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Caviar and …

Vodka vs. Champagne

What to have with caviar is not a question that comes up often, but every now and again my wife gets a craving for something decadent, and this time it was caviar.  Our choice: Tsar Nicoulai Caviar.

The Joys of Brevity

There are many things to love about petite Piccino in the Dogpatch, but as an inveterate reader of wine lists, I can say that, much of the time, short and well-selected is better than long and all-inclusive.


Chablis Raveneau

There are few things I enjoy more than a glass of Chablis.

The region just north of Burgundy on France's east side is famous for its chalky white soils, which gives that minerally texture and Chardonnays of lovely power and grace. There are many great producers, my faves being Dauvissat, William Fevre, Louis Michel and of course Domaine Raveneau, who makes highly individually styled wines and is also greatly popular in San Francisco.

Chablis Raveneau

7 People, 35 Glasses Later

We hosted a big dinner party last night at my house celebrating the visit of my sister Eden and baby Clementine (who will one day be one of the world's great gastronomes). Many courses, many wines--a great time was had by all. But, the challenge with so many wines--and having a wife who prefers to use a separate and proper glass for each one--is the clean up in the morning. Ugggh.

baby Clementine

Organic Schmorganic?

I found this story in Decanter to be interesting. It leads with the line:

“The majority of UK consumers do not care if their wine is organic or Fairtrade, and do not understand what biodynamic means, says a new study.”

Three Syrahs

At a nice dinner the other night, several friends and I decided to compare three top single-vineyard Côte Rôties from the vintage of 2001. If you don't know, Côte Rôtie is one of the top Syrah appellations in France's Rhone Valley. Actually, it’s one of the top Syrah appellations in France—okay, the world. All right, to my mind, it's the greatest place for Syrah in the world. Some might argue that Hermitage is better, but I'll take Côte Rôtie's lighter body, floral high notes and silky tannins any day.

Three Syrahs

Wrap up Corkiness

For the most part corked wine is irredeemable. That awful, musty, wet cardboard smell has destroyed yet another beautiful wine. But if the cork job isn't too bad, you can try something that seems (and is) antithetical to the spirit of fine wine.

I learned this trick from Larry Stone, master sommelier, GM of Napa's Rubicon Estate, and all-around wine know-it-all: take a decent-sized piece of Glad plastic wrap, wad it up and soak it in your wine glass for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

Up in Wine Country

So I had business up in Mendocino last week, but managed to sneak in and see a couple of my favorite wine producers in the entire state of California. I thought you should know who these guys are, because they are young, they are talented, and their wines are off the hook now, and getting better.

Andy Peay

Taste3 on Drinks

I was fortunate enough to attend the Taste3 conference in Napa last week. Sponsored by the Robert Mondavi company, the gathering of food, wine and art minds from around the world is supposed to be a sort of culinary TED conference and—if you have an extra $2-grand and consider yourself a die-hard foodie—is well worth your time and money. Great thinkers, scientists, story tellers, cooks, taste makers and thinkers gather together for two days of awesome talks on everything from bees and mushrooms to terroir, food blogging and new kitchen inventions. And you can rub elbows with the speakers at several lunches and dinners.
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