Don't grill out on Memorial Day.
Be different. Have a picnic. A proper one, with wicker basket, checkered table cloth, real silverware, at least your second-best china and glasses made of, y'know, glass.
Find a nice park. Go to the nearest woods. To the beach. To a bluff overlooking an ocean. To a riverbank. Aboard a boat. In the back seat of ...Read more
In my decades of writing about wines, I've described them as smelling and tasting like vanilla, white peaches, yellow apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries, boysenberries, lingonberries, mulberries, coffee, mocha, chocolate, tobacco, smoke, minerals and earth. And more.
I once taught my 8-year-old daughter to sniff any ...Read more
There are "pop stars," and then there are Taylor, Madonna and Gaga.
There are mausoleums, and then there are the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Taj Mahal and Grant's Tomb.
Some people and things get set apart from the rest. They achieve a one-of-a-kind-ness that takes into account more than the simplest definition of them. Plato wasn't just a deep...Read more
Until recently, the word "hack" was negative. It meant a mediocre writer, to sever with heavy blows or the evil genius who broke into your computer and stole your identity.
Lately "hack" has taken on a good meaning, as a clever technique for doing something useful, from using toothpaste to clear the foggy headlights on your car to storing ...Read more
You open your wallet and moths fly out. Income Tax Day has come and gone, and with it, a good chunk of your wherewithal.
You could use a drink. But you're feeling a little strapped right now, not in the mood to pay even $20 for a bottle of wine.
Let me tell you a little secret. Some of my wealthiest wine friends, the ones with 10,000-bottle ...Read more
"Why is this night different from all other nights?"
The ancient phrase is uttered on the first night of Passover, which this year falls on April 22. It leads to discussions of Jewish tradition, the ritual seder meal and, often, to kosher wines.
Kosher wines are a little complicated, but they're becoming more popular in America, even among non...Read more
Various people in my family collect roosters, turtles, dolls from around the world and ukuleles. I'm probably leaving a few out, but those are the big ones. And to clarify, the roosters and turtles were never alive. We're talking about images and figurines.
Through the years, I've had a few collections of my own, but I was never that dedicated ...Read more
Few three-letter abbreviations besides DIY and IMO are more USA than BYO.
That's "bring your own" bottle(s) for those of you who are in not ITK. That's "in the know" for those of you who are not UOYA. That's "up on your acronyms."
It's 2016 -- everyone knows what DIY and IMO stand for. What's more American than self-reliance and opinion-...Read more
VALLE DE GUADALUPE, Mexico -- Baja California's Valle de Guadalupe has been dubbed the "the Next Napa." So why has it been so hard for its wine to gain a foothold in the U.S. market?
In the past few years, this relatively young, rapidly expanding region, which produces an estimated 90 percent of the country's wine, has become the critical ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Baja's Valle de Guadalupe has been dubbed the "the Next Napa." So why has it been so hard for its wine to gain a foothold in the U.S. market?
In the past few years, this relatively young, rapidly expanding region, which produces an estimated 90 percent of the country's wine, has become the critical darling of luxury food, wine and ...Read more
Cool, green and misty, Oregon and its wine-centric Willamette Valley have earned a reputation as one of the world's great places to grow the finicky, beloved grape called pinot noir.
The valley is a pretty place, 100 miles long, 60 miles wide, paralleling the Pacific coast 50 miles inland. It straddles the Willamette River as it flows south ...Read more
Years ago I was at a big Midwestern wine judging, and, being a rookie then, I had to pay my dues by judging a few rounds in the division for winemaking amateurs.
The panel leaders had one request: "Be honest with your scores, but also try to find something good to say about each wine, so you don't discourage the home winemakers."
That came ...Read more
In my New Year's column in January, I resolved to expand my pleasure by boldly seeking out new wines to try, even if I ended up not liking them.
And I urged readers to do the same. To further that, I will occasionally write about wines I've come across you might not have tried, just to see if you want to add them to your repertoire.
And as I ...Read more