Coming soon to the Design District of Palm Springs.
A lounge for Wine and Wisdom​, Conversation and Community.
Celebrating the joy of wine and the joy of living a life of Introspection and Inquiry.

Add your email address above to get the latest developments before the general public!

Become a Founding Member!   See our membership program

Until then, here are the latest musings from our fearless leader, CJ Callen…


A Wine Blogger’s Song in 3 Parts. Part II: Musings on the “Hybrid” Experience

“Where everybody knows your name.” ♪♫

Looking for a place to have a conversation over wine with a colleague and found a florist and wine bar called Rosebowl Florist and Wine Shop. I told my friend, “we have to do this; it’s just weird enough.” Located in Opera Plaza in San Francisco, the wine bar is in the back of the flower shop “plus” (it has a lot of others items for gift giving). The space was intimate as in teeny tiny but that was also part of the charm. The real hook is Deidra O’Meade, the friendly owner and ...

Read more


A Wine Bloggers Song in 3 Parts. Part I: When in a Funk, “Funky Pinot” to the Rescue!

La, la, la, la, la. ♩♫

Music is often on my mind. Maybe that’s because I’m married to an Ethnomusicologist. Lately, it may be even more so because of the passing of  that great musical artist David Bowie.

Wine is always on my mind.

Hence, this post- and the two to follow.

Disclaimer: if you think this post is going to be about Pinot Noir or any other grape with “Pinot” in its name, it’s not. This is a tribute to an “old school” Nebbiolo that my was  renamed “Funky Pinot” by my witty and wise husband.

Once I asked ...

Read more


The Wisdom of the Stones OR Georgia On My Mind

The Rolling Stone’s song offers, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want…”

 I had purchased a bottle of Georgian rose´ and could not wait to taste it. As much as I like Orange wines, I have never tasted a wine from Georgia, the birthplace of orange wines. I poured a glass for me and my partner but on the first sip detected an unpleasant level of acidity and the feel of having vinegar poured down your throat. I wanted to make sure that the wine was not simply in need of a good airing out. Don’t know why I doubted ...

Read more


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 ...

Read more


When “Mindless” Wine Shopping Get Results

Wine shopping brings me such joy. I always take the time to slow down and check out the wines – stopping to smell the flowers, if you will.  Viewing the labels, checking to see if any of my favorites are in stock, talking with merchants to find new gems, etc. – I love it all. I call this mindful wine shopping – being deeply present without judgment.

However, that sweet meditative practice comes to an abrupt end with I find myself desperately looking for wine at my neighborhood market. Scanning that selection always fills me with dread. Will I find ...

Read more


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 ...

Read more


On Bordeaux and that Moment When…

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Bordeaux tasting focused on the Right Bank, specifically the Grande Cru Classes of Saint-Emilion.  The room was a familiar one, Terra, located South of Market right near the Freeway, a place that frequently hosts tastings. The last time I was there I had the enviable task of exploring Italian wines.

The room looked exactly the same – a barebones layout with two small but heaven-sent cheese stations.  I approached my taste with my usual combination of curiosity and glee, asking the representatives to share stories of the wines. Many of the ...

Read more


A Tasting for the ABC Crowd: Make-up on Your Chardonnay?

Last Friday I went to a Chablis tasting at Bay Grape featuring the wines of superstar producer Patrick Piuze. When I began to taste the first pour of the flight, I noticed a woman looking at me. So I smiled. She mentioned that she does not like Chardonnay because of all the oak and butter.

A teachable moment.

I empathized, sharing how I know there are a lot of ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) wine drinkers out there. I also shared with her how the Chardonnay she described is just one  style and so she should not give up on it ...

Read more


In Defense of the Maligned: Announcing Wine & Soul on the Road!

As some of you know, one of the topics I blog about is the “maligned” in wine. Sometimes it takes the form of a grape like Merlot (thanks to the film Sideways) or Gamay. Other times it takes the form of a region as when a person recently proclaimed to me that they have only had bad wine from Portugal or all the folks who scream bloody murder when Australian wine is mentioned because of Yellowtail.

I don’t believe it, and not just because I am a starry-eyed optimist but because it simply cannot be true. Above all, it’s patently ...

Read more


“I always say every wine has a story. What’s this one’s?”

Found myself in the enviable position of attending a wine tasting with a focus on grower-producer Champagnes by a wine importer/distributor. I eased into it in my Wine & Soul way trying to find out more about the people behind the wine. Me: “I always say every wine has a story. What’s this one’s?”  My inquiry was clearly not the norm. The gentleman pouring the wine looked at me funny and then handed me an article about the produce rand their method for making Champagne. I was thankful for the story in writing but would have preferred a conversation.

Some ...

Read more


©2017 Wine & Soul