Category Archives: Art

Wine & Poetry: Litquake: October 15, 2015

Litquake arrives in San Francisco on October 9th this year, departing October 17th, so don’t forget to join me for my 6th Annual Flight of Poets on Thursday October 15th!  Featured wineries include Gundlach Bundschu, Hess Collection, Three Wine Co., LaFollette Wines, Tin Bar & Breathless.

To whet your palate,  enjoy this poem by my friend Dean Rader, who is in the Department of English at USF, that was a finalist in the Caldwell Vineyard – Rocket Science Label Contest 2014.

Red is landing and launch,
Orbit and origin, both cork and
Crush. It’s motion, evolution,
Kinesis. It’s fire and flight.
Every color moves, but red
Takes off, it rockets through
Space, through science. Look: the
Capsule is in your hand. Explore.
Imbibe sun and skin, drink the
Earth. You too can discover the
New world; for in this realm, in this
Cosmos, in this universe,
Everything is wine.

And while you are feeling the wine vibe, chew on this little extra from Dean as well!

Take me

over tongue over teeth
over cusp cut and rim
over skin

Peel me
back and push
me down I want
to go deep

below body and bone
beneath darkness and dirt

and there raise
me up to
mouth on mouth
on lip on tip

I want to go deep
I want to be squashed
quashed and quelled

I want to be crushed

Celebrate the Art of Cinema: 4 Week Lecture Series Begins November 19th

Another cinematic opportunity to follow-up your Napa Valley Film Festival experience, which starts tonight, finishes on sunday November 16! Etch this FREE 4 week cinematic lecture series into your calendar starting next Wednesday November 19th “Celebrate the Art of Cinema”. PCA cineCard-FRNTfnl-1-webop-495x329 Brought to you by Petaluma Community Access Television (PCA) in conjunction with the Petaluma Arts Center.

The Art of Judging Wines

When people ask me what it’s like to be a professional wine judge, I explain that the keys are to keep your palate fresh and have an optimistic view of the wines before you taste them.

Every wine has its qualities and attributes. Some are fruity, and others that are graceful and elegant. Some styles that are earthy, jammy or minerally. Others are  big, rich and bold. But when it comes down to it, the best wines stand out as having strong attributes in terms of color, flavor, texture, balance, structure, and admirable finish. Each wine receives medals based on the tallied scores of the judges on each team.

I bring this subject up because I’ll be judging a number of these unique wine competitions over the next two months, including the annual Thanksgiving Picks with Ziggy the Wine Gal (Nov 17); the Grand Harvest Awards (Nov 18-19); Holiday Picks with Ziggy and other pros (Dec 8); and the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (Jan 6-9).

So watch for my upcoming reviews of each of these competitions.  And in the meantime,  check out the amazing photo album from the North Coast Wine Challenge posted by my friend and fellow-wine judge, Wilfred Wong. Enjoy!

North Coast Wine Challenge Photo Album

Take a little journey this weekend!

As I will begin my weekend tasting wines in scenic Santa Cruz (sorry, Sold Out!), would like to suggest some interesting treks to possibly engage your senses. Now pack the car and get rolling!

Fort Ross Historic Park: Harvest Festival and Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Festival: Take the windy drive up the coast to enjoy a variety of activities. Some family friendly, historical and definitely scenic endeavors!

smithSmith Vineyard Harvest & Wine Event:  If you are hankering for a trip to Gold Country then head straight for Highway 49.  Smith Vineyard is hosting an Open House with pumpkins to entertain the kids and wine to enthrall the adults.  Outside the town of Grass Valley, and a short drive to the quaint berg of Nevada City, both with oodles of historic significance to explore.

Sonoma County Art Trails:  You can stick a little closer but still have a lovely tour, just print up the Art Trails map and drop in on some Open Studios throughout the county.  An amazing opportunity to view and buy some work by local artists.

Whichever adventure you choose, have fun and enjoy some wine!

Announcing Flight of Poets: Litquake 2014!

For my 5th year I will be sommelier for the event Flight of Poets, at Litquake on Thursday, October 16th, Hotel Rex, San Francisco.  Event starts at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm

The Featured Poets

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Hollie Hardy, Major Jackson, James Ragan, Tera Vale Ragan, Chad Sweeney, Arisa White

The Featured Wineries

St. Supery, Gundlach Bundschu, Rodney Strong, Miro Cellars, Uvaggio, Carol Shelton Wines