To Kalon Vineyard and the Mighty Mondavi

Got a new story to share with you today. This one comes from SOMM Journal‘s August/September issue, who graciously asked me to cover a wine tasting event focused on the world-famous To Kalon Vineyard and its association with the even more famous Robert Mondavi Winery.

Now, I know some of you may think that Mondavi long lost their fastball. You may want to hit the pause button on that sentiment. As I learned, their reserve labels are exquisite. They also have some impressive age on them – at least, drinking a wine bottled in 1983 impressed the heck out of me.

If you want to check out the article, click here, turn to page 34, and read away. It does get a little nerdy, but not obnoxiously so. Please enjoy.

Easy as One, Two, Tre

Every March, the Italian media group Gambero Rosso rolls into Los Angeles as part of its Tre Biccheri tour, a groovy wine trade event that celebrates Italian wine excellence through its “three glasses” award. It’s the one trade shindig I never miss because it’s always ripe for a unique educational experience, one that somehow makes me feel a little smarter and a lot more ignorant about Italian wines at the same time.

This year, the good folks at SOMM Journal allowed me to do a little write-up about the event, which can be found here (flip to page 89 for the goodness). Reading it will reveal just what a big deal earning a Tre Bicchieri award can be for an Italian winery, not to mention how difficult it is to win one. As always, please enjoy. When you’re done, flip though the rest of the publication. There’s plenty of good info to be found on their virtual pages.

Genever with a “G”

At long last, I have enough time in my busy schedule to come up for air and post something. Hopefully, you’ve been enjoying the podcast I’ve been doing with OC Weekly’s Greg Nagel in between posting gaps. If you haven’t yet, you’ll find the episodes on the platforms you usually source for your podcast needs.

In the meantime, I have another article to share with y’all. This one kicks off with me in a Los Angeles hotel room staring down a row of genevers. It’s not as lascivious as it sounds. In fact, it’s the scene for an educational exercise. Before this encounter, I had no idea how to pronounce the Dutch brown spirit, nor was I 100% sure if “genever” was spelled with a “g” or a “j.” I was fortunate, though: Myriam Hendricx, the master distiller for the Dutch distillery Rutte, was on hand to walk me though the lineup. That’s where the story so graciously published by Artisan Spirit Magazine more or less begins.

Check it out and please enjoy. You’ll have to flip to page 54 to check it out. I’m working on figuring out how to directly link to the magazine page, until now, my Luddite flag is a-flyin’. But the whole magazine’s worth perusing. There’s a whole separate section on genever in the issue. If you want to know more about this form of Dutch liquid magic after you read my scree, you’ll have an easily accessible chance.

By the way – a new podcast episode will be dropping soon. It’s a good one. At least, I think it’s good. I may be biased, though.

Podcast Episode 5

Rich and Greg talk about the world’s most highly rated IPA’s from Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, and of course Younger. Ponga Sauvignon Blanc was un-screwed, then we bitch about Jameson IPA Caskmates. Rich also dives into wine trade tasting events, central Texas BBQ popups, and the LA Times Food Bowl.

PONGO, GOOD. Photo by Nagel

Podcast Episode 4: Belgium, Hawaii, Napa, and Beyond!

Rich and Greg kick off the show with Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Gueuze, chat about the best time of year to book Hawaii travel, sip on a Cab from Round Pond called Kith & Kin from the Napa Valley, and chug gallons of Mal Bien Mezcal before becoming truly lazy and napping on the studio couch.

Worldly Beverages.

We also dive into behind the scenes judging spirits festivals, the magic of Queensboro Gin, and are fancy tacos better?

Two For the Price of One

Life’s been busy. It’s common refrain around these parts, but it’s true. In a way, this post supports a lack of time. You see, I’m dropping by to share a couple of new-ish articles I wrote for the fine folks at Tasting Panel Magazine. One problem: the articles were from the publication’s January/February edition, hence the quasi-word “new-ish” in the previous sentence. My bad. Sorry.

The good news is that you can still access the magazine and the articles online. The first one, which is found on Pages 4 and 5, breaks down the magic of pairing funky cheeses with a few iterations of Basil Hayden. You’ll find the second story on pages 96 and 97. It’s a story featuring Sipsmith’s delicious gin, and why the spirit is perfect for winter consumption. It’s a timely piece that fits in with the season. (Checks calendar). Or not. Again, my bad. Sorry. But it’s a fun piece, I promise.

Podcast 2: Electric Boogaloo

Thank you to every single one of you that took the time to listen to The Lazy Hunter Podcast’s debut episode. Greg Nagel and I are happily overwhelmed with the positive feedback we’ve received over the last few days. Just as important: Nobody’s come out and told us that we suck outright. I suppose I should be thanking those people for holding in such an opinion.

We know we had a blast putting it together. That’s what The Lazy Hunter Podcast is all about, really. While we’re writers/journalists, we’re not experts – at our core, we’re just a couple of dudes that enjoy talking about food and drink in a manner that occasionally smashes its way against geeky boundaries. We’re thrilled that you not only went along for the ride, but also enjoyed the chatter.

If you’re ready for more, we got you covered. In case you missed the blast on Monday, Episode 2 is live. You can catch it here, or on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Stitcher if you want to listen on the go. This time around, we talk about Epic beer, how to pronounce Malbec, dig on some rum, and break down a food trend or two. One of us also tries to sing the Trololo guy song. I swear we spit out most of the booze we sample to stay sober.