Posts Filed Under Wined Down (

Wined Down: Turkey Day Wine, Minus The Heartburn

Vinted on November 22, 2012 binned in Wined Down (

As long-time 1WD readers already know, I’m not much for specific holiday wine pairings. Generally speaking, general guidelines will serve you better than trying to force a specific wine into a situation for which it might not be properly equipped – and no food-&-wine pairing situation is fraught with more potential culinary landmines than the Thanksgiving Table!

I’ve no more to add to those general guidelines than what I posted regarding the Turkey Day wine pairing action plan last year, however I also have a new boss this year ( And that boss knows that people actually like the holiday wine pairing thing, and so it’s my job to try and make that scenario an interesting read.

And so today I give you a humorous take on the old Thanksgiving food & wine pairing spiel, style; with tongue planted firmly in cheek there (not that cheek, you perv!), as it swishes some high-acid wines to wash down all that turkey, stuffing and sweet potato casserole. Enjoy!

Oh, and one more thing – the thing for which I’m most thankful today? YOU, the 1WD readership. Actually, I’m thankful for you every day, not just today… ok, whatever, you know what I mean! You people seriously RAWK IT and have made this little corner of the Internet the special place that it is.

Cheers – and have a safe, engorging Turkey Day!



Winding Down With Francis Ford Coppola

Vinted on November 14, 2012 binned in Wined Down (

“You have a tall task — on two fronts.”

Those were the words my friend and consigliere Jeff Lefevere (who has got to be the most talented blogger currently not blogging) had for me when I asked him for advice in interviewing movie icon Francis Ford Coppola about his Sonoma wine endeavors.

Coppola is near icon, and has been oft-interviewed,” Jeff pointed out, before quickly adding, “More importantly, how do you talk a little wine without coming off sounding like a shill who is reading from the press release?”

That last part is something that plagues writers covering any area. Even if you pull out all of the stops and interviewing chops, some people will simply give you charming marketing spiel, the equivalent of the stuff you could get from their website About pages only in certified from-the-horse’s-mouth quotation form.

So for my Wined Down / interview with Coppola, I decided to take Jeff’s advice and try to get inside of Coppola’s head a little bit, even going so far as to link our conversation back to a PB interview that he did around forty years ago (for more on that one, see Playboy’s 50 Years of the Playboy Interview collection). I suppose it worked to some extent, since in the course of it he reveals that he’s working on a new screenplay, and even the publicists on his side didn’t know about that. More likely I just got lucky.

Anyway… we talk wine, of course, focusing on his work in Sonoma (look, Coppola’s Rubicon/Inglenook stuff is an awesome story line, but as Jeff insightfully pointed out, it’s been oft-told), his love of Bordeaux, how he looks back on previous interviews and the iconic characters that he’s created, and whether or not he was trying to tell the wine cognoscenti to f*ck off by moving his movie memorabilia and shop out of Napa.

Okay, this is the part where you head over to PB and check it out!





Wined Down: Pinot, Sex, And Getting Even With The Wine Biz

Vinted on October 31, 2012 binned in Wined Down (

You’d think that when you gather wine lovers into one conference area with the promise of imbibing a lot of vino in short order, they’d have little over which to argue. But that’s not the case when Sideways (and its follow-up Vertical) author Rex Pickett is also in the same conference area.

Pickett’s keynote/interview at the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference was the very stuff of divisiveness, garnering mostly either kudos for his brashness, or derision for his healthy sense of himself and his own abilities. Few seemed to sit somewhere in the middle, as I did when I described Pickett’s WBC talk as “equal parts comedy, narcissism, and brilliance” (which, incidentally, a winemaker in attendance told me seemed an apt description of wine blogging in general – ah, perhaps Rex reflected us too well?).

Anyone who attended that session at WBC12 knows that Pickett is at best uncensored, at worst a bit nuts, and probably entertaining, which is why I decided to interview him for my gig. Pickett and I had a lengthy conversation over Skype, during which he was a slightly-more-relaxed but just-as-incendiary and amicable version of the guy who drove such strong reactions at WBC12. Which is why you might want to read what he had to tell me about his new book, Pinot Noir, sex, and getting even with the wine and publishing businesses.

But then, you’ll only be reading the parts that I thought wouldn’t get slapped with a lawsuit – Rex is nothing if not open, and he was happy to name names when we spoke. Since I don’t want to 1WD to get slapped with any lawsuits, either, I’ll refrain from quoting those bits here, but if you want to ply me with beer and wine in person I might spill the beans off the record…


p.s. – If you’re wondering where the Halloween post is, you’ll find that here.




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