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Writing a book and taking a break

I’m going to be heading to an undisclosed location and locking myself in a man-sized safe for a bit. But don’t worry. Dick Cheney won’t be there.

It’s actually exciting news–I’m under contract to write a wine book for Simon & Schuster. I’m thrilled that they made me an offer and am especially thrilled that they have put it on the astonishingly fast track: The book is scheduled for release this fall. It’s going very well and it is shaping up to be a horrendously fun and informative practical guide. If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ll like the book because I got the contract for the book based on this blog.

The only problem is that I haven’t finished writing it yet. So that’s why it’s worth talking about now. In order to make the final push, I’m going to have to pull back on the blogging for a bit. I’ll still be posting here but the posts will be fun, interactive ones where you do a lot of the heavy lifting. Stick around! And send in your photos for our guessing and captioning!

Things should return to normal tempo in about a month.

In Wine & Spirits talking about wine’s carbon footprint


Welcome readers of the Wine & Spirits magazine! If you’re looking for some bullet points and discussion of my research with Pablo Paster on wine’s carbon footprint, check here. Consider subscribing to the site feed or the monthly email updates on the right sidebar.

And if you haven’t seen the issue that is hitting mailboxes and newsstands now (but not the web), check out the Syrah extravaganza issue with reporting and reviews from Australia, the US (Santa Cruz), Chile and France. There’s also an interview on the back page that I did with editor and publisher Josh Greene.

While some of it covers familiar ground to blog readers, there’s some new material and great art (I wasn’t Simpsonized)! And I also make a proposal for later in the year: because air freight has such a big effect on a bottle’s carbon footprint and much Beaujolais nouveau is sent around the world by plane, how about saying no to nouveau and making the third Thursday of November a global celebration of local wine? Hit the comments with your initial thoughts on this idea. We’ll come back to it later in the year.

One point of clarification: the story ran a chart from our paper that reflects the various amounts of carbon dioxide emissions for bottles from different places. Napa looks horrible with even more than Australia! What was reflected in the text of the paper but didn’t make it into the chart in this story is that all the bottles were being sent to Chicago via differing modes of transport. The Napa one was sent sent by air. Sending it by truck would bring it down slightly below the CO2 emissions of the French bottle.

In the New York Times with a suggestion to “drink local”

greenwine.gifWelcome readers of the New York Times who saw my op-ed today. If you’re looking for some bullet points and discussion of my research with Pablo Paster on wine’s carbon footprint, check here. Consider subscribing to the site feed or the monthly email updates on the right sidebar.

If you’re a regular reader and wondering what I’m talking about, surf on over to the NYT where you can check out my op-ed in today’s paper. I suggest drinking local this New Year’s Eve if you are making it a resolution to turn a new, greener leaf in 2008. Local wines have a small carbon footprint because of minimal transportation, which is carbon intensive. And, heck, locavore is the word of the year according to the Oxford English Dictionary, so it’s trendy too!

Be sure to check out my maps of NYC wine shops and NYC wine bars if you’d like info on where to find local wines in the city. If you’re looking to find the Lieb blanc de blancs, click here to find it at stores.

But since it is a big bar night, a few places specialize in local fruits of the vine. The two branches of Vintage New York pour exclusively the wines of New York. Borough Food & Drink, which opened this past summer at 12 E. 22nd St., highlights–you guessed it–food and drink from the Empire State and has about 40 NY wines on its list. Home Restaurant (20 Cornelia St.) is a cozy West Village restaurant focusing on local food and wine and is owned by the couple that owns Shinn Estate Vineyards. The wine list has 30 selections from New York State, including two sparklers.

If you have some favorite places for finding local wines in the City or are a big fan of a certain local winery, feel free to hit the comments. And whatever it is you raise in your glass tomorrow night, may it be a happy new year!

Dr. Vino goes bicoastal! Classes in SF and NYC

Buckle your seat belts for more wine classes in 2008! And should I tell you to stow you tray table and bring the back of your seat to a full and upright position?

Well, you might not have to get on a plane, but I do. On February 23, I’ll be offering a seminar at UC Berkeley. It’s a non-degree, non-credit (too bad!) program and all are welcome to enroll. Over four hours, we’ll swirl, sniff and discuss the topic of just how natural wine is in a seminar entitled “Red, White and Green wine: can you taste the difference?” We will blind taste several pairs of wines, comparing organic and conventional and see if you can taste the difference (no advance knowledge of wine appreciation is necessary). Saturday, February 23, 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Further details and registration now online. I hope to see you there! I hasten to point out that this same class is 25% less expensive than when I offered a similar course at the University of Chicago last spring–a rare discount in California?!

Registration is also open for my next six week class at NYU, Becoming a Wine Expert. This course has enrollment limited to 25 because of venue size–the wood-paneled Torch Club. Last time the wait list was 75, most of whom were probably trying to get into Richard Brown’s Movies 101 course but clicked the wrong box or something. Feb 27 – April 9 Details and registration.

And look for more one-session classes in 2008!

Ten reasons you should take my class at Astor Center

xmaswine.jpgFriday 12/14, the wine world will change forever. OK, not really. But come and take my mini wine class then! (buy tickets) Here are some reasons why you should:

* With Colbert and Jon Stewart in re-runs and the stage hands on strike, what else is there to do?

* Being able to tell red from white is the only prior wine knowledge needed!

* Buy enough wine–with a discount–to be able to endure the relatives during the holidays!

* Find out which wine is the perfect match for Christmakwanzakuh!

* Taste seven great wines!

* Marvin Shanken will stop by and shave his beard before a live audience!

* Learn essential wine miscellany that you can use to impress people over eggnog at holiday parties!

* Be the first to check out the cool new space!

* Meet fellow wine lovers!

* The HHilton sisters will be there to lead the session in case I can’t make it!

All right, some of these may be true and some may be totally made up. Stop by and find out the truth for yourself!

Buy tickets in advance here
Friday, Dec 14, 6:30 – 8:00 PM, 23 E. 4th Street (above Astor Wine & Spirits)

Taste seven great holiday wines with Dr. Vino! Preview the new Astor Center!

Come taste my wine picks with me! And see the brand-spanking new, not-yet-open Astor Center! And finish your holiday wine shopping–with a discount!

Wondering which wines to pour for the holidays? Or which wines make the most impressive gifts? Come taste with me on December 14!

I’ll be pouring seven great wines that I’ve chosen–red, white and bubbly. We’ll talk party strategies, how to impress the boss with a gift wine, and good food pairings. NO prior wine education is necessary, just a willingness to try something new!

And we’ll be doing it in what is New York City’s newest and coolest wine education space, the new Astor Center, above Astor Wine & Spirits. I dropped by for a preview and was amazed: stadium seating! Comfortable swivel chairs! Each station with a sink and backlit white surface! Three flat-screen TVs! Truly amazing. There’s even a show kitchen but I promise to save my Emeril impression for next time.

The space doesn’t officially open until next year. But we can get in early for this event. So join me 6:30 – 8:00 on Friday, December 14. And Astor has even offered to extend a discount on the seven wines poured during the event so you can get a jump on your holiday wine needs.

Buy your tickets in advance here

Tickets cost $60.
To guarantee a space, book in advance. Please plan on being in your swivel chair at 6:30. Seating is limited so book early!

399 Lafayette St (entrance on 4th St) map Astor

Looking for some turkey day advice? Don’t look here

selogo.jpg…check out Serious Eats!

I met Ed Levine a few weeks ago and he asked me to contribute some wine postings to his site. For those of you who don’t know it, the site is a lively group blog of serious eaters. Well, as you can see from their logo, they’re not THAT serious. Somehow they manage to squeeze off something like 10-20 posts a day, which is mind-boggling to me. Long live the power of groups! And long live pairing food sites with wine ones!

So click on over and check out my posting “Value vino for turkey (and sides) day”–if you’re not too distracted watching Molto Mario’s video series “Mario unclogged!”

Kids at wineries, a photo contest

Should kids be banned from wineries? The recent poll on this topic generated a heated discussion and, as of this writing, those against banning kids were ahead by a 3-1 margin.

But I want to see those kids. So let’s have a kids and winery photo contest! Cute overload! In fact, for those who live nearer wine bars or wine shops than wineries, it could be kids in that sort of wine environment photo too. Rather than just the usual “glory” that I hand out, this time there will be actual prizes.

Since we have a wine and kids combination in our very own house, I’m drawing on that for the prize. My wife, Michelle, has written four children’s books and a baby journal. The prize will be a complete set of her five books, including the not-yet-released newest book in the series! It will also include an Urban Babies Wear Black onesie.

Here are the books:

Urban Babies Wear Black
Country Babies Wear Plaid
Beach Babies Wear Shades
Winter Babies Wear Layers — a special pre-release!
The New Baby’s Baby Journal–another pre-release!
and…the black onesie!

Am I trying to stick my finger in the proverbial eye of those who voted anti-child pro-banning in the poll? No! Even if you’re pro-banning, you can still send in a picture of a kid at a winery. Photoshop is your friend, people! And should you win, you can give the books away to your favorite niece or nephew. Just to sweeten the deal, I’ll throw in a box of grape juice.

So here’s what you need to do. Send in your photos to me at tyler at drvino dot com by Monday, October 1. I’ll put them up on this site. (If you want me to link to your blog, let me know the details–if you want anonymity for your little one, I’ll assign the photo a number.) Then during that week, you can vote for your choice and maybe even caption the photos. By Sunday, October 7, the one with the most votes wins the prize!

Urban Babies Wear Black


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