Do you prefer cork sealed bottles of wine? Most do.

With more premium wineries trying screw capped bottles, a recent 6 year study ending in June 2016 showed that people are still willing to spend over $3 more per bottle for a cork closure than alternative closures. Also, bottles with cork saw a 42% increase in sales during that period while alternative closures only rose 13%. That’s a significant difference. The perception is cork suggests a guarantee of quality, a natural and environmentally friendly closure, and adds to the wine experience. And hey, it’s hard to buck tradition and nostalgia.

Wine Uncorked

Martin Ray Winery is proud to announce they’ll be hosting the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour on Saturday, June 10th. Four talented chefs will be treating guests to tantalizing BBQ under the stars. Local favorites Chef Mark and Teri Stark will host the evening. To learn more and purchase tickets click here.

Here’s my interview Martin Ray Winery’s Hospitality Director, Andy Barker about the event and the attractive reconditioning the winery has undertaken.


Martin Ray WineryMartin Ray Winery

Martin Ray Winery

Martin Ray Winery

She’s been called “the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world” by Decanter magazine. Jancis Robinson recently honored the UC Davis Shields library by donating her personal writings, papers, photographs, and even tasting notes. Her long list of credits include co-authoring The World Atlas of Wine with Hugh Johnson, editing The Oxford Companion to Wine, and co-authoring American Wine with Linda Murphy. She is founder of the award-winning Naturally, I jumped at the chance when offered the opportunity to interview Jancis at the Shields Library prior to the event celebrating her donation. As you’ll hear she was quite gracious.

To learn more about Jancis, her donation, and to watch a video of the the event click here.

To dig deeper into the collection and to locate the department of Special Collections click here.


Jancis Robinson and Jeff Davis

This is a sample of the numerous writings and personal notes donated by Jancis now on display at the Shields Library

Jancis Robinson and Jeff Davis

Would you believe me if I said Mexico’s wine industry is growing? OK, that’s not so hard to believe because the wine industry is expanding everywhere. What if I told you the oldest winery in the Americas is in Mexico? It’s true, Casa Madero in the Parras de la Fuente valley in the state of Coahuila next to the Texas border. But this is what I found most interesting, Mexican wines are becoming popular in Canada. Sauvignon blanc, Merlot, Cabernet and Tempranillo are the most common.

This is the story of Frisco Liquor, an American take on Pisco. I received word that a guy in San Francisco was releasing a new liquor which is essentially a white brandy fashioned after the South American grape liquor Pisco. He’s cleverly calling it Frisco (pronounced Freesco). How Charlie O’Connell came to craft this idea stems from his travels to Singapore, Argentina and Chile. He credits a leather-skinned gaucho with a dusty old flask as the genesis of his inspiration. Click below to hear his tale.

   Frisco Liquor
Frisco Liquor

Here’s good news concerning teenage drinking. A report compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan are reporting that drinking rates among 13-18 year olds have sunk to its lowest levels in twenty-five years. The key to bringing alcohol drinking level down in children was in educating parents and other adults about the consequences of providing alcohol to teens. Both monthly and annual alcohol use in 8th, 10th and 12th grades declined in 2016 which contributed to the lowest levels since 1991. That’s great to hear.

For more details on the report click here.

Photo compliments of The Drinks Business