Wine

Enter VinVillage

For Rob Barnett, the long and winding road to VinVillage is finally coming to an end. The technical snags for his wine-based social-networking site — devoted to “creating locally based social wine groups and connecting ...

For Love

The San Diego winemaker tour continues. This month, Costa Brava in Pacific Beach played host to Spanish winemaking icon Alejandro Fernández and his representatives from Classical Wines. “I was working as a retailer in the ...

Seven Sensualities

San Diego’s social status is ascendant. Of course, you knew that already — you live here. You’ve eaten in the new restaurants, drunk in the new nightclubs, partied in the new hotels. I mention it ...

Wine Machine

There is perhaps no finer marketing machine in all the wine world than the one that operates out of Champagne. (You don’t get to be the world’s official party wine without doing something right.) And ...

Back in Time

The La Mesa library recently placed California Wine a Sunset Pictorial, published in 1973 and edited by the estimable Bob Thompson, in a cardboard box outside the building’s front door. A visual history of the ...

Finely Aged, Well Engineered

Erica Martenson is not a scientist. Rather, she is a gardener. In her big backyard in Napa, she says, she has “several fruit trees and a small area where I have a vegetable garden. At ...

Frankenyeast

File Under: Fiction Is Good for You. I was reading Peter May’s crime novel The Critic, which took as a dramatic starting point the murder of a famous wine critic, one Gil Petty. The hero, ...

Ordinary Mortals

‘When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” That line, from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, serves as part of the epigraph for Peter May’s crime novel The Critic. The novel ...

Exotic Fraternity

Oh, now this is a fun idea for a story: an American wine critic — one of those make-it-or-break-it critics in the mold of Robert Parker — winds up murdered, pickled in a vat of ...

Up with Riesling

‘Why don’t you write a book about wine?” You write about a subject long enough — nine years here at “Crush” — and you’re bound to hear it a few times. And every time I ...

Team Blend

Don’t misunderstand — Robert Baizer is glad he went to Sundance. He had a lovely time — made even lovelier by the happy reception accorded Bottle Shock, a film he helped to finance. By festival’s ...

Riskiest Money

J. Todd Harris is a movie producer. That means that he gets films made. “I’m just like any other guy that goes and tries to find projects and tries to find financing and a director ...

Thin Skinned

By now, most people with even a passing interest in wine have heard of the Sideways effect: a movie takes Pinot Noir as a central metaphor for its thin-skinned and temperamental protagonist, and hey presto, ...

Jarhead Red

"First to Fight for Right and Freedom," reads the title of the big military print on the tasting room wall at Carlsbad Wine Merchants. The painting depicts a group of Marines moving along a ruined ...

Underserviced

Portland didn’t agree with marketing VP Kathy Bankerd. Her employers at the tech company InFocus had moved her up north and bought her a house, but she still hadn’t sold her home in sunny SoCal. ...

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