This summer the California State Fair named Navarro Vineyards as California’s Winery of the Year. The winery won three double gold, one gold, five silver and two bronze medals.
Navarro is in Mendocino County’s beautiful Anderson Valley. More than likely, if you’ve been to the town of Mendocino, you’ve driven through it. In the past 15 years, the growth in the valley has become more accelerated than I would like, with pinot noir and chardonnay the driving force. Tasting at Navarro is free, staff is well wine educated and tours are available.
For the sake of transparency, I have to admit I’ve been a club member for more than 20 years. The only way to get Navarro wines is through the mail; the winery does not sell to retail stores. I could rave about its 1-cent shipping or its Deep End Blend Pinot Noir or – just visit www.navarrowine.com. Click on the link, Winery of the Year, and watch an excellent and unbiased television report. Congratulations, Navarro Vineyard, and cheers!
The Big Crush 2014
Amador Vintners will be hosting The Big Crush weekend on Oct. 4 and 5. The event features great wines, fabulous food, live music, entertainment and weekend wine specials. Throw in personal wine tours, blending seminars and grape stomps, and it’s obvious that the Amador winemakers and grape growers roll out the red carpet for this event. The festival has been an annual event for more than 20 years and seems to get better each year. Tickets are available at www.amadorwine.com: $40 for both days, or $30 for Sunday. Two days and 41 wineries – what’s not to like? The Navigator and I have attended many weekend wine events and this one it near the top.
Most of you know how I feel about food-and-wine pairings, so the comic strip Rubes, in the paper a few weeks ago, had me laughing out loud. Two vultures are staring at a beached whale and one says to the other, “Well, yes, it is seafood, which is traditionally served with white wine, but since it’s a mammal, red does seem more appropriate. But then again, we’re scavengers, so I don’t believe we’ll be judged too harshly for any culinary faux pas.” And you won’t, either. Food-and-wine pairings are just suggestions. Drink what you like, period.
What’s on our table
The 2012 Benziger North Coast Sauvignon Blanc ($15), the 2012 Landmark Overlook Chardonnay ($20), the 2010 Scott Harvey Mountain Selection Amador Zinfandel ($22) and the 2011 Kendall-Jackson Santa Barbara Syrah ($17) all graced our table this month. Four outstanding wines. Cheers!