Archive for January, 2011

A Glass of Wine & Art

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Discover the flourishing arts through the collections and exhibits at Mumm Napa and Peju Winery both located in Oakville/Rutherford of Napa Valley.

Mumm Napa Fine Art Photography Gallery

Mumm Napa
Enjoying life’s small pleasures with a glass of sparkling wine and a panoramic view of Napa Valley at Mumm Napa, one wonders can the tasting experience get any better than this? It certainly does! Explore the fine art photography gallery where the work of renowned international and local photographers are showcased throughout the year. And the real gem? Mumm Napa hosts 27 original Ansel Adams prints from the private collection of, his grandson, Matthew Adams. The collection includes some of Adams’ most famous and recognized photographs.  The gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm. (More Details)

*Special Romance Alert: Valentine’s Wines
What would Valentine’s Day be without a little bubbly to celebrate romance! Mumm Napa is currently offering 15-25% off selected wines until February 14th. Some of the sines included are the Brut Rose, and the 2005 DVX Rose. Time is running out though, must order by February 6th to ensure your wine arrives in time for Valentine’s Day. See more details online.

Art at Peju Winery

The grounds are beautiful, the wine tasting staff are loads of fun, and the wines are wide and varied enough to please the tasting palate of anyone in your group. But did know you can also enjoy the works of local Bay Area artists at the same time? Each quarter, various artists and their work are showcased at Peju winery. The current exhibit runs from January 27, 2011 – April 25, 2011 and features the works of artists Timothy Howe (painter), Colleen Sparks (photographer), and Jee Fay (jack-of-all-art- disciplines). Meet the artists in person on  Sunday, January 30th from 1-4pm for the opening reception with complimentary wine tastings and cheese from the Peju kitchen. Otherwise, the gallery is open daily 10am to 6pm. (More Details)

*Special Romance Alert: Valentine’s Day at Peju Winery
Visit Peju Winery during Valentine’s Day weekend and be treated to chocolate dipped strawberries while tasting the wines!


Food & Wine – Good Things Come in Pairs

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Since wine and food are perfect compliments of each other, it only makes sense that wineries would feature this pairing more prominently as part of your wine tasting experience. See our picks in the Oakville/Rutherford region of wineries with a flare for culinary paired delights!

Wine & Food Tasting Experience at Cakebread Cellars

Cakebread Cellars
The Wine & Food Experience at Cakebread Cellars is a must-stop  experience on your itinerary if you’re a foodie! The experience begins with a tour of the winery followed by an interactive wine food pairing with your tasting host.  Guests are guided through four wine-food pairings created by the in-house Chefs who use the fresh ingredients from the garden onside.  Each pairing (and the components of how wine and food play together) are discussed which will surely enhance your ability to confidently match wines with food in the future.

See what one of our message board members said about a recent visit to Cakebread Cellars:

First stop was Cakebread. We had recently rejoined their wine club and my husband was eager to take advantage of those member perks. We were seated in the fairly new membership area and enjoyed tasting through their array of wines. We are partial to their Chardonnay, and the Dancing Bear Cab is delicious with it’s dark fruits and barest hint of chocolate.

Reservations Required: (800) 588-0298
Fee: $40 per person; $20 per person for Wine Club Members
Event Capacity: Maximum of 6 people per group, 12 people total

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Sequoia Grove: Taste a Classic Napa Valley Cabernet

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - Sequoia Grove

One would be remiss to visit Napa Valley and skip tasting the region’s famed Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Of course, with over 400 wineries in Napa Valley to choose from, where does one begin their wine tasting adventure? Why not start with Sequoia Grove Winery and a taste of their 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon vintage.

This particular wine has been hailed as a “Classic Napa Valley Cabernet” and “Spot-on Napa Cabernet” by Food & Wine magazine wine editor Ray Isle on the Today Show.  and  received the 2010 Wine of the Year distinction by BevMo.  Wilfred Wong says, “In 2010, I had tasted in the neighborhood of 8,000 wines…The ‘07 Sequoia Grove Cabernet is the wine that made me stop in my tracks and shout in the BevMo! Corporate Headquarters...”

A wine this well received must be good! See the tasting notes below:

Dark red-black in color with intense aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and currants interwoven with burnt toast and tar. Additional layers on the nose of rich spice with added hints of vanilla and maple. There are background notes of pencil lead as well. On the palate flavors of sweet ripe raspberries come through and the wine has smooth tannins and creamy weight with an impeccable balance and a long finish.

Score a complimentary tasting of this wine throughout the month of February when you mention or on your next visit. We are sure you will enjoy this wine and others offered at Sequoia Grove. You might even find yourself buying a couple of bottles. Just this month, Sequoia Grove’s 2007 Cabernet received “Best in Class for Cabernet Sauvignon priced between $35-$39.99″ at the San Francisco, CA Chronicle Wine Competition (5,000 entries received and is the largest competition of American wines in the world).

For more on visiting Sequoia Grove, their tasting room, and wines – CLICK HERE.

Sequoia Grove
8338 St. Helena Highway, Napa
(800) 851.7841

Wine Tasting Specials in Oakville/Rutherford

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Wine Tasting at Beaulieu Vineyards

Visiting the wineries of Rutherford? Don’t forget to print or show your tasting coupon to staff members for a complimentary taste or two for one tasting discount! See the list of wineries located in Rutherford/Oakville currently offering a special for you wine tasting travels.

Beaulieu Vineyard
Located in the town of Rutherford, Beaulieu Vineyard welcomes guests from around the world with a glass of wine and a friendly smile.
Tasting Offer: 2 Tastings for the Price of  1 ; Hours: 10am – 5pm; Regular Tasting Fee: $10 – $30

Grgich Hills Estate
Family owned and operated, we practices the art of winemaking using only grapes from our vineyards, which are certified organic and biodynamic. Taste the difference!
Tasting Offer: 2 for 1 – Hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm; Regular Tasting Fee: $15

Midsummer Cellars
Unique Private Wine Tasting with Winemaker Rollie Heitz. Only 3 small lot Cabernet’s, all complex with intense full flavors, from 3 unique single vineyard locations.
Tasting Offer: Meet Rollie-Heitz – The Wine Winemaker; Hours: 10am – 5pm; Regular Tasting Fee: complimentary

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Wine Country Personality: Chris Pisani – Winemaker

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Chris Pisani of ZD Wines

What do you get when you mix Brooklyn attitude with Napa style?  The answer is some great tasting wine.  Chris Pisani, Winemaker for ZD Wines, is a rare combination of east coast street smart and California cool.  Growing up in a big Italian family, Chris learned to appreciate the very things that make Napa so memorable: great food, wine and company.  This real-world education made him a perfect fit at ZD Wines where family is the cornerstone of the winery’s values, and great wine and food fall close behind.

During his formative years, Chris studied chemistry in college while spending time with his now-wife, Ina, whose father happened to make wines out of their house in Newburgh, New York.  Chris watched, learned, experimented and soon he was hooked.  The seed was planted and before long, Chris and Ina were moving to California for a taste of life in the wine country. To make ends meet when they first arrived, Chris took a job at an environmental consulting firm.  Shortly afterwards he followed the path of some of Napa’s most renowned winemakers and attended UC Davis to study viticulture and enology.  It was here that Chris fell headfirst into the world of winemaking and started down the path that would lead him to ZD.

Robert deLeuze, CEO/Winemaster for ZD Wines, was attending a job fair at UC Davis to potentially meet his next Assistant Winemaker and Chris was eager for the opportunity.  They met, talked, had an instant rapport and soon Chris was joining the ZD team.  When asked what made Chris stand out amid all of the other hungry soon-to-be winemakers, Robert deLeuze stated that, “Chris is an articulate, well-educated, charming man with an infectious passion for his work.  He brings a wealth of knowledge to ZD, making wines (which can often be intimidating) accessible and fun.”

Beginning in 1996 as an enologist, Chris quickly took on the role of Assistant Winemaker in 1998, working closely with Robert to understand the tradition and techniques that make up the ZD style.  Three years later, Chris was in for another surprise when Robert deLeuze announced that after fifteen years as Winemaker he was stepping back from his role to spend more time on the management of the winery.  Chris, in turn, would take over as Winemaker.

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