Now Where Was I?

I was talking about a wine book and then the holidays rolled around and that was that for a while. Then I thought The Grape Belt needed a new look, and that’s dragged its own silly behind for way too long. Now I’m at the point where we – the entire TGB staff — all […]

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Port — Not Just For Roaring Fires On Chilly Nights

When wine lovers think about Port, which isn’t nearly often enough, they imagine something that will thaw them out in the dead of winter. That’s fine, to a point, but Port isn’t just something to enjoy during the dark days of winter. It’s a year-round pleasure. If you’re not so sure about that, check out […]

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Here’s How You Can Spring Into Great White Wines

I prefer to  post only things that I’ve written, but every once in a while you run across a piece of wine writing that needs to be shared. That’s how I feel about Jon Bonné’s piece in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. There are too many of my friends who love to cook but claim that […]

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Let’s Go Shopping — Back To The Bargain Aisle

In the coming months I’ll again be beating the drum of “try something new!” Remember, one of the nice things about making attempts to climb out of your wine rut is that you don’t have to go broke doing so. A recent listing in one of my favorite wine mags proves this point convincingly. What […]

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Sydney — What’s Not To Love?

I‘ll admit right up front that Sydney was Mary’s idea. I thought it would be an okay place to visit but from the start my enthusiasm for it was so-so. Probably because she had done all the research for this portion of the trip and I was just going along for the ride. It was […]

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Barcelona is Very Far From Normandy

On a map, Barcelona and Normandy are hundreds of miles from each other. On any scale using wine as a measurement, they are galaxies apart. In Normandy, a good wine list is usually a surprise. In Barcelona, the surprise comes when the wine list is anything less than good. Over the course of five days […]

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Seek And You Shall Find…Sometimes

On our first night in Bayeux, the owner of the B&B where we were staying, Hotel Tardif, made a reservation for us at L’Angle Saint Laurent, telling us that it was one of his favorites because it tended to draw a crowd that was more local than tourist, something we always appreciate, despite the fact […]

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Wine In Normandy — Off To A Predicted Poor Start

Just before leaving Alameda, a local wine merchant pointed out that Normandy was a land bereft of wine, but overflowing in Calvados, their famous apple brandy named for the department or state where it was invented and where it reigns supreme. Being an invincible optimist, I remained confident that I would find some good wine […]

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In The East Bay And Looking For A Glass Of Wine?

Unless you’ve been on another planet for the past few years, it’s impossible to be unaware of the meteoric growth of the East Bay dining scene. Restaurants of every size and style, as well as gourmet groceries, niche wine shops and trend-setting food trucks, have been popping up like spring mushrooms all along this side […]

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