Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Association of African American Vintners – Juneteenth 2008 – COPIA

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

AAVA Copia 003     

On Saturday, June 14, the annual event celebrating the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV) was held at COPIA in Napa, CA.  I was my first time attending this event which included panel discussions followed by wine tasting.   This was a fantastic event:  well attended,  enthusiatic panel discussions; good, food, music and people.  Even the weather was nice.  The annual AAAV event is an excellent opportunity to learn and enjoy wines produced by African-American vintners.  I highly encourage you to attend next years event.  I’ll be there.

Later that evening, my wife and I, enjoyed dinner at 1300 Fillmore on Fillmore St. in San Francisco.  1300 features a menu of noveau-soul food by Chef David Lawrence.   I recommend the “shrimp ‘n’ grits.”  Many of the wineries featured at the AAAV event are featured on the wine list.  Highly recommended. 

AAVA Copia 001

Panel 2 – left to right: Pam Moore (moderator), Dr. Ernest Bates (Black Coyote Wines), Stephen Sterling (Esterlina Vineyards & Winery), Daniel J. Bryant (Running Tiger Wines), Vance Sharp III (Sharp Cellars), Stover Oaks Winery (Louis Garcia), Vision Cellars (Mac McDonald)

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One of the world’s premier sommeliers, Mr. Andre Mack, and his proud mother

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Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars with a glass of his supurb ’07 Rose

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Mrs. and Mr. Daniel Bryant (Running Tiger Wines)…their outstanding Syrah was a big suprise

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Juneteenth featured wines

Some of the wineries featured.

Reg

African American Vintners Winetasting @ Copia

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

This Saturday, June 14th, is the 5th annual African American Vintners Winetasting sponsored by the Association of African American Vintners.  It’s a unique opportunity to meet and try excellent wines from people of color.

The event is held at Copia in Napa.  It will start at noon with a panel discussion.  Wine tasting begins at 1:30pm.  Tickets are available at the door,

For more details:  http://www.copia.org/content/node/1170

I’ll definitely be there.

Happy Juneteenth and Happy Fathers Day!

Reg

Tax Relief 2008

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Tax Relief 002

 There are two days I will never work…the MLK Holiday and the Friday after Aprl 15th.   I will not work on the MLK Holiday for obvious reasons.  I will not work the Friday after April 15th because I need tax relief.  On April 15th, I always pay and I pay big.  I don’t mind paying taxes, I just wish I had more control over what my tax money is being spent on.  So, in an ongoing effort to bring the wine culture to African-Americans and people of color, I took Friday (April 18th) off and went to Dry Creek Valley to do some wine tasting.

 I also wanted to take advantage of the VISA Signature complementary wine tastings on approximately 50 wineries in Sonoma County.  As you may know, tasting fees can add up, so this VISA Signature deal is serious tax relief…check it out.

I had intended to leave San Franacisco and drive up Hwy 101 to Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County.  I wanted to visit 8 wineries in one day!  Instead, I only made it to three:  Trentadu, Michael-Schlumberger, and Montemagorre.

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Wine from Maui, how bad could it be? …let me count the ways.

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

I recently returned from a long overdue vacation in Maui.  It was my 5th trip to Hawaii and my third time in Maui.  Sand-and-sun are not my thing, but overall it was a great family vacation.  On most of my travels, I bring a few bottles of wine.  On this trip I bought two bottles of wine and one sake.   I always think it is a good idea to travel with bottles of wine or sake, either for personal consumption or to give away as gifts.

On this trip I bought an excellent 2006 Conundrum White Table Wine, a good bottle of 2006 Vision Cellars riesling, and a very good sake.  I highly recommend the 2006 Conundrum.  It’s a multi-varietal white wine from Napa, made in cojunction with Caymus.  It’s inexpensive (~$20), refreshing, and unique.  Conundrum will not improve with age.  I would drink Conundrum within 6 months of purchase.

I almost always bring a bottle of sake when I travel, except of course when I journey to Japan.  Sake travels better than most wines, will not lose its flavor profile if kept cold for several days, and it’s difficult to find good sake on the road.  For my trip to Maui, I brought a very good bottle of Masumi Okuden Kantsukuri, the “Mirror of Truth.”  This post, however, is not about what I bought to Maui, but about a winery in Maui.

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Osaka – Stranger In A Strange Land

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

In early December ’07, I returned from a two week trip to Japan. It was my fourth trip to Japan in the past 6 years. I went to Osaka to visit my in-laws and to spend some time in, what is now, one of my favorite palces to travel. On this trip, I primarily stayed in Okasa, but made excursions to Koyasan and Kyoto.

This was my fouth trip to Japan in 6 years. Over the course of these excursions, I have traveled from Fukuoka to Tyoko, and many points in between. I never thought that I would enjoy Japan, but I now love being there. As a matter of fact, I previously had no interest in re-visiting Asia. I have done my share of globetrotting, mostly in Europe and Africa. My only trip to Asia was a week long journey to Singapore and Maylasia about 15 years ago, and although I had a good time, I was not impressed enough to return to Asia. Through the fateful, and fortunate, accident of marriage, Japan has become my favorite place to journey.

Kyoto 2007

I particularly love to visit Japan in the Fall…

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