Napa, wineries take stock, assess damage after 6.0 Quake

Napa Valley wineries report diverse assessments as a result of last Sunday morning’s magnitude 6.0 earthquake that shook residents from their 3:20 a.m. slumber. The ‘South Napa earthquake,’ so named by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), was the largest to hit the San Francisco Bay Area since the October 1989 magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta quake that killed 63 people and resulted in over $11 billion in damage.The South Napa quake, which hit about 3 miles northwest […]

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Wine Swingers

Be a Swinger, or Divorce Your Wine Guy!

People love to ask about our favorite local wine merchant. Truth be told, we do not have many. In fact most of our wine is shipped to us. So it is pretty safe to say our favorite wine usually comes via FedEx. When I wrote a version this post back in 2010, we did not have a favorite wine guy. Or girl, in Houston. Then our good friend Iris Allen invited us to a hidden gem in […]

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The Trouble with Wine “Super” Stores

You are a sophisticated wine consumer. You are looking for wine from a particular region. If it’s Old World, then that’s pretty easy. Need a French Pinot Noir? Head to any wine shop’s Burgundy section. Cabernet or Merlot? There’s the Bordeaux section over there. Sparkling? Look for the bottles with a shiny foil-covered round cork — those you can spot from over the tops of the aisles. But suppose you want something from California. From […]

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Not your Grandfather’s Wine Blog

Wine blogs are in a flurry in response to comments made here, and elsewhere to the print writer panels’ critique and advice to bloggers on wine writing at the recent annual Wine Bloggers’ Conference. Several blogs authored by both females and forward-thinking males call for more diversity in presentation panels. More women, more bloggers of color and diverse ethnicity and more young faces are the requests in response to the “grand-fatherly white traditional male print writers” […]

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Top 10 Things I Learned at WBC 2014

The 2014 Wine Bloggers’ Conference co-mingled about 150 citizen bloggers and 200-plus wine and related industry personnel with wine makers and producers from all over the world last week at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton, California. This was the seventh year of the annual event started by Joel Vincent and Zephyr Adventures in 2008, and now run primarily by Zephyr with a small board of advisors. In addition to Buellton, the North American WBC conventioneers have […]

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I’m looking California, and feeling Minnesota…

There is an image in Soundgarden’s video for “Outshined” with a guy walking in a life-sized hamster wheel. For those of us not passionate about our jobs, or those who feel like every day is just the same rat race day in and day out, online learning is the perfect answer to the prolonged drudgery of life. For those with a genuine interest in California wine study without the time to sit inside a class, […]

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Only a Ginger can call a Ginger….SNAP!

One of my father’s favorite treats was a ginger snap cookie — or should I say cookies! M&Ms had nothing on this zesty treat – my dad could never eat just one ginger snap. He had this old green recliner with a former sewing basket as an end table. I would come home from my retail job at Lazarus to find him snacking away. “Hey Sissy,” he’d say, “want a ‘Snap?” Then he would reach into […]

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Méthode WineWonkette: DIY Fancy French Ginger Liqueur

I love ginger! I must try this at home, I think to myself as I sip Frank Plusk’s signature Domaine de Canton 2014 Global Bartender of the Year contest entry cocktail while chatting with a wine country friend in town for the weekend. So the next day I head to the Downtown Specs Liquor Warehouse (Smith Street) to pick up a bottle of Domaine de Canton to make my own Asian Lemon Drop Martini. I […]

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Fabio, Not-Fabio and the Fancy French Cocktail Contest

“I am in Houston today, can we get together for cocktails?” comes a text from a wine country friend. It was a bit unexpected, but I have to be in the city later anyway, so I make plans to meet at House of Blues’ Crossroads restaurant. Joe and I have a concert to attend that evening, so I think I will chat up my friend early before meeting Joe there for dinner. The great thing […]

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