Monday, May 21, 2018

Tips for Wine Tasting in Wine Country

Make an Appointment
Some wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma County, California fill up their wine tasting times weeks beforehand. For this reason, it's smart to make an appointment well in advance. This will allow the winery to prepare for your arrival and ensure there is enough room in the winery for your tasting. The size of some of the wineries and the permit restrictions for the number of guests may not allow for you to walk-in and do a tasting. 

Know the Fees
Tasting fees vary from $5-50 depending on how involved of an experience you would like. If you would like a tour of the vineyards, to sit in on a class or seminar, or to have lunch at the winery, the fee increases the more activities you add. It's a good idea to contact the winery to find out what their fees are and what is included.
Should I tip?
Tipping is not required since a fee is charged for wine tasting; however, like any other service you receive, a tip is appreciated if you received above and beyond service!

Taste Wine Properly
There is a right and a wrong way to sample wine during a wine tasting. You should 1. Look, 2. Smell, 3. Taste, 4. Conclude. For detailed information on how to properly taste wine, visit our blog post The Proper Way to Taste Wine

Monday, May 14, 2018

Ravenswood Winery - Sonoma, California

This truly special Winery is a must for red wine lovers. Ravenswood Winery is famous for their lush and spicy Zinfandels, and so much more. This is our memory picture from 1999.

"On a fall day in 1976, as ravens taunted from tree branches above, Joel Peterson worked doggedly to bring in four tons of grapes before a looming thunderstorm hit. The fruit he crushed that night was used for one of two single-vineyard Sonoma County Zins – the first wines to bear Ravenswood’s signature ring of ravens. Ravenswood’s “No Wimpy Wines” credo says it all – embrace the bold, abhor the bland. From our flock of Single Vineyard Designate wines, as unique as the individual vineyards they’re from and the people who farm them, to the County Series wines that capture the spirit of California’s best growing regions and the popular Vintners Blend bottlings sourced from vineyards throughout California, we strive to put what we pick from the fields right into the bottle. Unadulterated, unapologetic, unfussy, unwimpy." - Ravenswoodwinery.com

Located in Sonoma, CA, Ravenswood Winery is one of our favorite places to get some of the most delicious Zinfandel available. They offer walk-in wine tasting, barrel tastings, vineyard tours, library tastings, and group and private tastings. They always have exciting events going on and accept reservations. Visit them today to discover the best Zinfandel you're sure to fall in love with!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Wine Related Gifts for Mother's Day

So mom likes wine, huh? Well, who doesn't?! Mother's Day is this weekend and we've got the BEST wine related gifts for mom...

Wine Glasses
Give mom a set of wine glasses with cute sayings on them like "Because... Kids," or "Liquid Therapy," or "I don't give a sip!"

Wine Scented Candles
Swirling and smelling your wine is half of the experience so fill mom's house with the delicious scent of wine all the time!

Wine & Cheese Serving Tray
If your mom likes to entertain then a wine and cheese serving tray is the perfect gift for her!

Wine Bottle Wind Chimes
If you have some extra wine bottles laying around, a wine bottle wind chime is the perfect way to use them and show mom you care... and it's extra special if you make it yourself!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Our Favorite Napa Valley Wineries

Known throughout the whole world, Napa Valley is home to some of the most beautiful wineries and the tastiest wines! This glorious part of wine country features over 400 wineries who produce full-bodied Cabernets and fruity Merlots, along with dozens of other wine varieties. There are many regions of Napa Valley that contain these amazing vineyards and we want to share some of our favorites with you.


"A must for wine lovers seeking excellence, our setting is one of the most peaceful in the Napa Valley - a stone castle carved into a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden, lake and vineyards reaching out to the base of Mount Saint Helena."

"WELCOME TO CLOS PEGASE, the classic Napa Valley destination for award-winning, estate wines and luxury hospitality. Located just down the road from the town of Calistoga and nestled among estate vineyards, Clos Pegase Winery is both an awe-inspiring and welcoming destination."


"Cain Vineyard & Winery is cradled in a spectacular bowl overlooking the Napa Valley from the crest of the Spring Mountain District. We are dedicated to the creation of three Cabernet blends, each drawn from its own unique vineyard sources, each with its own distinctive signature: Cain Cuvée, Cain Concept, and Cain Five."

"Our Oakville winery is located between the Silverado Trail and the town of Oakville on the original site where Silver Oak was founded out of a dairy barn in 1972. Since 2008, our new, state-of-the-art winery has served as the production facility for our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon."


"Visit us and discover what makes Peju a magical destination! Taste our award-winning wines, learn about food and wine pairing with our wine and culinary exploration or get hands-on in the Peju kitchen. We welcome you to join us daily 10am – 6pm."

"Our roots can be traced back to GH Mumm, the leading international champagne brand in France. Established in California in the late 1970s, Mumm Napa follows traditional wine making techniques of its French heritage to create the finest, hand-crafted sparkling wines. Our dedication to quality has been rewarded with accolades and awards over the decades."

St. Helena

"Passion has the wonderful power to turn mere objects into an obsession, to transform everyday tasks into art. At Beringer, we have been living our passion for over 141 years."

"After almost 30 years as a Builder and Developer in the Bay Area, Steve Sherwin was ready to make a lifestyle change. He and his wife, Linda, were looking for a quieter, more relaxed setting to raise their three children. Steve’s buddy, a fifth generation grape grower in Napa Valley, suggested that they look for property in Napa Valley and grow grapes. His buddy assured him that, although farming is a lot of hard work, it was not nearly as stressful as building and developing."


"The Jessup Cellars story is one of passion, family, hard work, resilience and, of course, fantastic wine. Over the past two decades, Jessup Cellars has earned a loyal following for its ultra-premium wines of distinction and a word-of-mouth reputation for hosting one of the friendliest tasting rooms in all of wine county."

"The Kelleher Family Vineyard is situated along Highway 29 in the famous Oakville Appellation in the heart of the Napa Valley. We have 10 acres planted exclusively with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and we have named this beautiful piece of land "Brix Vineyard", after our namesake restaurant "Brix"."

For more of our favorite wineries, visit us at AWineryReview.com

Monday, April 23, 2018

Wine's Long-Term Effects on Your Brain

A study, published in February of 2018 by The Center for Translational Neuromedicine at The University of Rochester, which centers around how prolonged alcohol exposure effects your central nervous system, had some very interesting results. Their goal was to discover the amount of alcohol it takes to damage the function of the central nervous system through the glymphatic system, which is the system your body uses to remove waste in your brain. What their study revealed was very interesting!

"While a couple of glasses of wine can help clear the mind after a busy day, new research shows that it may actually help clean the mind as well. The new study shows that low levels of alcohol consumption tamp down inflammation and helps the brain clear away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer's disease." - Science Daily

To conduct their study they exposed mice to different amounts of ethanol (alcohol). Some mice were exposed to moderate doses, some high, and some extreme doses. The mice that were given moderate doses showed improved glymphatic function compared to mice that were not exposed to any ethanol. This level increases the brain's efficiency of waste removal while reducing inflammation. The mice that were exposed to high and extreme doses had severe decreases in their brain waste removal. Their activity was subdued and their cells induced an injury reaction. The authors also suggest that a higher risk of dementia may be a long-term result of high or extreme exposure.

So how much is moderate, high, and extreme doses of wine?
Moderate Exposure - 2.5 glasses
High Exposure - 8 glasses
Extreme Exposure - 21 glasses
*These numbers are approximations

The bottom line is that drinking wine, or any alcohol, in moderation may be better for your central nervous system than drinking it in high doses or not at all. It's perfectly fine to enjoy a glass or two of your favorite bottle!

For more information, or to read the full study, click here.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Crumbling Cork

If you've ever had a bottle of wine that had a crumbling cork you may wonder what to do. The best way to separate the cork from the wine is to filter the wine through mesh to collect the cork pieces. If the wine is old, this process may oxidize the wine more than desired, so you may want to filter it into a glass instead of decanting it. Since most wine bottles will still be sealed, the wine should have maintained it's quality. The best way to determine if the quality has been compromised is to taste the wine before serving. 

To prevent the cork from crumbling in the first place a two-prong wine opener is a good investment. This method pulls the cork from the sides instead of from the middle with a screw which can keep the cork in tact. If you don't have a two-prong wine opener yet, try removing a fragile cork very slowly.

If the cork breaks while removing it and some is left in the opening of the bottle, you can try to remove it by using both a two-prong wine opener and a cork screw. Or you can try to pry it out with the sharp end of the cork screw, again, very slowly and carefully. If all else fails, pushing the cork into the bottle of wine may be your only option.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Our Website

We are constantly updating our website and the services we offer you! We have "Featured Wineries" on our website along with our NEW magazine! Here are some of our services:

& More!

H. Montanile's winery review is a comprehensive overview of California's wine country detailing the overall experience of visiting the California Wineries.  Our reviews include the wines generally available for tasting, as well as a wide variety of other wines.  With over 5000 wineries to choose from, let H. Montanile's winery review be your companion on your visit to the wineries in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

We update our website weekly with new information and products so keep checking back so you don't miss anything!