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Livermore Stories: Darcie Kent Vineyards

This is the first in a series called “Livermore Stories,” which takes a look at the most exciting wineries in this wine growing region east of San Francisco.  More than 50 wineries now call Livermore Valley home, and the wines have never been better, and the wineries have great stories to tell.  Darcie Kent is back.  “I’m still learning Cabernet Franc,” says the Livermore Valley vintner as she’s sorting beautiful grapes just picked from her home vineyard during the 2013 harvest.  “This is just a luscious, luscious berry, it’s one of my favorite wines.” I first met Darcie in 2002 when she was just launching her namesake label, Darcie Kent Vineyards.  At the time, she was making only one wine, a Merlot, which is was what was planted in her home vineyard.  “We were doing a rip-roaring 50 to 100 cases out of my garage,” she says.  We taped a story…

20 High-Low Late Summer Wines

We have about three weeks until Labor Day weekend, the end of summer. This is my favorite time of year (I love heat) for food and for wine. When the temperature rises I instinctively reach for an aromatic white or rosé. Of all the wines I’ve been drinking this summer, my favorites fall into two distinct price categories: $15 or less, or over $20. Many of my go to wines come from Trader Joe’s and are less than $10.

That got me thinking about fashion, and how the most stylish dressers put together outfits that are high-low combinations. For example, you pair a H&M top at $14.99 with Tory Burch pants that cost $295 and a pair of Michael Michael Kors shoes (his 2nd label, also called a diffusion line) for $120. And you probably get more compliments on the H&M top than you do the pants or shoes.

With high-low wine you can find some fabulous bottles for less than $15 that I bet you’ll get compliments on. But every now and then you want to splurge on a great pair of $300 boots just because. Same with wine, there are just some times when a splurge on a bottle with a price tag of $20 or higher is justified. I’ve made list of 20 wines, with pairs grouped according to the high-low principle. Read more