Monthly Archives: June 2011

When Wines Go Bad

Last night I got together with a friend to plan my first book signing / book release party.  We look just like the picture. I swear.  My friend has very generously offered to host the event, which I appreciate immensely.  As is our wont, there was wine involved: An ’05 Mount Aukum Syrah. She had […]

vermeer, wine tasting

Go East Young Folk!*

When I tell Bay Area people that I write about Gold Country Wines, almost everybody thinks Napa and Sonoma Counties, even when I have clearly said “Gold Country”. Then I’ll say, “No, Sierra Foothills wines.” This generates blank looks. “Placerville,” I’ll say, “on the way to South Lake Tahoe.” At this point, astonishment will render […]

Malvasia Bianca

Sera Fina Cellars, about whom I’ve written before, also makes this (spoiler alert!) lovely, sweet white.  It is made from the malvasia grape, yet another grape variety that I was unfamiliar with until recently.  The malvasia grape is grown in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, and the Canary Islands among other locations.  There are both white and […]


wine label wheel

Judging Wines by The Labels?

Matthew Latkiewicz over at Grub Street New York, recently posted a humorous and pointed article about judging wines by their labels.  The illustration, by Jen Cotton, borrowed from their site, illustrates the basic classifications of labels he identified and some of the sub-classifications. I am not certain if he has yet identified all of the […]

In Defense of Plonk

Having lived for a while in London, I heard and started using the word “plonk”, which is generally considered a pejorative term meaning “cheap wine”, usually not very good.  It is also true that it was often used in conversation to simply mean “table wine” or “vin ordinaire” which is the way I and my […]

Oh, The Irony!

I haven’t been writing posts ahead of my posting them.  This would normally not be a problem.  Until recently.  You see, I occasionally suffer from gout.  And the past week has been one of those occasions.  Gout is an very painful inflammation of a joint, in this case where my big toe joins my foot.  […]