Wino me

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Wine has become a hobby, a bad habit, and a tremendous source of learning all in one.  Here are some wineries, blogs, and other resources I recommend for those of you who may have caught the bug.

Cellar Tracker

Where I keep my wine inventory.  Not the sexiest interface, but a fascinating combination of online application and social networking.  Only $20 to get full functionality -- a steal.  Look under “sdatl” to see my inventory and my tasting notes.

R. Stuart & Company

McMinnville, Oregon, producer of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.  Incredible value in their Big Fire line, but their vineyard designates are an amazing expression of the elegant side of Pinot Noir.  Rob doesn’t send any samples to the critics, so he is somewhat under the radar, but his very loyal fan base (me being one of them) is more than happy to drink what he sells.

Girard Winery

A bit bigger and more corporate than Rob Stuart’s (the owner also owns Dean & Deluca), but they offer incredible quality for the money and offer a surprisingly personalized experience at their tasting room in Yountville, CA.  Girard makes a wide range of wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Zinfandel, a Bordeaux-style blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Sirah.

Peay Vineyards

For me, this is the perfect balance of Old World elegance and New World fruit in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah.  Try one of their Pinots and you will understand exactly why people go so nuts for that grape.

Tablas Creek Vineyards

Jointly owned by the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf du Pape and and Robert Haas, an American wine industry executive, this winery makes wines with the traditional grapes of the Southern Rhone valley of France.  Moreover, they make these wines from the relatively-new wine region of Paso Robles, California.  This winery single handedly made me love Syrah again and confirmed my love of Grenache.

Wine blogs

There are dozens of blogs out there, but I have learned a lot from the relatively few I have time to read.  This is a great way to see that wine is not necessarily snobby, complicated, or anything but good, clean fun.  Check out my favorites:

Wine Berserkers

The Parker alternative.  A rowdy, but very informative and energetic board where winemakers, industry pros, and passionate amateurs have it out on all topics wine.  This is a great place to learn about under-the-radar wineries that are worth your time and money.

© Steve Ritchie 2017