• 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 [...]



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 [...]

fish heads

Elbow Deep in Herring Spawn

What does it mean to love food? Does it mean chasing Michelin stars or documenting your every meal on Instagram or religiously following each episode of Top Chef? When the distance between the source of ones food and the food on the plate is ridiculously short, you begin to realize the difference between loving food [...]

Americans Drink a Lot of Wine, Mostly Shite

When was the last time you purchased a bottle of wine for less than $7? College, maybe? Well, you are a snob. At the annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento, we learned what most Americans — not Americans who live in stuck-up places like New York and San Francisco — are drinking. Take [...]

A San Francisco Super Bowl Stew

For a while it was looking like there would be no crabs in crabville: With fishing boats on strike for the first part of December, it seemed the Bay Area would be Dungeness less all winter. Thankfully, this has not been the case. Wholesalers came to their senses, the crabby crustaceons are everywhere and the [...]

Korbel ‘Champagne’ served at Inaugural lunch incites international incident (as well it should)

A menu served as part of the inaugural activities surrounding Obama’s re-election included a special cuvée made just for the occasion by California sparkling wine producer Korbel. The wine is listed on the menu as “Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, California.” (Champagne, California! Why haven’t I been there?) Now why on earth the President [...]