Red

MacMurray Ranch: Hollywood Meets Vine

Kate MacMurray at MacMurray Ranch /Photo Michelle Locke

You know Fred MacMurray as a distinguished and gentlemanly actor. But did you also know he was a serious farmer and rancher in Sonoma wine country? MacMurray and his wife, actress June Haver, raised Angus beef, not grapes,but these days the ranch, now owned by the Gallo family, is part of the wine scene with…

My dinner with Yao Ming

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It’s a warm summer evening in the Napa Valley and the clink of glasses echoes along the restaurant-rich main drag of tiny Yountville as two weddings, a college reunion and the usual Friday night dinner crowd get ready for some serious wining and dining. Suddenly, heads turn and eyes widen as a tall man, a…

A sweet ride: Motos Liberty 2009 Merlot

Sometimes you just want to drink the [freaking] merlot. And you don’t want to wrestle with a cork or empty out your wallet to do it. For times such as these may I suggest Motos Liberty 2009 Merlot? This is a relatively new label from Panther Rock Company, a division of Bronco Wines, which is…

Leap into carignan

Winery in the South of France /Photo Michelle Locke

Feb. 29 is a day out of time. Which makes it the perfect day to try a grape struggling to find its place in history. Traditionally, this is known as the day that St. Bridget talked St. Patrick into making a “ladies get to propose” day. Allegedly. And this year it’s also the first ever Carignan Day,…

Ponzi Vineyards Tavola Pinot Noir 2010

With January enveloping us in its grim embrace, it’s nice to have a glass of red wine to look forward to with dinner and this wine, which I got as a sample, fits the bill. Ponzi Vineyards Tavola Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2010: An easy-drinking pinot noir that is ready to go right now and…

Yao Ming, vintner: UPDATE

Big news in the wine world if you are into basketball and the rapidly developing Chinese wine market. Yao Ming, the recently retired Houston Rockets star, announced today he has formed Yao Family Wines in the Napa Valley. The company has released its inaugural wine, a 2009 Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon, under the brand name YAO…

Halloween Wine

Do the undead drink red? Could be, judging by the plethora of cabs, zins and other red wines that come with Halloween-appropriate labels. Vampire Vineyards, featuring a (painted) drop of blood on the label, began with grapes from Algeria and then Transylvania itself, imported by winery founder Michael Machat who was inspired by the ’80′s…

WOTW: Alois Lageder 2008 BETA DELTA Lagrein – Merlot

Today’s Wine of the Week has a long name _ Alois Lageder 2008 BETA DELTA Lagrein – Merlot _ but a short description: Very tasty. This wine is a blend of lagrein, a red wine grape that grows mostly in the South Tyrol, and merlot. It retails for about $22-$28; I got mine as a…

WOTW: Benessere Vineyards

I’d like to say I discovered Benessere Vineyards by driving around the Napa Valley and exploring a wildflower-lined lane. But the truth is I learned of them by getting a box of samples delivered to my door in Berkeley. So, not so much with the romantic backstory, but that, as it turns, out doesn’t matter…

A Malbec for Mother’s Day

Sometimes you meet people who make you feel like you should be trying just a little bit harder. At least that’s how I felt after I spent some time with Laura Catena and her mom, Elena Catena, third and fourth-generation members of an Argentine-Italian winemaking family. Catena is an ER physician at the UCSF Medical…