Posted tagged ‘Napa’

Giving a “Thumbs Up” to Wine

August 4, 2012

Do you or someone you know love wine? I was born and raised within 15 minutes of the Napa Valley so of course I have a soft spot for wine and the wine industry. But, just because I grew up in the region, doesn’t mean I’m a wine connoisseur.

When it comes to picking out wine, I need just as much help as the rest of you. I look at all the websites for reviews, but in reality (at least from what I’ve found) it’s all just jargon and industry speak. Here’s what I want: to find a bottle of wine, preferably inexpensive, that’s going to 1) taste good and 2) pair nicely with my meal.

Like me, are you tired of endless websites giving you “professional” wine reviews that quite frankly are just too boring and don’t reach you on a personal level? How come we can’t just find a couple of everyday guys who aren’t going to tell me what they think I want to hear, but instead, the wine I should buy that won’t cost me a whole week’s paycheck?

Well thankfully a website made just for you does exist. Let me introduce you to Joe and Matt of Thumbs Up Wine.

Here’s a quick introductory video:

Thumbs Up Wine provide tools including video reviews, a mobile app and more to help people find the best supermarket or warehouse wines. They make it simple for you, the everyday consumer. As their website says: “No one wants to know whether the wine has “notes of Cavaillon melon.” But everyone wants to know whether it will go with the steak/chicken/pasta that they’re having for dinner.” Does that sound like you? Well…it sounds like me, my friends and my family.

Furthermore, the guys on Thumbs Up Wine go out and taste the wines that you can actually find, tell you what’s good/what’s not, and actually make sense of it all. The site completely independent – they are not paid by, or affiliated with, any winery. Their mission is simple: to pair consumers with the best bottle of wine that you can find at your local grocery store, based explicitly on what you’re looking for.

As most you you already know, sometimes I don’t have the world’s greatest attention span. It’s because of this that I love their series of videos. On the site, you can find the good, the bad and the ugly.

Here’s a couple of quick examples of Thumbs Up reviews of a Fetzer Riesling 2010 and a Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon 2009:



They’ve already got more than 100 videos but I hear that they’ve got another 10 – 15 entertaining ones that will be released over the next few months. Can’t wait!

Did I mention they have a mobile app? Of course they do. Everyone does these days. But this one will really help you out when you’re looking for just the right bottle. Appropriately named “The WineFinder”, this app matches you with the best wines in the store you’re shopping in, based on the perimeters you’re looking for. Even better: it’s updated every week.

So, if you’re looking for that perfect bottle of wine tonight and don’t want to go through the hassle of reviewing boring website after boring website, be sure to check out Thumbs Up Wine. Down-to-Earth reviews made specifically for you. Who doesn’t want that?

Check them out on Facebook  and follow them on Twitter at @ThumbsUpWine for more information.

The Next Two Days…

November 16, 2009

Hi All,

Just giving you a heads up that, more than likely, you probably won’t see many posts, or responses from me for the next two days.

I’ll be in St. Helena, California, in support of my step father who will be undergoing heart surgery on Tuesday. I feel it important to be there for him, and for my mom who will need someone to be with her.

Last year, my step father had quintuple bypass surgery which was very difficult, but he recovered nicely. Unfortunately, he is still having serious heart problems, including an arrhythmia and needs to go back in as soon as possible to hopefully fix the problems that he is experiencing.

I don’t know for a fact how dangerous this surgery is but I know that he has had health issues for quite some time and my mom believes that it is a very serious health concern.

Anyways, there is very limited Internet at the hospital and I’m sure we’ll be pretty busy with everything.

Hope everyone has a great week 🙂

$15 Million Pot Bust in Petaluma

July 30, 2009

Ahhh…the town I grew up in for my first 24 years is back in the news again!

According to Sge. Chris Bertoli of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, narcotics agents arrested two Mexican nationals during a marijuana garden eradication effort east of Petaluma yesterday afternoon.

This was a $15 million bust! Guess they still grow a lot more than grapes in Sonoma and Napa counties!

From KTVU:

One suspect escaped, Bertoli said. The other two men were booked into the Sonoma County jail for cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale and possession of a firearm while committing a felony.

One of the suspects might be charged in connection with fighting a police dog used in the arrests, Bertoli said.

The sheriff’s department found 5,000 mature plants ready for harvest in several gardens.

Bertoli estimated the processed pot from the plants is worth $15 million. Two to three pounds of processed marijuana were also found at the campsite in the Stage Gulch Road and state Highway 116 area that also contains vineyards, Bertoli said.

One of the suspects told the sheriff’s department he had been at the site since April, Bertoli said.

Wildfire Threatens Napa Valley

October 12, 2008

A wildfire in the hills above the Napa Valley is threatening 200 homes and several small wineries after destroying two buildings Friday night. This comes pretty close to home, being born and raised in the town of Petaluma, just 15 minutes from the Napa Valley. I take these roads to drive to my mom’s house in Clearlake each time we head up that direction.

From the Associated Press:

Fire officials said the blaze had burned 300 acres in the rugged hills just outside the wine country town of St. Helena. The fire was about 40 percent contained Saturday morning, and officials expected it to be fully contained on Sunday. More than 1,500 firefighters were working to contain the blaze.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Nancy Carniglia, said the fire had destroyed at least two structures and threatened 200 homes and several wineries.

About 100 residents left their homes under voluntary evacuation orders Friday night, and an evacuation center had been set up at St. Helena High School.

From the Press Democrat:

California Department of Forestry Fire Chief Ernie Loveless said the fire was believed to have been started by a pickup truck that went off Deer Park Park Road on a sharp curve. He said the truck hit a rock, creating a spark that caused the blaze.

The pickup went down an embankment, ending up below the home Jimmy and Darlene McDannald(cq), which was soon engulfed in flames.

Jimmy McDannald, 83, said he had gone to the store in nearby Angwin about 15 minutes before the fire started. He was on the way back with his mail and groceries when he was stopped by the CHP at a roadblock.

He said he watched from Sunset Point just above the blaze as his home burn down.

He’d had the 1,500 sq. ft. home built in 1970. The retired truck mechanic said his family has owned the 10-acre property since 1942.