California Lifestyle: New job, the drought and the miracle of Stitchfix

Gun Bun First Week

Like everyone who lives far from where they grew up, I connect often with people where I used to live – Florida and the east coast. While my friends and family in Tampa struggle with floods and hurricanes, my husband and I endure the drought-ridden California land (not to mention earthquakes). Having moved from a state flush with water, it’s been an adjustment to restrict water usage. But adjust we have. We catch water in the shower while it heats up, planted drought-tolerant plants in our front and back yards, and adopted the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” in the toilet mantra. This last one has been, to say the least, not fun but if it gets us where we need to be, I’m cool with that.

Read more: California Lifestyle: New job, the drought and the miracle of Stitchfix

Video: Winemaker Mark Beringer on why the 2012 vintage was stellar

Winemaker Mark Beringer being interviewed

The 2012 vintage in Sonoma and Napa was legendary – lauded by many a wine writer as well as those who really know, the winemakers. The red wines from 2012 are starting to hit the shelves and I wanted to find out the real deal on the hype. So I had a chat with Mark Beringer, a fifth generation winemaker at Artesa Winery in Sonoma’s Carneros region who has wine in his veins. I figured this guy would know the scoop.

Read more: Video: Winemaker Mark Beringer on why the 2012 vintage was stellar

September is California Wine Month: Watch the excellent video

Diggin’ on the video released by the Discover California Wines folks. It highlights all the incredible wine regions and locales I’ve been able to explore for the past ten years in the business. California is, indeed, magical…

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New California trend: Pot wine -- two great tastes that taste great together?

Everywhere I go in northern California — and I do mean everywhere — I’m hearing about the marijuana-laced red wine that seems to be all the rage. I met a guy at a foodie party in San Francisco last weekend (where, incidentally, they were smoking pot across the patio) who has tried it. He said, somewhat dreamily, “It gives you just a nice, slight buzz.”

Read more: New California trend: Pot wine — two great tastes that taste great together?

Freakin’ amazing wine event in San Francisco: Rhone Rangers 2012

If you live anywhere near San Francisco or will be lucky enough to be traveling there the weekend of March 24 – 25th, you owe it to yourself to check out the Rhone Rangers’ two day wine event. This organization exists to educate wine drinkers about the joys of grapes grown originally in France’s Rhone Valley that now have developed their own American personality. It’s one of the best tastings of its kind.

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Finding your perfect match online: Wine clubs, retailers and winery websites

Typing on computer

Thanks to Al Gore and the miracle of the internet, I can, from the slothful comfort of my couch, order shoes, clothes, guns and, of course, pharmaceuticals that will firm, tighten or enlarge various body parts. A friendly (and invariably hot) UPS guy will bring these much-desired items straight to my door with a Playgirl-worthy smile that leaves me wondering what else Brown can do for me. And now, with alcohol regulations relaxing in states across the country, the Men in Brown can also bring me my most-loved vice: Wine. You can choose from flash sales wine sites, winery wine clubs, companies that sell club memberships or cases, and internet retailers. It’s a diverse bag of opportunities, one you will want to open and inspect carefully.

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Wines for Valentine's Day: For romance, love or massacres?

Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto

Sexy, sultry, sensuous, luscious — ever wondered why these words are used to describe wine? Could it be that wine leads us down the road to romance? To desire? Wine certainly pairs with Valentine’s Day. But does romance have to rule the day on Valentine’s? What if this Hallmark holiday conjures up bitterness and resentment rather than romance? For the “singles” out there, it might be black and depressing. So I started wondering about how this day has become inextricably linked with romance.

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Online holiday and Christmas shopping: Five great wine and food gifts

Each year, it can be a struggle to find just the right gift… the right mixture between snarky and original yet useful. Frankly, if someone is into wine or food, gift selections are a bit less challenging and cheaper than an electronics nerd or car enthusiast but if you’re going on ten years with a foodie, the gadgets might have run out. Or have they? I wrote about 25 pretty cool, unique items last Christmas that you might want to check out, but here are five food and wine items new to the market.

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Wine news, Prohibition documentary and California grape harvest 2011

An update about what’s going on in the business of wine, HR 1161 and consumer wine choices, California grape harvest 2011, Ken Burn’s Prohibition documentary and how to get a job in the wine business.

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Grape News Network: J Vineyards and Winery celebrates 25 years

Introducing Grape News Network, interviews and fun stuff from around California’s wine country. Scott (www.smilingtigervideo.com and @videosonoma on Twitter) and I had a few minutes to chat with Judy Jordan, president of J Vineyards and Winery, and new winemaker Melissa Stackhouse at the J Vineyards’ 25th anniversary party. Hear what they had to say about the winery’s past and future. Yes, our lives are glamorous and fabulous. Don’t be hatin’ on us.

Read more: Grape News Network: J Vineyards and Winery celebrates 25 years