Blog

Russian Hill Pinot Noir

This wine is so fragrant and fruity that it too is almost best as an after-dinner bottle.  It could be served with chocolate torte or creme brulee but by itself it flames with fragrance and flavors of pomegranate, dark cherries, black plums, balsa wood and cranberry.  The one I tasted most recently was a bottle…
Read more

More Favorites From Peterson Winery

Peterson's Vignobles is a Petite Sirah lover's Petite Sirah. This wine, across the range of producers, can be all over the park and some are bland while others are stellar. The 2008 Peterson Vignobles is great even by Peterson's standards. I ordered more as soon as I tasted the first one and if y'all (yes,…
Read more

2011 Tempranillo Harvest For Eric Ross Winery

Watch as the grapes used to make the Eric Ross Tempranillo Wine are harvested from the Bokisch Vineyards in Lodi, CA. Notice the special attention that is being paid to removing any leaves and extra materials that could get in the way of making this great wine. Here is how the Eric Ross Winery website…
Read more

Peterson Makes Some of the Best Wines in my Cellar

I buy Peterson wines from Locals year in and year out. I've been a member since April of 2003 when I stumbled across the tasting room with a former girlfriend. I joined the Nouveau Hicks that day. The lady is long gone, but Locals is still with me. Then I met the lady that is…
Read more

Feeling Crabby? Dungeness Crab and Pasta

After the annual haggling over pricing, the Dungeness crabs have arrived. Around Sonoma County, we can soon indulge in crab-eating orgies in support of various Rotary, Kiwanis, and Soroptomists. Or, you can grab whole crabs yourself for just $5.59/lb boiled and cleaned at your favorite supermarket. As a Northern California native with deep New England…
Read more

Fish Stew Served in a Whole Pumpkin

Tod Hill - Locals Wine Club member....and friend Climate change be damned, there is nothing like a drought-on-the-horizon mid December day in Sonoma County. Yesterday I awoke to brilliant sunshine, frost on my roof and all three dogs under the covers. By mid day, I was sweating in the garden pulling beets, clipping kale, picking…
Read more

2009 Peterson Zinfandel: A Match for Your BBQ or Cellar

When I go for a Dry Creek Zinfandel, I'm prepared for spice and jam. Dry Creek has made a name for itself for turning out great, and often full, jammy Zinfandels. The typical style has a lot of dark berries and fruits and then the spices kick in on the finish. With this in my…
Read more

Turning Zinfandel Upside Down!

For 2011, the hot trend in California wine is in the blends.  Customer interest is growing as these savory new ideas come to fruition.  Value abounds, as these quality wines typically range $15-$30, and smart consumers are showing their good taste by trading up a notch from the value wines they discovered during the downturn…
Read more

Ehret Family Winery – We Love Knights Valley Fruit!

Recently, Ehret Family Winery joined Locals Tasting Room.  A storied family of Sonoma County hospitality, they established their Bavarian Lion estate vineyard in 1996.  It is located in the important but lesser known Knights Valley, on Highway 128 between Alexander Valley and Up-Valley Napa (Calistoga). While there are no tasting rooms there, Knights Valley fruit has been the nearly unsung…
Read more

A new recipe from our friend and Locals Club Member Dan Kreppein

  Meat-I get all my meat at Costco.  The ribs are great and un-enhanced, meaning they don’t get soaked in a brine solution which can make pork taste really salty, especially if you use a rub with a lot of salt in it.  I usually get between a 5-8 lb brisket in the cryovac package. …
Read more

Saying Goodbye to Ramazzotti Winery

I noticed Ramazotti isn't in the stable any longer. They set up their own tasting room and club, eh? Darn! I looked at Portalupi after they went solo, the prices were too high, same with some of the others that have left. I hope RZ doesn't do the same. I'm also glad I ordered some…
Read more

Grilling Season Has Arrived!

Cedar-Planked Wild Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce Barbecued Vidalia Onions Bring on the grilling season!  These recipes came up in a conversation here in the tasting room regarding favored grilling preparations with long-time Locals Wine Club Members Rich & Maureen Tunheim of Santa Rosa. The idea of grilling wild salmon is particularly apropos of 2011…
Read more

The Fifth Notch Is A Charm!

Each year, renowned Winemaker Mike Loykasek of Dark Horse Winery combs the Sonoma County area for fine grapes that have no home, calling the resulting wine The Gunfighter. For 2009, this wine's first name is "Zin" and it's last name is "Cab"...actually Mike calls it the "Fifth Notch", as it is the fifth time he has made this ever-changing blend. A…
Read more

For 2010, The Praxis Viognier Moves Closer to Home

Praxis Cellars has been making Viognier for a decade, but the 2010 Praxis Viognier marks a move to sourcing fruit from the renowned Russian River Valley.  Working on a cool-climate syrah wine prompted Winemaker Bill Arbios to switch to making a Rhone-inspired white wine from similarly farmed fruit. The grapes chosen flourish on a rolling hillside,…
Read more

New Appellation, Healdsburg Plaza?!

Our most recent winery addition to Locals Tasting Room is Bedarra Vineyards.  The Bedarra Estate Vineyard is only a mile west of nearby Healdsburg's town center.  The epitome of a small artisan winery, fewer than 500 cases of wine are produced here in a year. The Bedarra brand is inspired by the beauty and tranquility of the remote…
Read more

2005 Arbios Cabernet: A hint of Bordeaux in Alexander Valley

When you pop open an Alexander Valley cabernet, you expect a full mouthfeel and well balanced fruit. The Arbios Cabernet brings something slightly atypical. It is clear that this winery is trying to bring a little bit of Bordeaux to the land of in your face, fruit forward Cabernet. On the nose, you get raspberries,…
Read more

2009 Saracina Sauvignon Blanc: Giving New Zealand A Run for Her Money!

2009 Saracina Sauvignon Blanc: Giving New Zealand A Run for Her Money! Of late, New Zealand has taken the popularity crown for their Sauvignon Blancs. People have been after the intense fruit characteristics that you often see in those wines. But California is making some gems that find a balance between fruit and great minerality.…
Read more

A Reverie of Delight Returns to Locals!

In the spring of 2009, the 2006 Ensueños Tropicales Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, $20) made a brief but sublime appearance at our tasting room.  Now, with an exclusive, limited allocation of wine, this popular, fruit-forward pinot noir returns, all grown up! As before, this wine ably shows off the by-now classic Russian River pinot noir flavor…
Read more

2006 Pendleton Zinfandel: A Zin For All Seasons

This 2006 Zinfandel/Petit Syrah blend from Russian River Valley is a true lesson in versitality and balance. On the nose, you get great fruit notes of raspberry and blackberry as well as really strong cloves and cinnamon. The palate doesn't disappoint and holds true to the flavors on the nose. Upfront, all the fruit (blackberry…
Read more