Thanksgiving, pt. 3

I am really looking foward to the Holiday season this year. Even with the economic downturn I’m in good spirits. Things started off well with a uneventful Halloween spent with my children, a epic November 4th, and better days ahead: from Thanksgiving through MLK weekend and culminating with Inauguration Day. I’m even excited about the President’s Holiday. Flag Day even has a new meaning. I’m proud to be an African-American during these historic times and I am hopeful for the future. And President-elect Obama, if you need someone to run the White House wine cabinet (cellar), I’m available and thirsty.

…pt. 3 is a link to a story written in last years San Francisco Chronicle. It is an article written by a staff writer for the Food section about our families un-traditional Thanksgiving.

click here to read the story 

Cheers! And here is to New Traditions and Better Days Ahead!

Thanksgiving 2008, pt. 2

Thanks for the feedback on the Thanksgiving video. I’ll keep my day job for now. This is a follow-up article to focus on the wines I’ve mentioned in the video. Some are very reasonable and easy to find like the Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay ($21 @ Costco!) or Le Cigar Volant. Others, like the DuMOL Viognier, are difficult to find and more expensive, so look for similar wines of the same varietal.

For some wines Chateanuf du Pape (CDP), you have to plan well ahead for. Stock up and cellar the very good 2006 vintage to enjoy in 2009. The 2007 vintage of CDP looks outstanding. You can still find reasonably priced 2004 CDP around, or better yet check out Le Cigar Volant.

Basically, look for food friendly wines: balance, low alcohol, high acidity. I strongly suggest French rose. I usually buy a mixed case easy drinking French rose when they are released early in the summer. The prices range from $7-15/bottle. I enjoy the case over the summer and keep an extra bottle or two around specifically for Thanksgiving dinner. American rose is refreshing, but usually more expensive and has a higher alcohol content. Often, it’s difficult to appreciate a highly acidic wine, but they pair extremely well with food. Rieslings (but not the late harvest desert wine) are also a good choice for the same reason. More on rose later.


the “line-up”

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Start here. A good non-vintage sparkling wine. I prefer Piper. Gloria Ferrer is a good, and more reasonable alternative. Continue reading “Thanksgiving 2008, pt. 2”

Thanksgiving 2008

It has been a difficult year…for almost everyone, but there is a lot to be thankful for, especially with the results of the last election.  I never believed there would be an African-American, or person of color, in the White House.  I wonder, what kind of wine President-elect Obama would enjoy?

I’m ready for Thanksgiving; I am looking forward to the Holidays.  Here is a video to my suggestions for pairing Thanksgiving dinner with wine.

I am anxious about this video post, it’s raw video, and I appreciate any feedback.


Black Dragon – True Sake

Although the focus of Vinoyo is to become wine network for people who love wine, occasionally I will include post on my other liquid passion: sake.  I would like to introduce more African-Americans, and people of color, to the Joy of Sake.

Below is a article I wrote for the feature “sake spotlight” I wrote for the True Sake monthly newsletter earlier this year.  I’ve mentioned True Sake, and the proprietor Beau Timken, in a previous post (Osaka – Stranger In A Strange Land).



Continue reading “Black Dragon – True Sake”

Association of African American Vintners – Juneteenth 2008 – COPIA

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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. 

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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.


African American Vintners Winetasting @ Copia

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:

I’ll definitely be there.

Happy Juneteenth and Happy Fathers Day!


Screaming Eagle! Wow Dudes and Dudettes!

In case you did not know, Screaming Eagle is perhaps the most ”cult” of Cult Wines.

If you go online a bottle will cost you upwards of $1800.

On May 14th, 2008 I had the opportunity to go to a vertical tasting of Screaming Eagle including 2003, 2004 and 2005.

The most amazing things about the vintages was how distinctively different each was.

The 2003 vintage was ready to drink, subtle elegant balanced.

The 2004 vintage was big, with marvelous flavor but not a “fruit bomb” with wonderful silky tannins.

The 2005 vintage was massive, and bold, and dense but not harsh.

All three were special wines.

I was probably the only one in the room who could figure out which one I liked best.

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The bottom-line:
If you can afford to spend upwards of 1800 bucks on a bottle of wine, go for it!

Otherwise there are great bargains at 25 bucks!

Check out my Blog on buying Cabernets!


Tax Relief 2008

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 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.

Continue reading “Tax Relief 2008”