The Navigator and I attend many wine events throughout the year. I have my list of favorites and she has hers. But we agree that the Lodi Wine and Chocolate Weekend is one of the tops.
I could give you a dozen or more reasons to attend but here is the short list; handcrafted wines, Brix chocolates, a short drive, 50 wineries, a two day event, food delicacies like chocolate-covered baklava, live music and friendly people. It’s a sweetheart deal and the perfect Valentines Day gift for your favorite friend. The event is celebrating its 21st year on Feb. 10-11. Last year more than 6,000 visitors from 22 states took part. Go. You will have a great time. For more information and tickets, go to www.lodiwineandchocolate.com. Cheers!
Winey things you should know
▪ Wednesday, Feb. 7, is National American Fortified Wine Day. The purpose of this special wine day is to celebrate the nation’s historic, celebrated and versatile luxury beverage. Over 1,000 American winemakers produce Vermouth, and port-style, sherry-style and Madeira-style wines from over 50 grape varieties grown in American vineyards.
▪ In 1965, Jim Concannon, collaborated with UC Davis to heat-treat one of the vines his grandfather brought over from the renowned Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux. These are the virus-resistant vines that became Concannon Clones 7, 8 and 11 and helped California Cabernet achieve international recognition. It is estimated 80 percent of California’s Cabernet Sauvignon is planted with Concannon Clones. That’s 130 years of family winemaking!
▪ The CRU Wine Company is tweaking its name to just CRU Winery. This small winery, south of Chowchilla (Road 21) produces amazing pinot noir and chardonnay with Monterey sourced grapes. Paso Robles fruit is used for the big reds. Winemaker, Ken Post, is making some incredible value priced wines. The 96 point, double gold winning 2014 CRU Santa Lucia Pinot Noir for just $20 is the proof. Open every day with tastings just $5, its worth the drive.
What’s On Our Table
The Vina Robles Winery in Paso Robles was producing red blends years before the red blend craze took off. It is called Red 4. My Grocery Outlet insider told me the Turlock store had the 2013 Red 4. It’s a blend of 41 percent petite sirah, 40 percent syrah, 9 percent grenache and 10 percent mourvedre. I secured a half-case. I later found out the Merced store had the 2012 Red 4 with 50 percent petite sirah, 20 percent syrah, 20 percent grenache and 10 percent mourvedre. It’s a tad lighter than the 2013, very tasty and a I left with a case. They are currently my house reds. Suggested retail is $16, outlet price is $4.99. I’m going back for more. Happy hunting. Cheers!
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