Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Book Review: Dragonvine by Steven Laine

Back in 2019 I reviewed a book by Steven Laine called Root Cause and enjoyed the crap out of it. So here I am with his newest novel called Dragonvine. This review won't be as long and detailed as the last one, as life is still chaotic while I try and get back to posting here regularly.

Let's cut right to the chase: I FRIGGIN' LOVED IT! My favorite thing about this book is the idea of the main characters. Two of them are here right now in the present and really couldn't be any more different. The other couldn't be any different from them... and he's in ancient China!

So the plot goes like this: Carmine Cooper is a young man in his early 20's who loses his father in a wildfire and he suddenly has to take over his father's California vineyards and winery. But his dad left this world with a lot of debt when he purchased new winemaking machinery a few years back, so Carmine's in some financial trouble right off the bat. Jessica Lung runs the Chinese mob in San Francisco with her twin brother. She's a total badass. A series of events leads her to get into the wine counterfeiting business, and she starts looking for winemakers that have no choice but to cooperate. Wuju is the king's physician and his story starts in 235 BC China. His king is looking for the elixir of life, and while others believe that to be in mercury, Wuju believes it can be found in wine.

By the way, one of Carmine's vineyard plots is planted with a mystery varietal that they assume is Syrah. But what is it really? All of this ties together wonderfully.

Again, I FRIGGIN' LOVED IT! Grab this book, open a bottle of wine, and relax with some Tai Chi music like I did. You will not regret it!

Friday, September 2, 2022

San Gregorio: Greco di Tufo, Falanghina, Fiano di Avellino


This past year and a half has been a very difficult one that has changed my life drastically. I have been to the very bottom of frailty and fought to pull myself back up, stronger than ever. This is why you haven't seen much of me, and I apologize.

I received these wines at a time where I just needed to have a good night with friends, and we all enjoyed all three of them. They're from Campania, Italy, which is where my grandmother was from. Avellino specifically, as you see mentioned in the Fiano. She was somebody who found nothing better than enjoying food and drinks with friends and family, so it was a night of toasting to her. The legendary Rose.

I have no notes other than great wine, smiles, laughter, and love. San Gregorio is one of my favorite wineries because of the regional connection to my grandmother. If you see San Gregorio in your local wine shop, please buy a bottle and pour a glass for Rose.

Thank you, Donna, for giving me a great night of hope and happiness. Looking forward to moving forward, and starting this journey back up.

Underground Cellar

Do me a solid and look at that. Just look at it. Now look at the next one.

Is this Christian Grey's wine subscription? How do I insert a fire emoji into a blog? Wait... check out the next one...


I don't think I need to say anything else. You know you want this. Just go to and get yourself one. You deserve this shit.

Primus Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, and The Blend

I remember way back in the day when I was first getting into wine, the Primus Red Blend was staple of mine. And here I am being reminded why. It's a Cabernet Sauvignon based blend with Merlot, Carménère, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, and it's just SOLID. It's bold with a lush mouthfeel and soft tannins. Just a very well balanced red blend that shows dark fruits and spices. The Carménère is everything that you want out of a Carménère; medium bodied with cherries and green pepper. And the Cab? I mean, I love Chilean Cabs and this is just a classic Chilean Cab with a structured body, currant, and graphite. These are all delicious. Suggested retail price is around $25, but I bet you can find them on sale for less. If you see them, pick them up and enjoy!

Teaspressa Crystal Mimosa Kit with Riondo Prosecco


You'll have to forgive me, as I tried this all the way back in May and just posting about it now. The concept for the product is good. It looks like a sugar cube. There's three different flavors. So you put the cube of your desired flavor on the bottom of your choice of a cocktail glass and pour sparkling wine over it. The cube dissolves into the wine and you have a low carb, low calorie cocktail. Neat!

But unfortunately, since I will not tell a lie, I have to report that it was not all that enjoyable. It made the wine taste like a dusty rip off of the flavors it was trying to imitate. It's not gross, but also not pleasant. The cubes were abandoned for enjoying the bottle of Riondo, which was yummmmmyyyyyy.

Hook or Crook Cellars


Holy moly it's been awhile! But hi! How are you? Today I've got some bottles of Hook or Crook Cellars out of Lodi, and I'm just gonna give a quick rundown. Unfortunately, it appears that my bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is faulty and oxidized, and it's important to note that this is not the fault of Hook or Crook. It just happens. Rarely, but it does. The Merlot is a classic affordable Merlot. It's medium bodied with blackberries, a pop of raspberry, and that cinnamon I love so much as well as other baking spices. But the Field Blend is where it's at. Light bodied with soft tannin, and notes of black cherries, cranberries, chocolate, and vanilla. I would give this a slight chill and have it with cured meats and cheese. All three of these bottles go for $11.99.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

5 B2B marketing Tips for Winery Suppliers

As a vendor selling to the wine industry, you will need a specific strategy to be successful. Wine merchants are sophisticated customers that hold the expertise that supersedes most commercial advertising campaigning efforts.

Wine merchants often face different pressures than traditional businesses that will need to be considered in a marketing campaign. With narrow profit margins, a seasonal production schedule and the need for specialized equipment, business-to-business vendors need to meet the needs of wine merchants to be successful.

Attempting to get the attention and gain the trust of wine merchants, there needs to be a great deal of relationship building. Let’s look at a few B2B marketing ideas for winery suppliers to help make a connection.

Be a Research Resource

Wine merchants have a short production season that results in a hectic schedule. Few merchants have the time or resources to dedicate to completing market research. For suppliers, this is an opportunity to become a valuable resource to new customers. By creating informational and promotional content to help educate your clients, you are providing an invaluable service. Displaying your knowledge and expertise in the industry can help to build trust and reliability.

Video Content

Most clients would rather watch an informational two or three-minute video than read a long and involved content post. Take advantage of the technology of the internet to create high-quality video content to attract new merchants. Video is the perfect platform to display your products to new customers. Take the time to display every detail, function, and advantage of your product to attract more interest.

Use Social Media

Social media gives you the power to reach an unlimited audience. Creating well-crafted social media pages and profiles can bring in more attention and provide you with a connection across a broader spectrum of the industry. Post your industry research to show yourself to be an elite in the industry and connect with online groups to expand your networking circle.


Everyone loves a freebie. Whether you give away your industry knowledge or go the route of giving away free products, you can gain attention when you need it the most. Targeting newer and younger wineries with free products can help you to build relationships. Newer wineries are more likely to benefit from your knowledge and the gifting of materials than more established wineries. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t advantages to being generous with your prospective clients.

Highlight Your Success

Demonstrating your success is the perfect way to build trust and your brand image. Talk to your existing clients about sharing their experiences with you in a positive way. Highlighting your success stories on your social media platforms and your website can help you to gain credibility that may sway more customers in your direction.

The wine industry is filled with merchants that are sophisticated business people. Create educational video content that will hold your customer’s attention, use your social media platforms to expand your network, and consider gifting new customers with freebies that can win their loyalty. Taking advantage of some of these B2B marketing tips can help you be more effective in your advertising campaign and form more secure customer relationships.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Grapes & Capes Episode #18: Shreddin' with Sake

Joey and Mike sip on Sake from while they talk about Zach Snyder's Justice League, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (2016), and Wolverine #2 (1982).

Listen on Anchor / Apple / Google / Spotify

- Zack Snyder's Justice League (SPOILERS!) - The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - Captain America 80th Anniversary #1 - Shirataki Jozen "Aged" Ginjo Sake - Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 - Asahi Dassai "45" Daigino Sake - The joy of learning about Sake - Wolverine #2 - Suigei Tokubetsu Junmai

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Grapes & Capes Episode #17: Ravines & WandaVision

Mike and Joey sip on wines by Ravines Cellars and discuss the WandaVision series.

Listen on Anchor / Apple / Google / Spotify

- Germany vs Finger Lakes
- Truro Vineyards
- Dry vs fruit
- Technical Difficulties
- Are we the last generation to watch Lucy?
- Why do babies not exist in major comic book events?
- What we're reading now
- DC Future State

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Grapes & Capes Episode #16: Rumble at Ron Rubin's

Mike and Joey sip on three great wines by Ron Rubin while reading their favorite comic book fights: Ion vs Superboy Prime (Green Lantern Corps #18, 2007) and Abomination vs Hulk (Immortal Hulk #23-#24).

Listen on Anchor / Apple / Google / Spotify

- Prologue, iTunes review
- Ron Rubin Winery
- Do not be scared by screwcap enclosures
- Pineapple Chili Wings
- The Green Lantern Corps #18 (2007)
- What's up with Kyptonians and lead
- Origins of Sodam Yat and Superboy Prime
- WandaVision and Dr. Who
- Chardonnay love affair
- Getting into Port
- The Immortal Hulk #23 (2019)
- Local Restaurants
- Cursing
- You do not have to hoard wine
- The Immortal Hulk #24 (2019)

Intro Music: "Know Your Enemy" by Rage Against The Machine

Older Posts Home


*SPONSORED* ABriefHistoryOf Abruzzo Agiorgitiko Aglianico Airen Albarino Aleatico Alentejo Alexander Valley Alicante Bouschet Alsace Apothic Argentina Armagnac Arroyo Grande Arroyo Seco audio article Australia Austria Baco Barbera Barrossa Valley Batman Beaujolais beer Best Of biodynamic blend blog Bogati Bonarda book Bordeaux bourbon box wine Brachetto brandy Bulgaria Burgundy Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Cahors Caino Blanco California Campania Canada Canaiolo. cans Cape Cod Captain America Carignan Cariñena Carmenere Catalonia Cava Central Coast certification Chablis Chalk Hill Champagne Chardonnay cheese Chenin Blanc Chianti Chile China cider Cinsault Clarksburg cocktails Cognac Colombard Columbia Valley comics Cotes-du-Rhone Counoise Croatia CSW Dane Cellars DC dessert wine Distill Wars Dona Blanco Douro Dry Creek Dunnigan Hills Edna Valley Falanghina February Fer Servadou Fiano Finger Lakes Folle Blanche formulas France Franciacorta Frankovka Frappato Furmint Galicia Galilee Gamay Garganega Gascony Germany Gewurtztraminer gin Glera Godello Graciano greco di tufo Greece Grenache Grenache Blanc Grillo Gros Manseng Gruner Veltliner GSM guest blog Heroes history horror how to Hungary interview Israel Italy Japan Jerez Kansas kosher Lambrusco Languedoc-Roussillon Left Coast Leyda Valley Lisboa Livermore Lodi Loire Loureira love letter Macon Madeira Madiran Malbec Malvasia Marcillac Marlborough Marsanne Marselan Marvel Massachusetts Matchbook Mavrud Mazuelo McLaren Vale mead Melnik Mencia Mendocino Mendoza Meritage Merlot Mexico Michigan mixology Monbazillac Monstant Montecucco Montepulciano Monterey Montery Moscato Mosel Mourvédre Muscadelle Muscat mythology Napa Navarra Nebbiolo Nero d'Avola New York New Zealand news Norello Mascalese North Coast Oakville Oregon organic original meme pairings Palestine Pecorino Pedro Ximenez Petit Verdot Petite Sirah Petite Verdot photo gallery phylloxera Picpoul Piedmont Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris/Grigio Pinot Meunier Pinot Noir Pinotage Pliny podcast Port Portugal Press Release Primitivo product Prosecco Provence quickie quote rakia recipe retail problems Retsina review Rheingau Rhone Rias Baixas Ribera del Duero Riesling Rioja Rondinella rose Roussanne Rubin Rueda rum Russian River Sagrantino Sake Salta Sandanski Misket Sandeanski Misket Sangiovese Sangria Santa Lucia Higlands Sauvignon Blanc science scotch Sekt Semillon Seyval Blanc Sherry Sicily Somontano Sonoma South Africa South Australia Spain spark Sparkling Spider-Man spirits storage study sulfites Superman sustainable SWE Syrah Tannat Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Temecula Tempranillo Tequila Texas The Flash Tinta Amarela Tinta Caiada Torrontes Touriga Nacional Traminer Trebbiano Trincadeira Turkey Tuscany Ugni Blanc Umbria USA Valdiguié Valiant Valpolicella vegan Veneto Verdejo Verdicchio Vermentino Vermont Vermouth Vernacca Vidal Blanc video Vinho Verde Viognier Virginia Viura vodka Walla Walla Washington State whiskey White zinfandel Wildstorm Willamette wine Wine Bloggers Off-Topic wine club Wine Pick Wolverine Wonder Woman Zinfandel Zweigelt