Peru, Pisco & Me

(Click photo to start slideshow) I went to Peru this year and met a really cute alpaca … … and…

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…

Two Buck UpChuck?

This photo has nothing to do with this story but I could not resist. It’s the glass of sherry traditionally…

TRAVEL

Selinunte, a Sicilian treasure

Temple of Hera, Selinunte, Sicily

The Parthenon gets all the press, but did you know some of the most impressive ruins of ancient Greece are in Sicily? The site is called Selinunte (Sel-ih-nun-tay) and is reachable from the regional capital of Palermo, so well worth a visit if you happen to find yourself in the area. The ruins are set…

A Toast to Papa

Harry's Bar

Ernest Hemingway was born 115 years ago today which makes it an excellent day to raise a toast to the intrepid world traveler, genius author and robust cocktail enthusiast. Growing up, I wasn’t a fan. I blame having to spend hours analyzing “Hills Like White Elephants,” in 10th grade. (Followed by Steinbeck’s ultra-depressing “Of Mice…

United Changing Frequent Flier Rules

United_737_900ER

United Airlines is changing the way frequent flier miles are accrued, tying totals to ticket prices. More points will be awarded to people who have reached higher levels in the airlines’ MileagePlus program and those levels are based on how much you spent on tickets. Bottom line, business and first-class fliers will get more miles…

Shaming carry-on luggage offenders

suitcase

San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor Spud Hilton has come up with a great idea. He’s asking travelers to take pictures of people obviously abusing carry-on luggage restrictions and send them to the Chron’s Bad Latitude blog.

FOOD & DRINK

Two Buck Chuck: Update

pinot

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.  

Robin Williams’ Napa Valley Estate for Sale

robin williams

  Great news for would-be Napa Valley property owners, comedian Robin Williams’ fabulous estate is back on the market. And it’s been marked down! From $35 mil to $29.9 mil, but hey, a discount’s a discount. Do rich people think like us, by the way? Are they all, “Twenty-nine-nine, OK, but 30 big ones, no…