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Category Archives: Beverages

Reactions to Toulouse Vineyards 2010 Middle Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir


2010 Toulouse Vineyards Pinot Noir Middle Ridge Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (2/5/2014) A nice little gem from Toulouse. Leaner, less overtly juicy than many recent Toulouse Pinots, and definitely for the better. Drinking well in February ’14 – starting to acquire some older, savory notes in an elegant way. A favorite […]

Reactions to Claudia Springs Valenti Ranch Mendocino Ridge ’06 Zinfandel


2006 Claudia Springs Zinfandel Valenti Ranch – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino Ridge (9/16/2013) On release this was an eyebrow-raiser. Who wants a 17.8% Zinfandel, especially from a producer specializing in cooler-climate lighter-weight Zinfandels? But I loved it back in the day, and even many years later (September ’13) it’s drinking well. Yes, there’s a […]

Reactions to 2007 Toulouse Vineyards Pinot Noir “The Drippings”


2007 Toulouse Vineyards Pinot Noir “The Drippings” – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (9/7/2013) Toulouse wines are made very much for drinking on release, and I love them for that. They’re like bright-eyed golden retrievers, eager to be loved and easy to love. The “Drippings” Pinots, produced in some vintages with maturation “on the […]

Reactions to “Pinot Envy” by Edward Finstein


Pinot Envy by Edward Finstein My rating: 1 of 5 stars I like fun whodunits set in California wine country, but this one doesn’t clear even my low bar. Pinot Envy really should not have seen the light of day. The author lacks fundamental technical writing ability, and his editor apparently did nothing to help […]

Reactions to “Nose: A Novel” by James Conaway


Nose: A Novel by James Conaway My rating: 3 of 5 stars The quintessential “summer read”. A lightweight romance+whodunit that takes place in the wine industry of a barely-disguised Napa Valley. The industry bits are important to the story, but they’re not heavy-handed, superfluous, or distracting. If anything, some of the mistakes in detail even […]

Report: 5th Annual (2010) Barrel Aged Beer Festival at The Bistro: Hayward, CA


This past Saturday (November 13, 2010) I attended The Bistro’s 5th Annual West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival in Hayward, CA. I’m a regular at The Bistro’s Festivals (you can browse past reports and beer lists here). This particular lineup was the possibly the greatest I’ve seen at any festival. Downright epic. The two-sided tasting […]