Drink! Your Income Depends On It!


Most of my friends understand my sense of humor, always trending to the facetious. I couldn’t resist passing this one along!

Add to this the recent findings that red wine has healthful properties, and I’m a happy guy.

Always nice to cherry pick information that supports my carefully chosen indulgences


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Doing One Thing at a Time


Today’s HBR Blog Network, article Tony Schwwartz.  I first became aware of Mr. Schwartz as co-author of an HBR article on the Executive Athlete.  His message hit a chord with me, and has remained a part of my permanent library.

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Restaurant Recommendations in Napa


From Feb 2013 Wine Spectator

James Laube recommends,

Maryann Worobiec recommends,


From the Sunday March 18, 2012 article in the SF Chronicle by Micheal Bauer,

From Michael Bauer, Press Restaurant, Lacking Flair, SF Chron, March 27, 2014,



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Who is: Philippe Melka


This article from Food & Wine magazine and this bio from Vintner’s Collective will introduce you to Melka.  He has his thumbprint on many wines currently in the Napa Valley, as winemaker or consultant, including

  • Parallel
  • Cliff Lede
  • Lail
  • Gemstone
  • Dana Estates
  • Hundred Acre
  • Melka
  • Seavey
  • Moone-Tsai
  • Long Shadows Pirouette
  • Vineyard 29
  • Roy Estate

In the past he has worked at

  • Dalla Valle
  • Bryant Family
  • Quintessa
  • Dominus
  • Ridge Vineyards

He began his career in two prestigious wineries in France,

  • Chateau Haut Brion
  • Chateau Petrus



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Wine Tasting Scoring Sheets and Rating Forms


These PDF’s provided by www.winecountrygetaways.com are useful for tasting and rating wines at a blind tasting.

Easy Wine Rating System

Wine Scoring Sheet

Wine Tasting Place-Mat

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Education begins at 60!


I recently came across this passage by Mortimer J. Adler, an author and former Chairman of the Board of Encyclopedia Britannica and Co-Founder of The Center for the Study of Great Ideas.  I first encountered Mr. Adler in a terrific book called “How to Read a Book” which changed my reading habits forever.

“For more than forty years, a controlling insight in my educational philosophy has been the recognition that no one has ever been–no one can ever be–educated in school or college.  That would be the case if our schools and colleges were at their very best, which they certainly are not, and even if the students were among the best and the brightest, as well as conscientious in the application of their powers.  The reason is simply that youth itself–immaturity–is an insuperable obstacle to becoming educated.  Schooling is for the young.  Education comes later.  The very best thing for our schools to do is to prepare the young for continued learning in later life by giving them the skills of learning and the love of it.

To speak of an educated young person or of a wise young person, rich in the understanding of basic ideas and issues, is as much a contradiction in terms as to speak of a round square.   The young can  be prepared for education in the years to come, but only mature men and women can become educated, beginning the process in their forties and fifties and reaching some modicum of genuine insight, sound judgment and practical wisdom after they have turned sixty.

Those who take this prescription seriously would, of course, be better off if their schooling had given them the intellectual discipline and skill they need to carry it out, and if it also had introduced them to the world of learning with some appreciation of its basic ideas and issues.  But even the individual who is fortunate enough to leave  school or college with a mind so disciplined, and with an abiding love of learning, would still have a long road to travel before he or she became an educated person.  If our schools and colleges were doing their part and adults were doing theirs, all would be well.  However, our schools and colleges are not doing their part because they are trying to do everything else.  And adults are not doing their part because most are under the illusion that they had completed their education when they finished their schooling.

Only the person who realizes that mature life is the time to get the education that no young person can ever acquire is at last on the high road to learning.  The road is steep and rocky, but it is the high road, open to anyone who has skill in learning and the ultimate goal of all learning in view–understanding the nature of things and man’s place in the total scheme.   An educated person is one who through the travail of his own life has assimilated the ideas that make him representative of his culture, that make him a bearer of its traditions and enable him to contribute to its improvement.”

These wise words echo my own feelings of about the subject.  As the educational establishment is coming under more scrutiny and as education gets more expensive without apparent concomitant increase in value, perhaps this is food for thought.

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Great Quotes

  • “When all was said and done, more was said than done” — Anon
  • “The road to success is always under construction” — Lily Tomlin
  • Definition of Selfishness, Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, adj,  “Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.”
  • “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” — Mark Twain
  • “Spent half my life on wine, women and song…and I wasted the other half.”
  • “Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.”–Oscar Wilde
  • “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.” –Oscar Wilde’s, dying words
  • “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”–Albert Einstein
  • “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” (from a House of Commons speech by Winston Churchill on Nov. 11, 1947)
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Wine Without Food, Laurie Daniel


Laurie’s latest article has pegged me pretty much the way I have come to view myself–an unsophisticated rube, who cares more for the wine in his glass than the food on the plate, much less the combination of the two.

Her latest article from SJMN, April 27, 2011,

Laurie cites information from Wine Opinions, a California based research firm, indicating that 60 percent of the wine consumed by avid US wine drinkers does not accompany a meal.  Horrors!

To further establish my whorish wine credentials, I believe a good Napa cab goes with everything, …or nothing.

Laurie’s palette and sense of taste are much more refined than are mine, which is why I always look forward to her writing.  She finishes her article,

“While I was a little dismayed when I first heard about this research–all those columns about pairing wine with food apparently are falling on deaf ears–I’ve come to believe that it’s actually a sign that the United States is developing its own wine culture.  And that’s a good thing.”

I say, please don’t be disappointed in us Laurie.  We love wine, and love your writing about it.

Contact Laurie Daniel at ladaniel@earthlink.net.

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Ode to Golf


In all my years of hacking around golf courses, I’ve had “good” days and ones that weren’t up to my expectations.  This was written after I played a golf tournament which benefited a local charity my partner and I supported annually.  I hadn’t been playing for awhile, and didn’t have a handicap, so they put me in the “calloway” handicap system in which your handicap is determined by your play on the course that day.

I had one of the worst rounds of golf in quite awhile, and was thoroughly disgusted and demoralized by the day.  As we gathered in the clubhouse for the 19th hole, and the scores were posted for the day, I was made aware of my “score” adjusted for my “handicap.”

I won the damn golf tournament–a trophy and along with a new set of golf clubs!

I was so embarrassed by this that I left the tournament early and deputized my partner to collect my winnings.   I was too embarrassed to accept the clubs in person…but not too embarrassed to keep them!

The following is my ignominious paean to the day.

“Of all the rounds of golf I’ve played

Some for good, some for naught

It takes a day of total humiliation

To yield what?

A win of sorts

A material achievement, a prize, a trophy

But upon learning I might

I couldn’t stay

For hey, I didn’t earn it!

I struggled before, and nothing came

I destructed today, and heaven smiled

…and winked, I think.”

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Mark Twain–


Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

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