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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Wine Review: Viña Casa Marin “Cartagena” Pinot Noir 2004 (Chile)


Wow! This Pinot Noir from Chile is beautifully dark and seductive. A great value at $19.99. This might be the only Chilean Pinot Noir I’ve ever seen. Chile certainly has no Pinot heritage, so I’m guessing this winery’s foray into Pinot is very recent. Perhaps inspired to capitalize on the Sideways Pinot boom or just […]

Wine Review: Anthill Farms Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (2006 & 2007 Vintages)


The Anthill Farms Anderson Valley wines perfectly capture the character (okay, “terroir“) of the Anderson Valley. Try either vintage to understand what this wine region is all about. I’m not super-familiar with the story of Anthill Farms, but it seems they’re some young winemakers specializing in vineyard-designate Pinot Noir from Mendocino and Sonoma counties. Brian […]

Bamberg, Germany: Beer Trip, September 2009


In late September 2009 a few friends and I capped our trip to Oktoberfest with a visit to Bamberg, a 1000+ year-old town known for its beer. Bamberg is a charming small city of about 70,000 in northern Bavaria. It’s reminiscent of Bruges in that it escaped bombing during WWII, retaining a twisty medieval character. […]

Munich for Oktoberfest 2009


A few months back I went to Munich for the world’s oldest and greatest beer festival. I loved it – Oktoberfest wildly exceeded my expectations. I had been to Munich at least once before, but not during this time of year. I expected a New Orleans Mardi Gras-like crush of drunken screaming twenty-year-olds to ruin […]

Wine Review: Bogle Pinot Noir – 2007 Russian River: So Close, but Yet So Far


Let’s just get it out of the way. The Bogle 2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is ruined by an overwhelming buttery note. This wine has several other redeeming qualities, but they don’t outweigh the butter. I’ve started to despair of finding a sub-$20 Pinot Noir that’s worth drinking. Certainly sub-$15 is even tougher. My […]

Report: 2009 Barrel-Aged Beer Festival at The Bistro: Hayward, CA


Today I attended an excellent beer festival at The Bistro in Hayward, CA. It went under various names: The Barrel Aged Festival The Bistro Wood Barrel Aged Beer Festival West Coast Barrel-Aged Festival But whatever it was called, Vic Kralj and his team pulled off a great event. Like several attendees, I was hit by […]