Category: Ramblings and Rants

wall of wine

The (Brief) New Era of Unbelievable Wine Deals

For anyone looking for discount pricing on their favorite luxury California wines, we have just entered perhaps the best time

MS pin

Sommelier Richard Betts Throws Away His Pin

Today, Master Sommelier Richard Betts told the world that he no longer wants to be a Master Sommelier. He is

image of a legal waiver

Want To Taste Wine? Sign This Waiver

As Wine Country re-opens throughout California and visitors return to tasting rooms once again, beyond mask-wearing employees and lots of

Alder Yarrow in front of the Napa sign

Wine Country Reopens, Cautiously

I should probably come clean at the start. I broke the law to write this story. Here in northern California,

Cowhorn on a pile of hay

The Skeptic’s Guide to Biodynamic Wine

With the correct audience in the room, I like to joke that I’m the ultimate biodynamic wine critic. You see,

wall of wine

Will the Wine Industry Learn the Lessons of the Pandemic?

As humans, we’re evolutionarily engineered to fear change. And for good reason. It often presages hardship in some form, whether

cans of white claw

The Improbable Link Between Hard Seltzer and Wine

Imagine a story that goes something like this: a young man begins his career and struggles to make it as

wine glass on railing

What Wine Tasting Rooms Will Be Like For the Foreseeable Future

No one knows for certain when Wine Country will open back up in California. As wine tourism represents more than

A portrait of Kevin Zraly

I’ll Drink to That: Wine Educator and Sommelier Kevin Zraly

Episode 480 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Kevin Zraly. Kevin is the former Cellar

gauge showing high alcohol

The Wine World is Prejudiced Against Higher Alcohols

I must begin by saying quite clearly that I am not, myself, free from prejudice. Let me give you an

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

“So when are you going to quit your day job and focus on wine?” Everyone from close friends to well-meaning

I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Christopher Howell

Episode 479 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Christopher Howell. Howell is the winemaker and

Debating Terry Theise on Wine and Food Pairing

Terry Theise wrote a response to my slightly provocative piece on the the fact that food and wine pairing is

Terry Theise Takes Up My Wine & Food Pairing Gauntlet

The other day I penned a bit of a screed, on a topic that I continually encounter in two forms:

Sommeliers in Self-Isolation

Estimates vary, but according to some sources, restaurants employed 13.5 million Americans last year. That means that at least 8%

The Five Virtues of a Wine Lover

When I speak to many wine drinkers, they often express a similar sentiment. They tell me that they really enjoy

Food and Wine Pairing is Junk Science

Like the endless stream of lousy paintings sold at garage sales, or the ceaseless arguments for why climate change isn’t

Ending the Aesthetic Fallacy of Heavy Bottles

Wine producers the world over invest in unusually thick, heavy wine bottles for the sake of impressive brand aesthetics. But

#KeepWineAlive: Deals From Wineries in Trying Times

This article could be about any number of sectors of the economy. But around here we’re focused on wine. So

How to Buy Wine While Self-Isolating

We’re all going to be stuck at home for a while. That means we will need wine. And lots of

How the Government (and You) Can Save the Wine Industry From Coronavirus

Those that have been paying attention know by now that the American wine and food industries are facing an existential

Too Many Grapes in CA and WA

America’s two most important winegrowing states are suffering serious over-supply while demand slackens. One of the most hotly anticipated press

I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Jason Lett

Episode 478 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Jason Lett of The Eyrie Vineyards in

Threat of 100% Wine Tariff Lifted – For Now

The US wine industry just received a bittersweet Valentine. On 14 February, the Office of the United States Trade Representative

I’m Calling Bullshit on Drone Wine Delivery

Most of us have been watching the Coronavirus disaster unfold like a slow moving train wreck around the world. It’s

Sorry, But Wine Tariffs Are Still a HUGE Problem

A couple of weeks ago, I penned my usual monthly column for Jancis Robinson, focusing on the dire threat to

I’ll Drink to That: Author and Master of Wine, Mary Ewing-Mulligan

Episode 477 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Mary Ewing-Mulligan, President of International Wine Center

Inside the US Wine Tariffs Hearing

So what happened last week when the American wine trade met US government officials to argue against a 100% tariff

Your Duty as a Wine-Loving Citizen: Oppose the Proposed Wine Tariffs

Dear United States Trade Representative, My name is Alder Yarrow, and I am a wine consumer living in Piedmont, California.

I’ll Drink to That: Burgundy Vigneron Christophe Roumier

Episode 476 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Christophe Roumier of Domaine Georges Roumier, the

Tariffs Curb US-China Bottle Swap

The US-China trade war has had far-reaching effects on the California wine industry, not least in its choice of bottles.

The 2019 Vinography Gift Guide for Wine Lovers

Giving gifts to wine lovers during the holidays can be anxiety inducing. Especially if your recipient tends to have many

So Much to Be Thankful For

We’re in a grateful mood here in California in general. The winter rains have finally begun to fall, mercifully marking

Flames, Fermentation, Fear and Recovery in Sonoma

On 23 October, the Kincade Fire exploded to life on the hillsides above Geyserville in California’s Sonoma County, and quickly

I’ll Drink to That: Barolo Legend Giacomo Oddero

Episode 475 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Giacomo Oddero of what is today Poderi

Kincade Fire Menaces Sonoma County

At 6.30 pm yesterday Saturday 26 October local time, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, along with local

Powerless to Pause Harvest In California

Last week on 8 October California marked a rather sad anniversary: two years since a series of fires devastated Sonoma

I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Rod Berglund

Episode 474 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Rod Berglund, who is both the owner

US Retailing: Cracks in the Foundations

A recent US Supreme Court ruling striking down an obscure Tennessee law has had the American wine industry abuzz for

I’ll Drink to That: Burgundy Winemaker Tomoko Kuriyama

Episode 473 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Tomoko Kuriyama, who with her husband Guillaume

I’ll Drink to That: Wine Writer and Consultant Anthony Hanson, MW

Episode 472 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Anthony Hanson MW. Anthony Hanson is the