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Ready to celebrate wine and cheese? When, where, and other fests coming to Modesto region

in Community/Food & Drinks/News

Popular community festivals abound in October throughout the greater Modesto region, signaling the start of fall.

Among the larger events are the Riverbank Cheese & Wine Festival, the International Heritage Festival and the All Hallows Fantasy Faire.

Continue reading on Modesto Bee

Annual food sampling event returns. Wine and film also among Modesto area entertainment

in Community/Entertainment/Events

Local restaurant fare can be sampled by the public at the annual Taste of Oakdale. The State Theatre will throw a wine mixer and film screening, as well as offer a classic John Wayne film. Those are among the entertainment options in the Modesto region Aug 20-26.


The 14th annual Taste of Oakdale returns with 12 of the city’s restaurants offering samples of their food in one place.

Continue reading on Modesto Bee

Why one of California’s most powerful wineries is rebranding as an organic company

in business/Food & Drinks

One of California’s most visible wine companies is changing its name to emphasize its focus on organic and sustainable farming. As of Tuesday, Mendocino County’s Fetzer Vineyards — the 19th largest winery in the U.S., according to Wine Business Monthly — will be known as Bonterra Organic Estates.

The rebranding shows the power that organic messaging increasingly holds for wine consumers, and it follows a string of moves by other mass-production wine companies to signal their environmental stewardship. The country’s largest winery, E. & J. Gallo, for example, recently launched a line of organic wines with its ubiquitous Black Box brand.

Continue Reading on San Francisco Chronicle

Decanting Digest: Fire up the grill and enjoy these California wines

in Food & Drinks

In Canada, we know all too well that summer deserves our appreciation. After months of cold-weather hibernation, it’s liberating to return to balmy afternoons, dockside sessions at the cottage, and delicious meals enjoyed in the great outdoors.

Firing up the grill is part of many summer rituals, and a great grilled meal calls for great wine. There are plenty of refreshing patio sippers out there, but when dinner is on the table, it’s time to pull out the bottles with enough depth to stand up to the complexity of textures and seasonings created on the barbecue.

Here’s a pair of California wines special enough for honoured guests yet approachable enough to serve alongside a variety of dishes on your favourite private patio.

Continue Reading on Modern Mississauga

West Coast Wines: Still Big, Still Bold After All These Years

in Food & Drinks

Back in the 1980s a California writer for Wine Spectator, for which I was also writing at the time, accused me of having an “East Coast palate,” by which he meant I was so used to drinking French and Italian wines that I could not appreciate the wines of California for their regional distinctions. To say that I preferred European wines back then, as I do now, had nothing to do with bias but to a well-founded assessment that at the time, when California wines were in fast ascendency in the wine press, far too many of them were deliberately made to be what were called “blockbusters,” high in alcohol and terribly over-oaked.

Chardonnays lacking acid tasted more like vanilla caramel than wine, which is easy enough to accomplish with a grape that is fairly neutral on its own. The reds were usually made from a single varietal like Cabernet Sauvignon, which produced wines one wine steward in Colorado said would “blow your doors off”—not a quality I look for in a wine. Zinfandels tended to be heavy and dull, Pinot Noirs tasted like fruit bombs, Sauvignon Blancs like fruit punch and Rieslings were flabby.

Continue Reading on Forbes

Wine and liquor bottles might soon have deposits. A great amount comes from Modesto

in Community/Environment

California would add wine and liquor bottles to its deposit program under a bill moving through the Legislature.

Consumers would get a dime at recycling centers for a typical bottle from wineries in Modesto and beyond.

The authors hope to boost the current 30% recycling rate for the 500 million or so wine and spirits bottles produced in the state each year.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

How One California Winemaker Shaped America’s Love for Cabernet Sauvignon

in Food & Drinks

Drop into the new Splash Wine Bar at San Francisco’s Chase Center on a quest for Cabernet, and you’ll find the most prominent version offered under custom labels designed specifically for the Golden State Warriors. When the NBA team was ready for a wine partner to join them in their new home, it was iconic Silver Oak they turned to, and the commemorative bottles celebrate the collaboration. It was no random choice—Coach Steve Kerr reportedly calls the wine his “girlfriend.” And he’s not alone in the world of athletes and celebs. LeBron James tweets about Silver Oak; Peyton Manning gives out cases; Oprah calls it her fave. We even have it on the best authority that Carlos Santana and Matthew McConaughey are super fans.

Continue Reading on Robb Report

Wine exports grow, much of them from Modesto area. Which countries bought the most?

in Economy/Food & Drinks

Wine exports from the United States jumped 10.6% in value in 2021, reversing a four-year decline, an industry group said Monday.

The total reached $1.44 billion despite tariffs, COVID-19 and other challenges, the Wine Institute reported.

The San Francisco-based group represents California wineries, which account for about 95% of U.S. exports. Much of the volume comes from the Modesto area.

The value hit a record high of $1.61 billion in 2016, then dropped each year to $1.29 billion by 2020.

Export volume has dropped over the past decade amid a general rise in value, reaching 89.4 million gallons in 2021. This reflects a shift toward higher-priced bottles from Napa and other premium regions.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee


in Food & Drinks

Like you have probably noticed, beer is pretty hot right now. In fact, many restaurants in San Francisco are working hard to show beer the same respect as wine on their drinks lists, and hiring cicerones (like sommeliers, but for beer) to develop their beer lists. 

Microbreweries continue to pop up all over town, and many of them are just as focused on pairing their beer with food. Here are some new places in SF for enjoying the fresh wave of beer, from breweries to beer-focused restaurants, and more.

Continue Reading on San Francisco Travel

Celebration of Baja California wine and shellfish coming to California

in Events/Food/Food & Drinks

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The Mexican Consulate in San Diego is bringing a little bit of Baja California’s Guadalupe Valley north of the border, specifically its world-renowned wines and shellfish.

The Baja Wine & Shellfish Fest is geared toward Americans from Southern California who have yet to venture to the Guadalupe Valley just south of Tijuana near the border.

Continue Reading on KRON4

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