I am a wine enthusiast with a thousand-plus bottle collection, and belong to two wine tasting groups that meet regularly. I frequently visit wine regions in California and Europe, and partake in the rich San Francisco Bay Area dining scene with its unique wines. Napa was my first taste of the world of fine wines, when I was a neurosurgery resident at UCSF in the late 1980s. I now sample eight hundred to a thousand labels a year, and have been blogging about wine since 2006.

As I explore the ever-expanding wine universe, I make it a point to share my discoveries and express my opinions, primarily through my wine blog, although occasionally some of the characters in my books also chime in. You’ll find all of my wine blogs through this portal. Please don’t hesitate to chime in as well.

HEITZ MARTHA’S VINEYARD CABERNET; REVISITING THE 1980S

A priceless collection of thirty year old Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernets provokes stories about Joe Heitz, a Napa Valley pioneer.

HOW CAN HUMDRUM CALIFORNIA SPARKLERS CALL THEMSELVES CHAMPAGNE? A BRIEF HISTORY

Cheap American sparklers have the word Champagne on their labels. Isn’t that forbidden? “Champagne” is supposed to be reserved for only a specific region of France. How did the Americans get away with it?

2016 BORDEAUX VINTAGE; PERSONAL OVERVIEW

Impressions about the 2016 vintage, another great one, from a massive tasting of around 90 labels across the region.

CHRISTMAS IN JORDAN

A chic, sumptuous Christmas affair at Jordan Winery in Sonoma, the most elegant we’ve ever experienced.

STORE LABEL WINE; IS THERE A PROBLEM?

Store brands may work out for peanuts or soap, but do they work out for wine?

RESTAURANT SCREW UPS, HANDLED DIFFERENTLY

A celebrated high-end restaurant displays arrogance with its screw up while a local unknown deals with it properly. A little humility goes a long way in building good will.

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T; A WINERY THAT DISAPPEARED FROM THE MAP

A winery disappears from a freebie Sonoma map. Why? And is that really free?

BY THE GLASS? NO, THANKS!

Think about your wine habits next time you hit a restaurant or wine bar. If you think you can handle it, a full bottle is always a better choice.

WINE AS ORNAMENT ???

As my wine experience has matured, I have come to the realization that in addition to its many attributes, wine serves a precious ornamental function. It’s not there to just drink, but to look at and admire.

TWO WHITES; FIFTY PLUS YEARS & STILL ALIVE

Can a white wine be drinkable after more than half a century? The general answer is no. Sauternes is an exception, as two bottles from 1962 and 1953 prove.