Is this BottleRock Napa billboard pointing the wrong way?

BottleRock Napa billboard

Driving on Highway 12 southeast toward Napa from Sonoma we happened to pass a crew pasting up this sign. By all outward appearances another of the billboards directing people toward the big BottleRock Napa music, food and wine festival scheduled for May 9 to 12 in Napa. We asked BottleRock if this was theirs and [...]

Looking back at the 2012 grape-growing season

The 2012 growing season in the North Coast was, in many respects, nearly perfect. Shot in vineyards across Napa Valley, Lake County, Mendocino, and Sonoma County, this is what it looked like. After a dry winter, much welcome spring rains saturated the soil and filled reservoirs. The primordial clusters that were nestled in so many [...]

Tour Bus Hits Gun Bun, Dinosaur Jr. Get Out

The 2013 concert series at Gundlach Bundschu got off to a fuzzy feedback-filled start Friday night when ’90s rock royalty Dinosaur Jr. played the intimate Old Redwood Barn in Sonoma. DJ stopped in Sonoma on their way out the music-festival-cum-desert bikini beach party that is Coachella. This show was a warm-up for the big fourth [...]

Stranger than Fiction

Yesterday we posted four stories that, in light of some other stories we wrote the previous week, were really just slightly too outrageous to be true. And then, some not even that outrageous. A guest writer, who remained anonymous, pitched in, and we came up with an April Fool’s frontpage that just stretched the bounds [...]

Putting the Swine in Wine: Making Bacon Cabernet

Bacon wine

Bacon flavorings have found their way into everything from toothpaste and mouthwash to candy, gum and even condoms in the bacon-mania that has swept the nation. Most of these products, we must stress, are only bacon-flavored, but some use actual meat. We’ve been down this road with spirits and beer before. There is an adulteration [...]

Kellogg’s To Enter Flavored-Vodka Market

America’s fascination with flavored spirits has entered an entirely new dimension. On the heels of Pernod Ricard’s just-released trio of Mama Walker’s breakfast-inspired liqueurs — Maple Bacon, Blueberry Pancake and Glazed Donut — Kellogg’s has announced that it is jumping into the beverage alcohol market. The nation’s cereal giant, based in Battle Creek, MI, has [...]

Parker Taps Heimoff as Next Cali-Critic

World-famous wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr., who rocked the wine world in December by announcing the sale of his newsletter The Wine Advocate to Singapore-based investors—and then again in March by suing his former lead critic Antonio Galloni for fraud, defamation and turning into a weenie—has shocked enophiles yet again. He announced that in [...]

Man Sues Parker for Life ‘Wasted’ Drinking ‘Overpriced’ Wine

Robert M. Parker, Jr.

A man from Texas is suing Robert M. Parker, Jr. the founder and former owner of The Wine Advocate for what he is calling a “lifetime wasted drinking profoundly expensive wine I don’t even like.” The man said he trusted Parker “to choose the best wines” and was willing to pay what he now realizes [...]