By CHRIS SHERMAN
Published February 8, 2006
WINE ON THE DIAGONAL
Fie on California. Washington's a big wine state too. In sheer numbers, the far Northwest makes more varietal wines. But the Washingtonians have determined that Florida, especially the Tampa Bay market, doesn't know it.
To fix that, we're getting Washington wine's first test ad blitz, $385,000 in ads and promotions through April telling us that Washington has the perfect climate for wine. That message will be on the airwaves and billboards and in grocery and liquor stores.
The ads will also try to connect the Northwest and the Southeast by touting Florida seafood and the dry inland vineyards of the Yakima and Columbia valleys as a great pairing of surf and turf.
We might also point out that there's a "Pasco" on the maps of both states.
Cork & Olive, the Oldsmar chain that stresses simplified limited wine choices, has opened its sixth store in two years. The newest location is on Dale Mabry Highway south of Henderson Boulevard in the new Southdale Commons in Tampa. New stores are planned in Lakeland and Carrollwood.
The boom in Canadian ice wine has spilled over onto Valentine's Day with a red dessert wine from Inniskillin for lovers' day. It is rosy, sweet and said to be a good mate for chocolates.
But, like other ice wines, it's made from raisined grapes harvested in bitter cold, which may or may not fit your romance. A thin, sleek bottle is $100, but it will last longer than the roses.
Great cab seekers know about the Stags Leap District in Napa Valley.
The fine wines of Shafer, Pine Ridge, Regusci, Clos Du Val, Steltzner, Robert Sinskey, Stags' Leap, Silverado, Ilsley, Cliff Lede, Baldacci, Hartwell and Chimney Rock originate there.
And every year, the member wineries host visitors, put on a seminar and cater a dinner extravaganza at Stags' Leap Winery as part of its Vineyard to Vintner (V2V) event.
The 2006 V2V Day is April 22. It begins at 10:30 a.m.
The day's activities and dinner cost $175 a person (without dinner, $100). For more information, call (707) 255-1720 or go to www.stagsleapdistrict.com.
Compiled by CHRIS SHERMAN from staff reports and the Los Angeles Daily News. He can be reached at (727) 893-8585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.