Home For Rioja

Valentine’s Day Menu: Spoil the One You Love

There is nothing as powerful as sharing yourself; your time, your energy and your passion with the one you love. To me very little can encapsulate this idea as readily as cooking a meal and, yet, [...]

Sommelier Training @ The Intl. Culinary Center, CA

In the International Culinary Center in Campbell, California’s (near San Jose) Intensive Sommelier Training course, you taste wine blind as a warm up. No, this isn’t just tasting wine casually as if you’re cruising Napa in [...]

Somm Q & A: Matthew Kaner of Bar Covell, LA

No wine list? No roster of the usual varietals greatest hits and a handsome vintage collection of Bordeaux and Burgundy? How is this possible? It sounds like one of those omakase sushi restaurants with a sign [...]

San Sebastian Culinary Tour Starting @ Bernardo Etxea

My 2013 San Sebastian Donostia culinary tour started Wednesday evening at one of the classic homes of traditional Basque cuisine, Bernardo Etxea, in the Parte Vieja secton of town. Both a pintxo bar (Basque for tapas [...]

CVNE Verticals Dinner Back to 1939

One of my highlight vertical wine dinners was without a doubt the luxe CVNE dinner at La Fonda del Sol. It was put together by Acker Merrall & Condit’s Wine Workshop and featured guest hosts Christopher [...]

Reviving Old Technology for Better Quality

One of the threads in today’s Spanish wine scene is the recovery of lost traditions. In Spain and elsewhere enterprising winemakers are re-discovering and exploring techniques that have been forgotten or abandoned as newer technologies have [...]

The Mysteries of Fall Foliage and Spanish Grape Varietals

Many wine lovers have wondered if there is an easy way to tell one grapevine variety from another when visiting a vineyard. It would be fairly easy if we all had photographic memories and could remember [...]