california wines

Can Wine Be Funny? A Conversation With Randall Grahm

The Bonny Doon "terroirist" can't stay serious long
Mar 19, 2014 2:00 pm
Randall Grahm photo

A man holds his glass of glimmering red liquid up to the light, then swirls it, sniffs it, looks at it askance as he swishes the wine around in his mouth and puckers his lips. It's an almost comic premise, and yet few oenophiles would ever laugh at the act of nosing and tasting wine. Why is wine so serious that we can't joke about it? Randall Grahm is perhaps the most iconoclastic of wine world eccentrics, so when offered a chance to chat with him before a pairing dinner of his Bonny Doon wines at The Spotted Pig in NYC, I set out to talk about why wine and humor don't seem to mix.

Video: Watch Justin Warner Rap About Wines For Robert Mondavi Private Selection

Could celeb chefs become the athletes of ad game?
Mar 19, 2014 11:00 am

Justin Warner is an eccentric figure in the game, with a cool restaurant called Do or Dine in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, a stint as the winner of The Next Food Network Star, and now, a gig as an oenophile rapper on behalf of Robert Mondavi Private Selection. His song "Central Coastin'" is entertaining, sure, but what's interesting is that it could mark a change in celeb chef endorsements, moving Warner and his ilk into a league with athletes in beer commercials or pop stars singin' for their soda. Watch the man who could be the Terry Bradshaw of wine ads, here.

Jon Bonné Says That It's Safe For Snobs To Drink California Wines Now

Author of The New California Wine on Parker, grapes
Mar 13, 2014 1:00 pm

There's a long-running debate in wine circles about whether California wines can ever compare to Old World powerhouses France and Italy. To hear some sommeliers and critics tell it, the question can be resolved with a simple two-letter word: No. As in, California can't compete. But now, a few diehard winemakers and a notable critic — Jon Bonné — are arguing, in essence, against their fellow wine snobs. Here, Bonné discusses the debates and addresses Robert Parker's role in the evolution of California's wine regions.

These Sunglasses Are Made From Robert Mondavi Private Selection Barrels

Wood frame glasses, now with terroir
Dec 13, 2013 11:00 am

Robert Mondavi Private Selection and northern California neighbors Woodzee have teamed up for what is surely the first wine company x sunglasses designer collabo. Check 'em out, this way...

Around The World In 80 Wine Varietals: Chardonnay

To oak or not to oak. That is the question.
Sep 23, 2013 2:00 pm

In Around The World In 80 Wine Varietals, our contributor unearths how a particular grape drinks differently around the globe. Up next is a wine that has prompted some to brand themselves "ABC drinkers": Anything But Chardonnay. But it would be foolish to dismiss this diverse variety outright. Here's why.

Kutch Winery In Sonoma Is Live-Streaming Its Harvest Right Now

Here's what it's like to turn grapes into wine
Aug 20, 2013 3:40 pm

Jamie Kutch just posted a link that leads to a live shot of the Kutch team working on the 2013 harvest, shoveling grapes into tanks and such. Kinda makes you wanna quit your job, move to wine country and make some pinot noir, no? Get the link, right this way.

Around The World In 80 Wine Varietals: Sauvignon Blanc

Grown in Chile, California, South Africa, France
Aug 1, 2013 2:00 pm

In the kinds of bars where you probably shouldn’t order wine to begin with, you’ll often be given the choice between a big buttery Chardonnay and a grassy, gooseberry glass of Sauvignon Blanc. So, it’s natural to assume that when you have a broader spectrum of better wines to choose from, you might not reach immediately for the Sav. But before you give it a miss, make sure you know what you’re missing. Sauvignon Blanc is versatile and varied, and very different from one grape-growing region to the next. Read on.

Stu Smith Is What You Might Call A Wine Artist

The pros, cons of California wines from Napa legend
Jun 20, 2013 2:02 pm

Two years, two lunch meetings, lots of words and wine spilled. Now, we've handed the mic to Stu Smith of Smith-Madrone Winery in Napa for his take on why California wines are often overblown and more. Here's what the opinionated winemaking master and philospher has to say, in his own words...


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