Geek of the Week — Albariño

A few weekends ago the temperatures rose so high in the San Francisco Bay Area that if we had been able to bottle it we would now have enough heat to last us another 12 months. But if you listen to any of my family members or friends from back east, you’d think Thanksgiving was […]

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A Bit Of Bordeaux In Napa

If you’re a lover of American wine, and eager to know more about its upper echelon, then a visit to Spottswoode is a must. Long regarded as one of the top producers of cabernet sauvignon in the Napa Valley, Spottswoode draws favorable comparisons to the top chateaux in Bordeaux, where, in the wineries along the Left Bank of […]

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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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Please Pay Attention

If you’ve enjoyed wine for any period of time, and I don’t mean the past several hours or days, you know that there is more pleasure to be had the more attention you pay to what’s in your glass. For many would-be wine lovers, learning how to be more mindful when it comes to wine […]

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No Place To Hide

Well, the jig is up. Thanks to the kindness of Jessica Yadegaran of the Bay Area News Group, there is no more flying under the radar. I’m taking this pleasant bit of serendipity as encouragement to publish more blogs, ratchet up my freelance work, and, in general, continue the progress I’ve made in the past […]

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Hands-On Learning

In the next month and a half, The Grape Belt will be on the road in pursuit of some advanced wine education. You can read about wine all you want, but going out and meeting the grapes in person is the best way to learn. Seeing the vineyards up close and talking with the winemakers […]

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Learn Your ABCs

For every customer who comes into the store asking for some no-name oaky buttery chardonnay, there are two or three who show up and can’t wait to say, “I hate chardonnay.” Okay, that’s not exactly what they say. Usually there are a few expletives tossed in, loudly, for emphasis. This is a family publication so […]

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Called Out On Strikes

Friends are people who tell you the truth. And yesterday I got served a face-full of friendship. It turns out, my truth-telling pal insisted, I have been a big, fat phony since I started writing this blog. The big, fat part, I thought was fair. But phony? Wow, talk about knowing how to hurt a […]

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There And Back Again, part three

The travel, illness, work, and holiday folderol of the past two months all added up to not being able to pay attention to life here in The Grape Belt. Let’s finish our little trip back east and then get on with the new year, with all sorts of new things to look at in the world of wine. For any sensible, […]

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