• The First Generation of American Amaro

    What is amaro? The best answer might be a paraphrase of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of pornography: you know it when you taste it. Amaro can be defined simply—it’s the Italian word for bitter (plural: amari)—but the category of bitter liqueurs it represents is vast and undefined. And it’s about to become an even bigger feature of our lives.

    The Birth of a Tre…

    • 28 Nov 2016
  • Syrah: The reports of my demise are not greatly exaggerated


    Thanks to Geoff and Fred for inviting me to post on this forum. (I do love sommeliers--literally, I'm married to one).  And thanks for flattering me by the opportunity to engage a topic alongside Rod Smith, one of my very real inspirations in the world of writing. 

    So California Syrah has been a hot topic for me lately, especially since--perhaps a little late in the game--I got wind of how seriously it’s tanked in the…

    • 10 Jun 2009