Author Archives: Ray

About Ray

Ray Johnson is the Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. He writes about food and wine, his travels and the business of wine. He makes his home in Sonoma County, California.

Molokini Snorkeling Aboard the Calypso

The snorkeling is enjoyable for its experience of almost exclusively small fish along the edge of the rock.  The personal learning for me:  find a great area of coral and stop, just float and watch the activity unfold.  Previously I … Continue reading

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Iao Valley State Monument

The landscape is stunning and lush in this verdant valley, a beautiful park to visit that is easily accessible from Kahalui.  As such, it is overrun with visitors so it is prudent to visit early in the day.  The hike … Continue reading

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Fork & Salad Maui

Compelling salads are dressed and tossed to order – nothing pre-made and boxed.  Added protein options include seared ahi tuna.  Kombucha and homemade lemonade make for refreshing non-alcoholic libations.  This was the first visit and I would definitely return in … Continue reading

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Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods

The freshly made to order breakfast bowls and smoothies are a delicious take-away meal for breakfast at the beach, in this case, just across the street at Kamaola One.  We’ve been on two occasions this year and on both trips … Continue reading

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Sonoma State Sensory Evaluation Workshop

Staying ahead of flaws in the cellar and quantifying perceptual differences and consumer preferences are critical to a winery’s bottom line.  Following our return from New Zealand, Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute will partner with VESTA to again offer this … Continue reading

Posted in Albariño, Alsace, Alto Adige, Andalucia, Barbera, Barbera d'Asti, Barolo, Bordeaux, California, Chardonnay, Cinsault, Dealcoholized, Fortified dessert, France, Gewurztraminer, Graves, Italy, Jerez, Madeira, Malmsey, Malvasia, Marlborough, Merlot, Napa County, Napa Valley, Nebbiolo, New Zealand, Palomino, Pessac-Leognan, Piemonte, Pinot Noir, Port, Portugal, Provence, Rosé, Russian River Valley, Sancerre, Sauternes, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Sherry, Sonoma County, South Africa, Spain, Tawny Port, Var, Vinho Verde, Western Cape | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cyrus 1998

Alexander Valley Vineyards, Cyrus 1998 14 years on this wine is looking youthful in the glass, with hues of red and just a hint of orange at the edge.  In the nose an oaky expression entices with an expectation of richness. On … Continue reading

Posted in Alexander Valley, Bordeaux Style Blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Sonoma County | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reata Chardonnay 2010

Reata, Carneros, Chardonnay 2010 The nose features freshly baked biscuits dabbed in butter topped with peaches – you get a sense of the fruit accentuated by the winemakers touch. In the mouth the texture is luscious, buttery with the freshness … Continue reading

Posted in California, Carneros, Chardonnay | Tagged | 1 Comment

Lucien Albrecht Blanc de Blancs

Lucien Albrecht, Cremant d’Alsace, Brut, Blanc de Blancs nv In the nose there are fresh fruits like pears and yellow apples.  In the mouth this wine is fruit-forward, moderately acidic with some creaminess, like one finds with the domaine’s rose – … Continue reading

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Sonoma State Cellars

We spent the morning at Kokomo Winery today, putting the final touches on the first release from Sonoma State Cellars. If you’re in Dry Creek Valley on Saturday, join the party that we’re throwing at Timber Crest Farms.  Bastille Day … Continue reading

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Bollinger La Grande Annee 2000

Bollinger, Champagne, La Grande Annee, Brut 2000 The nose is nutty, featuring dried fruits, oranges with brown spices and a note of mushrooms sauteed in butter. In the mouth this vintage is elegant, with subtle orange and apple flavors, and long, … Continue reading

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