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.”


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

Russian River’s Once-ler & a Phoenix from the Ashes

One of my favorite books as a child — and subsequently an adult reading to my own children — is Dr. Seuss’s cautionary tale, “The Lorax.” A parable about greed and environmental indifference, it concludes with the main character, the Once-ler, having followed his insatiable greed as it plowed through a forest of Trufula Trees, alone in his Lerkim beneath the “smoke-smuggered stars,” wallowing in regret.

What follows is, too,  a cautionary tale about entering into deals with the devil, as well as a touching tome on the triumph of persistence and good over evil.

Or, maybe it’s just a shitty story with a happy ending.

Dr. Seuss' Onceler, lurking in his Lerkim

Dr. Seuss’ Once-ler, lurking in his Lerkim

Many years ago, my mother moved from suburban southern California to the northern California woods — taking along with her, her music industry boyfriend. More

Sonoma Summer

Summer is a wonderful time in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. The days are long and the nights warm, the river languid and inviting.

Relaxing on the river

Relaxing on the river

We typically spend time in the late fall at my mom’s house near the river — hunting mushrooms, sitting by fires and exchanging early Christmas gifts. But when my mom and her partner, Bruce, asked me to come cook for an event at our family winery, I saw the perfect opportunity to extend a one-day event into a nine-day family vacation! More

Rocking the Roman Easter

I like to glom onto religious holidays that have interesting regional food traditions and make them my own.


I’ve often been inspired by Saveur magazine, my favorite food rag. Such was the case all those years ago when I got issue #11, March/April 1996 (yes, I’m proud to say I was a charter subscriber to the publication in its first year), and there was an article on a traditional Roman Easter feast. 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

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