Nopa – Encore!

The Divisadero corridor, a pulsing San Francisco neighborhood north of the Panhandle is for those in-the-know a culinary and entertainment hot spot anchored by the eponymously named Nopa, one of the best-loved and most-consistently creative dining spots in the city. Heading up Nopa’s precision-crafted and highly-expressive wine program is Chris Deegan. I recently spoke with him about his […]

Nopa – Decidedly Diviz!

The Divisadero corridor, a pulsing San Francisco neighborhood north of the Panhandle is for those in-the-know a culinary and entertainment hot spot anchored by the eponymously named Nopa, one of the best-loved and most-consistently creative dining spots in the city. Heading up Nopa’s precision-crafted and highly-expressive wine program is Chris Deegan. I recently spoke with him about […]

In Vino – Acquerello!

Gianpaolo Paterlini is wine director of Acquerello, one of the finest Italian restaurants in America. I recently had a chance to discuss what makes he and his wine program tick. (This is the first of a two-part feature) SlaveToTheGrape: What was the first hint that you were developing a fascination with wine? Gianpaolo Paterlini: With […]

Phylloxera – The Louse that Crashed the Party!

The December 4th, 1863 issue of the British publication, Journal of the Society of Arts, reported that while the quality of the wines from the European continent were of a lesser stature than those of the impressive 1862 vintage, there were nonetheless, as with the reds of Burgundy, a handful of districts that produced wines […]

The verse of the vine

The bishop, the heathen, the soldier, the muse, All legions, collectives, great nations in turn, Through treachery, treaty, industry, ruse, Have nurtured the vine from the earth to the urn; Through wars of attrition, by sweeping decree, Through alliance, betrayal, entreaties, crusade, Republics’ and empires’ hegemony, Gave wings to the vine and a burgeoning trade; […]

The Golden Rules!

In 1152, in a pivotal moment of European history, Duchess Eléanor of Aquitaine wedded Henry Plantagenet, Count of Anjou who would later become Henry II, Duke of Normandy and king of England. In a testament to the often convoluted, monarchical alliances of Europe, Henry was at once the sovereign of England and vassal to the […]

Roussillon – How Sweet It Is!

“Wine is a book that speaks to the history of a region – to its past and present as well as to its ties to the joys and sorrows of the people with which its shares a common heritage. You have to get to know it. But in order to do so you must listen […]

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 […]

All You Need is Love – and Bubbles!

Valentines Day, like many modern translations of history has not been immune to whimsical adaptations of reality that have transformed its significance from dubious religious rite to that of a full-blown celebration of the affectionate impulses of humankind. It is believed that this most intimate of mid-February observances has its enigmatic roots in late 5th […]

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, […]