If You Can't Stand The Heat, Get Out of the Cellar

If You Can't Stand The Heat, Get Out of the Cellar

The Napa Valley has recently taken a lot of heat – both literally, due to the serious temperature spike that hit the valley earlier this month, as well as figuratively from those who think the aberrant fluctuation spelled doom for the entire region’s harvest.  The media has been eager to report this story, which we can all understand – what’s sexier than a potential climate change story about America’s most recognized wine region? Fortunately for the consumer, cooler heads prevail for those of us on the ground, and I wanted to share the perspective from someone who has been around the vineyard block.

All the Swirl "Must Reads" September 2017

My "Must Read" is from: Clarkson Potter Publishers

Article: The Spice Companion

Author: Lior Lev Sercarz

Why is this a must read?: I have an enviable collection of signed cookbooks collected over the past 30 years of my professional epicurean career.   Being an urbanite in two of the most desirable cities over that timeframe, New York & San Francisco, meant that books took up the precious little space I have in a small apartment.   I've slowed my collecting down a bit, but every once in a while a book is published that strikes all the right notes and The Spice Companion fits that to a tee.   A master spice blender who spent his childhood and young adulthood in Israel and Europe, and then attended cooking school at Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon,France, Sercarz has had a lifelong love affair with the exotic spices from the places he's lived and traveled.  

Winemaker Music & Beverage Pairings - Charles Comm clients report from harvest 2017


Head Winemaker- Crocker & Starr

Drink: "I enjoy an ice cold glass of Bridesmaid Sauvignon Blanc on an easy day of harvesting.  In the thick of harvest, I will move towards a Tru Gin Martini once I get home from a long day."

Music: "I enjoy the Mozart Pandora station first thing in the morning and then will change to Elton John radio or Fleetwood Mac, which everyone ends up signing along to."  

Immigrants, Wine and the Spirit of America

By: Carla De Luca Worfolk

As summer is ending, I’m reminded of big family gatherings around the table on warm evenings during my childhood. After dinner, my Sicilian grandfathers would sit together slicing ripe peaches into their glasses before pouring red wine over them. They favored this dessert more than any other, including my grandmothers’ cannoli. And I remember how they often spoke during these times, about how grateful they were for the opportunity they found in America. About how their hard work and sacrifices were worth it. And they shared an unwavering belief in an always better future, reflecting on what the family had overcome — separations and financial hardships throughout World War I and II, like so many others.  

Olive Oil

By: Hillary Lyons

All olive oil is not created equal. As harvest approaches, CCA dives into the complicated
history of olive oil, and how to tell the good from the bad.

When we think of olive oil, our minds typically travel to Italy. But the history of this ‘liquid gold’ dates back much further to ancient Israel, where the trees were first cultivated around 5000 BC. Hardy and drought resistant, the olive tree quickly spread throughout the Mediterranean and the uses of olive oil ranged just as much as the cultures that produced it, from cosmetics to medicine to (of course) cuisine.

Wine Is.... Fortuitous Musings From a Wine 'Novice'

Ever prescient, we thought it would be fun to share this essay our own Alexandra Fondren, Account Supervisor and Director of Media Strategy wrote years before she entered the wine world.   A quick study and a mad palate, this gal has talent in spades.   We found it a great read and hope you share our enthusiasm. 

Before I ever knew that one could have an actual career in wine beyond production, wine was my favorite hobby. Too young and broke to be familiar with the five first growths, the entire category of Barolo, or the fact that, to some people, DRC did not refer to a county in Africa - to me, wine had somehow always served as a social (and socioeconomic) equalizer. Looking back, I realize how naive that seems - and yet, it wasn't naive at all. I wasn't hanging out with people who cared about designer wine, but with people who cared instead about the pure discovery of wine. And it was - and remains - one of life's genuine thrills for me. I didn't (and still don't really) care too deeply about the price, reputation and/or technicalities behind a wine if its aromas, flavors and textures are sensually transportive.