George & Amal & me

Somehow, my invite to the wedding(s) of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin got lost in the mail. Luckily, I didn’t…


Naked and afraid … in an Austrian sauna


Let’s go to the sauna, she said. It’ll be fun, she said. No swimsuit? No problem! Austrian sauna etiquette is you go in starkers.It’s healthy! So there I was, standing outside the door of the sauna sans attire and clutching a not very capacious towel around my somewhat capacious person. And that’s when I saw…

George & Amal & me

George Clooney waves to the crowds outside Venice City Hall. /Photo by Michelle Locke

Somehow, my invite to the wedding(s) of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin got lost in the mail. Luckily, I didn’t let a little thing like that stop me from showing up. As it turned out, I was too hungovbusy to attend the Saturday event, an informal ceremony followed by a hohum party featuring Clooney chums…

Raising the flag issue

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As you no doubt know, Scots voted this week on whether to split from the United Kingdom. Ultimately they decided to stay.* Huge decision. I think I’ll stay out of it. But, I cannot help but be struck by all the talk there’s been about what could happen to the British flag minus Scotland. As…


Fisticuffs on Canadian wine radio?

Canadian wine experts see red on the radio?

Did you hear about the two Canadian winemakers who got into a fist fight on a Canadian radio show? The vinous violence occurred on CBC show This is That during an interview of Phoenix Carter of the Fox Trail winery in the Okanagan valley and Daniel Semple from the Lion Estate winery in the Niagara…

Two Buck Chuck: Update


Remember the blog post on HuffPo alleging that Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw wines, better known as Two Buck Chuck because of their initial price of $1.99, contains animal blood among other hideous things? It’s gone. The link now takes you to this editor’s note: This blog post contained un-sourced claims about Two Buck Chuck and…

Two Buck UpChuck?

This photo has nothing to do with this story but I could not resist. It's the glass of sherry left out for friendly mice at Gonzalez-Byass.

If you’re plugged into the wine world, you may have read or heard of an op-ed that popped up on the HuffPost Taste blog this week called “So, That’s Why Trader Joe’s Wine is so Cheap!” The piece, which has since been taken down*, was written by someone identified as a “Wine Shop Manager, Wine Buyer” and…

A Fabulous Feast

dinner setup

At the recent Auction Napa Valley, which raised $18.7 million for local charities, hundreds of guests were treated to a dinner after the Saturday Live Auction at the Meadowood Napa Valley resort. This is what they had: Salad, smoked pork with prunes, baked baby carrots, beans with nasturtium, grain-and-wild-bird dumplings and roasted beets with yogurt…

Auction Napa Valley 2014

No. 13

Had a great time at Auction Napa Valley over the weekend. Lots of money raised for local charities, a record-setting $18.7 million to be exact. Lots of parties and not a few glasses of wine. Here’s a slideshow I put together of the event.