Cinco de Mayo’s less than two weeks away, but the thought of serving a small ocean of margaritas leaves bar and restaurant owners feeling especially sour this year. A lime shortage has quadrupled the price of this key citrus fruit, leaving business owners scrambling for backup plans and other ways to make do with less.

If you’ve ever sampled sushi in the Sacramento area, chances are the seafood industry’s caught you in some bait and switch.

Despite recent rains, the great parching of California continues, with much of Folsom Lake still resembling Burning Man’s craggy Black Rock Desert and Central Valley farmers preparing for a dust-bowl spring and summer.

Across Northern California, tiny buds are growing on grape vines and showing that spring has definitely sprung. Budbreak has arrived, signaling the yearly kickoff of a wine grape’s growing cycle.

Napa wine country will soon get a mighty pour of music, with the return of the BottleRock festival and the retooling of a historic venue.

Wine Buzz has bumped into Joe and Pat Harbison a few times over the past year, but didn’t quite realize how much of a splash their Harbison Estate Wines were making in the highly competitive world of Napa cabernet sauvignon.

Sacramento emerged as a star of Unified, and not just for hosting the event for more than a decade.

The queries come to “Wine Buzz’s” email each January: Where’s a good place to grab a bite and pop a bottle with a client during the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium?

The second installment of UC Davis’ ‘Vintage Wine Tasting’ will focus on top wines of Burgundy.

Two zinfandels, a tempranillo and syrah grapes from the region earn year-end praise.

Beyond the filling tucked in a bed of masa, the beloved tamale tempts in a variety of styles, flavors.

The San Francisco Chronicle has released its Top 100 Wines of 2013, a list culled by the esteemed Jon Bonne, and a round of cheers must be going around the Sierra foothills. A number of greater Sacramento-area producers – and wineries that sourced their grapes from the area – made the cut.

Last week’s Wine Buzz offered a rundown of Black Friday events in Amador County, including a tasting of the Easton 2011 Zinfandel Amador County at Terre Rouge/Easton (10801 Dickson Road, Plymouth).

Just thinking about the annual paean to consumerism that is Black Friday makes Wine Buzz want to hide from the frenzied crowds and curl up with a good glass of grape.

The Thanksgiving table’s set, the Raiders vs. Cowboys game is on in the background, and everybody’s ready for one righteous, all-American turkey feast.

UC Davis’ research winery may have all the latest equipment – including stainless steel fermenting tanks with high-tech sensors that download data in real time – but the vintages being poured there last week represented a blast from the past.

Here are some ideas to take local food to the next level.

The wines were bottled around the time the Beatles rocked “The Ed Sullivan Show” and Lyndon Johnson was president. Now they’re about to be uncorked to reveal how they’ve evolved over the decades.

Mile Wine Co. opens near UOP with 2,000-bottle inventory.

“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” may be the title of a classic song, but it’s one of the last things winemakers want to deal with during harvest season.

David Hunt is a rare blind winemaker who clues into his other senses to create wines for his Hunt Cellars, an award-winning Paso Robles winery.

The summer of 2013 reached its symbolic end now that Labor Day weekend’s one for the books. But for those who love wine, there’s still plenty to savor with the arrival of September.

We all know wine has inspired many good books, whether “Sideways” by Rex Pickett or Benjamin Wallace’s fascinating “The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine.” If you’ve felt an epiphany stemming from a glass of your favorite vino, now’s the time to put that tale to paper — or into the word-processing program of your choice.

“Wine Buzz” hinted last week at a series of events that’ll appeal to lovers of white wine. Now we’ve got the full scoop on Summer of Riesling Sacramento, which celebrates the much-beloved riesling grape through September.

The calendar has barely turned to August but activity is well under way in the region's wine grape vineyards. The annual harvest has arrived about two weeks early compared with a typical year, because of significant summer heat spikes and the dry overall growing season.

Stuart Spoto felt his time was especially fruitful during Auction Napa Valley in June.

Dinner at Skinner: Skinner Vineyards, which is tucked among the high-altitude vineyards of Somerset, has transformed into one of El Dorado County’s star wineries over the past few years.

Given the amount of wine grapes that grow around the Sacramento region, it's no surprise that home winemaking thrives around these parts. And if you don't quite know the difference between your petite sirah and petit verdot, the Sacramento Home Winemakers club is here to help.

Showing that Sacramentans have an appetite for high-cost dining, $175 tickets for a "Farm-to-Fork Tower Bridge Dinner" were gobbled up within hours of going on sale.

Tonight's special dinner at Enotria marks a homecoming of sorts for sommelier Jeremiah Morehouse. Before taking a gig at SPQR, the Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant celebrated for its Italian food and wine program, Morehouse served as wine director at Enotria.

The California State Fair Wine Competition wrapped up Friday at Cal Expo following the evaluation of more than 2,600 wines.

Sacramento's central city might be a kind of concrete jungle devoid of vineyards, but plans for an urban wine trail through downtown and midtown continue to form.

We're back from BottleRock Napa Valley, where the flavors of wine country mixed last week with a multiday music festival.

The Total Wine & More commercial that's all over the radio airwaves makes the small, independent wine shops sound hopelessly pretentious. We learn about a fictitious boutique shop called Wine Snobs that's overpriced, snooty, unhelpful and comes nowhere near to matching Total Wine & More's 8,000-bottle inventory.

Cinco de Mayo's more of a time for tequila than wine, but south-of-the-border festivities are going down all the same Sunday at the Old Sugar Mill.

'Wine Buzz" hoists a big glass of Barolo to Jeremiah Morehouse, a former Sacramentan who recently passed his advanced sommelier exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Sacramento's underground rappers have sold millions of CDs and you probably know little, maybe nothing, about them. Bee pop music critic Chris Macias and photographer Josť Luis Villegas spent five months exploring the south Sacramento hip-hop scene that is known across the country for its extreme lyrics, gangsta images and big beats.

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