As a rule, I wince when I hear the words artisanal and Pinot Noir in the same sentence, conjuring as they do the pretension of restaurants that proclaim “house-made” and people who’ve watched the movie Sideways more than once. But exceptions prove rules, and every so often I’m lucky enough to be reminded of the origins of the term, the idea that wine-making is as much craft as science, and that small lots, made by hand, with obsessive attention to… Read More »
A Press Democrat Blog
Cooking locally, with really sharp knives
I don’t know about you, but I’m not above whetting my wife’s more carnal appetites with enough wine and chocolate to impair her better judgment. I’m sure that’s all very un-PC and certainly, as the father of young daughters, I live in mortal fear of the effects of alcohol on sensibility; but my wife’s a big girl, and above all, she knows how I think, so I’m pretty sure our pending Valentine’s Date – a savory symphony of handcrafted chocolate and wine at J Winery – will be consensual.… Read More »
I have mixed feelings about school fund-raisers: On the one hand, like most parents, I have kids in public schools that fall chronically short of financial resources; on the other, I believe that I already pay more than enough in taxes to expect a properly funded system of public education, that the root of the problem is not the quantity of money available, but rather the means by which it is allocated. In any case, on the morning after our Pigs ‘n Pinot fund-raising dinner, I am hungover, fat, and happy all the same.
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I may live in the Russian River Valley – indisputably, home court to any number of world-class Chardonnay winemakers – but I’m here to tell you that, if well-made, sexpot Chards are your thing, then you need to get your Chard-guzzling booty over to the Alexander Valley, and stat. You won’t find nearly the selection (the simple math is fewer wineries making less wine), you’ll drive a few extra miles between tasting rooms (it’s a sparsely populated region), but for… Read More »
Google “ABC Anything But Chardonnay” and you’ll get something on the order of 19,000 hits in the first few tenths of a second. The oldest reference I could be bothered to find dates to 1995 in a column by Frank Prial for the NY Times, but as recently as 2008, someone actually took the time to write a book with the same dated and misguided tag line, so… Read More »