A Toast to Papa

Ernest Hemingway was born 115 years ago today which makes it an excellent day to raise a toast to the…

A Fabulous Feast

Setting up for the big dinner at Meadowood/Photo Michelle Locke At the recent Auction Napa Valley, which raised $18.7 million…

Wine Country Party Survival Guide

  Perhaps you’ve been invited to a fancy-pants wine country bash with your significant other. That’s swell. You’ve cracked the…


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 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


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.

Top 10 Tips on Traveling to Chile

pisco sour

1. Passport. Here’s the link to the U.S. government page. 2. As always, pack as lightly as possible. If you can get everything into a carry-on and shoulder bag, do. If you are a lady, think black knit and roll everything up, stuffing underwear into shoes and then putting shoes in a bag to keep…


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…

What I learned at wine school

Northburn Station

I’ve covered the wine industry for more than a decade, but always from the business end. Facts, figures, and farming trends? Yes. Distinguish a Pinotage from a Pinot noir? Not so much. So I didn’t hesitate a few years back when I had the chance to take the weeklong course “Mastering Wine I” at the…

Second Cheapest Wine

College Humor has put together an amusing video about that restaurant list staple, the second cheapest wine.

That’s when you look at a long, confusing wine list, see the cheapest one and decide to order