California Pleasure

Seven years ago my wife gave me one of the first iPhones as an anniversary presents. I took her to Calistoga and we tasted Luna Sangoviese for the first time.

This weekend, my wife bought me an iPhone 6 for our anniversary ; the fourth Apple phone I have owned. It is odd; a larger screen, yet so much slimmer and lighter than my old 4s, that it seems smaller. It is a beautiful piece of hardware; another example of how Apple’s control of software and hardware make each generation better than the previous one.

In a beautiful example of symmetry, we are going to Luna pick-up party this weekend.

Great phones and great wine; both made in California.

Published in: on 19 September, 2014 at 23:21  Leave a Comment  

Sparkling Weekend

On Saturday evening we celebrated a friend’s birthday. A group met at our house before heading out to Lucy’s in Yountville. The birthday girl brought two splits of Veuve Clicquot, but not being a champagne drinker she had forgotten to chill them. Shockingly, we had a bottle of sparkling wine already chilled in the fridge. It was Chandon’s basic Brut from Napa.

We put the real stuff in the fridge and it was ready when we returned from our meal. Both half bottles were consumed as we played Cards Against Humanity.

On Sunday my wife and I drove up to Mumm North of Yountville. We each had a tasting flight, we were in agreement in the wines we liked; the Santana Brut, Mumm Reserve, and a sparkling Pint Noir.

We headed home via Gloria Ferrer, which is a beautiful location, but neither of us were impressed with any of the fizzes we tried.

Back at home we opened a bottle of fizz that needed two sips before it was used to clean out the garbage disposal. Fortunately, we had an ordinary, but very drinkable Trader Joes sparkling wine already chilled. My wife is sipping it neat, whilst in order to get into the writing mindset, I am drinking the Ernest Hemingway created Death in the Afternoon; Absinthe and Champagne.

The winner for the weekend is Veuve Clicquot, with the Mumm Pinot Noir in the silver medal position.

Published in: on 7 September, 2014 at 16:53  Leave a Comment  


I have been in the United States for eight years. In that time my lack of accent has remained. I still know that the letter ‘u’ should be used more often than is the habit here, and I know that ‘r’ goes before ‘e’ in the centre of all theatres. I pronounce route the same way I do root, and beta sounds more like ‘beat her’ than ‘bay tar’.

However, there are signs of corruption. I have, as readers of the blog will know, fallen in love with America’s pastime; the game of baseball. Now, after my wife threw a Western themed Summer party, my choice of footwear had taken a local turn. Ever since that event, I have been wearing the cowboy boots that my wife bought from E-Bay, even though they are not a perfect fit. We are now talking about buying a proper pair of boots. Combined with a Western style belt and hat, I am almost a convincing inhabitant of the Western US, until I speak. “Howdy” sounds as wrong coming from my lips as “Gnarly, dude”

Published in: on 1 September, 2014 at 6:35  Comments (1)