Et al. – Russian Hill Style!

Ceri Smith is the owner of the swanky Italian enoteca, Biondivino in San Francisco’s Russian Hill district. She recently unveiled what is poised to become another local favorite with her cozy-chic, cafe-cum-wine bar Et al.  I had a chance to chat with her and explore her irrepressible passion for the vine. (This is the second of a two-part feature) SlaveToTheGrape: […]


With Beaujolais‘s whimsical fête on the horizon (the third Thursday of November is the official, worldwide release party for Beaujolais Nouveau) not all things Gamay are in party mode. This most recent post translated from the French wine press looks at the challenges of the 2012 harvest and the outlook for Burgundy‘s southern neighbor. For […]

Chile Turns A New Leaf!

These are exciting times for the Chilean wine industry. A new landscape is emerging. Young, (at times) European-trained wine makers are shaking up convention. Laws are being rebooted to further delineate wine zones, to lend clarity and focus. Chile is poised to redefine its place on the global wine stage. At the recent Wines of […]

Argentina – Que Bueno!

From high up in the eastern foothills of  the Calchaqui Valley of northwestern Argentina comes this lovely effort from the house of Amalaya. This is yet another example of a wine nation on the move making expressive wines of vibrant character with an artisan hand. Like each of the individually reviewed wines found here, you […]


Ceri Smith is the owner of the swanky Italian enoteca, Biondivino in San Francisco’s Russian Hill district. She is poised to unveil what will certainly be another local favorite when she opens the doors to her cozy-chic, cafe-cum-wine bar Et al. this October. I recently had a chance to chat with her and explore her […]

Bustin’ Out!

SlaveToTheGrape has a brand new look! The last twelve months have been truly envigorating with newly minted layers of content woven together to create a one-stop, wine portal where once only a relentlessly passionate, vinous voice held sway. Going forward, SlaveToTheGrape will serve up so much more! SlaveToTheGrape Live! goes deep this fall with, The Great […]

Stags Leap District Shows its Colors

The year is 1852. Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire has just become the 14th president of the United States. California is a newly minted addition of the American Union, its Sierra foothills teeming with wild-eyed fortune seekers clawing at a purported cache of inexhaustible gold bullion. In the northern valleys of Napa and Sonoma, waves […]

A Brilliant New Year!

To all my loyal readers I extend my hope that this year is one of amazing discovery, meaningful relationships, passionate undertakings, immeasurable happiness and countless whimsical episodes filled with resounding laughter! I will continue to delve ever deeper into the always fascinating, often breathtaking universe of wine (and occasionally its kindred spirits – see Calvados, […]

The Republic of Venice – part two.

In the Republic of Venice part one, the delightfully expressive wines of the great northern Italian district of Soave took center stage. Yet, in the land of Shakespeare’s Capulets and Montagues there is another dominant voice of the vine that has celebrated the Veneto’s rich wine heritage for centuries – Valpolicella. Flanked to the west by […]

The Republic of Venice – part one.

This is the first in a two-part series on the wines of the Veneto. The Republic of Venice, through commerce and conquest, flourished for nearly eleven-hundred years! From the late seventh-century until its collapse in the late eighteenth century the Venetian city-state was one of great power and influence. Its strategic position at the intersection […]