Your Resource for Wine Region Travel
lot has happened since the last newsletter I sent out in
December. We all survived the holidays. We have a new
president, Obama! We have a drought in California and too much
water and frost in the mid-states. Now, if only we could truck
the excess water from there to here wouldn't that solve all our
troubles? Money! You mean it would cost money?
What? We don't have any money left? Great. And you
ask why we continue to drink wine? Wine is our friend. When
there is a crisis, or happiness, wine is always there. One of the
great things about wine is that you can always find a decent bottle for
a decent price. Wine helps to put a smile on your face no matter
the situation. So use it, but don't abuse it!
Last month I
sent out a survey to see what you think about ViciVino.com. I
want to thank those of you who are helping us by taking the time by
filling it out. If you haven't filled it out yet there is still
plenty of time for you to do so. We are a new company and we want
to make sure that we are growing in the direction to satisfy your needs
in a wine travel resource website.
This month we have a few new items. One is an interview with a winery called Dark Star Cellars
in Paso Robles. Norm and Susan Benson are good people and have a
great story of how they got into the wine business. Their story
starts about 15 years ago. We also have some new recipes to pair with their Zinfandels. The other new item is an answer from Winemaker B to the question, "What's so special about Syrah?" If you have a question for Winemaker B, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be more than happy to answer it.
If you've had any wine tasting or food and wine pairing experiences recently that you would like to share, please blog
about it. It's really so easy to do. Reading about your
experiences adds to all of our knowledge, education, and depth about
Don't worry, drink happy!™
Some say it can't be done, pairing wine with chocolate, but if you have the right wine to complement the right
chocolate it can be a match made in heaven! Whether you are pairing a
delicate white chocolate or a lively dark chocolate with wine, here
are a few pairing tips to keep in mind.
Check out this video on how to pair wines with chocolates by Jonathon Stewart. Pairing Wine with Chocolate
Rule #1-When pairing wines with chocolate, your best bet is to match
lighter, more elegant flavored chocolates with lighter-bodied wines;
likewise, the stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine
Rule #2-If you will be experimenting with
several varities of chocolates, work from light to dark. Start with a
more subtle white chocolate and end on a dark or bittersweet chocolate.
What wines go with which chocolates?
chocolate, not having any cacao in it tends to be more mellow and
buttery and sweet in flavor, making it an ideal candidate for a Sherry
or a Moscato d'Asti from Italy's Piedmont region which offers subtle,
sweet bubbles, or an Orange Muscat. The Sherry and Moscato d'Asti will
pick up the creaminess of
the white chocolate and the Orange Muscat will pick up any fruit tones
the scene. Another route for pairing wine with white chocolate is
going for the contrast pairing approach, like a Pinot Noir, this is a
little riskier, but
when you find a match it can be exceptional.
Noir or a lighter-bodied Merlot will complement a bar of milk
chocolate, or a creamy chocolate mousse. Rieslings, Muscats
or dessert wines tend to hold up well to mild milk chocolates. Also
consider a sparkling wine or Champagne
for pairing with milk chocolate dipped strawberries. Last, but not
least, a classic milk chocolate pairing to consider is a nice Ruby Port
- a very safe bet when looking for the perfect wine to accent milk
Dark Chocolate-Dark or
bittersweet chocolates need a wine that offers a
roasted, slightly robust flavor itself, with perhaps a hint of its own
chocolate notes. Cabs and Zinfandels have a history of perfecting the
dark chocolate match, resulting in a perfect tasting combination. A
Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel will more than fill your chocolate
pairing expectations. Also consider a Pinot Noir or a Merlot to handle
dark chocolate around the 55% cocoa mark. Finally, give a Tawny or
Vintage Port a try to offer a very well balanced pairing approach to a
dark chocolate dessert or truffle.
is a website dedicated to help you learn more about wine region
traveling: how each wine region is unique and what it has to
offer, the art and science of wine making, some FAQ's on wine
etiquette, recipes that go great with different wines, plus much, much
Our website features:
Ask the Winemaker column in which our dedicated consultant, Brandon, answers your questions.
Vineyard Views articles where we interview wine industry personalities.
Wine Region area information from wineries and lodging to restaurants, spas and other activities.
Food and Wine Pairing Recipes
Travel Planning Services where you tell us what you want to see and do on your next wine region getaway, and we will plan it for you.
Blog to write about your wine experiences or read what others wine lovers have to say.
you want more details within the different wine regions including
wineries, lodging, restaurants, spas etc. plus other perks, then you
should become a Julius Caesar Club Member.
part of helping our website get off the ground, it's easy! All
you have to do is to forward this newsletter along to as many of your
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with our most recent adventures and snippets of what's going on in the
Check it out at ViciVino.com
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spoke with Norm and Susan Benson, the owners of Dark Star Cellars
in Paso Robles. We always enjoy our visit there. They open
up their tasting room like it's there home, which sits about 200 yards
away! We love their wines and their tasting room is very
atmospheric and fun. If you like dogs, then you will love Gracie,
their boxer, who occasionally will be near
the tasting room to great you.