#Wine: The Side Gig

June 12, 2013

You might have noticed that I have been a bit MIA the last couple of months.  Now I realize that I said that I would be more devoted to my vino bloggie-blog this year and I was…but then life got in the way.  I work a pretty busy day job, as many of you know, conducting applied research for cancer drug development at a large biotech.  I do all of the wine stuff on the side, which includes ambassador positions, education, consulting, and other writing gigs.

All of that adds up to a pretty fun and busy life, not to mention fantastic quality time with the Lady, of which and whom, I absolutely adore.   Recently my side-life got even busier (but healthier), by getting pulled into triathlons by my bro in-law.  I competed in my first USAT sanctioned adult race earlier this year, throwing up a 03:45:02 time in what many people consider to be the most difficult Olympic length triathlon, at Wildflower 2013.  Whew…that’s a lot of moving parts!  But OK enough whining, let’s talk about other people with side gigs, namely, insanely talented winemakers that produce wine under their own, tiny production labels.

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#MFITV: 2011 Harvest Thoughts & the Quiet Winery

December 31, 2011

The 2011 Harvest is done. It has actually been done for the Northern California wine industry for a few weeks, but I needed those weeks to digest all that I have experienced (and re-acclimate to my previous life), before I was ready to write this final post for Man Falls in the Vines#MFITV. Harvest is such a compressed, intense experience. It has proven to be hard for me to sum up in a somewhat, year-end post. Despite such difficulties, I was able to complete my harvest insider feature article for the January edition of Mutineer Magazine, as well as their brand new Mutineer Magazine Beverage Trade Edition, also debuting in January. All of this experience, hard work, and camaraderie demand applause and to be forever thanked for, however. And after the jump, you will see all of the new (and one old) vinopanions that I made during those six weeks in Stags Leap, Napa at Chimney Rock Winery (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog).

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The Broke Wino Looks at Value Bordeaux

January 10, 2011

A new vinopanion of mine, Sam Klingberg, has been making waves in the vino writing webernets over the last year or so with his wine blog, The Broke Wino. Sam contacted me recently to gather my thoughts on affordable Bordeaux wine. As one of Le Wine Buff for Enjoy Bordeaux for the CIVB, I have been involved in a lot of great Bordeaux-centric wine activities over the last 1+ years, including a truly spectacular trip to Bordeaux this past summer.

The dichotomy between the high prices of First and Second Growth chateaux and the remaining thousands of much more affordable, yet still high quality wine producers and chateaux is a hot topic. With the declaration of “vintages of the century” at least 3 times this decade alone combined with the increasing Asian markets, the prices of the high end Bordeaux have skyrocketed. Happily however, quality has also taken a great leap forward, all across the board.

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Le Wine Buff in France, Bordeaux Day 2

September 10, 2010

Along the Quai - Bordeaux, France.

The first day waking up in Bordeaux was a slight bit disorienting for this ‘Buff. First off, I wasn’t tired despite all of my travel overnight the day before and immediately launching into almost a full day and night of awesome Bordelaise activities. Indeed, I felt so fit that I decided to go for my first run of the trip, along the riverfront that we walked the day before. Fearless Mutineer, Alan Kropf (Twitter) took up the challenge to join me in my jogging quest.

[The documentary short of the footage taken during our trip, “Meet Le Wine Buffs“, has now launched! You can find it, as well as all of our 100 Days of Today’s Bordeaux on the Bordeaux Wine Vimeo channel.]

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WBC10 Lands in W2

June 27, 2010

2010 North American Wine Bloggers ConferenceWhile struggling to recover from Le Wine Buff in Bordeaux last week, I’m already here in Walla Walla, WA for the third annual 2010 North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference, whew! I’m going to be trying to blog a completely different this year, different from WBC08 and WBC09…I’m going to be continuously adding to this post throughout the entire, nutsovino weekend! …we’ll see how it all turns out. 😉 Let’s get diving into the fun, as I’m happily surrounded by my many, MANY talented vinopanions. Follow along yourself by tracking the #WBC10 hashtag on Twitter and keep track of our busy busy agenda here at the Marcus Whitman. Cheers!

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Le Wine Buff in France, Bordeaux Day 1

June 24, 2010

Air France window over the outskirts of ParisFinally. It’s quite similar to that feeling of gloriously painful anticipation that you once experienced before every birthday as a child…I was finally going to Bordeaux as part of Le Wine Buff program for Enjoy Bordeaux! I have been a ‘Buff since late last year when the pilot program first kicked off. The Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) sponsored the trip and we’ve been working for and with them and CreativeFeed to help educate the public on the thousands of affordable, high quality and downright tasty Bordeaux wines that are imported to the US. These wines are the majority from Bordeaux and don’t cost the same amount as the many techno gadgets I brought along with me on the trip. So there I was…in Bordeaux and yet I had never even been to Europe!

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Book Review: “Sippin’ On Top of the World”

March 7, 2010

I received a very intriguing book sample a few months back, “Sipping On Top of the World: Toasting Good Times and Better Days,” courtesy of the author, David White and his organization, the Institute of Wine & Spirituality. I say intriguing because while I’ve also considered the premise of the book, to actually see an entire life philosophy designed around its topic is quite novel, no pun intended! David proposes that wine can help to direct oneself to the necessary reflection, introspection and celebration of life through its vinous pleasure. Coming from a lifelong interest in philosophic and religious texts, I was very interested to read through this book.

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A Toast to Pops

June 20, 2009

Baby WardIt takes a lot to make us who we are. Genetics, environments and most importantly, people help shape the person that we become as we continue to get older. I have been blessed with a number of good, warm people that have surrounded me as I stumble through this life. Friends, family and on this particular day, Fathers, have been a major positive influence on whom I’d like to be whenever I finally grow up.

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On the Subject of Corkage

February 23, 2009

Corkage fees have been controversial for as long as they have been around. I admit, I have been distressed numerous times in the past at having to pay a corkage fee on wine that I already own. It’s similar to the feeling I get when I have a fee to withdraw my own money from a bank! Yet, with friends all over the food and wine industry, I also get a lot of great perspectives on the topic.

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Happy New Year at Moresi’s!

December 31, 2008

New Year’s Eve has started in earnest over here on the West Coast.  Finely dressed hostesses are starting to guide even more finely dressed patrons to their hotly desired seat at every dining establishment in California.  Beth and I spent the day acquiring clothing and preparing for the evenings festivities, when I would be DJing at Spoontonic in Walnut Creek, alongside my fellow DJ’s, owner Jeff (Heff) and Sean for the latest and year-end installment of the mashup monthly, The Winchester at the bar.

Ed MoresiAfter getting both of our outfits squared away, we decided to start the celebration of the end of 2008 with a stop at one of our favorite local steakhouses and cocktail bar, Moresi’s Chophouse in Clayton, CA. Moresi’s is housed in were two historic 1800’s era buildings, now combined, in the long-standing rural enclave of Clayton, CA.  Ed Moresi, longtime proprieter of the outstanding family dining and sports bar establishment Ed’s Mudville Grill (check out the amazing collection of sports memorabilia!) son Dom and the rest of the Moresi clan have created a wonderful stop within the small, comfortable downtown of Clayton.

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