November 9, 2012 |
Amazon.com Inc. is uncorking a new venture. The online retail giant launched a wine marketplace on its website Thursday, with more than 1,000 domestic brands available. For now, wines will be shipped only to a dozen states, including California, and to Washington, D.C. Bottle prices range from less than $10 to more than $100; shipping costs $9.99 for up to six bottles of the same wine. It's an unusual addition for the Seattle company, better known for selling books, household items and Kindles.
November 8, 2012 |
As if shopping on Amazon.com needed to get any more dangerous: The online retailer will now start selling wine in a dedicated section on its site, just in time for the holidays. Visitors to Amazon Wine will have access to more than 1,000 wines from wineries nationwide. Bottle prices range from less than $10 to more than $100, plus shipping costs of $9.99 for up to six bottles. Amazon will serve as a sort of middle man and discovery center, partnering with wineries that provide the wine and use the online marketplace to raise awareness for their brands and make sales.
October 14, 2012 |
Like a fine wine, Paso Robles, Calif., gets better with age. I was delighted to find new downtown restaurants, wine bars and shops since last visiting five years ago. And there are now more than 200 eclectic wineries dotting the region's oak-shaded country roads. Fall is a great time to visit, especially during Harvest Wine Weekend (Oct. 19-21 this year). There's a crush of activities to celebrate the crushing of the grapes: Jump in and try your hand, oops, feet, at grape stomping, get a vino-therapy massage or go to an elegant winemaker dinner or casual barbecue.
July 5, 2012 |
LODI, Calif. — With bottles ready for tasting, a group of Lodi wine producers waited anxiously recently for a delegation of monied businesspeople they hoped to impress. The vintners burst into applause when the group finally arrived, more than an hour late. The guests weren't Hollywood moguls or Silicon Valley venture capitalists. They were potential customers and investors from the city of Shenyang in northern China, coming to check out Lodi as a potential source of affordable wine to supply China's rapidly growing market.
May 27, 2012 |
Let wine snobs snicker when they hear you spent a weekend at a vineyard in Temecula. I took a friend for an overnight stay at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa (34843 Rancho California Road;  587-9463), a 39-acre slice of nirvana where relaxation is inescapable. Twenty-four hours wasn't nearly enough time to enjoy the premises. The bed. I could tell you all about the 76 villas (rooms start at $209) at South Coast and how most come with a fireplace, private patio and a wet bar with a mini-fridge.
May 13, 2012 |
Ask a Venturan and he or she will tell you that the city is both the end of Southern California and the beginning of the central part of the state. With a gorgeous coastline, an affinity for agriculture, a happening night life and a healthy enthusiasm for all things vino, this duality isn't just a clever marketing campaign - it's the real deal. The bed. The 76 rooms at Best Western Plus Inn of Ventura (708 E. Thompson Blvd.;  648-3101, http://www.bestwestern.com western.com, doubles from $85.49 in spring)
February 7, 2012
SACRAMENTO — A former California wine keeper convicted of destroying more than 4.5 million bottles in a warehouse fire was sentenced to 27 years in prison. A federal judge in Sacramento also ordered Mark Anderson to pay $70.3 million to customers who lost their premium collections in the October 2005 blaze. Anderson, 63, stored the wine for 95 vintners and dozens of private collectors for a fee at the Wine Central warehouse in Vallejo. Prosecutors say he set the fire to cover up the fact that he was embezzling wine for years.
January 19, 2012 |
U.S. wine exports hit record levels in 2011, helped by soaring demand from Asia and a weak dollar that made American wines more affordable. Shipments for the first 11 months of 2011 reached $1.23 billion, according to the California Wine Institute. That's up 23% from the same period in 2010, and it's a 9% increase over the $1.1 billion in exports tallied for all of 2010, even though December 2011 results have yet to be reported. Full-year 2011 statistics will be released later this year.
January 15, 2012 |
A few months before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I read a blog post by an Atlantic Monthly correspondent about Chinese wine. Chinese what? I grew up outside New York City, where I ate hundreds of pounds of lo mein and pork-fried rice but didn't see, taste or hear of Chinese wine. Even when I traveled to China in 2009 and 2010, I saw drinkers mostly tossing back beer and baijiu (Chinese liquor). But Western-style wine is attracting the attention of China'srising middle class.