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For the curious about Auction Napa Valley, here’s a snapshot

A chandelier made from old vines. This image best captures the feel of this year's Auction Napa Valley - "prudent elegance." Several of these old vine chandeliers were hanging in the white tent at Meadowood Resort at Saturday's live auction. While organizers only reeled in $4.3 million -- about half [...]

By | June 8th, 2009|0 Comments

At Traversos there’s something stealing wine’s spotlight.

When people think of Traversos most think of wine. But now that the store is in its new digs in the Fountaingrove Village shopping center the sandwich seems to be upstaging the wine. Yes, it appears people are developing a sandwich palate. On the first day Traversos' opened -- right [...]

By | June 5th, 2009|0 Comments

Did you know that Jess Jackson now has a fashionista filly?

Yes, it's true, the four-legged Rachel Alexandra -- not to be confused withthe lanky, two-legged model Rachel Alexander (although some would argue they're equally sleek) -- posed for a photo spread in Vogue magazine. Photographer Steven Klein, shot the Preakness-winning filly for the magazine's August issue. Asked why he thought [...]

By | June 3rd, 2009|0 Comments

What made a stockbroker want to trade up and become a winemaker?

Ray Walker, 28, was a stockbroker with Merrill Lynch in San Francisco when he was romanced by wine. "I was initially not that interested in wine - but when I took my wife to Italy to propose I decided to open up, be less boring," he said. "In Italy, wine [...]

By | June 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Did you know Auction Napa Valley is recession-proof?

The organizers of Auction Napa Valley aren't losing sleep over the Naples Winter Wine Festival's plunge. The Florida auction, which has become the world's most successful wine fundraiser, drew $5 million in January, a plummet from last year's take of $14 million.Terry Hal1, communications director of the Napa Valley Vintners, [...]

By | May 26th, 2009|0 Comments

The Sonoma Paradiso auction is taking a sabbatical due to tough economic times. Good call?

The organizers of Sonoma Paradiso believe they made a smart decision to sit out auction season this year considering the Naples Winter Wine Festival's plunge. The Florida auction, which has become the world'smost successful wine fundraiser, raised roughly $5 million in January, down from $14 million in 2008. Quite a [...]

By | May 21st, 2009|0 Comments

How many bottles of bubbly did Marilyn Monroe bathe in according to legend?

350 That trivia question always makes me smile because bubbly is so utterly decadent and fun. I'm such a fan of champagne and sparklers that an editor once called me Bubbles Melnik, and I'm happy to report that over the next two weeks we'll be rolling out two sparkling wine [...]

By | May 18th, 2009|0 Comments

Is Fred Franzia the most controversial man in Wine Country?

Franzia is a roaring success when it comes to sales, particularly in this economic downturn, with a recent tally of 440 million bottles of Two Buck Chuck sold in the U.S. But the man rankles many in Wine Country, particularly when he chides Napa vintners, calling their inflated prices "fantasyland." [...]

By | May 12th, 2009|1 Comment

What’s this think tank thinking? Vintank is pondering wine in the digital age with a new report on social media

It's hard to keep up with the swift pace of communication these days, but at least one company is trying to figure out the answer to this monumental question: How well does social media pair with wine?Paul Mabray, a co-founder of Vintank, says he doesn't offer a service per se, [...]

By | May 11th, 2009|0 Comments

In the wine world, is twittering like a blind date?

Katey Bacigalupi recently made that analogy after going to the Crushpad 2.0 Tasting in San Francisco where she met some of her twittering crowd for the first time. Twitter is the technology that allows people to chat in real time. "I had seen their profile photo and I had some [...]

By | May 7th, 2009|0 Comments