California Wines: Grapes, Styles, Regions and What to Buy

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about why Californian wines are among the most popular at the liquor store.  You can buy these wines in liquor stores now as well as a selection of premium wines available now for a limited time online at the LCBO.

You can also watch our second chat about Napa Valley wines here.

 

How the wildfires impacted California wineries?

 

Thankfully, 2021 is a “drama free harvest.” It’s small but mighty, as drought is the defining feature in Napa and Sonoma, as it was the third-driest year in more than a century, and the stress has meant fewer grapes. But drought also causes smaller grapes with more concentrated flavor and tannins.

 

 

People talk about intense aromas and depth, on par with the great 2018s. In Sonoma the chardonnay crop is light, but the wines are full of fresh acidity. Winemaker Theresa Heredia at Gary Farrell Winery in the Russian River Valley says the pinot noir is intense and concentrated.

 

The majority of California’s wineries and vineyards have been untouched by any wildfires this season.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s first take a look at the map of California wine regions. Tell us about them.

 

California wine country is vast, stretching from the Oregon border in the north, down to Mexico in the south: wine grapes grown in 49 of California’s 58 counties.

 

 

California accounts for more than 80%of U.S. wine production and is the fourth leading wine producer in the world, with U.S. wine exports made up of 95% California wine.

 

Which wines are you showing us today?

 

 

 

 

Conundrum Red 2019
California, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon
California, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County, California, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghost Pines Winemaker’s Blend Merlot
Sonoma County and Napa County, California, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon
California, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, California, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted with permission of CTV.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

9 Best Napa Valley Wines to Drink Now

On CTV news, Leanne and I chat about terrific  Napa Valley wines you can buy now for a limited time online at the LCBO. You can watch our first chat about California wines on CTV News here.   We’re narrowing our focus on Napa Valley wines in this segment. Tell us about this region.   What would surprise us about Napa Valley?       It’s the most famous wine growing region in the U.S. but it’s actually tiny, producing just 4% of Californian wine and only 0.4% of the world’s wine production. The valley floor is just 30 miles long […]

read more …

Read More

Best LCBO Wine Reviews: Vintages Ratings October 16

You can access the 137 wines that I reviewed as a text wine list with my complete tasting notes, scores, food matches. If you are a Paid Member, you can add my wine picks to your custom shopping list with one click and access that list on your smartphone to find the stock for each wine in your closest LCBO store. You can also see my wine reviews for October 2ndhttps://www.nataliemaclean.com/blog/best-lcbo-wine-reviews-vintages-ratings-october-2/ These are just some of the benefits of supporting out wine community as a Paid Member. Inventory stock numbers are usually posted online a day or two before the […]

read more …

Read More

Bottle of the Sexist: Marketing Wine to Women with Felicity Carter

Introduction What do fortune-telling and wine writing have in common? How does wine culture change when women are part of its founding? Should you believe the health claims about clean wines? Are they really better for you? What are the fairy tales we tell about wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with wine writer, Felicity Carter who is the Executive Editor at Pix.wine, a global wine discovery platform based in California. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Watch Party Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll […]

read more …

Read More

11 Best Wines to Pair with Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving. But which wines to pair with turkey and all the side dishes? Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine pairing classes at nataliemaclean.com   What’s your top tip when it comes to pairing wine with Thanksgiving dinner?   Wine is a taste of the harvest along with all the delicious dishes on the table. But actually choosing a bottle can feel like a thankless task, especially with so many flavors to match from sweet creamed corn to more bitter greens and veggies, plus […]

read more …

Read More

Pairing Comfort Wines with Comfort Food (Video)

As the weather cools, we enjoy heartier dishes, including comfort food. But which wines should you pair with them? Here with her tips is Maritimer Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome Natalie.   First off, are there such things as comfort wines?   After much research on this topic, I concluded there were no “uncomfortable wines” since I found them all of great comfort ;) However, I found that certain wines tend to pair better with comfort food than others.   Great! Tell us about your first pairing.   Comfort food tends […]

read more …

Read More

Promiscuous Wine Buying, Orange, Natural and Raw Wines

Introduction Why are orange wines appealing to beer drinkers? Why does it pay to be promiscuous when shopping for wine? Why is there so much confusion around natural and raw wine? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m being interviewed by Elizabeth Schneider on the Wine For Normal People podcast. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights Why is there so much confusion around natural and raw wine? What is the natural wine movement about? What makes a good celebrity wine? What’s the problem with diet and alcohol-free wines? How is global warming affecting the wine […]

read more …

Read More

How to Choose the Best Wine Class or Course

  Back to Wine School Now that the kids have headed back to school, let’s chat about how the adults have changed the way they learn about wine, especially with online courses. It’s a virtual world of wine learning at your fingertips. Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome, Natalie Great to be here!   First, tell us why online wine courses have become so popular? Online courses offer the best of both worlds: they’re accessible to everyone no matter where you live, they’re more comprehensive than a […]

read more …

Read More

What You’ll Learn in Online Wine Classes and Courses

Back to Wine School Now that the kids have headed back to school, let’s chat about how the adults have changed the way they learn about wine, especially with online courses. It’s a virtual world of wine learning at your fingertips. Here with her tips is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes at nataliemaclean.com.   Welcome, Natalie Great to be here!   First, tell us why online wine courses have become so popular? Online courses offer the best of both worlds: they’re accessible to everyone no matter where you live, they’re more comprehensive than a one-off […]

read more …

Read More

Behind the Scenes of Wine Writing + Wine Trends with Elizabeth Schneider

Introduction What are the latest trends in wine, from blue wines to raw wines? And should you be drinking them? Why are high-tech and wine a perfect pairing? What’s it like behind the scenes of the wine writing industry? How do you recover from devastating professional and personal attacks? In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m being interviewed by Elizabeth Schneider on the Wine For Normal People podcast. You can find the wines we discussed here.   Highlights What happy accident introduced me to the world of great wines? How did I go from visiting wineries on the weekend […]

read more …

Read More