Category Archives: Sonoma

Double Down On The Trésor: Baby Needs A New Pair Of Shoes

Ferrari-Carano has always been a ballin bling-bling operation—the reasons for which were said by Edgar Allen Poe a century before either Ferrari or Carano were born: When madness takes your stash of cash, And dumps it down the Lotto, You … Continue reading

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Darryl Is A Camel Jockey; Pass It On

If you’ve been in the wine business since the mid-nineteenth century like Darryl and me, your majestical roof—your brave overhanging firmament—probably resembles the sky above Selfridge Air Base during pilot training week.  Lots of criss-crossing contrails with comrades in arms, … Continue reading

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Creature From The White Laguna

Creature From The Black Lagoon, Universal Studios, 1954 Plot Summary: A geology expedition in the Amazon uncovers a fossilized hand from the Devonian period; Dr. David Reed (Richard Carlson), an ichthyologist who works at a marine biology institute, returns to … Continue reading

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Digging A Re-Invented View Of Buena Vista Winery

There’s an adage in the wine business, on-premise and off: ‘Spend more than $100 for a bottle and you are starting to pay for the label’. What that means, of course, is that a lot of folks suffer from Veblen … Continue reading

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What The Heck Does Champagne Have To Do With Golf, Anyway?

Plenty, dahling.  Crank the Wayback Machine to 1962 when Tony Lema promised reporters at the Orange County Open that he’d force-feed them Champagne if he won—then beat Jack Nicklaus by five strokes and did, becoming known as ‘Champagne’ Tony Lema … Continue reading

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Frei Vs. Fre: One Has An ‘I’; One Doesn’t. One Has A ‘High’; One Doesn’t.

Mad Magazine was the fundamental catalyst in my kidhood drive to write humor for a living.  Advancing alcoholism is why I made wine, beer and spirits my venue. Remember that old Spy vs. Spy panel cartoon?  Where the white ‘n’ … Continue reading

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Stryker Sonoma Petit Verdot: The Golden Ticket

My buddy Roger Bonga makes a sinfully serious chocolate wine out in Grand Rapids; Oregon’s Shallon Winery makes ‘a rich chocolate and orange whey* wine’; and of course, there’s that inexplicably weird and awful Dutch mess called Chocovine, a blend … Continue reading

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Cellar No. 8 ‘Eight’: Stuck Here In Lodi By Choice

One of the effects that alcohol has on the human brain, specifically on the nucleus accumbens, is that it makes you go all silly sappy and irrationally nostalgic.  So when a winery recalls it’s founder and his guiding principles in … Continue reading

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Rodney Strong Like Bull, And That’s No Bull

There’s strength in numbers, and if they happen to have dollar signs in front of them, Rodney Strong Vineyards is pulling down some weightlifting gold.  Growing at a pace of 14% a year (compared to 2% for the category according to … Continue reading

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Forchini Vineyards: Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag

  Fifty out of fifty States now produce wine, including Alaska, where moose blubber is used as a fining agent and the must is strainied through Sarah Palin’s brassiere. Today, every continent has a winemaking tradition except Antarctica, but the geophysicists … Continue reading

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