• 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 [...]

cowhorns stuffed with manure

To See the Universe in a Pile of a Shit

It’s late fall; the air is cool but the sun is warm and the vines, having been relieved of the burden of bearing fruit are just beginning to shrug their leaves. Each vine, like most trees and plants across the northern hemisphere is pulling its energy downwards, back into its roots. After months of drawing [...]

#lookdown #365underfoot

Looking Up is Overrated: the #365underfoot project

When our dear friend and official pizza correspondent moved from NYC to Miami, we were devastated. (There is no pizza worth speaking of in Florida.) But Ms. Kelly Samardak, like many other displaced New Yorkers, discovered that sometimes you must leave The Greatest City in the World to realize your own dreams. Swamp monsters and [...]


Barrel Stave BBQ in Sonoma

All that 40 percent new French oak here and 30 percent new oak there means if there is one thing Wine Country has too much of (besides over-oaked wine) it’s old French oak. And there are only so many candle holders and rocking chairs one can sell to tourists. But used barrels are now answering [...]


Red Hook Resilience

Amongst the devastation Sandy left in its wake after battering the Atlantic coast was a portion of Red Hook Winery’s 2012 vintage, much of it fermenting in open-top containers when the winds and rains breached the winery’s waterfront facing doors and water came flooding in. The first impression from the Red Hook team was not [...]

Norma Desmond

Is this Wine Corked?

Andrea Immer Robinson bursts into the room like Norma Desmond ready for her close-up. No one notices. Or recognizes her. Or cares. A member of the tasting panel comments that the fruit flavors from this particular vineyard consistently has a “blueish quality” — yes “blueish” — for him and the other guests nod in agreement. [...]