Taste of Wine: Here and there in the wine world

It’s not unusual for me to get more than 200 emails a day from those that have wine news to use in TASTE OF WINE. I review and consider them all. Occasionally, I will tag an interesting news group to pass on to readers in my “Here and There” notes:


The Millennial Generation and their love affair with wine

Millennials are those fast-moving, Internet savvy people in their 20s that love to relax at an urban winery along the coast and compare brands and vintages on their wine apps, downloaded to an ever-present iPhone.

They are a phenomenal group of intelligent, confident consumers who have now comprised almost half of the wine-buying public. The sweet spot for wine choice for them is an average $20 a bottle — well above the national average.


Napa Valley Iconic Winemaker dies at 101

Peter Mondavi Sr., whose family purchased the historic Charles Krug Winery in 1943, brought winemaking in Napa Valley to new heights of grandeur in the ‘50s and ‘60s with his brother Robert Mondavi.

He was still actively making wine up until a year ago.  He died of natural causes at 101, on Feb. 20.  He leaves his two sons, Peter Jr. and Marc, both brilliant winemakers in their own right, to carry forward the tradition of Charles Krug. A number of firsts can be credited to Mondavi including:  vintage dating on varietal wines, fermentation in small oak barrels and glass-lined tanks, cold fermentation for white wines and the first newsletter, “Bottles and Bins,” published first in 1949.


Websites can now end with “.WINE” and “.VIN” and not “.com.”

The wine industry and the public can now produce its own domain name with a “.WINE” and “.VIN,” opening up a lot more opportunity to customize a web site.  According to Alison Crisci of DKC, Chicago, who specializes in producing these industry-specific sites, there are a number of availabilities for these web suffixes. You can reach her at Alison_Crisci@dkcnews.com or call (312) 340-6997.


San Diego County wines come up big in major competition.

The results are in at the Vineyard & Management 25th Annual International Grand Harvest Awards in Santa Rosa, Calif., and San Diego County Ramona Vintners are celebrating.

I have long hoped that my home base wine country would get the kind of good news that might propel them into more recognition for their winemaking efforts.  The Ramona Wine District covers 89,000 square acres and is home to more than 50 commercial vineyards and 25 bonded wineries with tasting rooms.

Micole Moore and partner Teri Kerns of Ramona Ranch Winery recently win a Best of Class at the recent Vineyard & Management 25th annual competition in Santa Rosa. Photo courtesy Ramona Ranch Winery

Micole Moore and partner Teri Kerns of Ramona Ranch Winery recently win a Best of Class at the recent Vineyard & Management 25th annual competition in Santa Rosa. Photo courtesy Ramona Ranch Winery

Nine awards went to three San Diego County wineries:  Ramona Ranch Winery, Altipiano Vineyard and Lenora Winery. All three are members of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association.

Micole Moore is the current president of the Association, and owner of Ramona Ranch Winery with his partner Teri Kerns.  They were the recipients of the Best in Class and Double Gold award, with their 2013 Estate Tannat red wine ($38), a unique grape that originated in France and is now the national grape of Uruguay.

It is a hearty-bodied wine, great with a beef dinner.

Their Sangiovese 2012 Reserve ($54) was also recognized with a gold medal.  It’s similar to the same Brunello produced in Italy’s Montalcino area.  Ramona Ranch also makes other locally grown reds such as Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot and Montepulciano.

Lighter wines include Muscat Canelli, Voignier and a Montepulciano Rosé.  Visit at ramonaranch.net or call (760) 789-1622.


Wine Bytes

WineSellar & Brasserie in the Sorrento Valley district of San Diego is having a La Rioja Alta Spanish Wine Dinner, March 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.  The dinner will feature the 2005 Gran Reserva La Rioja, which is a 96-point wine from Spain.  Cost is $69. Call (858) 450-9557 for an RSVP.

Tuscany Restaurant in La Costa/Carlsbad continues its VIP fine dining and live jazz the first Friday of every month in the Encore Room. The live jazz Sunday Brunch is celebrating its first anniversary from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuscany now introduces a Saturday unplugged music brunch starting March 12.  Tuscany also presents the great Sue Palmer and her Motel Swing Quintet with boogie-woogie music stylings, March 19 at 7 p.m.  Full dinner menu is available.  Show tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Call for full details on all at (760) 929-8111.

A SoCal Benefit Wine Dinner for Brain Health research will take place at Europa Village Winery in Temecula March 19 from 5:30 to 10 p.m.; full multi-course wine dinner with award winning wines from Staglin Winery in Napa Valley. Meet Shari and Garen Staglin and their amazing story about beating brain disorders. Cost is $1,000 per person, with limited tickets available. Call (707) 963-4038 at Staglin Winery.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. View his columns at tasteofwinetv.com and reach him at mangiompc@aol.com.  Follow him on Facebook.


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