Posts Filed Under going pro

Get Screwed This Winter (Publix Grape Winter 2015)

Vinted on November 13, 2015 binned in going pro, wine publications
Publix Grape Winter 2015

image: Publix Grape

Just a quick hit to let you know that the Winter 2015 edition of Publix Grape Magazine should soon be available (if not already), and that I’ve once again penned the In Focus section (as well as some other items in that issue).

This time, In Focus focuses on screwtop closures, with some insights from irrepressible Bonny Doon winemaker Randall Grahm. It gets into the background history of both cork and screwcap closures, and that research, for me, was always the most fun part of that Grape Mag gig.

I write “was” because, alas, Winter 2015 is the last printed edition of Grape, which will be moving to an online/email publication titled Publix Wine Program. As they say in Jolly Ol’ England, I’ve not heard a dickie bird about whether or not I will a part of that new program, and I’ve no details on if/how the traditional Grape content will be changing, apart from what’s been published publicly on the Publix website (sorry!).

I’ll miss the gig; it was a blast. And it had some seriously sweet food porn photos in it, too. I find at these moments, it’s best to look back with gratitude on having been a part of the experience for so long, and having the opportunity to work with such professional people. And to drink sparkling wine… lots and lots of sparkling wine…





Mama Don’t Take No Mess (Livermore Valley, Reconsidered at Palate Press)

Vinted on November 3, 2015 binned in California wine, going pro, on the road
Palate Press - Livermore

image: Palate Press

Steve Mirassou

Steve Mirassou, pretending to take a photo (or, sharing his opinions on the state of Livermore Valley juice)

One of my media tours this year had me returning to California’s perennially underrated Livermore Valley, where I’d not been for a few years, and reconnecting with the likes of local vintners Karl Wente and Steve Mirassou, neither of whom I’d seen (or, more importantly, tasted with) lately.

The tour was very well executed, with comprehensive tastings dedicated mostly to varietal wines from Cabernet, Petite Sirah, and Chardonnay. Generally, I remain impressed with the combination of gumption, quality, history, and irony coming out of the region.

It’s the latter two aspects that really got my pseudo-journalistic juices flowing, and they’re the focus of a feature I penned about the trip (titled The Mother Vine: Livermore Reconsidered) that’s now available over at Palate Press. Both words and pics are by me, so you can come back here and flame me if you hate either. Lots of vino was tasted that didn’t make it into the final article, much of which I’ll be trickling out in the form of mini-reviews in the coming weeks.

So… this is the part where you go on over there and read it.

Livermore Chardonnay tasting

Unless you don’t like irony, history (and this one is about as deep into the history of California winemaking as one can get, as the area is home to the mother vine clones of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon that now dominate the state’s plantings), or exciting developments in U.S. wine… in which case, I’m not sure that I can help you… hell, I’m not sure that anyone can help you… have you sought out the assistance of a professional for that condition? Because, seriously, I am starting to worry about you. Just sayin’…





Rolling Out The Barrels (PUBLIX Grape Fall 2015)

Vinted on August 25, 2015 binned in going pro, wine publications
PUBLIX Grape Fall 2015

image: PUBLIX Grape Magazine

Summer’s almost over. Yeah, I said it. Yeah, it’s mildly depressing. Yeah, it’s a good excuse to drink.

For those of you within the mailing address sphere of supermarket chain PUBLIX, you can find my latest contribution to their wine-focused magazine, Grape, in the soon-to-be-released Fall 2015 issue.

Therein, among other things, we revisit the impacts of barrel aging on wine (not all oak is the enemy, folks), as well as on beer, with some quotes from wine luminaries such as Master Somm Evan Goldstein, who is one of the few wine people for whom I’d consider taking a bullet (hopefully, we never have to test that promise…).

You can subscribe to PUBLIX Grape Magazine for the low, low price of $0.00, for those of you who live in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama. Which is probably those of you who have been wanting Summer to end for the last two months already.




All Good Things… (The Final Answers Wine Article Round-up)

Vinted on June 23, 2015 binned in going pro, learning wine june 2015


This is the end… beautiful friend… the end…”

As we wrap up the June 2015 articles, it’s with bittersweet emotion that I tell you that we’re also wrapping up my stint at, a gig that kicked off over two years ago and that resulted in nearly two hundred (!) articles. Answers is winding down the entire expert article program (just FYI, in case you’re following any of the other expert areas there).

I find it interesting that, when I tell people that a gig like this is ending, I invariably get a “oh that sucks” response, which is the polar opposite of my “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity” response. I mean, I made some money talking about wine on a very high-profile online presence, and did it for longer than I’d ever expected it to have lasted. The only sucky part is the reduction of income, which I don’t see as permanent. But maybe I’m weird?

Anyway, here are the final four:

Three Reasons Why 2015 Is The Most Competitive Wine Market Ever

I couldn’t resist this one, since it’s the crux of my opening point from the speaking gigs I did recently with Full Circle Wine Solutions. Seriously, if you’re in the biz, get all of your excuses out now, because they all suck and sound pathetic: we are in the midst of the most competitive wine market in the history of planet Earth.

Wine Book Review: “Ancient Wine” by Patrick E. McGovern

McGovern is a Philly guy. So maybe I am biased. But… he writes a hell of an interesting book when it comes to wine history. This one is a bit academic and at times difficult to follow, but it’s so packed with excellent information that I’d encourage you to pick it up.


Sicily did NOT suck

Five Wine Producers to Watch from Sicily

Obviously a result of my recent jaunt there. There is much, much, much more to come from that, but I need to get my act together on a bunch of things first. But trust me, you will want to stick around for that, because it includes a never-before-attempted Ben Ryé vertical… just sayin’…

Wine Product Review: Peugeot Clef du Vin Travel Wine Tool

I couldn’t let this one go, I had to review this sample of the Clef du Vin before the Answers gig ended. And… well… I just don’t know… I mean, yeah, it affects the taste of the wine… BUT… Just read the review, and you’ll see what I mean.





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