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'Zilla Wine and Tunes Pairing

The two essential elements of the CORKZILLA experience – Wine and music – in a pairing. Our signature feature will continue in 2013, but we've decided to take a break from the grind of producing thoughtful pairings on a monthly basis. Please look for an archive page highlighting our pairings from the past coming soon. Cheers!

What We're Listening to

Keith Richards, "Crosseyed Heart," Republic Records

Gary Clark Jr., "The Story of Sonny Boy Slim," Warner Brothers Records

Warren Haynes Featuring Railroad Earth, "Ashes and Dust," Concord Records

Jason Isbell, "Something More Than Free," Southeastern Records

Phish, "Live Bait Vol. 11" (free digital download)

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, "Chasing Yesterday," Sour Mash Records

Neil Young, "On the Beach," Reprise Records

Massive Attack, "Protection," Circa Records

D'Angelo and the Vanguard, "Black Messiah," RCA Records

Brokedown in Bakersfield, "Live!," Little Sur Records

Ryan Adams, "Ryan Adams," Pax-Am Records

Rich Robinson, "The Ceaseless Sight," The End Records

Jack White, "Lazaretto," Third Man Records

The Wayne Shorter Quartet, "Without a Net," Blue Note Records

Reach out to CORKZILLA

Entries in Riesling (2)


Weekly Wine News Around the Web

Turn that Frown Upside Down: A new report indicates 22 states in the U.S. receive grades of “D” or worse when it comes to creating a friendly, welcoming environment for wine consumers (a Dry Creek Valley, Calif. vineyard is pictured at right). The 2013 version of the report, compiled by the American Wine Consumer Coalition, highlights some interesting data points and underscores the notion that many states still have “archaic laws” when it comes to the interests of wine consumers. A press release overview of the report posted on can be found here and the full report can be downloaded here.

Through the Proverbial Wine Varietal Fog: Some interesting thoughts on Riesling and Oregon Pinot Gris from one of our go-to bloggers, the always interesting Mike Veseth and his “Wine Economist.” In his latest installment, Veseth offers some thoughts on how to sell these sometimes misunderstood wine varietals in an ultra-competitive market. A good read.

A French Hailstorm’s Impact: A recent severe hailstorm has damaged vines across France, with the price tag for the weather event estimated at more than $125 million, according to this report in The Guardian. The larger houses and grand crus of Champagne and Bordeaux were largely spared the worst, according to the report. 

Duckhorn Looks to Expand: The St. Helena, Calif.-based Duckhorn Wine Company has purchased a Hopland, Calif. property that serves as the custom crush facility for the Rack and Riddle wine brand, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

A Review of Clone and Root History: A Sonoma State professor offered a good historical take on the relationship between some key California vine clones and their French roots, no pun intended. Read the article here.


Recent Wine Travels in the Bay Area

By Ben Heskett

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – There’s been a diverse array of wine events here recently, and though CORKZILLA can’t be everywhere, we tried to stop by a few of the most interesting ones. Due to scheduling conflicts and perhaps a preference for smaller gatherings, the ‘Zilla eschewed larger tasting in this early part of the year like the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) Festival and the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition tasting this year, in favor of more intimate encounters with different varietals. Our notes from these confabs follow:

- It’s not often you can explore a varietal such as Riesling with a vintner who lives and breathes the grape, like Raimund Prum. A President’s Day luncheon at San Francisco’s RN74 (restaurant and wine mecca, thanks to Rajat Parr) showcased the wide variations in vintages among SA Prum wines, with particular emphasis on the famous Mosel region's Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard, comprised of vines up to 120 years old. Fabulous fruit, well-rounded on the palate, complex, with varied acidity depending on the year for a flight comprised of a 2004, 2006 and 2007. Later vintages poured were also expressive, with lower alcohol levels of 7.5 to 8.5 percent. A wonderful dessert flight is pictured at the right, including a sublime, exceptional and rare 2005 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Trockenbeerenauslese, also known as a TBA, featuring botrytised Riesling grapes. All in all, an interesting journey through Mosel via SA Prum, a winery with a vast history that continues to produce world class whites.

- Earlier this month, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays took center stage at the third annual In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB) San Francisco event at the Bluxome Street Winery near AT&T Park where the Giants play. Some of my favorite California Pinot producers were there, such as Anthill Farms Winery and Copain Winery, but I focused on the Chardonnay being poured at the event. Among the standouts: Arnot-Roberts, Hirsch Vineyards, Knez Winery, Red Car Wine, Sandhi Wines, and Varner Wines. Though they varied in terms of appellation, most if not all of the winery participants shared a worthwhile quality: not too much oak. It’s a manageable event that any lover of Pinots and Chardonnays should attend. There’s also an edition that takes place the same week in Los Angeles.

- An additional luncheon in San Francisco focused on Sardinia as a wine region and Sella and Mosca, now owned by the Campari Group, as a producer of a wide range of interesting varietals, including an impressive flight of Cabernet Sauvignons (2004-2006). In the “price/performance” category that the ‘Zilla loves to champion whenever possible, the Sella and Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva DOC 2008 for $12 to $16 per bottle hit the spot, an approachable, versatile Grenache that benefits from two years of aging in barrel. Check it out.

- Finally, last month, as part of an occasional trip to Sonoma wine country, the ‘Zilla had an opportunity to not only check out the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Jordan Vineyard and Winery of Alexander Valley, but take a tour of the sprawling family property. The wines? The 2008 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon needs some time in the cellar to evolve, but includes the usual winery elements – depth and approachability, with interesting nuances based on the vintage and tweaks to the blend (which in 2008 includes 18 percent Merlot and 5 percent Petit Verdot). The Chardonnay was a nice change of pace, with a lot of apple throughout. The property? We’ll let the photo at the bottom speak to that – It’s an amazing 1,000-plus acres.