“The New California Wine” Author Jon Bonne Visits LA 12/15/13

download“I hear you hate California wine.”

That’s the first line in Jon Bonné’s new book, The New California Wine which showed up on my doorstep a few days ago. Since then I’ve discovered for myself why my wine blogging friends have been raving about it–it really is a great book. In fact,  it’s all I can do NOT to drop everything and keep reading it!

I mean, don’t you want to know what comes after that first line?

As a nationally recognized wine authority and the wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, Bonne certainly knows his wine. But it is his historical narratives and personal anecdotes that caught my imagination right away and seduced me into reading far longer than I had planned to–it’s finals, and I have huge piles of research papers to grade. But when I came down with that bug that’s going around, I had a chance to spend a little more time with his book to discover that he offers a seriously comprehensive overview–over 600 wines from long time producers and favorites like Ridge and Ojai Vineyards to the positively youthful Donkey and Goat from the Brandts, and from larger vintners that you can find in a grocery store to tiny ones like William Allen’s Two Shepherds– to guide readers in understanding what’s going on today in California viticulture. Continue reading

#MulledWine: you know you want it

Back in the early 80s, when I was barely legal and going to Foothill community college, I worked at Ridge Winery in the tasting room up on Montebello Road.

For those of you who remember, you are probably laughing because there was no “tasting room” at Ridge –there was only a tasting table outside, a simple picnic table where we had five wines, usually four zins and a claret, lined up along with a basket of fresh bread (from “City of Paris” as I recall); you went inside the cellar where Kathy poured other offerings and helped you make your purchases.

We were having a Christmas party or some sort of potluck as I recall and it was quite cold. I was a newlywed with a Crockpot and as I was going to7chaisspices be at the tasting room all day, I suggested I make mulled wine. After all, there was always plenty of leftover wine lying around that I never got around to drinking during the week so why not pour all those together and mull them?

You can only imagine the look of horror at my suggestion–mull a Ridge wine? Continue reading