Celebrating #SonomaStrong with the Wines of Balletto Vineyards (#WinePW)

During January, the Wine Pairing Weekend crew took up the cause of Sonoma Valley vintners, reminding our readers that, despite the fires that ravaged northern California last fall, they were open for business. Some of us attended the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa in November, constituting the first wave of writers to document the recovery process. Others of us did what we could from … Continue reading Celebrating #SonomaStrong with the Wines of Balletto Vineyards (#WinePW)

Drinking with the Saints: St. John Chrysostom, Defender of Wine

It’s been a while since I posted about one of my favorite activities – sipping alongside members of the haloed class. The Christian calendar is chock-full of fêtes dedicated to sacraments, feast days, and name days, so it’s only natural that some enterprising drinker would make the connection between religious observance and revelry.

Unfortunately, The Derv can’t claim credit for making that brilliant connection: that honor goes to Michael P. Foley, author of Drinking with the Saints -The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour. In his book, Foley has compiled a year’s worth of cocktails, beer, and wine suggestions to help celebrate your favorite patron saints Continue reading “Drinking with the Saints: St. John Chrysostom, Defender of Wine”

Rosary Beads, Wine, and Reminiscence

Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of Hahn Family Wines. But while I was skulking around a wine shop one Saturday afternoon I came across two bottles from a sustainably farmed vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands near Monterey, California. Truth be told, I was trying to make off with the store’s remaining stash of Hacienda Arinzano Red from a recent #winestudio … Continue reading Rosary Beads, Wine, and Reminiscence

Pago de Arínzano – The Enchanted Wines of Spain

  Spain does something to a person. A foot on her soil, and you might as well surrender your defenses: they won’t work anymore. I’m not sure what to call it, but her mystical powers of transformation cannot be denied. Enchantment? Sorcery? Maybe a good dose of each. But what I and many other beguiled visitors have understood is that the sooner you succumb to … Continue reading Pago de Arínzano – The Enchanted Wines of Spain