The Goldeneye Diaries

What’s interesting about winemaker Zach Rasmusen’s protocol of running a crew is that the first 20 to 30 minutes of every morning is spent stretching together. He received press for this in Out Magazine’s profile on him shortly after leaving Husch winery and taking the job at the mighty duck. It’s something progressive you would […]

The Goldeneye Diaries

Here I write outside of Boonville in a beautiful leather bound journal gifted by A.L. of Adelaide, Australia. The voluptuous Italian singer, who made my recent four months down under more delectable and a lot warmer, airmailed it in June after I’d left Australia’s clusterfuck of a wine harvest stint. Enclosed was a sweet note […]

A Flash In The Pan

The mood on Election Night was as tense as a cold vintage Condrieu inside the dank, red velvet-lined interiors of Bern’s steakhouse in Tampa, Florida. Home of the largest private wine collection in the world and any cow’s worst nightmare, the windowless, carnivorous version of a Disneyland for adults had plenty of men and women […]

The Vineyards Of Redwood Valley

Back in the 80ʼs Bob Klindt responded to an ad in a home winemaker newsletter that listed Redwood Valley Chenin Blanc for sale. By 2010 he had bought winegrapes from 15 or more different vineyards in that northernmost portion of Ukiah Valley. He saw the prices for Zinfandel and Petite Sirah swell in the dawn […]

Hot Male Flank

I got in on last Friday nightʼs Pinot Fest barbecue at Husch with a little help from my friends, complete with tinted window ride service thanks to Junior Ibarra. I rolled in with a cracked Red Seal and a bottle of homemade Corby Vineyards 2010 Pinot plus the leftover Goldeneye 2011 Vin Gris stash. Like […]

Pinot Revel, Anderson Valley

The alcohol farms of Highway 128 will be under siege by a battalion of Lexus and BMW wagons on May 18th through 20th as the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival returns to Philo. This year is a justifiable occasion to celebrate the phenomenal vintages of 2009 and 2010 around here which are the wines that […]

The Death Of American Syrah

Slim, bespectacled Jean Jacques Brun was pouring a modernly designed 2009 Brun Avril magnum that was cork tainted — i.e. smelled of bleach. I was his first taster of the afternoon and he eyeballed my reaction to the wine, which began as one of intrigue and concluded in chalky dismay. To aid in the calm […]

In Pursuit Of Balance

When renowned sommelier Rajat Parr and celebrity wine child Jasmine Hirsch organize a new wave gathering of Pinot Noir in San Francisco’s Julia Morgan Ballroom, they will come. They being the wineries that froth to be on the coveted wine lists Parr puts together for the Michael Mina restaurant group as well as the comically […]

The World Of Pinot Noir

Getting into major wine events on the comp list as a writer or restaurant wine buyer used to be a hell of a lot easier than it is in 2012. What I’ve learned is that mentioning this newspaper as the home of my written work on wine garners not only zero calls or emails back, […]

Peanut Butter Crank & The Possumbaby

The possum baby slashed and jerked its way around Joanna’s uterus in a river of milky white mucus and blood. “Ya muthafuckin’ beast!” she wailed at it, her back grindin’ into the bed while she sank her chewed up nails into that greasy motel mattress. “Get outta that dirty place! Get outta me!” Child rearin’ […]

Panic at PinotFest SF

Refrigerated clouds hovered over Union Square, breathing their wet, cold exhalations against the window panes of the fourth floor of the Kensington Park Hotel. The occasion was San Francisco’s PinotFest, a Farallon restaurant showcase of 30 plus wineries pouring their latest and greatest Pinot Noir to members of the wine selling trade and media. Famed […]