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The Wine Country May 2018 Newsletter!

Southern California's Favorite Destination for Wine, Beer, Spirits & Gourmet Food

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May Wine of the Month

2015 Shannon Ridge High Elevation Collection Petite Sirah, Lake County, California

$13.99 per bottle    $167.88 per case

DNA mapping has discovered that Petite Sirah is actually Durif, a cross between the obscure French Alpine grape Poulsard and the noble Syrah of northern Rhone.  Here, in California, and increasingly in Australia and South America, it has found a niche popularity among those who favor bold red wines...Read More 


The Wines of Baja:  Discovering Surprising Quality  by Chris Costales

Modern Mexican wine is still at the wild frontier of the wine world. The grapes it produces are a jumble of French, Spanish and Italian varieties that can often be found together in interesting blends that will be hard to encounter anywhere else...Read More  


Celebrating IPAs at The Wine Country  by Nick Larson

India Pale Ales (IPAs) are the most popular style of beer in the United States.  People cannot get enough of the hoppy goodness, and that’s mostly due to the constantly evolving nature of the style...Read More


A Special Place for Petite Sirah  by Randy Kemner

When we sampled the six Petite Sirahs we were about to offer at a recent Thursday tasting, it occurred to me this often ignored varietal needed more of this kind of re-visiting.  The wines were deep, dark and opaque in appearance--which is typical for these wines--but they all offered something special, elements that lift certain wines above the rest.  Petite Sirah makes wines of importance...Read More


South African Wine--Storm Clouds on the Horizon  by Andy Acosta


The current state of South African wine is an amazing success story. The South African wine industry has made tremendous strides in the recent past, with wine lovers around the globe discovering the remarkable combination of world-class quality and amazing value. Unfortunately, there are storm clouds on the horizon that threaten to inject major uncertainty into the future of the South African wine industry...Read More


Napa Valley's Brown Estate--Producers of California's Most Elegant Zinfandels  by Randy Kemner

In 1980 the Brown family purchased an abandoned ranch in the eastern Napa Valley region known as Chiles Valley.  Planting Zinfandel, they sold some of the most exquisite examples of the variety ever seen in California to existing wineries in the area.  When the Brown children decided to make wine from these highest caliber grapes in 1996 (the year after The Wine Country was founded), the Brown estate has consistently produced the nation's most elegant Zinfandel...Read More


Grown-Up Lambrusco  by Samantha Dugan


It can be somewhat difficult to convince people to consider serious Lambrusco for their dining options when all they've encountered until now are cheap mass-market versions. While Riunite was the number one imported wine in the 70s, much like platform shoes, 8 Track tapes, string art and the Gremlin, some things are best left in that decade. Quite a shame that, seeing as there are plenty of wonderful wines, bone-dry to sweet, that are rather brilliant with food, and insanely fun to just sip on...Read More


Barolo & Barbaresco--Italy's Wine Divas by Randy Kemner & Kevin Lepisto


It is the fickle and sometimes untamable Nebbiolo (named from Nebbia, the fog that shrouds the area) that is the stuff of Piedmont's most celebrated wines:  Gattinara to the north, and Alba's twin giants Barolo and Barbaresco. The characteristics of wines made from Nebbiolo are a range of colors from dark and black to light cherry red.  Because the grape oxidizes easily, there is a look of advanced browning to wines just a few years old, but that works in Nebbiolo's favor, bringing unimaginable beauty and spicy complexity to its aromas and flavors...Read More 


Scotch Whisky--The Drink of Kings  by Nick Larson


If you haven’t been following our renewed monthly spirits series with Delius Restaurant, you’ve been missing out! We’ve covered Bourbon/Rye, Rum, and Tequila, and now it’s time for one of my favorite drinks: Scotch Whisky!...Read More


Look What Just Showed Up In Our Display Freezer!


It took a lot of convincing to get Dale to agree to purchase a display freezer for The Wine Country.  ("We're a wine store!")  My vision was to be able to offer last-minute shoppers some pop-in-the-oven appetizers and other treats.  But the real reason, and one my weight-conscious wife intuited, was to stock Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, which I'd first discovered back in 2011 at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show...Read More



California's Noble Varietals  by Randy Kemner


In the 1930s, after Prohibition had ravaged the California wine industry, importer and author Frank Schoonmaker was a believer that for California to make great wine, its vintners should strive to make varietal wine--that is, wines labeled by their majority grape variety.  We know them as Petite Sirah, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and so on.  At the time there was little taste for dry wines, and most of them were generic blends.  It would be an uphill battle...Read More

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