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10:38 AM

Thursday - Napa Wine

A Napa Wine Artilce for Your Viewing

Touring Wineries in Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is one of the more scenic areas in what is technically known as Southern California. Touring the area with a professional service is definitely the best way to get out on the tasting trail.

Touring Wineries in Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is a beautiful coastal city located in the middle region of California. Billing itself as the ?American Riviera?, Santa Barbara is directly between Los Angeles and San Francisco, making it a great place to visit no matter where in the state you are staying. With many different shops and a great nightlife, as well as beautiful views of the ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, this area is a perfect spot for your next California trip. If you enjoy wine, you are also in luck. There are plenty of services to get you from here to there on the wine trail.

Spencer's Tours (805-884-9700) offers the services of their luxury vehicles for your next wine tour in the area. Trips can last from five to eight hours with these personalized tours, and you will be able to enjoy not only the wineries in the area but also all the natural beauty this region has to offer. As your guide, Spencer Winston will be able to drive you around in his wide variety of plush vehicles while also explaining the history of the area, as he is a member of the Santa Barbara Historical Society. Whether you want to spend all of your time hitting the wineries or you would prefer to see some other historic places, Spencer's will be happy to arrange your stops for you.

The movie ?Sideways? was filmed and took place in the Santa Barbara region, so many wine and movie lovers have come to this area in order to see the Sideways Wine Tour in person. As Santa Barbara tours go, this is a great choice. You can see many of the region's 100 wineries as well as follow the footsteps of the main characters of the film. 18 stops are included in this self-guided tour (which will be followed by Spencer's upon request) ? they range from the ?Ostrich Park? to many different wineries such as the Andrew Murray Vineyards and the Foxen Winery.

Spencer's Tours can also arrange for you to stop at other attractions in the area ? such as the town of Santa Ynez, the surrounding mountain area, and the Santa Ynez Mission. Also worth seeing while enjoying your Santa Barbara tour is beautiful Cachuma Lake, and nature hikes through the fields of wildflowers in the region. You can choose which of the wineries you want to visit, or allow Spencer's to help guide you to some of the highly thought of wineries and vineyards in the Santa Barbara region. You can also enjoy many different tasting rooms, as well as plan for a delicious gourmet lunch on the way.

Santa Barbara is not as well known as the Sonoma and Napa Valleys when it comes to wine ? but this beautiful region in the middle of California's coast is fast becoming a destination for wine lovers. You can verify this yourself by taking a wine tasting tour.

Xavier Moldini is with - free information on wine tours.

A synopsis on Napa Wine.

Wine Making Gifts

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Napa Wine Items For Viewing

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Current Napa Wine News

What Is Involved In Making Wine?

Sun, 09 Mar 2008 13:20:47 PDT
Wine is a very wide spread term that is simply fruit being distilled and fermented for the product of an alcoholic drink. When most people think of wine they immediately think grapes, but there are so many different sources for wine production these include rice (sake), various fruits (elderberry, grapefruit, cherry, etc.), barley, and even honey (mead). To make everything simple with will touch mostly on the wines that are made from grapes alone. These are categorized by several means, of whi

A cultured drink: Wine

Tue, 11 Mar 2008 07:31:52 PDT
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Wed, 12 Mar 2008 09:05:05 PDT
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TN Republican Party claims MLK was a Republican

Wed, 02 Apr 2008 08:49:12 PDT
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Pub menu embraces British comfort foods (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 21:12:03 PDT
While the big screen TVs are broadcasting soccer, there's an impressively extensive list of beers and scotches at Piper's Pub in the South Side. But patrons also can chow down on an extensive menu of comfort foods from across the pond.

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9:59 AM

May - Wine Cassis-

Wine Cassis For Your Reading Pleasure

What Wine Goes With What Food?

We've all heard the rules: red wine with meat, white with fish or fowl. But just as with all rules, this one was made to be broken. There's a growing recognition that there's both more and less to choosing how to pair foods and wine.

The most important factor, of course, is to choose a wine you enjoy. Spumante with Chinese take-out may make the so-called experts shudder, but if that combination works for you, that's all that matters. After all, you're the one eating the meal. However, personal tastes aside, there are some guidelines and suggestions for combining wines and foods that can enhance your enjoyment of each.

Start by thinking of wine as a condiment. You're choosing one that will interact with the foods, just the way a spice does. In fact, wine does affect the taste of food, similar to the effect of spices. Wine contains acids, tannins and sugars, all of which work with the food to create different tastes. Your goal is to find the proper combination that will allow you to enjoy the flavors and characteristics of both the food and the wine.

Wines, like food, can taste sweet, tart or bitter. Food can also be salty (not a property of wine, but salty foods affect its flavor). It's that sweet/tart/acidic interaction that determines the way different food/wine combinations will affect each other.

Sweet Foods

Foods that are somewhat sweet, such as a honey-mustard glaze on chicken will make the wine taste drier (less sweet) than it really is. A slightly sweet wine such as a White Zinfandel or Riesling could work well.

Acidic Foods

Choose wines that are higher in acid when serving acidic foods. Try pairing salad with a balsamic vinaigrette or a lemony-kissed fish dish with a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

Bitter Foods

When serving food with a bitter twist-say, bitter greens in a salad-enjoy it more with a fruity, full-flavored wine such as Merlot or Chardonnay. If you're grilling a steak, try a wine such as red Zinfandel or Shiraz. The tannins in these wines can sometimes give them a slightly bitter taste, but the fat in the meat can tone down this tendency.

In addition to the basic tastes, consider pairing foods and wines that have the same feel to them - light with light and full with hearty. A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon could overwhelm a light fish, and the taste of a delicate white Zinfandel would be lost when accompanying beef stew.

And what about sparkling wines? Only those produced in the Champagne region of France may be called Champagne, but all sparkling wines, no matter their name, are suited to festive occasions. They make an excellent start or finish to any meal.

At times, pairing opposite foods and wines can be surprisingly effective. Hot and spicy foods such as fiery curries or Chinese hot pot can work well with sweet dessert wines. The contrast in flavors can create new nuances in taste and act to cleanse the palate.

A fun way to pair wines and food is to match them by their geographic source. Doesn't it make sense that a French wine would be the best accompaniment for coq au vin?

And for those times when you aren't serving a full meal, don't forget the natural pairings of wine and cheese. There's a reason these two are so often combined. Wine and cheese complement each other exquisitely. Mild to sharp cheeses work well with red wines, as do soft cheeses such as Camembert or Brie. Dry whites are excellent with goat cheese. Sweet wines call for a more intense cheese.

But no matter what combination of food and wine you choose, remember that the most important ingredients for a memorable occasion are the friends and loved ones you invite to share the experience with you.

About the Author

Morgan Slater demonstrates a detailed knowledge of wine industries through his writing for Ecef. Find more articles by Morgan Slater at ECEF

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I just went to the "Webkinz Party" with the kids. The kids all had their own money, but I somehow was able to shell out an extra 30 dollars. ( bought some stuff for my little sister) It was a really good deal though. For every 10 dollars you spent, you got another Webkinz for free. They had a lot to choose from. Plus the kids got to play games and won bookmarks and key chains. We spent a total of 81 dollars and got: 13 Webkinz 1 bookmark 2 key chains 1 pack of cards 1 Webkinz school pack (paper

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OVERHEARD and SEEN ~ April Showers Edition ~ FRONT PAGE The Library Cat by Bookworm We wake to early Spring Flowers everywhere A song is heard From migrant birds Life is in the air And The Show Must Go On.......... by Oscar BLOGGER PUBLISHED It's available through their on-line store at To find it you can use my name for the author search: Sherry Lynn Lipari ... the book title is "A Love Beyond Time". If you would be so kind to submit book reviews at

Other People's Words

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 00:41:34 PDT
By Cornelia Read I've kept a quote book since I was about eighteen. My main one has a glossy egg-yolk-yellow cover, with a billiard-felt green rectangle set into its center. The inside has paler green lined pages, and I've been writing down snippets from novels, articles, pamphlets--whatever--for almost thirty years now. I posted a selection of them in the first year we were doing this blog, and as I'm on deadline until June 12th, I'm firing up a second round for your delectation. Here goes:

Rhubarb loves company, especially sherry (Chicago Sun-Times)

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 02:02:05 PDT
Springtime is a beautiful season in my homeland of Kent County, England, known as the Garden Of England. The wonders of the country are in full bloom and the crops are rich with fruits, vegetables, grains and hops.

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Wed, 30 Apr 2008 06:59:24 PDT
Mark Twain, known as the father of American literature, twice performed at the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City.

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7:39 AM

May 2008 - Wine Varietal

Another Great Wine Varietal Article

The World's Largest Wine Producer

The largest wine producing area of the world can be found at the border of the Mediterranean Sea, in between Spain and the Rhone delta. Out of a population of 2.4 million, there are fifty thousand involved in growing vines. The area they consume spans twenty seven thousand and four hundred square kilometers (10500 miles). There are 400 cooperatives and about 2800 private wineries in the land with Banyuls to the southwest and Muscat to the east. Out of that comes two billion bottles of wine.

The area has hot summers and mild winters. The soil ranges from sandstone and limestone to granite pebbles. Cargnan, Merlot and Grenache other red wines are produced here and among the white wines there is Roussane, Chardonnay and Viognier.

It was the Greeks who started the cultivation of vineyards in this area as early as the 6th century BC when the Romans arrived in the region this cultivation was developed and it went on with the Visigoths in the 5th century. The monasteries in the 9th century developed the hillside regions for the vineyards and used the valleys for grains and in the 19th century the plains became vineyards as well. Currently it is the plains of Herault, Gard and Aude that make up a half of France?s overall grape yield.

For some years the quality of wines began to lag but in the past few decades with the emergence of Syrah there is been a return to quality. Syrah is opaque, purple in color, and has the scent of sweet black berry spiced with cassis and black pepper

The Vin de Pay D?Oc has been improving the region?s reputation in the past ten years with the Corbieres and the earthy Minervois.

Most winegrowing areas are dominated by a particular Chateau. In this area this is not so, most wines are produces by cooperatives who buy grapes grown on local farms. The grapes are put through a process that includes adding grape spirit. This stops the fermentation, saves the sweetness and raises the alcohol level to fifteen or sixteen percent. Wines such as Vin Doux Naturel made from Grenache or Muscat and Muscat de Frontignan or Banyuls are made from this process. They are wonderful dessert wines and are similar to port when it comes to aging potential.

White wine grown here are also of high quality. The Chardonnay and Marsanne are grown in Argelier, an area west of Bezier. The dry, fresh taste with an aroma of apple and oak comes from the chalky soil and the early harvesting process which allows for only a few hours of skin contact before pressing.

There are other red wines of interest such as the full bodied, spicy Corbieres that are made from Carignan and Grenache grapes grown in marl, sandstone and limestone. There are more than seventy million bottles produced that can go through three to seven years of aging.

In the sunniest region of France the Pyrenees in Roussillon produces another variety of reds. The area is closer to Spain and the Carignan is the main grape variety grown in the region. The wine produced is of medium body, spicy and has hints of licorice.

About the Author:

Melinda Carnes is a staff writer at Everything Gourmet and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including Coffee Enthusiast.

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Posted by Larry Jackson | 0 comments