A New York Times Bestseller is About Wine — Who Knew?

A New York Times Bestseller is About Wine — Who Knew?

Seems to me that the vast majority of wine books that are published purport to introduce novices or “beginners” to wine. And that’s fine. That’s probably what’s needed and what sells. But occasionally you get some really interesting non-reference wine books that sell gangbusters. “The Billionaire’s Vinegar” and “War & Wine” both come to mind. What doesn’t often sell all that well and what doesn’t usually become a bestseller are those books that chronicle individual wineries. They might be interesting,…

Sep 22, 2016

Napa Residents Can’t Live on Wine Alone — Jazz Is Needed Too

Napa Residents Can't Live on Wine Alone — Jazz Is Needed Too

The signs that Napa Valley (and the city of Napa in particular) is growing as a world-class destination for those with discerning tastes continue to emerge, slowly and continually. Visits to the area are climbing. Hotel rates rise. New hotels rise. Heightened interest in its wines continues to be the cultural foundation. Restaurants emerge quickly after others close. All good signs. However, last December’s announcement that Blue Note Entertainment was opening Blue Note Napa as a first class venue for…

Sep 21, 2016

Let’s Get Real: Three Cheers For Wine Snobs!

Let's Get Real: Three Cheers For Wine Snobs!

I get it. I understand. No one ever went broke dumbing something down. But that doesn’t mean I have to approve of it or even agree with it. And I’m particularly bored with folks who purport to be experts in wine who claim to be giving the gift of “debunking wine snobbery”. I was reminded of just how common and calculatingly high-minded this tactic is when I read the press release from Peter Lunzer of Lunzer Wine Events announcing his…

Sep 12, 2016

The Shark Has Leapt The Building: The Three Tier System and God

The Shark Has Leapt The Building: The Three Tier System and God

“Our faith, I suggest, requires us to do everything we can to minimize harms, and in this case that would be protecting our state’s three-tier system of alcohol control.” Thus declares the Christian Action League. Who knew. Faith in God requires one supports the Three Tier System. But wait. Is it the three-tier system in which wineries and retailers may ship directly to consumers? Is it the version of the three-tier system in which modest self distribution privileges for producers…

Sep 7, 2016

A Satisfying Documentation of Wine Fraud

I think the success of “Sour Grapes” has a great deal to do with our innate desire to see the rich and famous taken down a notch. And that’s exactly what happened to many a rich and many a famous person who were exposed to the Rudy Kurniawan, the greatest of all wine fraudsters. Opening on September 16 and produced by film documentarians Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas, Sour Grapes documents the rise and fall of Rudi Kurniawan, a wine…