Nude Wine Harvest Demands New Phrase

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “Once in a blue moon“, indicating something that doesn’t happen often.  A “Blue Moon” is the astronomical term for that rare month in which two full moons can be seen (about once every 2-3 years).  Oddly, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual color of the moon. But […]

Take Israeli wine out of the liquor store ghetto

A good friend and customer of mine went to Israel a few years ago.  He went with his Chinese wife and a couple dozen members of his extended Jewish family.  He was a bit leery of the whole affair prior to going, I mean, traveling with your immediate family is challenge enough, but aunts, uncles, […]

California’s Foie Gras Ban, 6 Months Later

Tomorrow night, I’m attending a “Speakeasy” dinner, one held at an address known only to the lucky attendees.  It invitation came complete with secret password for entry.  But unlike a prohibition-era Speakeasy, this dinner doesn’t feature illicit alcohol.  It features Foie Gras, a gourmet food ingredient turned into contraband last summer. In July, it became illegal […]

Lila Farms Olive Harvest 2012

Our olive harvest took place this past weekend.  We can not be sufficiently profuse in our thanks to those who trekked the 2.5 hours to our humble farm, and helped harvest 600 pounds of olives – enough for up to 10 gallons or 38 Liters of oil.  Work began a week earlier… no scratch that, […]

To Your Health! The health benefits of wine.

“À Votre Santé!”  This classic French toast means “To Your Health” and is a common phrase heard as wine glasses are raised around the world.  Today’s posting is by guest author Lily Harper, who contributes a piece listing the health benefits of wine, and helping us to draw the line at what constitutes “too much […]

A Helpful Wine Tasting Reminder – Swirl & Sniff

My brother recently echoed a common frustration among wine drinkers – “I can’t recall aromas or flavors well enough to be a good wine taster”.  Well, taste and scent memory arecritical skills if you want to be successful with food or wine.  How else can one hope to think up the perfect pairing for a […]

Review of Dave the Wine Merchant’s “Pinot Selections” Wine Club

Some time ago, I came across a new site dedicated to reviewing wine clubs.  But all of the reviews I saw were for huge clubs, the big industrial sort that buy unknown wine for $50 a case and sell it for $12 a bottle (a very enjoyable 188% markup, if you’re counting).  So I wanted […]

Top Wines – Wine Club Members Speak Out

This week we had a good turn out for our SF tasting, though we missed some of our regular attendees.  None of those in attendance were from our Pinot Selections club, and as a result I think the appreciation of this noble grape may have slipped a bit from past tastings.  That said, the affordable […]

Recipe : Roasted Pork Belly on Kale Salad

This recipe is a bit time consuming but well worth it! I first tasted this dish at the Anderson Valley Alsace festival (now known as “White Wine Weekend”). It was prepared by Beau MacMillan, the Executive Chef at Arizona’s Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.  I’ve adjusted some of the ingredients and procedures to make the recipe […]

Memory Lane and the Oakville Grocery

You may have seen the news that the historic Oakville Grocery building, newly renovated, will be re-opening tomorrow.  I couldn’t help but smile at the news, as it brought back memories of my entry into the wine business. Just across the street from the store, just about where the photo at left was taken, you’ll […]