Julia has been swirling, sipping and swilling wines throughout California and beyond for more than two decades. Her passion is discovering big wines in small places. So, come with her and fill your glass.

Our journey has just begun.


Contact Julia

Hi! It's me, Julia. I hope you enjoyed visiting my new website and I would appreciate your comments. Please send email using this form if you would like to be in touch!

Fields marked with an * are required

 

Why?

This trio is too good too share. Be good to yourself and save these three: Barrel Road Red Blend (16.99) from California; Bervini 1955 Spumante Rose ($18,99) and Bervini 1955 Prosecco($18.99), both from Italy.

Barrel Road wine was aged in small batches in bourbon barrels. Grapes were sourced from quality vineyards on California’s Central Coast. The result is amazing. Enticing aromas of vanilla, caramel and spice open to rich red fruit, dark chocolate, rich plum and dark spices on the finish.

The Bergamo family that crafts the Prosecco believes “Nature is the master of all human arts.” Grapes for this wine begins in the vineyards where grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks. The tiny, excited bubbles exude pear and citrus. It is delicate and dry on the palate that makes this a perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes.

The Spumante Rose selection is “Pretty in Pink” and tastes delicious. The sparkler is crafted from Glera and Roboso varietals and offers an avalanche of dancing bubbles with raspberry and rose fragrances and fruit forward flavor and balanced acidity. Pour this chilled Asian dishes.

This time of year selfishness can be a virtue!

 

 

Martha Stewart Wine Co., yes the American icon, recently introduced the concept that wine doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply learn what you love and drink it!

Here is how you can have the opportunity to sample many different grapes, regions and winemaking styles and you’ll typically come to recognize what tastes good to you.

Consumers can just go to the site (https://marthastewartwine.com/) and buy a single bottle for themselves or as a gift. Wines usually range from $12.49 to $26 and you can choose from a selection of reds, whites, rose or sparkling. There is even a section for Martha’s favorites. Then there are packages you can purchase…everything from red, whites and mixed varieties to special holiday packages. Those are usually 4 or 6 bottle packages.

And then, there is a wine club too. There is the Half-Case (6 bottles every 6 weeks) or the Case Wine Club (12 bottles every 8 weeks). The Half Case is $49.98 (or $8.33 a bottle) every 6 weeks and the Case is $89.76 (or $7.48 a bottle) every 12 weeks.

But wait, there’s more.

An illustrated booklet – “Wine Pairings You Can Always Count on” – is a helpful guide to what wines to pair with savory foods, sweet foods and more.

Best of all, if you don’t love your wine, the company will replace it for free.

 

Why not try something fresh and new alongside old favorites for the Thanksgiving feast?

Vermentino is a light skinned Italian grape crafted by Massovivo wine house and waiting for an invitation to the party. (Buy a couple of bottles, each is only $18.)

Enormous yellow rocks characterize the landscape where the grapes grow. The vines are often grown on slopes facing the sea where they can benefit from the additional reflected light.

Golden hued in the glass, the wine tempts with aromas of rosemary, white flowers and Mandarin orange. Candied fruit and minerality reflect the terroir. Vermentino can be complex in style similar to Sauvignon Blanc.

Pour this slightly chilled with miniature crab cakes and goat cheese tarts as a first course and part of the main course.

This new addition will prove to be a permanent item on the menu.

There is a Prosecco sparkler from Italy that should be invited to your fall get-togethers and they come dressed and ready to party.

Mionetto, founded in 1887 in the heart of the Veneto region, has been the prominent name for Prosecco for 130 years. Harvested from glera grapes, this Treviso Brut excels with zest from sloping hill sides and alluvial and clay soils.

An avalanche of tiny, pale amber bubbles exude aromas of green apples and whispers of white peach. It is crisp and fresh on the palate with balanced acidity and festivity. Pour this chilled with fresh seafood, mild cheeses or alone.

The wine house produces a Prosecco Treviso this is crisp with a pale straw hue and excited bubbles that burst from the glass with golden apple and honeysuckle aromas. The reward is a dry, fresh sparkler with a long vanilla and passion fruit finish. This aromatic wine is not like Moscato it is brimming with apple pear and pineapple.

Enjoy this Prosecco with fresh figs, white fish and soft cheeses.

There is a Prosecco sparkler from Italy that should be invited to your fall get-togethers and they come dressed and ready to party.

Mionetto, founded in 1887 in the heart of the Veneto region, has been the prominent name for Prosecco for 130 years. Harvested from glera grapes, this Treviso Brut excels with zest from sloping hill sides and alluvial and clay soils.

An avalanche of tiny, pale amber bubbles exude aromas of green apples and whispers of white peach. It is crisp and fresh on the palate with balanced acidity and festivity. Pour this chilled with fresh seafood, mild cheeses or alone.

The wine house produces a Prosecco Treviso this is crisp with a pale straw hue and excited bubbles that burst from the glass with golden apple and honeysuckle aromas. The reward is a dry, fresh sparkler with a long vanilla and passion fruit finish. This aromatic wine is not like Moscato it is brimming with apple pear and pineapple.

Enjoy this Prosecco with fresh figs, white fish and soft cheeses.

There is a Prosecco sparkler from Italy that should be invited to your fall get-togethers and they come dressed and ready to party.

Mionetto, founded in 1887 in the heart of the Veneto region, has been the prominent name for Prosecco for 130 years. Harvested from glera grapes, this Treviso Brut excels with zest from sloping hill sides and alluvial and clay soils.

An avalanche of tiny, pale amber bubbles exude aromas of green apples and whispers of white peach. It is crisp and fresh on the palate with balanced acidity and festivity. Pour this chilled with fresh seafood, mild cheeses or alone.

The wine house produces a Prosecco Treviso this is crisp with a pale straw hue and excited bubbles that burst from the glass with golden apple and honeysuckle aromas. The reward is a dry, fresh sparkler with a long vanilla and passion fruit finish. This aromatic wine is not like Moscato it is brimming with apple pear and pineapple.

Enjoy this Prosecco with fresh figs, white fish and soft cheeses.

The time is getting closer to “Throw Diets out the Window Day” or better known as Thanksgiving.

It’s a great day (except for the turkey) for feasting and giving thanks for just being on the planet.

But, there is always a quandary about what wine to serve with the bird.

Herzog Wine Cellars has a delicious suggestion: open its 2014 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley and wait for the applause.

The Herzog family produced quality wines in their native Czechoslovakia for generations. That tradition continued when they moved to the United States in 1948.

A rich menu of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy and more calls for a wine that can stand up to the feast.

The selection opens with enticing aromas of blackberries, black cherry and licorice that are the opening act for intense flavors of cassis, black currant and plum.

After dinner enjoy this extraordinary selection with pecan pie, dark chocolate or cheddar cheeses.

Just because the weather is getting a little nippy doesn’t mean you have to give up white wine. Vitkin, an Israeli winery, has a delicious dry white wine for beautiful autumn days.

The blend – Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Colombard and Gewurztraminer – was crafted from different viticultural areas and aged in steel tanks for three months.

Glistening pale yellow in the glass, the fragrant wine open with notes of green melon and violets.

The exceptional wine has a rustic quality with fruit, herbs and spice on the long finish.

Pour this selection slightly chilled with Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine, poultry dishes and mild cheeses.

Here’s a suggestion to make your Halloween haunt a deliciously screaming night to remember.

Sure, you hired the zombie bartender, whipped up the eye ball canapes and fried bat wings but what about some salacious wine?

The limited edition Skull Ring Red Wine from Jon Nathaniel Wines in Napa Valley ($80) is waiting to be invited. It’s easy to spot at midnight with its creepy skull label and heavy black glass bottle.

This dark blood-red brew is a fruit forward blend of Syrah (for screaming spice) and Petit Verdot (for un-dead blackberry).

This devilishly, naughty blend brings forth whispers of dark chocolate, red fruit and plum with an eerily smooth finish.

Be sure to open several bottles during the witching hours, if not the goblins could stick around all year.

Napa Valley is now open for fall fun and Flora Springs Winery & Vineyard has a big reason to visit this weekend.

It will hold a benefit music festival on Sunday, Oct. 29 at The Room, 677 Hwy 29 in St. Helena, with all proceeds from an auction going to victims of the recent Napa Valley wildfires through the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.

But wait, there’s more. The event is free and no RSVP is required.

The fundraiser, held from 12-5pm, will feature five San Francisco Bay Area bands and musicians including Serf & James, Fellow Vessel, Sean Garvey, Mr. Kind, and Miss Moonshine. Flora Springs will be pouring its awarding winning wines by the glass and bottles along with small bites. The event will also feature an auction including wines and other items.

“We were among the lucky ones, but we know many who were not as fortunate,” said Flora Springs Co-Founder and Proprietor John Komes. “The Festival will raise monies to help firevictims, but will also serve as a way for our community to come together in a show of strength and fellowship. Everyone is welcome. The lineup of artists includes several who were themselves affected by the fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties.”

Here’s the line-up:

Serf and James (12pm – 12:45pm))https://www.serfandjames.com

 

Fellow Vessel (1pm – 1:45pm/

https://www.fellowvessel.com/

Sean Garvey (2pm – 2:45pm)

http://www.obsidianson.com/

Mr. Kind (3pm – 3:45pm)

http://www.ivyhillentertainment.com/mrkind/

Miss Moonshine (4pm to 5pm)

https://www.missmoonshineband.com/

 

Candystore.com just released a revealing, top secret file that lists top Halloween candies state-by-state. The document projects $1.7 billion will be spent on trick-or-treat candies.

California’s most popular Halloween candy has changed this year. The birthplace of Jelly Belly’s has more of an affinity for the M&M’s than jelly beans or last year’s top candy, salt water taffy. Hmm. M, Mickey. M, Mouse. …M&M’s. Coincidence? I think not. Over 1.5 million pounds of M&M’s don’t lie. Californians prefer melting in mouths over melting in their hands.

Colorado’s most popular Halloween candy has changed this year. Last year, Twix ruled the mountains of Colorado. Now Milky Way has overtaken the lead. Given recent changes in consumption habits surrounding sweets in Colorado, we would not be surprised to see further changes in the coming years. Stay tuned in the Mile HIGH city, but for now offer your trick-or-treaters Milky Ways and Twix.

Georgians love to fish. Deep sea fishing of the coast of Savannah and in the many lakes surrounding Atlanta and other areas. They fish for Atlantic fish and Georgian fish, and they eat Swedish Fish. Over 130k pounds of Swedish Fish, last year’s top candy as well. Making waves are Jolly Ranchers, the new #3 candy in Georgia, supplanting Lemonheads.

Hawaii’s most popular Halloween candy has changed this year. Hershey’s Kisses has fallen from the top spot and made way for a new champion of the Pacific Island. It’s no surprise that the people of this gorgeous island want to taste the rainbow. Skittles is the new champion with over 265k pounds consumed. Also, did you know the east-to-west Hawaii is the widest state?!

King (candy) corn reigns in Idaho, just like last year. Home of beautiful mountains, and of course potatoes, Idahoans love their candy corn for Halloween.  Second place goes to Starburst.

 

In Vegas they love shiny things. That must be why Hershey’s Kisses do so well in Nevada on Halloween.  They are again the #1 most popular Halloween candy, with over 322,000 pounds consumed. Candy corn is not far behind and Skittles rainbow is still shining over the #3 spot.

New York is our kinda town! And state. That must be what those Sour Patch Kids say, because they are getting consumed at a pace over 200,000 pounds around Halloween time. Candy corn and Reese Cups finish of the top 3. Be careful with trick-or-treaters in Manhattan, those street wise cats don’t mess around if you don’t have Sour Patch Kids!

(The site has a complete list.)

Just in time for menacing tales and spirits, Flora Springs Winery and Vineyard brings forth a wine to coincide with Halloween.

The Napa Valley winery has the distinction of being home to one of the regions original “ghost wineries.” These were built between 1860 and 1900 but abandoned in the early 20th century due to three “curses”: the vine disease phylloxera, the Great Depression and Prohibition.

Some remain shuttered but Flora Springs was restored and produces wickedly delicious selections.

Its 2013 small production Ghost Winery Napa Valley Red Wine ($44) exudes chocolate, ripe plum and blueberry notes followed by thrilling spice, cedar and white pepper flavors. This is a muscular wine not meant for the faint of heart; but for those who dare to sip in the dark. Serve this with sauced ribs or roasted bat wings.

Behind the label by iconic artist Wes Freed, are haunting figures of a ghastly zombie jam session cursed by hovering, hungry crows and two bats watching from a hillside.

So, light the candles and let mysterious forces bring magic into your glass.