Here are some things you may not know about Prosecco, the rival to champagne. It’s history goes back over 2,000 years. Pliny the Elder once referenced its benefits to a long life. Prosecco is made primarily with the Glera grape but others whites like Chardonnay & Pinto Grigio may be included. It’s popularity grew during the post recession because it’s less expensive than champagne and is just as refreshing. And it does hail from a town named Prosecco in Italy, formerly known as Puccino.


This is Northern California’s biggest tasting event, Labor Day Weekend.

Get the in-depth details here.




(Garagiste – A French term used to describe a garage-based winemaking operation. Once seen as a negative, garagiste wineries are now treated with cult-like status.) Ben Papapietro was a garasite in San Francisco. His desire to get into the wine business found him living in his van in a vineyard for months at a time. Some how he managed to keep his newspaper job during his decades-long venture. Along with friend and partner Bruce they managed reached success in Sonoma County with Papapietro Perry Winery. Ben shares his tale with me in this podcast.




papapietro perry



We Americans are continuing to consume wine at a greater pace as each year goes by. We are the highest wine consuming country by volume, drinking 341.5 million cases in 2016. Considering the size of our country that’s no surprise. That figure is expected to rise nearly 5% by 2020, to 358.3 million cases. However, our dominance may come to an end as I just read China is expected to grow faster and surpass us as the world’s largest consumer.


Napa wine library     If you like Napa Valley wine, don’t miss this one!

Napa Valley Wine Library hosts its 55th Annual Tasting, a vintner’s choice, on Sunday, August 13th out under the oaks at Silverado Resort & Spa. This year’s tasting celebrates the vintages of Napa Valley. Winemakers have been invited to choose two wines, a current release and an older library wine. Expect to taste wines in limited productions from estate vineyards, vinted as early as 1992 and as recently as 2016. Half the wines to be poured are Cabernet Sauvignon, with 12 other varieties making up the balance. Panevino and The Model Bakery are providing savory bites. For a list of participating wineries and their wines go to


DATE:  Sunday, August 13th, 2017,  4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

LOCATION:   The Grove at Silverado Resort & Spa, Napa 1600 Atlas Peak Road, Napa CA 94558

TICKETS:     The Annual Tasting is free to Napa Valley Wine Library members as a benefit of membership. Join on line at or at the door the day of the event. Membership is $100.00

About Napa Valley Wine Library Association: Founded in 1963, NVWLA offered the first wine appreciation classes in Napa Valley. It continues to be an exceptional resource for wine education. The association funds an extensive collection of rare and contemporary works, both technical and popular, in all media including wine labels, periodicals, books, photographs, and other images for use by the general public at Saint Helena Public Library. It also publishes the semi-annual Napa Valley Wine Library REPORT as well as offering a number of wine education events throughout the year. For more information please visit

Hey, thanks for clicking on this event. I’m a member of the Friends of Sonoma County Wine Library, a one-of-a-kind resource for Sonoma County’s wine industry. Please consider joining us for this engaging fundraiser on Thursday, 7/27. Wine and food are included. Click to jump to the website and find the link for tickets click here.  Hope to see you there!




You know, one wine country’s best-kept secrets are the smaller, boutique wineries who, more often than not, make stellar hand-crafted wine. Without cruising around Northern California in person you wouldn’t know of most of them. This podcast features one, Paul Mathew Vineyards. Winemaker Mat Gustafson and his wife Barb make a great team, and if you happen to be in Sonoma County they offer fantastic food and wine pairing dinners. The road Mat traveled in becoming a winemaker was long and took many turns, most in the right direction. I think you’ll enjoy his story. Heck, it might even give you hope while you pursue your dream.



Paul Mathew Vineyards

Paul Mathew Vineyards


These days borders seem to be getting stronger rather than coming down but many of us still prefer the pleasures of travel, and meeting those who travel here to enjoy our wine country lifestyle. Thanks to for coming up with a list of how to say “cheers” in 30 different languages, pronunciations included. Pour yourself a glass and get studying!

Afrikaans – Gesondheid (Geh-soond-hate)
Albanian – Gëzuar (Geh-zoo-ah)
Arabic – في صحتك – (Fi-sih-tik)
Bosnian – Živjeli (Zee-veh-lee)
Chinese (Mandarin) – 干杯 (Gan-bay)
Croatian – Živjeli (Zee-veh-lee)
Czech – Na zdravi (Naz-drah-vee)
Dutch – Proost (Proost)
Filipino – Mabuhay (Ma-boo-hay)
Finnish – Kippis (Kipp-iss)
French – Santé (Sahn-tay)
German – Prost (Prost)
Greek – ΥΓΕΙΑ (Yah-mahs)
Hebrew – לחיים (Luh-kai-um)
Hungarian – Egészségedre (Eg-esh ay-ged-ruh)
Icelandic – Skál (Skowl)
Irish (Gaelic) – Sláinte (Slawn-chuh)
Italian – Salute (Sah-loo-tay)
Japanese – 乾杯 (Kan-pi)
Korean – 건배 (Gun-bay)
Norwegian – Skål (Skowl)
Polish – Na zdrowie (Nahz-droh-vee-ay)
Portuguese – Saúde (Sow-ood-uh)
Russian – Будем здоровы (Boo-dem Zdor-oh-vee)
Slovak – Na zdravie (Nahz-droh-vee-ay)
Spanish – Salud (Sah-lood)
Swedish – Skål (Skowl)
Thai – ไชโย (Chon-gow)
Turkish – Şerefe (Sher-if-fay)
Vietnamese – Dô (Djo)

This is the second time I’ve had the chance to interview winemaker Ted Henry and each time it’s been an enjoyable experience. Now he’s the head winemaker at the historic Clos Du Val winery in Napa’s iconic Stags Leap District. Clos Du Val has recently made some dramatic changes to their wine making philosophy. The timing couldn’t have been better to get Ted’s observation on the changes you’ll be seeing and tasting in the near future. My family happened to be visiting Napa Valley that week from Phoenix and not only were they surprised by getting to attend the interview, they also received the wine tasting from Ted. It’s not often a tasting is provide by the winemaker. As I say, he’s a gracious guy.



Winemaker Ted Henry