Category: Wine

  • Hitchcock by the Bay

    Hitchcock by the Bay

    The Birds, Bodega and Wine  When we think of filmmakers and wine, it’s likely in this order of appearance that they come to mind: Francis Ford Coppola, Orson Welles, and Alexander Payne. Why? Coppola has long had a flourishing wine brand under his own name, Welles promised to sell no Paul Masson wine “before its…

  • Holy Mole! The S. Pratsch Grüner Veltliner

    Holy Mole! The S. Pratsch Grüner Veltliner

    Grüner Veltliner — sure, it sounds like some kind of Viennese rail system — but the Austrian white wine varietal has been popular stateside for well over a decade. Check your fridge, you may already have one laying on its side, playing possum as a sauvignon blanc — a forgotten party gift handed off during the hurly-burly of…

  • Craft Beer Week

    This much I know I love: California Craft Beer Week starts on a Friday and ends on a Tuesday-11 days later. That’s a helluva week of beer and precisely the kind of math I do after I’ve had a couple of pints (and by a couple, I mean multiply everything I say by a factor of…

  • Two Buck Chuck 20th Anniversary

    Two Buck Chuck 20th Anniversary

    As the wine world raises a glass to the late Fred Franzia, the unorthodox businessman behind the Charles Shaw wine brand (a.k.a. “Two Buck Chuck”) who passed away this week, it’s high time to revisit the story of Shaw himself and one of the potential pitfalls of being a brand name. How did Shaw’s name end…

  • Bastille Day: Revolution in the Err

    Bastille Day: Revolution in the Err

    Je dis ça, je dis rien is a French idiom that translates literally as, “I say that, I say nothing.” Its nearest English counterpart is the comparatively flip “just sayin,’” which is as close to a raison d’etre as I can presently muster for this column. You see, the problem with being a humorist during…

  • I have the need — the need for mead! Not.

    I have the need — the need for mead! Not.

    As a media gadfly, I’m on every kind of PR list imaginable. Whereas I once resented receiving publicity spam, particularly if it was off my beat but now, given the absurdity of our culture, everything seems off-beat. I welcome it. I’m almost entertained, if not by the subject of the pitches themselves then the extra…