All Educational Posts

Sommelier — much more than a wine steward

Sommelier
Wine geeks share a language of their own. What exactly does it mean when a wine expert describes a wine as crunchy, chunky, or chewy? Okay, you know what chewy means, but … chewy wine? Instead of trying to decipher the qualities of a wine that is muscular or tight, leave it to the sommelier. What is a sommelier? Dictionaries describe a sommelier (pronounced suh MUL yay) as a wine steward, but the job …

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Cook Up Some Fun — Wine Country Cooking Classes

Cooking Class in Wine Country
Last month family members gathered from across the state to celebrate my mother’s 80thbirthday. We decided early on to rent a vacation homein Sonoma/Napa Wine Country. But what to do on her special day with a group of people aged 20 through 80 with interests as diverse as skydiving and crocheting? We landed on the idea of a cooking class. The epicurean adventure turned out to be ideal— a way to …

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Don’t Miss This Gastronomical Adventure — plan now for Sonoma County’s restaurant week

Every year in early March, restaurants in Sonoma County invite you to join in a culinary experience, one you don’t want to miss. So mark your calendars and book your vacation home rental now for the 10th Annual Sonoma County Restaurant Week, March 2 — March 10, 2019. More than 120 eateries will be participating this year, from Petaluma to Geyserville. Savvy food lovers know to take advantage of this …

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3 Tips for Great Holiday Food and Wine Pairings – a sommelier shares his secrets

Christmas Food and Wine Pairings
What are the best food and wine pairings for the holiday season? Whether you’re planning on visiting friends and family or nestling in at home this winter — here are a few rules of thumb and classic pairings to make sure your dinners don’t disappoint. 1.  In cold weather, go for the bold wines in your cellar. Cold weather calls for a hearty meal — a creamy soup, a rich …

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Terroir and Fine Wine — romance, mystery, allure

Terrior and Fine Wine
You can’t get too far in Sonoma Wine Country or Napa Valley without hearing about a wine’s nose and legs. And, people in the know like to throw around the word terroir. The rest of us may avoid it, not knowing exactly what it means, or even how to pronounce it (say “tare war” like you have a mouth full of marbles). What is terroir, anyway? Well that, it turns …

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Passionate About Pinot — you gotta love Sonoma County’s Pinot Noir

Passionate About Pinot
What is it about Pinot that makes it so popular? Even those of us who are white wine devotees will welcome a glass of the alluring red. People are passionate about their Pinot. It’s French, of course Pinot Noir — “black pine” in French — hales from the Burgundy region of France, where it’s aptly named Burgundy. These Pinots are considered the top of the line for this varietal. The …

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Wine Country Farm-to-Table Dining — fresh, flavorful, friendly

Farm-to-Table Dining
What is farm-to-table dining? Farm-to-table dining is a food movement that emphasizes the connection between restaurants and local farmers. It’s about fresh ingredients and amazing flavors. This relatively new trend toward fresher ingredients has taken off only within the past 15 years. But think back to Berkeley in the early 1970s, and you may recall the opening of one of the first farm-to-table restaurants, Chez Panisse. Why does farm-to-table matter? …

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EcoTourism in Sonoma

Ecotourism in Sonoma
It’s no surprise that tourism is a huge global industry. People love to experience new surroundings, from basking on tropical beaches to exploring ancient ruins. There’s a new trend in travel — ecotourism — that appeals to those who want to submerge themselves in the natural environment. Ecotourism in Sonoma What is ecotourism? According to The Nature Conservancy, “Ecotourism is distinguished by its emphasis on conservation, education, traveler responsibility and active …

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Funky, Cool Craft Breweries — another side of Wine Country

Craft Breweries
Sonoma and Napa valleys have long been known for world-renown wines. Touring through the vine-studded countryside, stopping at wineries to sample exquisite vintages, and chatting with local wine aficionados always makes for an enjoyable experience. But if you want a change of pace, Wine Country is home to dozens of microbreweries. Sometimes funky, always cool, local craft beer breweries offer a refreshing alternative. Craft breweries, the alternative Over the past …

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