Sustainablility,Vineyards,Viticulture,Wine,Wine Business,Wine Business Innovation,Winery

New Irrigation Cleaning Treatment Saves Farmer’s Water, Time, and Skin ~ PhytoCat

I received the following information from David Prum, about PhytoCat Irrigation Cleaning. David got my attention.

The following information has a lot of merit. Imagine successfully irrigation cleaning without caustic chemicals? This new irrigation system goes straight to being really clean, without anything corrosive in the process. The savings to longevity of your vineyard workers’ hands and equipment that they use, will make everyone happy campers. Thinking sustainably is just good business, I’m sure you know. The less chemical intervention on every level, the healthier way to live it is for everyone. The same holds true for sustainability of a winery. And, we also have to think about supporting the people who manage vineyards and wineries. Honestly, think about it… Without people, there is no sustaining of anything in a vineyards or winery. It makes me very uncomfortable to think that peroxide burns into workers skin, right? There  had to be a better way, and there is a better way, from what I’ve seen in these photo-2-videos.

From PhytoCat | Irrigtion Cleaning

What if a micro-irrigation system could run clean all year, without flushing or applying acids?  Several wine grape growers in California say they have found a way to make it happen and it means savings in time, equipment, water, and a safer work environment.  These farmers are replacing the traditional irrigation cleaning regimen of acids, flushing, and scrubbing, with a treatment of fermented organic plant materials that produces extremely reactive micro-bubbles.

Since its invention in the 1960s, drip irrigation technology has revolutionized agriculture – reducing water consumption by 30 to 60 percent and increasing crop yields by 20 to 50 percent.  But none of these systems work with perfect efficiency in the real world, because of the chronic problem of bio-films and mineral deposits. Bacteria grow in nutrient rich irrigation water and secrete “slimes” that act like glue binding together minerals in the water, into deposits which clog drip emitters and water filters.  When irrigation systems become clogged they fail to distribute water and nutrients evenly.  The acidic and caustic chemicals used to treat bio-films and mineral deposits are dangerous for farm workers and largely ineffective.

The new, non-toxic cleaning treatment is called Phyto-Cat; it breaks up the bio-films and mineral deposits that often clog emitters and filters. The micro-bubbles it generates super saturate the water and adhere to bio-films.  A rapid oxidation takes place and the bio-films and mineral deposits are shattered and washed into the soil, where they become nutrients for the beneficial aerobic bacteria in the soil.

Phyto-Cat was developed by Bio-Organic Catalyst Inc. of Costa Mesa, California, to accelerate the breakdown of compost in soils.  “The evidence of benefits for plants is very strong,” said David Prum, of Bio-Organic Catalyst. “But one thing is clear;  every emitter, in every system treated with Phyto-Cat, runs perfectly clean throughout the growing season.”

Using Phyto-Cat at Sebastiani Vineyards

Vineyard manager, Mark Seifert began using Phyto-Cat in the spring of 2017, at Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma, California.  “When we flush our irrigation system, our guy has to go through and undo all the ends of the drip lines.” Seifert said. “You’ve got hundreds of miles of irrigation lines that need to be undone.  That’s a lot hours our guys could be doing more productive things in the vineyard.”

After treating with Phyto-Cat, at the beginning of 2017, Mark Seifert didn’t need to flush out his irrigation system once, during the entire growing season.

Using Phyto-Cat at Chalone Vineyard

In 2016, Chalone Vineyard in Soledad, was the first vineyard, or farm of any sort, in California to use Phyto-Cat in its drip irrigation systems.  Richard Boer, the vineyard manager at Chalone, reported immediate and dramatic results.  “We put in one quart per acre, injected it into the irrigation system. We let it sit overnight and then we flushed it as we traditionally do. We got more gunk out of the lines than we ever had in the past.”

When Boer started up his irrigation system again in the spring of 2017, he found that the whole system had remained completely clean over the winter. “Every drip line that I’ve opened this year has been clean, and we haven’t cleaned out the system at all since last year (2016) at shutdown.”

The irrigation system at Chalone Vineyards is equipped with a set of three large sand filters, designed to automatically back-flush, when the pressure differential between the incoming and outgoing water reaches a preset limit.  Throughout the 2017 growing season, the pressure differential on the filters at Chalone remained near zero and never triggered a back-flush cycle.  Richard Boer explained, “It costs us about 700 dollars an acre foot to pump the water from the valley floor to our property before we even put it in the reservoir and irrigate with it. Each time the filters flush, they flush probably 2,000 gallons of water. So, if we can save water, we’re saving money.”

Boer reported that a $70.00 per acre treatment with Phyto-Cat saved him $300.00 per acre in labor, parts, and water costs.

Using Phyto-Cat versus Peroxide to Clean Drip Irrigation Systems

Before 2017, Tarcisio Carona of Sonoma County, California used an organic peroxide to treat the iron chelate bacteria, in his irrigation water.  Kneeling down beside one of his clean drip ends, Carona collected some of the water in his hand and smelled it.  “When I used peroxide, you couldn’t touch the water like this, or you’d burn your skin fast.  But, with Phyto-Cat, you can do that.”

Carona added, “I’m surprised because we had a 3-years experience with the peroxide, and I never saw any difference in the water. I only saw it on my hands, because that chemical burned my skin.”




Public Relations,Public Service Announcement,Wine

AFTER THE FIRE ~ Construction Lending and Rebuilding Seminar

This is a public service announcement, because I know too many of you…

If you lost your home in the fires and are facing the challenge of rebuilding, you need information. Please join us at the Friedman Event Center for a FREE half day seminar covering construction and construction lending. We will address the

  • role of architects, interviewing contractors
  • choosing and contracting with a contractor
  • warning signs
  • tax issues related to rebuilding
  • getting money from the insurance company to your contractor
  • government permitting issues.

In addition to all of the valuable information that you will be receiving from the speakers, there will also be construction lenders on site to help answer your questions. If the event “sells out,” we will schedule another at a later date.

Location: Friedman Event Center –  4676 Mayette Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Date: January 20, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Friedemann Goldberg LLP would like to thank our sponsors for helping make this FREE seminar possible.

Community Bank of the Bay
EverBank Home Lending
QuickDraw Fund Control

Registration is required. Click here to register.

I have tried the link and the following message popped up. I assure you, it’s not a trick. “You are about to log in to the site “frigolaw.com” with the username “fire_insurance_claim”, but the website does not require authentication. This may be an attempt to trick you.”


Chile,Food and Wine,Sauvignon Blanc,Wine

Viña Concha y Toro’s 2016 Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc

SAMPLE: 2016 Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc ($26 ~ 13.6% alcohol ~  produced by Concha y Toro)

Concha y Toro’s is located in Santiago Chile, and Terrunyo is one of their projects.

The 2016 Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc isn’t considered an ordinary Sauvignon Blanc, by those who have also enjoyed it, because winemaker Ignacio Recabarren has a couple of personas: he’s either a revered elder statesman of modern-day Chilean winemaking; or he’s a rebel genius, who stops at nothing to make the wines he really wants (and needs for his own soul) to make.

With coastal influences, the Sauvignon Blanc grapes are planted close to the Pacific Ocean. The location for this vintage originated in Block-5 of the Los Boldos Vineyard, in Chile’s Casablanca Valley. Soil terroir is red clay topsoil and a granite subsoil, that’s Permeable and has very good drainage. It’s poor in nutrient matter, which is good for grapevines. Grapevines don’t need a lot of nitrogenous waste in the soil, to produce flavorful grapes. That stress is good for grapevines and wine grapes. This may seem like a conundrum, based on all else that grows; but, it is what it is, and it works… Don’t touch it!

According to its individual level of ripeness, each cluster is hand picked, over the course of March. Rhythms of ripeness; yeah, I like that.

The wine itself is pale yellow in color, with green light tinges. It’s bouquet is very citrusy; lemon, and line. Mineral notes are refreshing and bright. You know, this wine is perfect for this time of year. Imagine a chilly winter night, the air has been brisk all day, it feels like it’s been down to the bone. The fire is going, your crockpot has been slow cooking all day, a recipe that’s a mix of spices, like cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and cayenne. With this kind of meal’s flavors, you want a wine that balances lightly with crisp, clean flavor, yet with it’s own touch of spice and refreshness… This was IT!

RECIPE: REAL SIMPLE: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Garam masala

As a Side Note

I was really taken, recently, with a Michelle Williams’ quote, RockinRedBlog, and it shapes really well into what I also believe. “Drinking wine is art, tasting wine is science, talking about wine is culture.”

So, anyway, here we are…



On Second Thought… Will the Legalization of Marijuana Have a Negative Impact on Wine

Will the legalization of marijuana have a negative impact on wine sales? I skimmed a story that was thought to be likely.

On Second Thought…

In the 1960s and 70s, I would have said “yes.” Wine just didn’t do it for me, back then. Now, as a wine consumer and publicist within the wine community, I don’t believe it will have that much of a negative impact. Perhaps in the beginning, but not in the long run.

Look, the medicinal benefits of marijuana have been known throughout time. It’s a medicinal herb, just as Turmeric has been shown to help remove carcinogens, as it helps to remove the smoke that we either put into our bodies of subjected to with pollution. St. John’s Wort has proven to help in cases of mild to moderate depression, and Valerian relaxes tense muscles.

The health benefits of marijuana are declared to be:

  • Can be used to treat Glaucoma.
  • Reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve lung health.
  • Help control epileptic seizures.
  • Decreases the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome.
  • A chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading.
  • Read more at Business Insider.

The talk of Jeff Sessions having stock in private prisons is not as likely as that he has stocks in pharmaceutical companies. Let’s research that one. Otherwise, what’s it to him, really, that people want to enjoy the health benefits of Mary Jane?

Those who were enjoying its benefits in the 60s and 70s, including the calming of nerves (during the Vietnam War, most especially), have either stopped in deference to legal wine, or have simply continued to be underground. The former are most like to continue with wine. The latter are just going to buy it legally, now. The uptick is going to increase, yes, but it’s not going to have a substantial effect, after all settles in.

The real increase is going to be increased revenues for the states that have been the early adopters. It wasn’t until alcohol’s Prohibition was reversed that Marijuana became illegal. (Got to have a way to get some people into jails, right, to keep that industry humming?) Now, because of marijuana, the prisons are on ridiculous overload.

Long story short. I once met a man whom the Bangor Daily News claimed was one of the 10 Most Wanted, when he was captured. He was up for four counts of bank robbery, the state police told me, and seven counts of murder – two of whom were friends that he buried after. He was very intelligent and charming, but he was also very dangerous. He had shared with me, before I had him leave my life – that when he was 16, he broke some windows, was put into prison, and that’s where he went to school. This is what our system does. It puts people who need help into jail, instead of rehab.

The impact on the wine industry is going to happen at first, yes. But in the long run, it will settled down and become minimal. People will have just one more choice for relaxation…

Herbs commonly sold as standardized extracts, according to The Herbal Drugstore

by Linda B. White, M.D., Steven Foster ~ Page 24

  • Bilberry
  • Garlic
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Grapeseed – yeah, grapeseed
  • Hawthorn
  • Kava-kava
  • Licorice
  • Milk Thistle
  • Saw palmetto
  • St.-John’s-wort

Finally, we can get Marijuana written into these books.



Rock n’ Roll Wine Updates

In May of 2016, The Who’s Roger Daltrey created his own Champagne, to launch 50 years of the band. That was one to pop a cork over, right? This wine was made in collaboration with Charles Orban, in celebration of “The Who Hits 50!” tour. ” Called Cuvée Roger Daltrey, it was produced by Champagne Charles Orban. Roger wanted to do something special for their fans, and is there any better way to celebrate that milestone, than with a bottle of bubbly?  From ThedrinksBusiness.com: “Daltrey said in a statement. ‘I took my inspiration for the bottle from the Tommy album cover which is a favorite of mine … the album that cemented our legacy. I can’t wait for everyone to try it.'”

Proceeds from sales of Champagne Cuvée Roger Daltrey ($128/bottle are still available at Eminent-Life.com. The proceeds are meant to benefit Teen Cancer America.This organization was co-founded by Daltrey and Pete Townshend.

Roger Earl, Foghat’s drummer, is making Santa Maria Valley wines, under his own name of Foghat Cellars. Right now the site has all older vintages. I’m left to wondering if  if this was just a one hit wonder, like so many others I’ve seen in this career. It’s only Rock and Roll, but do “I like it”? When one is a star in a primary career, and they enter the wine business, it’s assumed that this is going to be an overnight sensation, via family, friends, and fans as in the case of Rock in roll. This hasn’t been the case for rock and rollers, though. Wine is a separate audience, and that one needs just as much promotion.

On the Website, he’s got a Cab, a  Pinot Noir, and a Chardonnay. Rocker knows how to rock, but when they roll into the wine business, it’s a completely different animal, as I learned when I segued from Rock radio into the wine biz, too. Stage presence isn’t something that farmers easily grasp. (Just try being their publicist, and convincing them they need to come into the spotlight.) This was a collaboration between the Roger and Linda Earl and former Talley Vineyards winemaker Steve Rasmussen. This all came together in 2007, when Steve was inspired after seeing Foghat perform at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles. when he approached the Earls about having a Foghat wine, the Earls decided to go for it and work with Steve Rasmussen to create Foghat Cellars’ first vintage, first bottled in 2008.

When I first came to wine country in 1992, I was a freak. Just coming out of rock and roll radio, that was the only PR I knew; and yet, I wanted to segue into wine PR. In my early wine PR career, I actually had the audacity to call a Napa Valley wine writer icon. I got a recording, so I left a message. I promptly had an assistant return my call, to tell me that I must never call this person again.. Today, I’m very familiar with both kinds of PR (radio and wine). I also knew back then what is finally coming around today, as evidenced by Wine Enthusiast’s releasing a magazine, with a focus on… you guessed it… The Music Issue. Tag line Welcome to our celebration of one of life’s best pairings. Yeah! I’m so pleased to see that my years of promoting this genre has finally come to national attention fruition.

Things I’ve promoted, including this image I created with a guitar inside of a bottle, have been a blast. I did a copyright on this image, because I’ve seen many of my epiphanies get taken as their own by others. This one, I wanted to preserve; because, some things just have to belong to the owner of the concept, (copy)right?

Rock n’ Roll Timeline I’ve created since I first launched the concept on June 30, 2008 :

  • Kermit Lynch (1972) ~ Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
  • Robert Foley (1977) ~ Robert Foley Vineyards
  • Olivia Newton-John (1983) ~ Koala Blue Winery
  • Doobie Brothers manager Bruce Cohn (1984) ~ B.R. Cohn Winery
  • Boz Scaggs (1997) ~ Scaggs Vineyard
  • Mick Hucknall of Simply Red (2001) Mick (of the British pop group) has a winery in Sicily, where he produces a Nero d’Avola called Il Cantante (“the singer”)
  • Mick Fleetwood (2002) ~ Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar
  • Bob Dylan (2002) ~ Planet Waveswine
  • Andy Hill (2002) ~ English sparkling wine Nyetimber, owned by songwriter Hill, who wrote all the hits for Bucks Fizz
  • Sir Cliff Richard (2004): Quinta do Moinho, a vineyard in Portugal, Vida Nova and Wells Wines. Richard has owned his land for over 40 years.
  • Jerry Garcia (2005) ~ J. Garcia wines by Clos du Bois
  • Mötley Crüe (2005) ~ Vince Vineyards (Can’t find any updates of Website. Was it a one hit wonder?)
  • Madonna (2005) ~ A joint owner of the Ciccone Vineyard and Winery in Michigan
  • Dave Pack of Ambrosia (2005) ~ “Vintage 2005 Napa Valley Friend’s Blend.” (Not for sale; for family and friends, per Mike Nordskog, Wine & Jazz magazine)
  • Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle (2006) ~ He has Caduceus Cellars, Merkin Vineyards and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards and the associated winery, Caduceus Cellars. According to a fan, he’s full on into wine, adjusting his band’s touring schedule around harvesting and anything else he needs to do at his winery.
  • Fergie of Black Eyed Peas (2006 ) ~ Ferguson Crest Wines
  • Dan Aykroyd of Blues Brothers fame (2007) ~In 2007, it was announced that the Dan Aykroyd Winery would be built someday, on the property that Birchwood Estates Wines.
  • Sting (Approx. 2007) ~ Vineyard in Tuscany. He makes a Chianti called Il Serrestori, and began making wines just for friends and family. By 2009, he was selling his 2007 vintage.
  • Les Claypool of Primus (2007) ~ His business card simply reads, “Les.” He sings his heart out, and is now also making great wine under the Claypool Cellars label. His Website claims: Fancy Booze for semi-fancy folks. Les immediately told me, “Life’s too short, you gotta have fun!” This is what I love about rockers… and miss… They live so large and love so hard. Wine happens because it’s there. It’s not the be all to end all, and it’s not for pretension; it’s just to enjoy life a bit more.
  • Eric Turner of Warrant (2007) ~ Cherry Pie Red, Napa Valley
  • Jackson Brown (2008) ~ In 2008, Jackson Brown publicly contemplated turning his Hollister Ranch home in Santa Barbara, California into a vineyard.
  • Queensrÿche front man Geoff Tate ( 2008) ~ Queensrÿche has teamed up with Three Rivers Winery to create a new red wine signature blend called Geoff Tate “Insania.”
  • Foghat’s Roger Earl (2008) – Foghat Cellars
  • Motörhead (2010) ~ Motörheadwine
  • Whitesnake (2010) ~ Whitesnake Zinfandel
  • Train (2011) ~ Drops of Jupiter
  • Paul Cullen (2011) ~ Bad Company ~ Sonata
  • AC/DC (2011) ~ AC/DC Wines (Available through Dan Murphy, Woolworth’s, and BWS liquor stores throughout Australia
  • Digital Summer (2013) ~ Paul Hoffman and Victim Entertainment (V.E.) have announced a promotional partnership between national recording artist Digital Summer, and the emerging wine brand Headbanger.
  • DEVO’s Gerald Casale (2015) ~ launched a wine brand: THE 50 BY 50.
  • The Who’s Roger Daltry (2016) – Champagne Charles Orban


Wine Blogger

A Line A Day From Livermore Falls, Maine©

A Line A Day From Livermore Falls, Maine, in 1925© 

An Unnamed Housewife in Livermore Falls

January 1, 1925: Odd Fellows Block, Livermore Falls. Drove to grandmother’s with Molly. Ida was up. Floyd has chicken-pox. Saw flock of tree sparrows.

The picture is of my grandmother Abbie Bernier, when she was about the same age as our unnamed author. The two could have actually crossed paths, when our author went shopping in Lewiston, Maine; as, as my grandmother was working in a women’s clothing store on Lisbon Street. This is where everyone from the surrounding areas shopped, who went to “the city” of Lewiston (Maine).


Jo's World,Wine Blogger

A Line A Day From Livermore Falls, Maine in 1925©


After writing my blog post story Twelve years of blogging… What do I have to show for it? Prohibition Redux, (December 8, 2017) I realized that I needed better time management for 2018’s writing. I love to write, was born to write. This blog is where it’s been living, since 2005. So, I became resolved to slow down my engagement with Facebook, which created more time to journal, again. I just posted the following on Facebook (December 9, 2017), getting ready for the 2018 New Year. I’m letting the world know, right here, right now, this is a Poor Man’s Copyright, as another journal is brought to life, again.

January 1, 1925

A Line A Day ~ The Journal’s Prefatory

“You have neither the time not the inclination, possibly, to keep a full diary. Suppose, however, out of the multitude of matters that crowd each day, you jot down in a line or two those most worthy of remembrances. Such a book will be of the greatest value in after years. What a record of events, incidents, joys, sorrows, successes, failures, things accomplished, things attempted. This book is designed for such a record. It can be designed for just such a record. It can be commenced on any day of the year, and is so printed that it is good for any vine years.”

The picture is of my grandmother Abbie Bernier, when she was about the same age as our unnamed author. The two could have actually crossed paths, when our author went shopping in Lewiston, Maine; as, as my grandmother was working in a women’s clothing store on Lisbon Street. This is where everyone from the surrounding areas shopped, who went to “the city” of Lewiston (Maine).

A Line A Day From Livermore Falls, Maine in 1925©

January 1, 1925 ~ A Housewife in Livermore Falls

You can follow on my Facebook Page. This is the last you’ll see of this story on Wine-Blog, for the year.


Alexander Valley,Dry Creek Valley,Event,Russian River Valley,Wine

Winter WINEland 2018 ~ Wine Country is Alive And Well

Join us for two glorious days along Wine Road – Northern Sonoma County as we celebrate the 26th Annual Winter WINEland! 2018.

It’s right in my backyard, on January 13 and 14, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., each day. We love seeing you all, wine glasses in hand, going from one participating winery to another (I’ll be looking out for all of the jaywalkers. I know what it’s like to be on holiday, and not paying attention to normal details, during those fun times.)


This is going to be a great opportunity to meet winemakers, taste limited production wines, new releases or library wines. All participating wineries will highlight a Vintage, Varietal or Vertical tasting for the weekend. Our details program will be available in mid December.

Ticket price will include wine tasting at all of the participating wineries for the weekend.

Winemaker Breakfast and Q & A on Saturday, January 13, from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.. Tickets must be purchased for this added event during registration. Join winemakers for a casual morning of Q & A along with a breakfast before heading out to Winter WINEland. This is an open forum for guests to meet and chat with winemakers in a casual breakfast setting with Q & A. This is not a wine tasting experience, simply breakfast and conversation.

Winter WINEland does not take place at one location, you travel from winery to winery, visiting the ones you are interested in exploring.

All Wine Road events are for adults only… NO ONE under the age of 21 is allowed to attend Winter WINEland – including no babies or children of any age.

For more information, visit the events section on our website. Tickets went on sale in November 2017.



Jerusalem and the High Holy Holidays with Wine ~ PSÂGOT Kosher Wines

Today is a day when – for this year – we segue from the end of Hanukkah season right into the Christmas season. Both born from significant historical and religious events, today, I’m left to wondering. Do you think there will ever again be such compelling circumstances in history, that create what’s recorded as miracles, marked in time for thousands of years to follow?

As I celebrate this season, with family members of all religious backgrounds, I was sent a sample of wine that I believe is a quintessential Kosher for this time of year… a 2014 PSÂGOT Jerusalem Mountain Vineyards Merlot. It’s a wine so worthy for the last day of Hanukkah… saving the best for last, and one to have on Christmas day… The gift of both holidays is that they have an extension of time, eight days for Hanukkah and 12 for Christmas, If you haven’t seen the twelve days play out, you haven’t been to places like Puerto Rico during January 6, of any given year. (Puerto Rico needs that kind of miracle this year. May the Gods send a savior.)

Putting the “why” into this wine is a quintessential, is that it stems from the land of miracles.

  • Emanating from Jerusalem, the eight-day Jewish celebration, known as Hanukkah (or Chanukah), commemorates a re-dedication. This happened during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. According to Jewish legend, this is where Jewish people rose up against Greek-Syrian oppressors, known as the Maccabean Revolt.
  • Emanating from Bethlehem, (located 6.2 miles south of Jerusalem), the 12 days of Christian celebration, known as Christmas, commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger. According to Christian legend, Jesus was born to a virgin, and a very bright North Star led three kings to deliver gifts to the new born king, the son of God.

I respect each history… all history, really. Because the truth does eventually shake down into beliefs. So, when I am given a wine from Jerusalem, I take note. This Psâgot Merlot from Jerusalem has this history in its terroir’s heart and soul. I’m treating it as very meaningful.

And so, each sip is a taste of that history, and makes it extremely pleasurable, before I even begin my process of tasting and recording what it’s meant to me.

All of the following are from #samples.

PSÂGOT Merlot from Jerusalem

Rich, ripe cherry aromas arose from the bottle’s neck, as I pulled the cork. It made me leave the kitchen and the Bordeaux glass behind, and head for my wine glass closet. So, “Which Burgundy glass has the best globe, because I don’t want to miss anything, when I take that first sniff, right after the first swirl.” Glass on my desktop, bottles now open. Poured into the globe, and here I am… at the cross roads of one high holiday into the next…

Swirling the garnet colored wine, rich aromas called to me (and one left over fruit fly, looking for anything real in my office). Chocolate, minerality (chalky, from limestone soils) in the Jerusalem Hills, and bramble berries (black raspberries, not blackberries) gently rose into the room. Inviting me to get more into it, I tasted this beautiful, rich looking wine. It’s so smooth, delicious, and bright as the North Star, lasting cherries on the finish, I’m so delighted to now have tasted this Merlot, having earlier tasted their PSÂGOT Edom. (PSÂGOT’s Edom is the winery’s premier red wine; a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (75 percent) and Merlot (25 percent). It’s definitely full-bodied, and aged for 14 months in French and American oak barrels.)

PSÂGOT’s 2014 Merlot is $28.00 for a bottle, and they ship to the US, if this is attractive to you.


Holiday,I'll Drink to That,Wine,Wine Accessories

Holiday Frenzy: What to get, What to get? Into Wine?

All of the following are from #samples.

The holidaze are upon us: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Birthday (yes, some of us have that thrown in for good measure), Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year… They’re all relevant, as is wine, to many of December’s cultures celebrating these festive days. I’ve come to realize, December means that every single one of us, celebrating these holidays, takes on a part time job, on top of everything else we’re doing in December. It can be exhausted just thinking of it, and this is only December 4. Perhaps this list will help you make some decisions. All prices are listed, so match your gift against your budget, and away we go.

Moving on with great excitement, I’ve been receiving some great #samples of wine items related to gift giving. So, I’m sharing them for all of you as a holiday gift-giving shopping list, who might be wondering what to get for that special person who loves wine:

Here’s a gift for you, for starters, and for you to share with everyone you know.

The Color of Wine app ~ This one is free, just go to this link for your FREE download

The coloring craze has cycled back from our hippie-dippie days, and I know why. All you need to do is go to the Apple Store and download Color of Wine: iPhone now, Android in early 2018. Did I mention it’s FREE? You do need to register with Facebook, to save or share your work, don’t forget. And, there are over 300 colors that you can choose! I’ve tried it and it was a blast from the past.

  • Wine & Wine founder Julie Brosterman, in an interview with says the philosophy behind Color of Wine is to invite men and women to experience, relax and de-stress with the app while enjoying their daily glass of wine. “The benefits of coloring – and the enormous popularity of mobile coloring apps – shows us that we can connect with wine consumers while they enjoy coloring their favorite wine brands and images. We ask a lot from the consumer when we want them to view countless promotions via social media. I think we are all suffering from a kind of ‘social fatigue’. Color of Wine lets people feel the love. Color of Wine was developed to show consumers how much we want them to be happy and engaged while they are enjoying a glass of wine (or two) at the end of the day. Coloring is meditative and mindful – and easy to do. When the company first looked into mobile as a fast-growing social platform, I was stunned by the popularity of mobile coloring apps – 25 million downloads for Colorfy, the top mobile coloring app.”
  • See the fun and how to on bottom of this post, for the YouTube Video.


Admirable Family Vineyards: The Wine Roads of California Coloring Books Series from Board and Bench Publishing ~ $ 14.95  $ 8.97

This 5 x 7″ book, ISBN 9780932664983, usually ships within 3-5 days. It’s a Paperback, 9 x 9, 32pp, B&W illustration – You add the color!

  • Bringing back the hippie dippie days of coloring, I would love to sit and color, perhaps after the holidays and all that goes with it… Tal Wiszniak-Shani ~ Set in the center of beautiful Malibu, Admirable Family Vineyards creates lovely wines redolent of the region’s distinct style of Surf and Sun. In this book, artist Tal Wiszniak-Shani captures this unique Malibu character in a series of drawings that evoke a very particular feeling, well known among the natives: the experience of the right wine, sipped at the ideal vantage point to the Pacific, at the perfect time of day.
  • So, break out the colored pencils, pull the cork on a bottle of one of Admirable Family Vineyards’ lapidary wines, and be inspired.


Spirale Wine Glasses by Vacanti ~ Upgrade your wine experience. the package of two costs $50.00

These wine glasses are totally charming, while also creating an important and fun function that was yet to be designed. It’s an invention that’s been a long time coming. We just enjoyed a 1971 Margaux. If we hadn’t been under mandatory evacuation during the California fires, I would have driven home for my Spirales. Yeah, it was one of those moments. Sounds awfully geeky, but sediment is sediment, right?

  • Dishwasher safe…
  • See the little cork screw at the bottom of the glass? As Vacanti states, would you rather spend your time savoring or not straining your wine? Well, with these very special glasses, you no longer need to strain or filter the sediment from your red wines. You simply pour, drink, and enjoy to the last sip. Spirale has revolutionized the wine drinking experience.
  • This is for those of you who enjoy wines that haven’t been filtered or fined (like I love them). You’ll occasionally get some sediment and this glass captures it all.
  • Margarita and Patrick Vacanti state, “A captivating design. Our elegant hand-blown design is a perfect fusion of form and function. As sediment settles to the bottom of the glass, the spiral in the stem separates it from the wine. Our patented feature keeps the sediment at bay, even while tilting your glass to enjoy the wine.


Loma Living Wine Rack ~ Sold right now for $60 (was $75), and free shipping in the US. (Great benefit.)

This 8-bottle wine rack with dark finish has been created for the minimalist. A tiny house is a perfect spot for this wine rack, of just a tiny kitchen. For me, a space on a kitchen wall would work wonders. Loma Living shows their bottles on a vertical hang, where my picture needs to be turned counter clockwise in a 45 degree angle, so you “get it.”

  • Loma Living creates minimalist home storage for bikes, wine, and more. The designs and crafting are all made in Philadelphia, USA. On their Wine and Bar page, prices range from $25 to $75, and everything is 25 percent off through Christmas., and free shipping. If you’ve got a wine and wood lover, this company is your new best friend.
  • The color of wood, for each item, also varies from dark to natural finishes.


Boutique Wine Club ~ Wines chosen are all 90 Point wines

I received a sample shipment from this wine club, and it was their Santa Barbara Club sampler box. (Sampler is six bottles of 375 ml sized bottles.)

  • If you give this gift, you’ll also have a choice of the Paso Robles Club
  • Or, a combination of Santa Barbara and Paso wines combined club
  • The wines in this Santa Barbara pack contains the following:
      • Stolpman Winery 2016 Estate Grown Syrah
    • Larner Winery 2017 Santa Barbara County Rosé
    • Carr Winery 2016 Cab Franc Santa Ynez Valley
    • Blair Fox Cellars 2016 Petite Sirah Santa Barbara County
    • Andrew Murray E11even Wines 2016 Chenin Blanc
    • Badge 2016 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County
  • The deal
    • 12 Bottles/Year Ships 6 Bottles 2x/year
    • $130-180/shipment + Shipping + Tax
  • About the club
    • Always Free Membership
    • Always Flat Rate Shipping
    • Cancel Anytime
    • Tasting Guide Included in Every Shipment
    • Don’t like it? Return for something new
    • Lowest Price Guarantee
    • Extended Family Opportunities
    • Free Wine Tastings at all Club Wineries
    • 20 Percent Savings on Private Wine Tours
    • Reorder Only the Bottles You Love

Compressor Wine Cooler by NewAir, a 29 bottle rack ($829.95)

This is the big one, Ladies and Gentlemen. This is the one that you hold back, like my parents did to me, when it was my first bicycle. That was the Christmas that my prayers weren’t answered, when I kept praying for snow, so it would be a white one. Then, I got “why,” if that was all truly possible. As it turned out, I got in 10 great days of biking, before the snow finally came and I had to wait for Spring in May… About May in Maine, I’d say, when I could get back out there.

  • With this one, no one has to wait for anything, just get that packaging out of the way, some warm soap and water, dry it, plug it in, and begin to load it. Let the snow flakes fall.
  • The great part of this wine fridge is it’s streamline construction. This one, as slim as it is, can hold up to 29 bottles of wine. When you first look at the shelves, you think, “What? Only five levels, and I’m counting three across, so what am I missing here?” What I was missing, for a few minutes, is that the shelves pull out for more loading. The depth of the shelves allows for five across, not three, in an up and down placement. All you have to do is move the front bottles to the back, and viola! Five on each shelf. This is the best convenient storage unit going.
  • A few days before this beauty came into my life, I had been longing for a wine fridge, where I could store arriving wine samples, right next to my desk, instead of all over the house. I was queried, I said yes, and delivery happened in the blink of an eye. I thanked NewAir for reading my mind, as you can well imagine. #AWR-290DB-B, life just got real!


DISCLAIMER: Wine-Blog is a journal of my PR wine activities and learnings. 1) I occasionally write stories about wine clients, but don’t charge them for that time. 2) All wine reviews originate from free samples, sent by PR people representing the brands. 3) Images are mostly mine, some are purchased, a few rare ones are part of fair trade usage.