Category: Odds and Sods


How to Shop for Wine like Eckhart Tolle

[I love technology – give me a new app anytime; however, in Wine & Soul style I believe in “balance in all things” and so knowing when to use it and when to lose it is the golden rule. This was the inspiration for this post.]

Ok, I have no idea if Eckhart Tolle even likes wine. However, I did have the distinct pleasure of meeting him at Wisdom 2.0 and found myself thinking, “what a relief- he is the real deal.”

I also work part-time in a wine shop and encounter legions of people on their smartphones who end ...

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Winter has Arrived – Gamay to the Rescue!

[Note to my readers: I wrote this post a few days ago when Spring was on the wane.]

It has been been winter in the Callen household in two ways. First, the summer solstice is on its way and so San Francisco has turned bone chilling. Second, sweet Cleo, my husband’s assistance dog has taken ill and seems to be dying. Sadness all around. I even lost interest in food and wine!

Then, the tide turns. Well, not exactly but I move into a state of acceptance; cherishing the time I have left to hug my precious pup. Dogs teach ...

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A Case of True Love: A Toast to Wine’s “No Shame” Zone!

I sat down to write about my first wine app Vivino. I got it only because when I am in dire need of wine and hit the local market, there is no one who works there who knows about wine. The wine they carry comes in prepackaged blocks. A few posts back I shared my dread of heading down the hill to get a bottle of wine.  I prefer talking to people but my grocery store is not a fine wine shop. Last time I struck gold but what about this time? More on that later when I review the ...

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When Wine Goes …Weird.

For me, wine is a journey; quite the adventure in which you just never know. This brings me to a recent mind-blowing tasting in which I couldn’t tell what to make of the orange tinted concoction in my glass called Stevenjan (the Slovenian name for the village in Collio that is the home to Radikon and Gravner, and the epicenter of skin-fermented white winemaking) made by the Scholium project.

How would I describe it?

Would I say I liked it?

The words my husband used to attempt to give this wine shape and form seemed incongruent: waxed candy lips, mandarin ...

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I Paid Retail and it was Worth it!

I work in retail. I don’t pay retail! Well, not usually but it was not a usual set of circumstances.

Monday night, I decided I’m going to join the wine club of Bay Grape because it’s such a wonderful shop and community gathering place. It looked like it was sold out and I’d have to wait a month but I sent an email anyway. Tuesday afternoon, I heard back from Stevie, one half of the owner-couple, that there were 3 left and it was a first-come, first-served deal. I was the first to snag one.

I ran home from work ...

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Fun in Napa Followed by Fears of the “Wine Police”

Last week I had an urban wine experience in the most unexpected of places: Napa. This was  my first trip to the Crusher District in Napa where I attended a tasting hosted by the Wine Foundry, a full service shop where you can make/sell/buy/custom label wine. Does anyone remember Crushpad? The Wine Foundry is seriously in the production business, offering its services to novices and established winemakers alike. And they know how to throw a good party complete with disco ball (a stroke of genius to add the perfect bit of whimsy)!

I had a good time and tasted wines ...

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When it’s been a BAD Week, Should You Open the GOOD stuff?

That was my dilemma during a particularly bad week I March when I had 3 bits of bad news. My friends were so kind; they lent their support and reminded me that things come in threes. unfortunately, then came the fourth blow – and most devastating one. I had to face dishonestly, deceit, disrespect, and outright cruelty.

But this is a wine blog and so back to the subject of what to do wine wise when the world throws you lemons. You can’t make wine with them. Part of me felt so low I was tempted to go to Trader ...

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Wisdom, Wine & Throwing Away the Playbook!

19 weeks ago I launched a blog series called “52 weeks of wine on the mind.” This week after attending Wisdom 2.0, my mind is actually on that “soul” stuff of “wine and soul,” especially the way that wine connects us in community.

Wisdom 2.0 is a (un) conference,  a gathering unlike most and better off for it. What happened on the stage was matched equally by what happened in the halls – and over the dining table.

As an introvert I needed to meet people in a small and structured setting and so I agreed to host a dinner ...

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Odds & Sods The “Accidental” Zinfandel & the Intentional Festival

So I am on the mend – still dealing with a doozy of a cold/flu. So this post is based on memories of Super Bowl Sunday 2015 when I made my “world famous” BBQ ribs (St. Louis cut, no baby backs here). While at Bi-rite market I perused the wine section in search of a Zinfandel. The description of one sounded great — as was the right price point – and so I picked up a bottle. Turns out the description was in the wrong place and they were actually out of that wine from Bedrock Wine Co. and so ...

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SOMM Surprise: Shock the Wine Geek!

Lately, every time I disclose my wine side to someone new, I get this: “Have you seen the movie SOMM? You have got to see it.””

So after hearing the same promo a dozen times, it finally sunk in and I pulled up the movie on Netflix.

What unfolded was a fascinating tale about single-minded pursuit of a lofty and elusive: membership in the club that is the Masters Court of Sommeliers. To be one of the “few and the proud” of this mostly male club is to be one of only 219 in the entire world. Upon further research, ...

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