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naPa valley

America’s most-celebrated wine region is home to some of the world’s greatest wines

area each year. The uniqueness of Napa Valley is its heterogeneity of geog- raphy and climate. The temperature change from the cool

Napa Valley is America’s Bordeaux. It’s like a giant amusement park for wine lovers and unlike every other American wine region. The cost of vineyard land in the Napa River drainage is the highest anywhere in the United States. Consequently, only highly capitalized wineries can set up shop here. The typical Napa Valley winery is a lavish château-like estate

with a visitor’s center, guided tours, and substantial tasting fees. The great wines that gave Napa Valley its reputation will not be poured anywhere without a significant charge. There are currently over three hundred wineries in Napa Valley, nearly one-quarter of the total number of bonded wineries in the entire state. Around 5 million people visit the

south to the hot north can easily be as much as 20° or even more. Mountain ranges on each side of the valley provide entirely different growing conditions. This wide range of wine-growing conditions has made it possible to obtain opti- mum sites for specific varieties. Chardonnay thrives in cool Carneros, whereas Cabernet Sauvignon is king of the midval- ley. Mountain sites are ideal for Syrah and Zinfandel.

GREEN liGht Napa Valley provides a variety of recreational options for visitors: balloon tours, shuttle
GREEN
liGht
Napa Valley provides a variety of recreational options for
visitors: balloon tours, shuttle tours, a wine dinner train,
and bicycle tours. Several of America’s finest restaurants,
such as the French Laundry, as well as luxury spas and
upscale bed and breakfasts, are also located here.
Napa Valley NA PA HOWELL MOUNTAIN Lake CHILES Berryessa Calistoga VALLEY DIAMOND MOUNTAIN DISTRICT ST
Napa Valley
NA PA
HOWELL
MOUNTAIN
Lake
CHILES
Berryessa
Calistoga
VALLEY
DIAMOND
MOUNTAIN
DISTRICT
ST HELENA
SPRING
RUTHERFORD
ATLAS
MOUNTAIN
PEAK
OAKVILLE
NAPA
DISTRICT
COUNTY
YOUNTVILLE
SONOMA
STAGS LEAP
COUNTY
DISTRICT
MOUNT
VEEDER
OAK KNOLL
Napa
DISTRICT
LOS
CARNEROS
Napa Valley shares the
County. They are home to
Carneros AVA with Sonoma
County. Wines made in the
Napa County portion may
use either a “Napa Valley” or
a “Carneros” appellation.
the Mount Veeder, Spring
Mountain, and Diamond
Mountain AVAs.
The eastern mountains are
dominated by Atlas Peak
The Mayacamus Moun-
(south) and Howell Moun-
tains line the west side of
the valley and separate
Napa Valley from Sonoma
tain (north). Many of Napa
Valley’s most celebrated
Cabernet Sauvignons come
from the region around Oakville
76
and Rutherford.
knaCk wine BasiCs
Napa Valley Tasting Room • Wine tasting here is more short aerial tram ride up
Napa Valley Tasting Room
Wine tasting here is more
short aerial tram ride up to
structured and more expen-
sive than that in other
regions. Typical tasting fees
its tasting room in Calis-
toga. The basic fee is $20
including the tram ride.
range from $5 to $40, with
“Cult” wineries are generally
most wineries charging $10.
not open to the public. But
Opus One offers one taste
Premium wines from better
of its current release Caber-
producers are not included
in a general tasting. The
net Sauvignon for $30.
Sterling Winery offers a

Wine Cave

     

A Napa Valley Picnic

 
 
 

Nearly sixty Napa Valley

Wine cave tours are priced

Many Napa Valley wineries

meats, and French bread,

wineries age their wines in wine caves. Many offer special tours and tastings.

around $50 per person and require reservations.

offer free use of their picnic facilities. It is customary for

but most visitors stock up in Oakville, where there is a

 

users to purchase a bottle

Dean and DeLuca store.

 

Well-known wineries that

of wine.

A typical wine cave tour

offer exceptional wine cave

 

Oakville Grocery, on the

lasts an hour and a half and

tours include Flora Springs

There are around fifty Napa

corner of Oakville Crossing

includes a barrel tasting as

and Pine Ridge.

Valley wineries that include

and SR 29 is a “must stop” location for picnic supplies. It has operated continu- ously since 1881.

well as a tasting of finished wine. A picnic lunch is often

picnic facilities.Some winer- ies have onsite delicates- sens to supply cheese,

 

included.

77

CaliFornia

All books: 256 pp, 8 ½ x 8, full-color throughout

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cooks to improvise and extend their culinary repertoire. holiday drinks summer and July 4th drinks Keep
cooks to improvise and extend their culinary repertoire. holiday drinks summer and July 4th drinks Keep
cooks to improvise and extend their culinary repertoire. holiday drinks summer and July 4th drinks Keep
cooks to improvise and extend their culinary repertoire. holiday drinks summer and July 4th drinks Keep
cooks to improvise and extend their culinary repertoire. holiday drinks summer and July 4th drinks Keep
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cooks to improvise and extend their culinary repertoire. holiday drinks summer and July 4th drinks Keep
holiday drinks summer and July 4th drinks Keep your cool by making some refreshing drinks
holiday drinks
summer and July 4th drinks
Keep your cool by making some refreshing drinks for celebrating or
just kicking back.
take a walk down the soda aisle at your local grocer. You can
also choose sugar-free varieties. Plus you can add liqueurs
and flavored spirits if you choose. But keep their portions on
the low side because you already have 4 oz of wine in the
cooler to begin with. Other garnishes you can try are grapes,
cantaloupe balls, nectarines, all berries, cherries, cubed pear,
cubed mango, cubed pineapple, star fruit, star anise, edible
flowers, or citrus. It’s really all up to what you like.
To beat the heat summer drinks should be mouth watering,
light, refreshing, bubbly, and above all else, cold. The season
allows a wide assortment of fruits to be used so your imagi-
nation can go wild! Especially when you have so many fruity
flavored spirits to choose from as well.
Let’s take the Watermelon Kiwi Cooler, Now, in cocktail termi-
nology a cooler means wine with lemon-lime soda (or sweet-
ened carbonation). So, this opens up a whole world of pos-
sibilities. You can use different wines, but make sure you stick
with dry ones because you need to balance the sweetness of
the soda you’re adding. And if you need help in what is avail-
able as far as a replacement for the lemon-lime soda then just
Be creative with seasonal decorations
from your supermarket or party store
Independence Colada
Watermelon Kiwi Cooler
Strawberry Pom Lemonade
Happy Birthday
America
it Independence top
the Colada can do.
can
blue
color
bottom
and
on
if you
Red
and
blue
fruits
blueberries,
raspberries,
straw-
is rated berries, the pour With
and
blackberries
incorpo-
well.
And
the
ultimate
Ingredients
1.
Pour the grenadine into the
Ingredients
1.
Fill a wine glass half with
Ingredients
1.
Fill a tall glass with ice.
to take red serve the as like the
a of if lit on prefer. course you sparkler.
with
be Make you
sure
bottom of a tropical glass.
ice.
2.
Pour in the pomegranate
to
precautions
1.5 oz light rum
.5 oz blue Curacao
.5 oz grenadine
4 oz Piña Colada mix
Ice
2.
Blend the rum and piña
4
oz dry white wine
2.
Add all the ingredients and
1.5 oz strawberry vodka
juice.
colada mix with a cup of ice.
1
oz lemon juice
stir.
1 oz pomegranate juice
3.
Shake the vodka and lem-
3. Pour into the glass.
4
oz lemon lime soda of
3.
You can substitute the
.5 oz hand made lemonade
onade with ice.
4. Float the blue Curacao on
choice
lemon lime soda for sugar-
Lemon and strawberry
4.
Strain into the glass. Add
top.
Watermelon balls and kiwi
slices garnish
Ice
free lemon lime soda.
garnish
Ice
garnish.
bartending basics
wine TasTing how To TasTe wine Learn to maximize the pleasure that wine offers through
wine TasTing
how To TasTe wine
Learn to maximize the pleasure that wine offers through a disciplined
tasting procedure
Enjoying wine to the fullest need not be ritualized, but
there are a few particulars that will greatly enhance your
wine-tasting experience: color— young red wines will be a
bluish red. As they age, the color warms to ruby, then gar-
net, and finally brick red. In old red wines, the pigment may
coalesce, leaving a clear edge that can be seen when the
glass is tilted. Unfiltered wines may not be crystal clear but
may have a richer flavor. Texture—swirl the wine and see if
it descends in sheets or “tears” or “legs” on the inside of the
glass. Smell —much of the expressiveness of a wine is in its
aroma. All wines should exhibit strong fruit aromas such as
citrus, plum, cherry, or blackberry. But many other aromas
may be present, too, such as herbs, flowers, minerals, earth,
and spice. Flavor—the flavor of a wine usually follows the
aromas, but not always. Some wines will exhibit differences
between aromas and flavors. German Rieslings, for example,
often exhibit a petrol or burnt rubber aroma, which usually
does not appear in the flavor. If you experience a dryness,
or puckeriness, in a red wine, there are unresolved tannins.
These will soften over time. Finish—notice how the taste of
the wine lingers on your palate.
Different kinds of oak barrels add special flavors to
wine, such as vanilla, brown spices, caramel, cream,
coconut, and sweetness. The small French oak bar-
rels most favored cost nearly $1,000 and lose most
of their flavoring potential after three years.
Swirling the Wine
Older Wines Show Special Characteristics
Texture
how oak Affects the taste of
wine
the three S’s of wine tasting
oak barrels are to the winemaker what the
• Swirl
spice rack is to the chef. Fermenting or matur-
ing a wine in oak barrels imparts a secondary
• Smell
layer of flavor and aroma to the wine.
• Sip
oak barrels may be toasted over a fire to pro-
mote certain specific characteristics. typical
• in formal or informal wine-tasting
oak enhancements are impressions of vanilla,
events, a fourth S is added: spit.
spice, roasted nuts, and meaty flavors.
New oak barrels lose their influence after 3-5
years and are said to be “neutral.”
Swirling reveals the visual
Swirling allows you to
The color of red wines
are said to be “maderized.”
Fine wine will almost always
the wine and are influenced
beauty of the wine.
see the wine’s texture or
changes from a bluish red
show visual texture.
not only by the wine’s rich-
viscosity as it returns to the
to an orange-red. The older
The pigments have consoli-
ness but also by the level of
Swirling opens up the wine
bottom of the bowl. Older
the wine, the more orange
dated, leaving a clear edge.
Texture takes the form of
alcohol and sugar.
by introducing oxygen
wines and those high in
and transparent the color.
Older wines, when swirled,
“tears” or “legs” as they
and releasing the wine’s
sugar or alcohol will form
can suggest abstract paint-
drip down the inside of
Sweet wines and wines
aromatics.
“legs” on the inside of the
Older white wines will
ings when backlit. Older
the glass. Young wines and
higher in alcohol have a
glass. This shows viscosity
assume a golden color.
wines take time to open up
wines low in alcohol form
greater viscosity than dry
Wines should be swirled
and is always a desirable
Eventually they will turn
and release their aromat-
sheets rather than legs.
wines.
often between sips.
characteristic.
brown and become
ics. They should always be
undrinkable. Those wines
decanted.
Tears reflect the viscosity of
knaCk wine BasiCs
ZOOM