La Ruta

I was recently in Mexico — again. (My brother when he later saw me asked, “Do you have your Mexican citizenship yet?”)

This time, it was with the family — and two of my favorite other families. My birthday this year happened to coincide with the kids’ spring break. So what better opportunity to rent a beautiful beach house half an hour south of the border to relax, cook, eat, sip tequila and celebrate?

The girls in the Valle de Guadalupe

One of the main attractions of the trip was going to be a visit to the much heralded Valle de Guadalupe — Baja Mexico’s buzzy wine region, extolled in publications from the New York Times to Wine Spectator. I’d been reading about the valley for years, had tried many of the wines, and was looking forward to a visit. More

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La Vie En Rose

In France these days, nobody is drinking red wine. I brought a nice Cotes du Rhone to the home of friends in Paris; they thanked me, tucked it away, and brought out the rosé.

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“It is hot,” friend Sebastien offered by way of an explanation, “We are not drinking red wine.” More

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.”

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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

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

Love Thyself

It was a Sunday morning. My wife had taken the kids to church, and I was alone in the house. I spent some time chasing a guinea fowl in the yard, but failing to catch it, returned inside to do the responsible thing: pick up toys and clutter. I hadn’t gotten far into my chores, however, before the kitchen called.

Lunch with myself

Lunch with myself

Shifting things around in the fridge for inspiration, I remembered some toro and sea urchin I’d purchased at the Japanese market a few days before and hadn’t used yet. With dinner plans for the evening and time running out on the freshness clock, it was now or never. So I got out the short grain rice and began rinsing it. More

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