Happy Auction Napa Valley 2017!

It is a big week on my home turf, gearing up for Auction Napa Valley 2017. This community effort led by the Napa Valley Vintners raises money for local community health care and education–$170 million to date! I could not be prouder to be part of a home town that leverages our most famous and globally-coveted product–wine

Wine Tasting Tips for #DrinkWineDay 2017

Tasting wine like a pro with the 5 S’s of tasting isn’t just for the pros. YOU need to use this technique too.

Mother’s Day Taste Test: 4 Brioche-y Bubblies

I love the heady style of Champagne with its scents and flavors right out of a French patisserie. So how about a Mother’s Day taste-test of several such bottlings to explore the style in-depth. You in?

Sparkling Wine and Champagne Quiz

1. What are the main grape varieties in French Champagne? (check all that apply)
2. The bubbles in Champagne are achieved by what method of production?
3. True Champagne:
4. Prosecco DOC wine is produced primarily from which grape?


The Perfect Shareable Holiday Wine Gift: Wine & Cheese Pairings Inspired by My Delta One Wine Picks

Top Ten Thanksgiving Wine Types–And Why They Pair So Well

The range of flavors on the Thanksgiving table is tailor-made for the core pairing principles of complement and contrast, so why not open several wines and put them to the test? Below are my best-bet wines, and what to look for when pairing them.

Spanish Rioja is One of the Best Wines in the Air–Here’s Why.

When I discovered in my work choosing wines for Delta Air Lines how incredibly well they show in-light, my respect for the region reached a whole new level (or, perhaps I should say altitude?). Here’s what makes drinking a Rioja flight when you are in-flight so fantastic.

Napa Harvest – Picking and Pressing Sauvignon Blanc (from our own vineyard!)

Napa Valley harvest: it’s not merely picking the grapes. In these videos you’ll see how, when and what’s next, all of which are crucial keys to quality.

How to Handle a Big Wine List (Without Having to Stick to Beer)


How do you handle a big wine list (without having to stick to beer)? It can be intimidating for both the waiter and the waited on. Here are some great tips and tricks to help both sides of the transaction. At Windows on the World where I worked, we had over 2000 selections. Here’s how we made that accessible for everyone.

Blind Tasting – It takes skill and will (including the willingness to be wrong sometimes:)

Why even bother to blind taste? The greatest value to the exercise is to assess a wine’s quality without having your impressions–positive or negative–influenced by the label. So I often blind taste multiple wines of a category, say New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or French NV Champagne, so that only what emerges from the glass (not reputation, a critic’s high score, or price point) drives my conclusion. It’s always fun, often surprising, and occasionally, when upstart or value wines make the top of the heap, a really great day.