Wine

How much more black could it be?

Dark Pugliese wines

Down in the sunblasted “heel” of Italy, grapes with thick, black skins flourish in the baking sunlight. The wines produced from such crops are quintessentially Italian in their boldness and, if I might go out ...

Warm summer nights, wine, and you

2014 Giocato Pinot Grigio at Royal Stone

Between the twist cap and the tongue-in-cheek copy and imagery — “Giocato is made by Aleks Simic, one of Europe’s greatest (and most humble) winemakers” on the back of the label, while the front depicts ...

It can cleanse fish-and-chips with just one sip

Vinavanti Urban Winery’s BPN blanc de noir

Vinavanti Urban Winery’s tasting notes for their BPN get it mostly right. The quirky, pseudo blanc de noirs do indeed taste of raw cranberries and just-ripe raspberries. They fail to mention the green apple tint, ...

Overripe cherries, before the squirrels got to them

2011 Rivera Rupicolo at Proprietor’s Reserve

Since the state is shaped like a mitten, Michiganders often hold up their left hand so that they can point to where they’re from. Italians are generally too proud to point to a thigh-high boot, ...

Hello, gorgeous

Fried chicken and wine at Marinade on Main

“Are we anticipating ketchup tonight?” This may be the most delightful phrase I’ve heard spoken by a server so far this year. The beauty of it is in the anticipation of the ketchup itself, rather ...

Assertive licorice

Tasting notes on Négociant Winery’s 2012 Sangiovese

In 2012, Utah’s happy hour ban went into effect, adding that state to a short list of others that consider special prices on alcoholic drinks a source of great social harm. Later that year, Hurricane ...

Tasting the beast

2011 Wildebeest at Pacific Time

Near as I can tell, Buty Vineyards produces Beast wine as the experimental section of their operation in Washington’s Columbia Valley. For this particular bottling, the winemakers blended Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Mourvèdre (if ...

Young, white wine in the La Jolla sunshine

Tasting notes on LJ Crafted Wines' 2015 Albariño

You can’t help but like the way the sun streams into a southwest exposure during the afternoon in Bird Rock. This time of year, it slides in obliquely, without the driving force of summer, but ...

A grape mission

He has a cutting from one of the original Mission vines from 1769

He won’t say how he got it, but Steve “Kim” Moreno says he has a cutting from one of the original Mission vines that Father Junípero Serra brought up with him from Mexico in 1769. ...

Urban wineries

You should have it clear in your pointy little head that you’re not going to get rich at this.

Most people’s impression is that San Diego’s wine is crappy.

Tough vines

San Diego grape growers don’t blame it all on the rain.

When it comes to the California aggie scene, news headlines scream “drought,” conjuring up, at least in the minds of outsiders, sepia-toned images of impoverished farmers toiling in Dust Bowl grit. But whatever havoc has ...

Wine for Thanksgiving

Hallelujah! I’m not cooking for Thanksgiving this year — the Kellys have gotten themselves invited to a monster gathering up north. When I asked what I could bring, they just said, “Wine, and lots of ...

A Visit to Carruth Cellars Winery in Solana Beach

In 1998, Carlsbad native Adam Carruth was “kind of a life student — just [kept] going back to school.” He’d studied botany at UC Riverside, so for a change of pace, he headed north to ...

In San Diego, I can plant almost any grape I think will work, and nobody's going to call me crazy

1. Beginnings When Miles the wannabe novelist sets out for his winey holiday in Sideways — the film that did for California Pinot Noir what E.T. did for Reese’s Pieces (kids, ask your parents) — ...

Port Tasting

Patrick has ceased sipping port after dinner. Times are tight. So wifey is on a mission to find some tasty bottles that can be purchased for around a Hamilton. Last week, Pat sat down with ...

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