I reach for another cold, succulent Kumamoto oyster. It sits there taunting me, glistening in its cup-like shell over crushed ice. I have already consumed about three dozen of its brothers, all in a quest to determine which of 20 wines work best with them.
Hugh Johnson, the venerable English wine writer, came to town to flog his new book, a memoir. UC Press had sent me Hugh Johnson: A Life Uncorked a few weeks earlier, and it was sitting on my desk at the office when I got an e-mail at home from a local publicist asking if I wanted to meet Johnson for lunch the next day.
Christophe Hille has left his position as chef of A16, one of the hottest Italian restaurants in San Francisco. I featured him in my recent Wine Spectator survey on Italian cuisine in the United States.
I get a chuckle out of restaurants that play games with the design of their menus and wine lists. They surround certain items with frames, or print them in bigger type, the typographical equivalent to waving their arms and hollering, "Pick me!" I always wonder if they're doing it to guide us to the best stuff or the most profitable.
Northstar , which started out as a Merlot-only winery, is expanding into other varietals, and those new wines just might overshadow the Merlot. I stopped by the winery on a recent visit to Washington to taste and chat with Jed Steele, the California-based winemaker who has consulted on Northstar since its inception in 1994.
The beat-up red SUV bounces and sways as winegrower Christophe Baron pilots it over a creaky bridge and into the mud left by recent rains. I take inventory of the dashboard: an old pair of sunglasses, a ballpoint pen, a round can of Altoids, a strip of flannel cloth.
As a journalist all my life, I live to spread the word about something I know that you might not. I spent the first 20 years of my career in daily journalism, where the word gets out fast. That's why I am excited about blogging.
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