Auction Napa Valley 2014

No. 13

Had a great time at Auction Napa Valley over the weekend. Lots of money raised for local charities, a record-setting $18.7 million to be exact. Lots of parties and not a few glasses of wine. Here’s a slideshow I put together of the event. <iframe src=”//” width=”560″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe>

Downton Abbey Wine

poster_season1What pairs well with an upper crusty dinner party at fabulous Downton Abbey? Chateau Coutet wine, of course.

That was on the table for the big bash thrown by the Granthams in Episode 2, Season 4, and the crew at Coutet were tickled to be featured on the British period drama.

You know you’re doing well when Carson, the Butler With Impeccable Taste,

Coke’s glass act

Source: Riedel

Source: Riedel

When I was in daily news I sometimes worked on stories so big they were sent out as a bulletin series — two or three short sentences that moved on high priority. So, Twitter without the snark, basically. I mention this only because I wish I had something like that to highlight today’s big, big news which is that Riedel,

Duck Dynasty Wine

Photo Trinchero Wine Estates

The Trinchero Family Estates – Duck Dynasty wine collaboration has ruffled some feathers. Shanken News Daily is reporting that Duckhorn Wine Company is suing over the name, claiming trademark infringement. A Trinchero spokeswoman declined comment on the suit, saying the company does not talk about pending litigation as a matter of policy. Earlier, Willie Robertson of the…

MacMurray Ranch: Hollywood Meets Vine

Kate MacMurray at MacMurray Ranch /Photo Michelle Locke

You know Fred MacMurray as a distinguished and gentlemanly actor. But did you also know he was a serious farmer and rancher in Sonoma wine country? MacMurray and his wife, actress June Haver, raised Angus beef, not grapes,but these days the ranch, now owned by the Gallo family, is part of the wine scene with…

My dinner with Yao Ming


It’s a warm summer evening in the Napa Valley and the clink of glasses echoes along the restaurant-rich main drag of tiny Yountville as two weddings, a college reunion and the usual Friday night dinner crowd get ready for some serious wining and dining. Suddenly, heads turn and eyes widen as a tall man, a…

Ventana Vineyards 2011 chardonnay

Let me be up front with you. I like chardonnay. I don’t care that it’s what the masses drink (No. 1 varietal in the country) or that sophisticated enophiles roll their eyes at the mention of it and have gone so far as to form a satirical ABC club (Anything But Chardonnay). And I don’t…

Gruet Grand Rosé

It’s summer here in the San Francisco Bay area which means that I’m wearing, jeans, a shirt, a sweater, a jacket … and I’m still cold. I’ve been assured by scholars at the University of California, Berkeley, that there’s no evidence Mark Twain actually said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San…