Jennings

In the week we celebrate Valentine's Day it seems only fitting for a wine blog to acknowledge that the key ingredient in many of the world's most extraordinary wines is love.

I'm Thankful for... Thomas Fogarty Wines

Richard Jennings | Posted 01.26.2013 | Home
Richard Jennings

At this holiday season, the kind of wines I am most thankful for are those made by dedicated, small producers in relatively tiny quantities based on particular, distinctive vineyard sites.

Getting Unstuck in Lodi: Longtime Wine-Growing Region Gains Visibility

Richard Jennings | Posted 12.25.2012 | Home
Richard Jennings

Lodi has more than 100,000 acres of vines, more than twice the plantings of the entire Napa Valley. Nonetheless, the area has had a very low profile until recent years.

Portugal: Small But Mighty in the World of Wine

Richard Jennings | Posted 12.16.2012 | Home
Richard Jennings

For a relatively tiny country -- smaller in area than the state of Kentucky -- Portugal is a prodigious producer of wine. It has long been the source of some of the wine world's great fortified wines -- Port from the Douro and vintage Madeira from the island of Madeira off the coast of North Africa.

Delicious Wine and Food Travel? Visit Rioja

Richard Jennings | Posted 12.09.2012 | Home
Richard Jennings

The scenery in this Rioja is entrancing, ringed by picturesque mountain ranges and filled with vineyards and medieval hilltop towns. The locally grown food stuffs are super flavorful. The wines are delicious and full of history and interest. I am dying to go back.

Germany's Top Dry Rieslings: Großes Gewächs

Richard Jennings | Posted 11.28.2012 | Home
Richard Jennings

Riesling is an incredibly versatile white grape, capable of being produced in virtually every form wine can take -- from sparkling and very dry, to off-dry and very sweet.

Oregon's Delicious, Cooler Climate Chardonnay And Pinot Noir

Richard Jennings | Posted 11.21.2012 | Taste
Richard Jennings

Oregon has been growing Pinot Noir since the mid-1960s. Pinots from Oregon tend to have some of the delicacy and minerality that red Burgundy is known for, as well as some of the ripe red fruit most typically found in California Pinot

California Wines Showing More Balance: SF Family Winemakers Tasting

Richard Jennings | Posted 11.14.2012 | Taste
Richard Jennings

If California were a country, it would be the world's fourth largest wine producer, after Italy, France and Spain. Long planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are also big varieties for us too.

Petite Sirah: Stealth Grape Approaching Its Moment?

Richard Jennings | Posted 10.30.2012 | Home
Richard Jennings

Petite Sirah as a small, passionate following; goes well with food; is one of the few big reds that works with cheese; has a point of view and is not overexposed. It's like a "St. Bernard that wants to sit in your lap." It's that big and friendly.

Tempranillo in the U.S.: A Learning Curve

Richard Jennings | Posted 10.16.2012 | Home
Richard Jennings

Tempranillo -- the grape whose Spanish incarnations as both traditional and modern-style Rioja I've been writing about here for the past few weeks -- is highly versatile, food friendly and capable of great things.