The Lone Ranger no more! **WINNER – The Wine Hiker**

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Rhone baby.  That is the word of the month!  Happy March 1st, and happy Rhoning.  If you haven’t guessed by now, you should have your wine glass packed, and your taste buds ready for a Rhonetastic celebration! On March 24-25th more than 100 producers of American Rhone wines will be on hand in San Frnacisco to pour over 500 wines to delight your taste buds. The Rhone Rangers tasting is the largest gathering of American Rhones in the country, and you and 1999 oif your closest vinopanions will be able to taste some pretty stellar examples of the Rhoney juice. This year, there are several swoon worthy events: Saturday, March 24 Rare Wines – Taste the Unusual  It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone…It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone Oh sorry, Tom Jones just popped in to my head.  But really, when you think about the unusual Rhones, I hear Picpoul to Counoise screaming out.  This seminar will be an indepth tasting and discussion about the whackiest and rarest Rhone wines you can think of.  Bourboulenc anyone? Wine & Swine, A pairing of American Rhones with Bacon – ba-ba-bacon?  And wine?  Say no more.  I mean really.  Wine bloggers are known for their obsession with bacon.  I don’t know why, but somewhere in the bylaws of wine bloggerdom, it states “thou shalt have bacon” and “no bacon shall go untouched”.  And since everything tastes better with bacon, especially chocolate and caramel covered bacon, and with wine, this is going to be an amazing seminar.  Trust me, I’ll be there. Finally on Saturday night… SATURDAY night! SATURDAY night! SATURDAY night! SATURDAY night! Gonna keep on dancin’ to the rock and roll On Saturday night, Saturday night Yes, the Bay City Rollers will be appearing live on stage at the Firehouse! Ok fine, not really, but a girl can dream.  In reality, 17 wineries will be hosting the Winemaker Dinner at the recently renovated and oh so swanky General’s Residence at Fort Mason.  My friends at The Girl & The Fig (drool) will be catering this debauchery laden event, and you can meet & greet those winemakers brave enough pairing their wares with the scrumptious vittles. After diner, a live auction aka Fight Club will be featuring wine, unique wine country experiences and travel packages donated by the host winemakers.  Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to help educate the next generation of American Rhone winemakers. Sunday, March 25 If you have survived Saturday, Sunday’s seminar will be showcasing Love, American Style, aka Syrah.  Cool climate, warm climate, 10% co-fermented with viognier, no viognier, purple die, que syrah syrah.  People do strange things with syrah in there here parts, and you can figure out what you like (or don’t) for yourself. Teeth purple yet?  Well hang on because it’s time for The Grand Tasting.  Over 500 Rhoney wines from American producers will be poured, spilled, swirled, and sniffed at the Grand Tasting.  Food trucks and vendors will be around to […]

Dark & Delicious, mysterious, Petite Sirah

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  Long the source of confusion, Petite Sirah is such a misunderstood grape.  Dark and brooking, dark and delicious.  Yum is what I say! The love child of Peloursin, a very old, and pretty much dead French varietal, and Syrah, that charming, eclectic Rhône grape, Durif became known as Petite Sirah because of it’s boyish good looks.  Well ok not exactly, but it does sort of look like baby Syrah grapes. Don’t know much about Petite Sirah?  Lucky for us, Petite Sirah I Love You (PS I Love You) is here to help!  If you’re located in the greater Bay Area or can be here on Friday, February 17th, Dark & Delicious, the annual food and wine pairing focusing on Petite Sirah will take place at Rockwall Winery in Alameda. Don’t know much about Petite Sirah?  Want to learn more?  Check out the amazing wineries pouring at this event: Pouring side by side with these wineries, there is also a list of over 35 food purveyors making tidbits to specifically match Petite Sirah’s unique flavor What others have said about Dark & Delicious: Wineries Debuting  Wineries Returning Andis Wines  Artezin (Hess Collection) Aratas Wines  Aver Family Vineyards Christian Lazo Wines  Ballentine Vineyards Flying Horse Wines  Berryessa Gap Winery Guglielmo Winery  Bogle Vineyards and Winery Handal Denier  Clayhouse Wines J. Baldwin Wines  Concannon Vineyard J. Rickards Winery  David Fulton Winery Odonata Winery  Diamond Ridge Vineyards Ridge Vineyards  Don Sebastiani & Sons Shadowbrook Winery  Estrella Creek Wines Trueheart Vineyard  F. Teldeschi  Turkovich Family Winery  Field Stone  Foppiano Vineyards  Grizzly Republic Gustafson Family Vineyards Harney Lane Winery Lava Cap Line 39 Line Shack + Lido Bay Winery McCay Cellars Mettler Family Wines Michael~David Winery Miro Cellars (with Trentadue) Mounts Family Winery Nottingham Cellars Occasio Winery Page Mill Winery Parducci Wine Cellars R&B Cellars Robert Biale Winery Rock Wall Wine Company Rosenblum Winery Rutherford Grove Silkwood Wines Stage Left Cellars Stags’ Leap Winery Stanton Vineyards Tercero Wines Trentadue Winery Tres Sabores Twisted Oak Vezér Family Vineyards Vina Robles Wilson Vineyards This is a not to miss event!  Tickets are on sale NOW for $63.  But you, my fabulous readers, have a chance to win a pair!  Just tell me why you love Petite Sirah in the comments below (and for additioanlly entries, don’t forget to use the RaffleCopter Form).  What makes you crave the dark & delcious grape? See you there!  Happy drinking.

Who needs Woodstock, we got Rootstock! **GIVEAWAY CLOSED**

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Who needs Burning Man or Woodstock!  We have Rootstock!  Rootstock is a festival of food, wine, an music that brings together people of all kinds in an urban winery coop in Santa Rosa. This year, Chef Bob Blumer will host the TasteLive broadcast, pairing wines with foods created from his new book “Glutton for Pleasure”.  Yours truely will be on deck with $20 Wine aka my other half, to interview the chef after the live tasting.  We will be live tweeting from the event under the hastag #rootstock!  Ziggy the Wine Gal and Alan Kropf of Mutineer Magazine will also be in attendance. Tickets to the extravaganza are $35 each and can (and should) be purchased in advance.  But for you, I am giving away a pair!  Two lucky readers will win tickets to the festival on July 16th.  Just leave me a comment about your favorite street food and I’ll draw two random names. Rootstock was founded in 2009 by Joel Quigley & Cailyn McCauley of Creative Furnace, Rootstock will have tons of live music hosted by Ziggy and KRSH 95.9.  Additionally, Heather Irwin of Bite Club Eats will host the Best Bites, with food from Mateo Granados (yay Mateo!) who was recently written up in the Chronicle, and other local chefs of tasty treats.  Wines from more than 20 wineries wil be poured for your sipping pleasure!  Sounds like fun right? Rootstock is tasking place at Santa Rosa Vintner’s Square, a complex of four wineries in town, who will be adding several new winery tenants over the next year.  Stop by and check it out! So, what’s YOUR favorite street food?  Mine is Chairman Bao here in SF. Do tell!