dot429 Trend Report: Wine


Editor’s Note: Charles Kimball is the owner of Gay Napa Getaways, an LGBT travel and concierge service agency for Napa and Sonoma. He runs his business from his home located in a five-acre Chardonnay vineyard in Napa Valley. For dot429, Kimball shares what’s new and trendy on the wine scene.‚Ä®

In the wine industry, trends take a long time to disseminate, and it’s important to watch the tastemakers when figuring out a new trend. With the approaching fall season, people are often looking for one wine that is new and interesting. This aligns perfectly with wine season – we are at the end of what we call “Crush,” a great time to visit and a great time to see what winemaking is all about.

A favorite of mine is the Grenache grape and wine. Grenache is having its moment in the sun right now, and it’s what my winemaker friends like to drink and make. In general, Grenaches are a little cheaper than Cabernets and can be a savory, spicy, strawberry-laden match for a myriad of food styles. Grenaches are best paired with chicken, salmon, pork, and other meats. One of my favorite small wineries is Outpost in Napa ( They are only producing 375 cases of their Howell Mountain Grenache. The grapes are raised 2200 ft above the Napa Valley floor, and the flavors, along with the price, are fantastic.

Wines on Tap: in eco- and wine- friendly towns such as San Francisco, New York, and Los Angles, restaurants are serving wine from kegs. Yes, kegs! And it’s great for the wineries because it translates into fewer bottles to buy, no labels to apply, no corks, and therefore no cork taint. When restaurants offer wines on tap, you can be sure that there won’t be any spoilage, as the wine stays fresh in pressurized kegs. This benefits consumers, not only because the keg wines tend to be fresher than their bottled counterparts, but also because the low overhead yields much more reasonable prices. ‚Ä®‚Ä®When I manage events in Napa and Sonoma, I take advantage of the knowledge and services of ACME wines ( in St. Helena, Napa Valley. This is a great place to visit and taste some of the 188 or so wines that are chosen for uniqueness and value! If you can’t make it to out to Napa Valley, check out their website. They offer membership to a wine club that delivers two different reds to your front door on a monthly basis.

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