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Jordan Mackay

Movia Magic

The good times always roll when Ales Kristancic (ah-lesh Kris-TON-chitch) of the Slovenian winery Movia comes to town to promote his wine. He is a bald, Baltic ball of fun and brings his lively spirit, passion for wine, and inimitable use of the phrase “tzak, tzak” to town (“tzak” has no real translation, but he uses it when he doesn’t know the proper English verb).

Waipara in a Nutshell

Gimblett Gravels

I’m down here in New Zealand for this big international Pinot Noir conference, but as an added bonus for coming all the way across the earth, the good kiwi people decided to throw a one-day conference on cool-climate Syrah. The conference was set in an upcoming wine region here in NZ called the Gimblett Gravels ( A unique area of land inside the larger appellation of Hawke’s Bay on NZ’s North Island, Gimblett Gravels has some of the stoniest soil you’ll ever see anywhere.

A Lot More Cab

Steak and a Cab

It's hard to imagine what vegetarian wine lovers have to go through for one simple reason: What do they eat with your Cabernet Sauvignon?

Considering that Cab and its Bordeaux brethren is what we got the most of in California and that it turns up pretty ubiquitously from France, Chile, Argentina, and Australia (to name a few) we have to devise dishes that accompany it well. But, sadly, to me there's really only one thing that always goes well with Cabernet and it is described in two words: red meat.


Growth Potential

If you’ve gotten into wine at all in your life, you’re probably aware that German Riesling is one of the most incredible wines in the world (and often a super value), but also incredibly difficult to comprehend. The labels in themselves are phenomenal works of code—and the familiar designations like kabinet, spätlese, etc are indecipherable to most people.

The Day After

It's January 2, and after two full nights of New Year's revelry, I feel like a hollow shell of a human being. For me, nothing revives a hangover-ravaged body like an ice cold bottle of root beer. From the first sip, I can feel the calming, soothing energy flow from my tummy into my tired arms and legs. My head begins to clear.

The Claws Come Out

If you live on the West Coast, you’re most likely a fan of Dungeness crab. Here in San Francisco, crab is particularly relished, as to some, such as me, it’s the greatest of all the seasonal delicacies (yes, that includes you, Mr. Heirloom Tomato) we enjoy around here. And, praise the lord, ‘tis the season for crab.

The Best Egg Nog You'll Ever Have (My Recipe)

As a kid one of the biggest treats of the holiday season was the occasional drink of egg nog. So thick, creamy, sweet and laden with exotic spices, egg nog came from a carton, and I rued the end of the holidays when it left the stores.

As I became older and more conscious of foods, though, I became fearful of store-bought egg nog. Its third and fourth ingredients were high fructose corn syrup and just plain corn syrup, with artificial flavors, salt and something called carrageenan thrown in for good measure.  It’s unnatural viscosity started to seem creepy, and I stopped drinking it.

Shaken, Not Stirred

Bartenders around town have been reporting a heightened frequency of orders for the Vesper. This is no doubt because of the popularity of the new James Bond film, which is said to present a harder, more serious Bond instead of that wry, wisecracking guy we all started to hate (I have yet to see the film).

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