• Jancis Robinson, author of 'American Wine'

    Author of ‘American Wine’ Doesn’t Seem to Know Much About American Wine

    In the introduction to her chapter on California in her newest book, American Wine, the preeminent British wine journalist Jancis Robinson writes, “California is the most important winegrowing state in the U.S., the granddaddy of them all in both prestige and production.” And of that small region within California, she says: “The Napa Valley AVA [...]

  • God-Save-The-100-Point-System

    With ‘Advocate’ Reviews in Legal Limbo How Will We Know What Sonoma Wines To Drink?

    At the center of a dispute between Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and former writer Antonio Galloni are hundreds of Sonoma wine reviews the Italian critic wrote while on a trip to Sonoma in January 2012. By his refusing to give the reviews to the Advocate and instead deciding to publish them on his own site, [...]

  • Old World or New? A Chardonnay Showdown

    Chardonnay, it is said, is the Queen of the grapes. But she is also, arguably moreso than any other variety, a voice of the vineyard and a blank canvas for winemaking, meaning that she is often misinterpreted and unfairly maligned. Table To Grave recently invited a panel of sommeliers, writers and one winemaker to discuss [...]

  • Napa Valley cab is king

    How Did Cab Come To Rule Napa Valley?

    “Carneros in 1957 was full of sheep,” observes Karen MacNeil as we prepare to taste the first commercial pinot noir ever made from the region that is now synonymous with that grape variety. It’s not the most obvious way to begin a two-day retrospective of Napa Valley wine, but what it did do is remind [...]

  • Whole cluster ready to go

    Is That a Whole Cluster in Your Pinot or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

    When you’re a tasting a glass of pinot noir, how do you know — can you even tell and does it matter — whether or not the wine was made with the whole clusters and not just the grapes? Percentage of stem inclusion doesn’t exactly make for the sexiest or most sparkling label copy, but [...]

  • botrytisgrapespink

    Not Just One, But Two Poems about Botrytis

    The following was first read at a Drink.Think a literary and drinking event held at Cantina in San Francisco. Should you be lucky enough to find yourself in France in the fall just before harvest, you might go for a walk in a vineyard with a winegrower. And you might see a cluster of grapes covered [...]

  • Hubble primordial clusters courtesy NASA

    Primordial Clusters, From Galaxies to Grapevines

    In January, 2012 NASA researchers made a very important discovery. The furthest protocluster of galaxies ever seen. Thirteen billion light years from Earth, scientists, with the help of a little guy named Hubble, saw a cluster of five galaxies just beginning to form. They referred to the galaxies as primordial clusters and predicted that they [...]

  • Rudy Mihal

    Rudy Brings Right Touch to Sonoma

    Restaurant Rudy might just be the best little restaurant in the heart of Wine Country you never heard of. Rudy Mihal, who left Spoonbar last year to start his own place, opened the new spot quietly this fall in Sonoma, in an unassuming space that has been a revolving door with three restaurants in a [...]



The Oroblanco

With an Oroblanco Twist

The Oroblanco is a cross between a grapefruit and a pummelo and grows, to our knowledge, exclusively in California. As part of their farmer’s market cocktail series, the good bar folks at Chaya did well to blend it with Distillery No. 209, which is a very citrusy gin and Campari. The Oroblanco Negroni is fresh [...]

Napa Valley cab is king

How Did Cab Come To Rule Napa Valley?

“Carneros in 1957 was full of sheep,” observes Karen MacNeil as we prepare to taste the first commercial pinot noir ever made from the region that is now synonymous with that grape variety. It’s not the most obvious way to begin a two-day retrospective of Napa Valley wine, but what it did do is remind [...]

Assyrtiko Vines

You Can’t Take the Santorini Out of the Assyrtiko

The island of Santorini floats in the middle of the Sea of Crete, midway between Greece and Turkey. The small island, whose main industry is now tourism, is believed to be one of the oldest winegrowing regions in the world, with signs of grape fermentation dating back to 3500 BC. The grape Assyrtiko, a white [...]

patron heart-shaped box

Nothing Says I Love You Like Chocolate-Flavored Tequila

For Valentine’s Day, Patrón sent us a heart-shaped box of chocolate flavored tequila.  The tequila maker is selling their XO Cafe Dark Cocoa Coffee Liqueur (yes, it actually tastes of all those things — tequila, chocolate and coffee — but not in a bad way necessarily) in heart-shaped boxes for the holiday. It’s way better than a box of chocolates, especially if [...]

Whole cluster ready to go

Is That a Whole Cluster in Your Pinot or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

When you’re a tasting a glass of pinot noir, how do you know — can you even tell and does it matter — whether or not the wine was made with the whole clusters and not just the grapes? Percentage of stem inclusion doesn’t exactly make for the sexiest or most sparkling label copy, but [...]