SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.

The Author

To reiterate — I’m not a wine expert. And I hope I never consider myself one. What I enjoy most about wine is that there is always more to learn, and I plan to make this a lifelong hobby of exploration.

That’s not to say I haven’t picked up a thing or two along the way. This past year, I managed to squeeze in time working harvest in Burgundy at Domaine Lucie et Auguste Lignier (Morey St. Denis) and Le Grappin, a new négoce in Savigny-les-Beaune. A glutton for punishment, I decided to work a second harvest with Duncan and Nathan at Arnot-Roberts in Healdsburg, CA. While this may sound glamourous, it was a lot of hard work and manual labor (punching down bins, cleaning out tanks, and moving barrels). But I loved having the chance to get my hands dirty and see all that goes into the craft. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I was surrounded by great people along the way, making even the late nights fly by quickly.

I’ve spent some time studying wine in the classroom at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa and through 18 Reasons in SF, but I also put together my own personal wine immersion program this past summer, visiting 50-odd wineries in France and Germany. My trip included:

  • Champagne: Salon, Jacques Selossse, Bereche et Fils, Rene Geoffroy, Charles Heidsieck / Piper Heidsieck, Pierre Gimmonet.
  • Burgundy: Dom. Henri Gouges, Dom. Anne Gros, Dom. Pierre Damoy
  • N. Rhone: Thierry Allemand, Dom. Clape, Dom. Jamet, M. Chapoutier, Dom. Rostaing, Hervé Souhaut
  • Loire: Bernard Baudry, Charles Joguet, Dom. Huet, François Cazin, Coulée de Serrant,
  • Mosel: Willi Schaeffer, Karthäuserhof, Peter Lauer, Immich-Batterieberg, Weiser-Künstler, Heymann-Lowenstein

I also made pit stops in Beaujolais and the Jura. This trip was a great way to learn about some of the storied regions in Europe, get one-on-one time with the producers, and taste a broad variety of wines.

Aug. 2011: Drinkin' Foillard Fleurie in Fleurie

So what do I do other than drink wine? Professionally: I’m a lawyer by trade and a former management consultant, and I’ve worked on two different presidential campaigns. Personally: I’m an avid photographer, an indoor climbing novice (stuck at 5.10a), a “done by 3pm” skiier, and I’m trying to infuse my two nephews with a deep love of football, Star Wars, and the Muppets (so far, so good). I also generally hate talking about myself, so I’ll bring this section to a close.

Cheers,

-John

PS — One last thing. I’ve been asked every now and then how to go about learning more about wine. My advice: Drink often. Drink different stuff. And don’t be a douche about it because then you’ll find yourself drinking alone.

13 thoughts on “The Author

  1. Pingback: Wine Photography Testimonials | David Duncan Livingston

  2. Just discovered your blog.

    We don’t know each other. Maybe we should.

    Anyone who makes a stop in Jura on the European wine tour has connected with me.

    I’m at http://arnoldwaldstein.com

  3. Heading to London for the RAW fairs to meet some more Jura producers and get acquainted with Georgian wines.

    • Have a great time, Arnold. Would love to hear your thoughts on Jura producers who aren’t currently imported to the U.S. (but probably should be).

    • Arnold – Hope you’re doing well. I’m headed to Arbois next week, and was wondering if you had any suggested producers. Would be great to meet some folks that may not yet be imported to the U.S. Can you email me at sfwineblog (at) gmail . com? Thanks!

  4. Morning John.

    Wondering if you know Wink Lorch, a good friend and Jura expert who spends much of the year in Swiss Alps not far from the Jura.

    If not, I’d be glad to do an intro. Let me know.

  5. Hey John – My name’s John as well, which makes things easy. I too am an avid wine drinker & admirer, and have been working in the industry in SF and the East Bay for about a year now. I really enjoy your blog’s local flavor and the excellent information it provides, so I’m linking it to my own (which I just started last week). Hope to see you around one day! ~ JT

  6. I suddenly drop by at this page, I know this was kind of late but I do love this letter of yours John. I am also a wine lover and love to know more of such stuff just like you.

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