Blog Archives

William Allen of Two Shepherds: The Surprising Life of a Winemaker

You ever wonder what it takes to become a winemaker? And then decide to go pro? I had a chance to chat with William Allen, who is the Owner/Winemaker/Chief Barrel-washer, etc of Two Shepherds in California. I got to know William originally through the world of blogging and have had the chance to hang out [...]

Posted in California wine, podcast | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can a Scratch and Sniff Book Help You Become a Wine Expert?

Most wine books are so damn serious. Do you want to read a 500 page book on Bordeaux? One that’s hefty, ponderous, and staid? (Full disclosure: I probably would, but it’s what I do for a living. It’s like studying to be an engineer and having loads of non-sexy prerequisite texts. If you want to [...]

Posted in books, podcast | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

How Much Should Wine Matter in a Restaurant Review?

Of course when I go to a restaurant I’m hyper-tuned to pluses and minuses of the wine list. But how much weight should wine carry in the total assessment of a restaurant? What can we learn about the restaurant as a whole based on its beverage service? I am fortunate to have met Hanna Raskin, [...]

Posted in podcast, restaurants, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Destroy Wine and Food Stereotypes and Embrace Sweetness

Wow, what a fantastic podcast I have for you. How about a one-two punch of Natalie Slater from Bake and Destroy followed by the CakeSpy herself, Jessie Oleson Moore. Whoa! Buckle up. I was inspired to ring Natalie after receiving a free copy of Bake and Destroy: Good Food For Bad Vegans. I totally made [...]

Posted in podcast | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ambonnay’s David Speer Explains Why Champagne is Way Better Than Cable

This immortal quote (“Champagne is way better than cable.“) about budgeting, entertainment, pleasure, and the pinnacle of sparkling wine came from an interview I conducted with David Speer, owner of Portland, Oregon’s most excellent Champagne bar, Ambonnay. What prompted me to contact David (via e-mail) and query him about all things Champagne was a post-International [...]

Posted in Champagne, podcast | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Touring and Tasting at Jordan Vineyard and Winery

Courtesy of the folks at Jordan Winery and Vineyard in Sonoma’s scenic Alexander Valley, I got to spend a couple days and nights hanging out at the winery and touring the over 1,200 acre (!) property. I thought it was time to flex my podcasting muscles a bit and record a show in an entirely [...]

Posted in podcast, sonoma | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Conversation With Michael Mondavi

A couple months ago I had the chance to have lunch with Michael Mondavi, set up by Glodow Nead Communications. Naturally, I expected to discuss wine, the history of Napa Valley, and family. (I had met his daughter, Dina, earlier in the year. A recap of our time together is on Foodista.) We ended up [...]

Posted in Napa Valley, podcast | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Are You Getting The Full Pull From Your Wines?

I’ve always been intrigued by the business model of purchasing a wine via nothing but a compelling text-only email that prompts to you open your wallet. Are you on any mailing lists like this? The most famous would be Garagiste, located here in Seattle. Another online wine business (going four-plus years strong) also with a [...]

Posted in podcast | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

How Does a Winemaker Decide When to Pick Grapes?

When to pick grapes? It’s one of the biggest decisions a winemaker will undertake each year. So what tools and tricks of the trade are deployed? Is it a process assisted by: Science? Art? Taste? Voodoo? Clairvoyance? Luck? Fortunately, I know Ross Andrew Mickel, winemaker at Washington State’s Ross Andrew Winery. And I was able [...]

Posted in podcast, Washington | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Italian Sparkling Wine: 7 Effervescent Thoughts About Ferrari

Greetings from the Trentino-Alto Adige area of Northern Italy. Close to the borders of Austria, Switzerland, and Slovenia, I’m hanging out in Trento. Not only is it a city in Italy but, more vitally to my predilections, it is also the name of a wine region solely dedicated to Italian sparkling wine. Produced in the [...]

Posted in Italy, podcast | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments