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Dee Vine Wedding

One of my favorite people in the wine industry is Dade Theriot, the owner of Dee Vine Wines on Pier 19. Dade is the most knowledgeable person about his passion—German wines—that I know, and he’s exceedingly generous with them, as he is with all things. He's also a Beethoven fanatic and an all-around eccentric, as was evinced by his wedding in which attendees were invited to come either in formal dress or in early 19th century costume.


Absinthe Arrives



St. George Spirits of Alameda, the good folks behind Hangar One vodkas and all the amazing Aqua Perfecta eaux de vie, recently had me out to preview the long-awaited release of their absinthe. Lance Winters, the distiller, was the mastermind behind this delectable spirit, and he was kind enough to pour the better part of a bottle and talk about the product, its history and how it should be consumed.


Repeal Day



December 5 is an important day for drinkers, as on this day in 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified, repealing Prohibition and reinstating our right to imbibe. Phew.

It’s hard to imagine the 14 years America spent as a dry country. Certainly, in the decade of the raging ‘20s there was still a lot of drinking going on. But this was all illegal and organized crime saw a huge increase as they became the arbiters of the new underground economy. Repeal not only legalized drink; it also put the kabosh on a great deal of criminal dealings. We celebrate with a big batch of bathtub gin and a toast to Al Capone.

Use Your Words

Eat + Drink Poll

Our office is an overstuffed set-up constructed with no offices and no cubicles. Just one big open space where you can really reach out and touch someone—the perfect environment to drag everyone into your own procrastilagging.

Thomas In Charge

There are certain things you don't say no to: Like an invitation to an intimate multicourse dinner cooked by Thomas Keller, paired with Opus One and Mondavi cult wines, hosted by three generations of the Mondavi family at their estate located on top of a hill off of the Silverado Trail. To this, you say yes (knowing that some of your friends will be filled with a mix of envy and resentment and find your job obnoxious).

Pogue Mahon



Perhaps one of the reasons my zeal for WhiskyFest was a little subdued was that I had had a whiskyfest of my own the night before with my old pal, Jameson. The occasion was a performance by the Pogues, who played four straight nights at the Fillmore last week.

Half my blood is Scotch-Irish, meaning that when I get enough whiskey in me and hear the familiar reels of Irish folk-punk as spun by the Pogues and bellowed by their bibulous lead singer Shane MacGowan, I start to reflexively bounce off the f’in walls.

WhiskyFest Report



So, WhiskeyFest went down last week. As usual, the giant trade and consumer show had a ton of scotch, bourbon, Irish whiskey and more, arrayed on table after table in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency.

There were lots that I’d tasted before, but standing out for me was a new distiller’s edition from Lagavulin, Stranahans Colorado whiskey, and the wheated malt from Buffalo Trace.


When Barflies Get Together

In last week’s post, Birth of a Great Lunch, I showed you what happens when sommeliers get together to celebrate—in this case a baby shower for imminent father Paul Roberts. Old, fine wines are uncorked, and civilized discussion occurs over the dinner table.


Game On


Aw, shucks.

My parents tell a legendary story (which we kids have all heard, by now, a half-dozen times) about going to a game supper one fall night in Vermont. There, curiosity piqued, they tried squirrel, bear, moose and deer, raccoon and grouse. They enjoyed everything, left the dinner full and happy, and then awoke in the middle of the night, stomachs rolling, sick. Was it the bear?

Independent Spirits

Tomorrow is one of the coolest shows of the year—the Independent Spirits Festival. Small-production, artisanal spirits are the name of the game, as these are some of the most exciting and delicious products on the market. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Ron Cooper, importer and mastermind behind Del Maguey mezcals (the greatest agave products on the planet), who I’m interviewing next week.

You can only buy tickets online today. Print out your confirmation and bring it to the W Hotel at 6:30 p.m. for the start of the show. It’s only $78 for a chance to sample hundreds of amazing products.
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