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An entry a day. Or so. Sometimes a story link, sometimes a video of me, or a video of others, a podcast, a recipe. If it is related to wine in some way, shape or form, it’s fair game.

February 11, 2021

The Dark Origins Of Valentine’s Day
This quick report starts in ancient Rome and ends at Hallmark. $18.6 billion (annual) industry. That’s a lot of cards, roses, chocolate and jewelry. I wonder if Champagne and Sparkling Wine is included in that #.

February 8, 2021

Wine Could Help You Fight Covid
Winesearcher Story. “It’s possible that the tannins in red wine, and tea, could inhibit Covid-19. A prominent cancer researcher in Taiwan is investigating the theory right now.

February 5, 2021

For the Wine World, 2021 Brings Familiar Problems
Eric Asimov on the brutal wine tariffs, covid and climate change. Makes you wonder why folks get in the wine and restaurant business.
Requires a New York Times subscription.

December 16, 2020
Here’s why wine doesn’t ship for free — and shouldn’t if you want small wineries to survive
Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle:  “We’ve all been groomed by now to expect free (and, in many cases, free two-day) delivery of our online purchases. But the degree to which we’ve been groomed is pretty astounding.” Chronicle subscription required but you may be able to read this for free – consider subscribing!

December 14, 2020
Police recovered cases of some of France’s most prestigious wines, including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Cheval Blanc, Petrus and Yquem among others, after what has been a year-long inquiry. Over 5 million Euro value.

November 2, 2020
Behrens Family After the Glass Fire by Tony Poer for Napa Valley Register.
“Let’s face it: people aren’t going to be super excited to have ‘2020’ on their wine,” said Les Behrens. “It’s like, ‘Well, that was a great year. The year of Covid and natural disasters.’”

October 29, 2020
Wine Country, Fire Country in the SF Chronicle (may hit a paywall)
“One thing is certain: More fires will come. Only the names will change.”

June 2, 2020
Don’t sleep on the Wednesday Street Food Special at the Clif Family Bruschetteria in St Helena. Tomorrow is Jewish Deli. If only the were just a little bit closer to home.

May 4, 2020
Napa residents like me and extended visitors: Thank our lucky stars for having a resource such as Paul Franson’s Napa Life. Paul works his petooty off to bring us the most current news on food, wine, arts and hospitality news in Napa Valley. Especially in these dynamic times of changes in online ordering, deliveries, virtual tastings and slow re-openings, Napa Life is THE best source for quick, efficient information. $50/year – great deal. Support! An email every Monday morning announces the new edition. Visit NapaLife for a sample issue (usually it’s the previous edition).

May 1, 2020
Just had another impressive wine from the importer Copa Fina, out of Oakland CA, tonight. The Pago Ayles “Y” 2014, a red blend and a Vino de Pago, which is a Spanish government-recognized exceptional vineyard. At $24 it’ll blow your doors off for quality and value. The other day had the Jané Ventura Cava Rosada, which is outstanding and priced at a song at $21/bottle. I highly recommend you patronize Copa Fina for wines of character, quality and value from Spain, Italy, New Zealand  Argentina and Chile.

April 29, 2020
“USA Sees Five-Fold Rise In Online Alcohol Sales”  story from “The Drinks Business.”
Five-fold increase from April 5 to 18 2019 to same date range 2020. “The greatest rate of growth in online sales has been seen in spirits, although wine continues to have by far the largest share of e-commerce, commanding almost 70% of internet alcohol retail sales…Nielsen also noted that the dollar value of each online order has increased significantly, commensurate with an increase in the number of units per order…Understanding how the frequent on-premise drinker is purchasing alcohol in off-premise channels now will be increasingly more important, particularly as suppliers, restaurants, and breweries lean on creative ways to engage this consumer group,” states Danelle Kosmal, vice president of beverage alcohol global marketing research firm Nielsen.

April 28, 2020
I’m listening to Michael Gallagher’s Mr Wine Guy podcast with Bruce Neyers (Part 1). Bruce’s wine story is deeper than 90 Petrus. His recounts of growing up in the wine business under Joseph Phelps reminds me of the value of a mentor. I’ve always loved, still do, the quality, character and consistency of Neyers Vineyards Wines. Anyone in wine sales or wants to be, listen to minutes 20-23 for a quick, valuable sales lesson from Bruce.

Free wine advice from a former Napa wine shop owner & sommelier