San Francisco’s Winter Fancy Food Show

Every January, San Francisco wakes up from its post-holiday sluggishness and hosts the Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show. This is an industry-only affair in which more than one thousand purveyors of packaged foods display more than 80,000 specialty foods and beverages. That’s right; more than 80,000; everything from chips and dips to olives [Read more …]

Havana Cuba’s Nighttime Entertainment


Cuba is an island of music. We took advantage of every opportunity to explore different elements of this musical heritage. We spent many hours in cafes and lounges, selected primarily on the basis of the music they offered. Although this mandated many, many drinks, we made the necessary sacrifice to enjoy a broad range of [Read more …]

Latin American Wine and Spirits Tasting in San Francisco

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We had a recent treat: A chance to reacquaint ourselves with hundreds of Latin American wines and spirits without even having to travel to South America. The San Francisco Trade and Media Latin American Wine and Spirits Tasting provided an opportunity to taste dozens of wines from countries including Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. As [Read more …]

A Taste of Mendocino in San Francisco

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Mendocino is always a great place to visit. The scenery, food, wine, hospitality are first rate. But even better is when we don’t have to travel to taste the foods and wines of the region. Taste of Mendocino provided such an opportunity in San Francisco recently. There, we had an opportunity to taste dozens of [Read more …]

Howell Mountain Spring 2016 Wine Tasting


Napa Valley is well known for its excellent wines. But high in the northeast side of the Napa Valley, above the fog, is the lesser-known Howell Mountain AVA. This region’s wines are produced through a combination of its nutrient-deprived soil (a combination of volcanic ash and red clay), high elevation (above 1,400 feet), generally lower, [Read more …]

Syracuse in Summer 2015: an Event-Filled Weekend


We recently made a short, but event-packed trip to Syracuse New York, mostly to see family, but also to get caught up on what was happening there. Events Hill Cumorah Pageant. We timed our visit specifically to go to this annual happening, a pageant that has been held [Read more …]

A Night to Remember at North Beach’s Sotto Mare

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The Northern California Chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food (or AWIF), hosted its inaugural New American Monday Dinner at North Beach’s Sotto Mare Oysteria and Seafood restaurant on May 11, 2015. The wonderful sold-out event was a good time had by all. What made the event so special? A combination of three [Read more …]

Exploring Spanish Wines from Castilla La Mancha

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The Castilla La Mancha Region, located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula in Spain (south and east of Madrid), claims to have the largest area of vineyards in the world, with over 1.2M acres of grapes devoted to wine. In spite of it being such a large producer of wines, and producing over 50% [Read more …]

The Glories of Growers Champagne

You would love to celebrate a special event with a nice French champagne, but are intimidated by the nosebleed prices of the most popular brands. Relief may be on its way, thanks to the efforts of Champagne de Vignerons, a syndicate of about 5,000 small, mostly family-owned wineries authorized to label their Methode Champenoise wines, [Read more …]

Discovering Provence Rose Wine

We generally don’t gravitate to rose as a wine choice. We may taste rose wine when we are at a winery and the person pouring the tastes says “but our rose is different and you have to try it”. Since we are tasting wines, we may try it. But I can’t think of a single [Read more …]