Reefer madness, Summer wine picks, Parlotones, Jay-walking, Austin, Aspen

In this interview with Austinist, I reveal some of my latest wine
picks and how both wine and my previous business interests stem from my
penchant for providing cool cats like YOU with succinct, penetrating
information on difficult-to-master subjects.

Why I Do What I Do – Austinist interview


Key South African Exports


video: Wine and The Parlotones

Reefer Madness in Austin


Speaking of Austin, the first Austin Food & Wine Festival was hot, both
figuratively, the event offering a Roman candle of epicurean delight,
and literally, as temperatures elevated into the triple digits. It got
so hot that between my seminars the festival folks had to cool me down
like an overheated barn bull – in a so-called “reefer” (i.e.,
refrigerated) truck. In there it was dark and cool and filled with
crates of wine, the perfect place to do this impromptu
interview with Wes Marshall of the Austin Chronicle.

If you’ve been to my seminars before, you know that I carefully choose
the wines for maximum deliciousness, and Austin was no exception. Here
they are, for your summer drinking pleasure:

Pink Without Blushing (Rosé)
-Perrier-Jouet Brut Rosé Champagne Blason de France NV (France,
-Belle Glos Pinot Noir Blanc 2011 (California)
-Château d’Aquéria Tavel (France)
-Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Central Coast 2011 (California)
-Planeta Rosé of Syrah 2011 (Italy)
-Chateau D’Esclans Côtes de Provence Rosé Whispering Angel 2010

Sparkling Substitutes
-Mionetto Prosecco Il Brut NV (Italy)
-Schramsberg Brut Blanc de Blancs North Coast 2008 (California)
-Mont-Marcal Cava Brut Reserva 07 (Spain)
-Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace NV (France)
-J Brut Rosé Russian River Valley NV (California)
-Bleasdale Sparkling Shiraz “The Red Brute” NV (Australia)

Finally, it can be told: I was indeed cited for jaywalking after I
crossed an empty side street in downtown Austin. It was a six-second,
straight-line, afternoon amble from a sandwich shop to my rental car.
The bicycle cops were reasonably friendly about it, informing me that
Austin has started cracking down on pedestrian perps, as
this article confirms.



A much less expensive way to Jay-walk, if you will, is to check out Jay
McInerney’s latest compilation of vinous essays, The Juice:
Vinous Veritas
. When he’s not penning best-selling novels, Mr.
McInerney writes about the grape with a poet’s eye and a hedonist’s

Joy(ful) Division: 8 Under $16


My summer picks for Jordan Blumberg at Daily Candy; get ’em while they’re cold.

Mountainous Excitement


If you know anyone involved with the Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic, you
know that we are positively brimming with excitement over this year’s
festival. Later this week will begin the 30th administration of this
Fantasy Island of Gastronomy, which was how I described it last
year. This year promises to be a classic among Classics, with a king’s
ransom of chef and wine talent and a special performance by Elvis
Costello. I’ll be appearing four times, so if you’re going to be on
the mountain, please join me for some of the bravest drinking west of
the Mississippi.

The Last Drop


(image from