New look, features for

Local happy hour website launched an updated look today with some new features. This week marked the official launch for the site, which aims to be the “Craigslist of Food and Drink” for the Sacramento region.

In addition to tweaking the design, founder Tim White has added hundreds of new listings in outlying areas from Davis to Rocklin, and added additional sorting on the food and drink specials. Other updates will be coming soon, including improved navigation and more specific content on the locations and deals. It’s a great site for quick listings of all the hot spots, and it’s now extremely useful for those off the grid. Cheers!

Local Love

Celebrate Valentine’s Day Sacramento-style with these uniquely delicious ideas:

Chocolate Decadence: The most direct path to your sweetie’s heart is through the stomach. Sacramento has no shortage of phenomenal bakers to treat your honey right. Place your order today to ensure your treats are ready in time!

  • Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates offers sinfully elegant options including their V-day specialty Palet D’Or Entrement Cake for $32 featuring “Maracaibo Venezuelan Chocolate Mousse, layered with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Dacquois, and Crunchy Chocolate Shortbread.” They also offer melt-your-heart chocolates starting at 6 pieces for $12. If you’re going to buy chocolates, you won’t find any better than these!
  • Freeport Bakery exceeds all expectations for perfectionist pastries. Their Valentine’s options will make you weak in the knees. They’ve got Continue reading “Local Love”

Revolutionary reds

New ports at Revolution Wine
New ports at Revolution Wines
My favorite thing to bring to my family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations is a bottle of wine for after dinner. Midtown’s Revolution Wines took care of both holidays for me with a release of an Old World and a New World port.

The release of St. Rey Port also signifies the launch of Revolution’s new port program. Winemaker Craig Haarmeyer will continue to make porto that is Iberian influenced and locally sourced. Vintages will also held back for aging and blending with future vintages.

Continue reading “Revolutionary reds”

Ridiculous Sale On Easton Wines

I’ll keep this brief. If you like Barbera as much as I do (for a previous article on Barbera, click here), Easton Wines in Amador Co. is selling a case, a g-damned case, of their 2003, g-damn 2003!, Barbera at $129. That’s less than m’f’ing $11 a bottle for those of you that went to fundamentalist Christian schools. Jesus Christ and all the saints and Mary and Joseph and all the myrrh you can shake a stick at, that’s an insane deal.

A) This is probably one of the best Barberas made in California. B) It’s stupid cheap. And C) See A and B.

It’s a beautiful time of year to head up to Plymouth in Amador County. Drive on up with one of your many days off in the next few months and grab yourself one of the best wine steals this year. For maps, product info and events, check out Terre Rouge/Easton Wines at

Lodi…On the Water?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gee, I really like Lodi wine, but I don’t really like going to Lodi”? Well, then I’ve got the event for you. On October 11, Lodi wines will be featured at the Treasure Island Wine Fest. (that’s right, Treasure Island, that little spit of land holding the Bay Bridge together) From 1-5pm, you’re invited to enjoy the gorgeous views of the bay and beautiful wines from your neighbors down the road. It also happens to be the last day of Fleet Week, and you’ll probably be able to catch of glimpse of the Blue Angels in the sky as well as a host of seamen in their crisp whites.
Over 200 wines will be featured at the event. Tickets are $55 online and $65 at the door (parking is free). Check out for tickets and more details.

Barbera: A Local Treasure That Needs To Be Treasured

barberaIf we were to be honest with ourselves for just a moment, we’d readily admit that we live in the deep, enveloping cleavage of the bosom of great wine. Just barely peeking out over the plunging neckline of our beautiful valley, we can see some of the best vineyards in America staring back at us. And while Zinfandel, Cab, and Chardonnay get all the attention and all the praise, it is the simple Barbera that I seek out every time.

An Italian grape, Barbera is a foundational piece of many Italian table wines. Following suit, it’s been grown predominantly in the Central Valley as a blending grape in jug wines. (Shout out to my boy Carlo!) But in recent years, winemakers in Amador, El Dorado, and, to a lesser but by no means less successful extent, Paso Robles have taken the Barbera and turned it into an absolutely yummy single varietal that, in my mind, kicks the pants off of most zins, pinots, and cabs.

What does Barbera taste like? To be honest, it tastes like the cloudy mists of the firmament wrapped in bubble gum and dusted with cotton candy kisses. However, some have also described it as an inky dark, velvety wine with balanced berry sweetness and almost no tannins; it’s eminently drinkable and, like most Italian wines, very food friendly.  Take your pick of descriptions. Wine, after all, is a subjective beverage.

Where do you find good Barbera? One place you’ll rarely find it is on a restaurant’s wine list. The Firehouse, for example, whose wine list runs over 80 pages, has only a handful of Barberas from the U.S. and Italy. On last check, Biba’s wine list had two. L Wine Lounge, whose wine list admittedly is about variety and quality over quantity, carries only one.  Same with The Kitchen. Continue reading “Barbera: A Local Treasure That Needs To Be Treasured”

Regional Wine Tasting Guide

Now is a great time to visit our regional wineries, as new releases are being introduced every week and Autumn is beautiful in the vineyards. Plus, crush is over, so the employees and owners are far less stressed and have more time to discuss their craft with you.

If you are new to our local wine scene or are just tired of stuffing 10 different wine maps in your glove compartment, the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau publishes the Official Regional Wine Tasting Guide. It includes maps and phones numbers for both the foothill wineries (Amador, Placer, El Dorado, Nevada and Calaveras Counties) and the valley wineries (Sacramento, San Joaquin and Yolo Counties).

Order your guide today by calling (800) 292-2334. You can also find this information at


Doooooo Dooooooo Da Dum Dum Dum Dum

That is the sound of me singing the Olympic Hymn after several glasses of fine California wine. You, dear reader, may get to hear this masterpiece in person if you join me at the Winelympics at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg this weekend.

In a clear attempt to make this a classy event, organizers decided not to name it the Wine-Olympics, which evokes an image of Bum Fights and probably skirts a copyright law or two.

The Winelympics is a fund raiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and will feature competitors from local wineries and other organizations. Events include the Waiter’s Relay, Barrel Rolling and both corking and uncorking contests. Doors open at 11 AM with an admission fee of $10 per day with three events held on both Saturday and Sunday between Noon and 5 pm. The six wineries at the Old Sugar Mill will be pouring.

If you wish to field a team of three (or more!) there is still time to register. Your friendly neighborhood Stickie will be joining the good folks at Revolution Wines to bring home the gold to Midtown.

Rail Bridge Cellars: Drink Local

It turns out that you can make wine almost anywhere. Growing the grapes with which to make the wine is another story. But the actual storing, crushing, filtering, and fricasseeing necessary to make great wine can be done almost anywhere where you can match a bit of floor space with regular temperatures. Why, then, should it be a surprise that some of the best wine this writer has tasted in a long time comes out of a nondescript white brick warehouse across from a discount furniture store and a card room?

Rail Bridge Cellars, located on North 16th Street, may be a trailblazing entity, injecting the business of winemaking in to the urban core, but regardless of its geography, the wine’s the thing that makes this small wine producer stand out. Winemaker Jon Affonso (Jesuit High class of ’88, Go Big Red!) confidently, and with obvious passion produces only two wines at the present, but what wines they are. Continue reading “Rail Bridge Cellars: Drink Local”