Archive for the ‘Wine Writing’ Category

Spontaneous fermentation

Monday, July 26th, 2010


Wild yeast. From:

Wild yeast. From:

Questions regarding the role and reliability of fermentation without inoculation are going to be with us for quite some time.

Today, on, Erika Szymanski provides a well done layperson’s overview of the issue. I had the pleasure of editing this piece.

I had written about these questions in a three-part series about two years ago. (more…)

Deep roots

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010


Roots. Derived from image on:


My recent birthday trip as well as helping edit the article by David Brown currently featured on, have me thinking about roots.

David argues in his article that a truly unique American (as in the U.S. of A) wine identity hinges on fostering a wine culture based on grape varieties indigenous to the lower 48. In fact, his article concludes with an exhortation to cultivation of more of these varieties and the production of wines from these vines. (more…)

Wine headache

Thursday, January 7th, 2010


Wine headache.

Wine headache.

Today on “Not tonight, I have a wine headache…

I enjoy working with Tom Mansell. We seem to consistently be paired up as author (Tom) and editor (me) for articles. Perhaps its because our two heads, put together are able to achieve articles we can be proud of.

This time around, Tom tackles the issue of wine headache and the underlying causes. We take a critical look at some of the dogmatic notions about the origins of wine headaches. In writing the article, Tom looked at the ingredients in wine which are candidates for causing headaches and then examined the existing scientific literature on each.

It’s a good read, if I may say so myself. Don’t be intimidated by the subject matter. If you can assimilate wine knowledge, you will be able to understand this piece.

Free idea

Monday, October 26th, 2009


Boontling. From:


While looking at the back label of a wine my wife received in one of her club shipments, I recently learned about Boontling – the obscure American English dialect which has 1,300 unique words and originated in the 1800s in Anderson Valley’s Boonville.

I’ve recently been speaking with a winemaker friend (not operating in the Central Coast) about improving the visibility and success of his brand. This made me think of one key fact: in a landscape where everyone makes as much noise about themselves as possible, being understated is going to present problems in one’s ability to compete. By extension, being conventional makes one prone to getting lost in the noise or being overshadowed by more distinct and unique branding. (more…)

I’ll be right back

Thursday, October 1st, 2009


"The world's oldest metaphor"

"The world's oldest metaphor"

Today, around 2 pm, I should be going under anesthesia. (It is no small tribute to H.M.O.s that only five months after injuring my knee, I will be undergoing surgery to repair it). While my consciousness is dissolved into oblivion (for what will, hopefully, be a very short time), I offer some wine similes for your amusement.

I don’t like analogies, similes and metaphors. To me, using them is like peppering every sentence with “like” and “you know” (yes, I know this is a simile). There are precise and articulate ways of conveying ideas with language. I see it as intellectual laziness when specific, concrete words are bypassed in favor of an attempt to invoke some symbolic imagery. Never mind that most similes and metaphors tend to be trite and jaded. (more…)

Palate Press, The Online Wine Magazine

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009


Palate Press, The Online Wine Magiazine.

Palate Press.

Fifteen months ago, I wrote that bloggers should consolidate to increase their exposure and potential for revenue. A few months ago, I became involved in Palate Press, The Online Wine Magazine. In many ways, this project fulfills the vision I had.

Spearheaded by Publisher David Honig, with W.R. Tish as Executive Editor, Palate Press seeks to raise the bar for online wine writing. See here for a list of editors and contributors. (more…)

Professional baloney

Friday, June 26th, 2009


Michael Jackson coverage on

Michael Jackson coverage on

Yesterday’s coverage of the tragic and unexpected death of Michael Jackson made me think about the divide between traditional media and new media. For a while, I have been sensing “traditional” journalists are being self-righteous about their status and place in society. I was constantly nagged by a feeling that this is about more than ideals and standards.

While I work, I like to listen to the news on the internet. I think it was during Woff Blitzer’s show that CNN announced that Jackson had been transported to the hospital after a reported cardiac arrest. The way the story evolved and was reported on various venues got me thinking again.