I read an article recently about Stimson Lane, the parent company of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest. It seems Stimson Lane was set to acquire Guenoc, a California winery, when the deal was called off by Stimson's parent company—US Tobacco—because it needed the money to fight tobacco litigation. The connection between those two wineries and the tobacco industry isn't something they often talk about publicly, but it's definitely something that should concern potential customers. Do you care about the connection? Send me an e-mail; I'll post the results in this column.
Starting a Foris fire
One of the wineries I enjoyed when I had my retail business was Foris. This little Oregon winery is located in the scenic Rogue Valley, south of Oregon's more famous wine region in the Willamette Valley. Until the Rogue region is discovered, however, wines from there will remain a bargain. The '97 Foris Merlot is a great example: For only $14, you get a wine laden with raspberries, chewy tannins, and a surprisingly lengthy finish.
My cellar is starting to get unmanageable. Got any ideas how to keep tabs on everything?
CHUCK, U DISTRICT
When you say your cellar is unmanageable, do you mean that you have a lot of bottles in there or that you're tripping over dead bodies? I'll assume the former. Since most people use computers these days, you might try entering each bottle into a database of some kind. Go to cnet.com, enter WINE in the search field, then click on See all matching results at CNET Downloads. You'll find software for Macs, Windows, Unix, and Palm.