Your author washes up in Wine County and beyond.

  • Holy Mole! The S. Pratsch Grüner Veltliner

    Holy Mole! The S. Pratsch Grüner Veltliner

    Grüner Veltliner — sure, it sounds like some kind of Viennese rail system — but the Austrian white wine varietal has been popular stateside for well over a decade. Check your fridge, you may already have one laying on its side, playing possum as a sauvignon blanc — a forgotten party gift handed off during the hurly-burly of…

  • Craft Beer Week

    This much I know I love: California Craft Beer Week starts on a Friday and ends on a Tuesday-11 days later. That’s a helluva week of beer and precisely the kind of math I do after I’ve had a couple of pints (and by a couple, I mean multiply everything I say by a factor of…

  • Two Buck Chuck 20th Anniversary

    Two Buck Chuck 20th Anniversary

    As the wine world raises a glass to the late Fred Franzia, the unorthodox businessman behind the Charles Shaw wine brand (a.k.a. “Two Buck Chuck”) who passed away this week, it’s high time to revisit the story of Shaw himself and one of the potential pitfalls of being a brand name. How did Shaw’s name end…

  • Bastille Day: Revolution in the Err

    Bastille Day: Revolution in the Err

    Je dis ça, je dis rien is a French idiom that translates literally as, “I say that, I say nothing.” Its nearest English counterpart is the comparatively flip “just sayin,’” which is as close to a raison d’etre as I can presently muster for this column. You see, the problem with being a humorist during…

  • I have the need — the need for mead! Not.

    I have the need — the need for mead! Not.

    As a media gadfly, I’m on every kind of PR list imaginable. Whereas I once resented receiving publicity spam, particularly if it was off my beat but now, given the absurdity of our culture, everything seems off-beat. I welcome it. I’m almost entertained, if not by the subject of the pitches themselves then the extra…

  • ’Tis a strange serpent – Drinking in Literature

    ’Tis a strange serpent – Drinking in Literature

    From Viking magical mead poetry to Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall, here’s how writers have encapsulated an eternal boozy truth Source: ’Tis a strange serpent – 10 of the most entertaining drinking bouts in literature | Books | The Guardian I’ve written a few drunk scenes — pretty much any action in Quantum Deadline is…

  • Silly rabbit, brix are for kids

    My latest piece for Men’s Health explores why wine has a higher percentage of alcohol these days.

  • Coffee vs. Wine

    Found this in a notebook. Send me your additions.

  • How We Overreach: From Sputnik to Martian Terroir

    In the ’70s, we saw fit to launch Voyager 1, in part as an intergalactic jukebox so extraterrestrial life could groove on Earth’s greatest hits. Now, in the twenteens, we see fit to lunch on vegan wontons, in part as an excuse to tweet as much to the furthest reaches of our social universe. We…