The New Wines

Awhile back, I shared the unfortunate story of how my family’s wine business had been usurped by an unsavory investor whom I had dubbed “The Onceler,” after Dr. Seuss’ famously greedy villain from the cautionary tale, “The Lorax.”

IMG_9471

Today — many months and several legal actions later — I have the pleasure of writing a new story. And introducing our new family winery, Bruce Patch Wines. More

Advertisements

The Endless Summer

I had just finished lunch of Mexican food and ice-cold beer with my father and brothers, and was now standing outside the Home Depot in my t-shirt, shorts and flip flops, waiting for a customer service associate to swap out my empty Amerigas propane tank for a full one.

I would be barbecuing for friends this evening, and needed my back-up tank full just in case. After all, I’d had to use the Weber to cook my Christmas dinner when the main propane tank went dry. And suddenly, thinking of this, I had a moment of sadness. It was mid-January. Another 80-degree day, another cold beer, another barbecue… and what happened to winter, to whisky and braises?? We can’t even go skiing because there’s no snow in the mountains. As I write this, many of the mountains are, in fact, on fire.

Happy, lightly dressed girls, camping in January

Happy, lightly dressed girls, camping in January

I know it’s difficult for those of you friends in the Midwest, on the East Coast, and in Canada, Iceland, the British Isles and beyond, swallowed by various polar vortices, nor’easters, blizzards, ice storms and so on, to have much sympathy for our plight. More

The Christmas Disaster of 2013

All I can say is that I’m lucky I live in California.

We were in the early stages of Christmas dinner with our friends, Debra and Ernie, when the stove flickered off.

Frustrated, I moved the cauliflower and truffle soup I was preparing to a different burner, assuming that was the problem. But one after another, I tried all five burners and got no flame. And then a sinking realization washed over me — I rushed out to the propane tank, checked the meter. It read “0”. In other words, empty.

Cauliflower soup cooking on the Weber side burner

Cauliflower soup cooking on the Weber side burner

(For those of you big city dwellers who live your lives in piped-in natural-gas comfort and have no idea what this means, here’s a crash course: We country folk have big propane tanks outside our houses and have to have gas delivered. Usually this is no problem, as we pre-buy our propane and the propane companies are good about not letting their customers’ tanks run low. What a time for them to fail their charge!) More

In Vino Veritas

As many of you know and some have tasted, my family has a wine business. Specifically, we make a zinfandel called Wine Guerrilla.

Forestville from the Wine Guerrilla tasting room

Downtown Forestville from the Wine Guerrilla tasting room

It began as a project of my mom’s longtime boyfriend, Bruce, but soon many of us were involved. Our main contribution from Southern California, besides being avid proponents and consumers, has been the marketing. The labels feature my artwork and my wife’s graphic design — a brand that we have extended with some success to merchandise, marketing materials and promotions. More

Happy Tri-th of July

To give you a sense of how thoroughly ingrained in the collective California consciousness the tri tip is, I need tell a story.

4327886213_e4b48f317e_b

The 4th of July was approaching, I was at the market, and tri tip was on sale. I figured that would be the perfect thing to grill for a few friends who were coming by, so I bought a nice three pounder, brought it home, sprinkled it with salt, wrapped it in paper towels and put it in the fridge to cure for a few days. More

Previous Older Entries