Decomposing and Reassembling One's Palate in a Cross-Section of the Bordeaux Spectrum

On February 20th, 2015, educator Kristen Bragg at in Kenwood, California gave me an introductory class in wine blending. She set forth components on the table: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc

Building Trust by the Glass, r2

Gillian Ballance, a highly-regarded wine director from the Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, recently switched to the distribution business (which she has been in at other times).  There is a palpable churn in wine careers that is driven by forces afoot, where hers is but one of many clear examples.

Sake Drinker and Friends Learn Marinated Salmon

Detecting the Perfect Moment of Ripeness

On April 3, 2014 Celia Welch of CORRA wine and Michael Wolf (her favorite vineyard manager in the whole wide world) spoke about their cultivation practices during an

Tuning into the Right Touch of Acacia to Finesse Sauvignon Blanc Aging

On March 26, 2014, Steven Mirassou introduced his Sauvignon Blanc at Toutsuite Social Media Club, with the 2011 and 2013 vintages. "One of the interesting parts of making the Lola Sauvignon Blanc is that we age 10 barrels. While 9 barrels are steel, one is acacia (aka the Black Locust tree). It is a yellow, very aromatically, and even organoleptically intense barrel". This is to say that it bitch slaps your senses. "Three or four months use of Acacia gets a sort of a dried flower petal kind of a thing happening.

Floor Stories: Building Wine Program Success around Continuous Improvement in Guest Expectations

On Wednesday, February 19, 2014, Gregory Condes rolled out "Tips of the Trade by Somms for Somms", a monthly program aimed at the professional communities of wine directors, and those who aspire toward or provide services to that role in the culinary and beverage industries. 

Building a Smoother, More Flavorful, and Less Dentally Destructive Tannat - Caldwell Vineyards

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, John Caldwell made the reverse pilgrimage from his vineyard in Coombsville to the Toutsuite Social Club in Napa.John spoke with winemaker Sean Quinn in a livestreamed episode of the series "Meet Your Maker", where he poured tastes of his Carménère, Tannat,and Cabernet Sauvignon for a very apprec

Pinpoint Marketing in the Age of Context - Use Case in the Wine Industry

In traditional broadcast and telemarketing, it was once considered acceptable to alienate non-buyers in a huge market at scale as long as the campaigns paid off with the conversion rates that were obtained. Campaign buyers simply ignored the collateral damage to their brands. That day has passed, though traditional media limps forward ignorantly, the impact of which reputation metrics have proven beyond any shred of doubt. Now we can narrow the scale and get excellent returns without contacting those who are not the target of the offer.

Drilling into the Wine Guest Psyche: The Consumer Experience of Varietal Day Food Pairings

In the F2F context, #CabernetDay 2013 gently bumped up against International #Bacon Day (August 29th and 31st) their lines of separation blurred, particularly at Saint Supéry where all of the event pairings contained bacon. A 6-Liter Cabernet Sauvignon blend called Élu graces the bar, with her companions in large format / phenomenal art.

Bottle-Your-Own-Barrel Social Training at Reid Family Vineyards


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