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Susan Leonardi

Up a lazy river with me — and my wine glass

As a sixth-grader preparing for confirmation, I had trouble memorizing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, but I learned the seven deadly sins in minutes — and have never forgotten them. I attribute this both to the racier nature of the latter (“lust” being rather more memorable than “piety”) and to Sister Mary Ascension’s mnemonic […]

April 02, 2015 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: The importance of being frank

My father wanted a son. After two daughters by a previous marriage, he moved to California and married my mother, who got pregnant just a few months later. That was me. Well, life was sunny and my mother was young and clearly fertile, and they were Catholics (more or less), so the opportunities for a […]

March 19, 2015 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

In the last column, I suggested that wine-gift-giving is easy if you find a wine shop close to your recipient, call in an order, and have your friend pick it up. If an out-of-towner wants to give you a wine gift, just give him or her this number: 530-758-9463. It will reach our very own […]

March 06, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Toasting a big birthday with small bubbles

My mother turns 90 in a few days. I’d like to attribute her longevity to a near-lifelong habit of drinking wine, but for many years that wine was the cheapest and nastiest of sparklers (a bottle opened every night at 5 p.m sharp, while my father was still with us), so I suspect she’s alive […]

February 19, 2015 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Finding happy wines for your valentines

What I miss most about my newly lapsed New Yorker subscription: Roz Chast’s cartoons. As Feb. 14 approaches, I remember with a chuckle her “parental valentines,” especially the one that features an older couple, each holding a heart: “Our hearts belong to you, darling,” and, underneath: “Don’t break them by backpacking around Somalia.” Chast always […]

February 05, 2015 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: A rosy resolution for angels and other

On the last day of 2014, New York Times food critic Florence Fabricant wrote about her 2015 food and wine resolutions, most of them not in my budget (like a trip to a luxury resort in Mexico where Dianna Kennedy will be giving cooking classes). But I thought — since Chinese New Year is coming […]

January 22, 2015 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Carignan — an old grape with a new following

My New Year’s wine resolution: Try new varietals. I just drank, for example, a bottle made from marzemino, an Italian grape, new to me, that produces a deep red, almost purple wine. This particular incarnation, a 2013 Marzemino from Vallagarina, is bottled by Roeno and imported by Grape Expectations. It’s a silky and intense wine […]

January 08, 2015 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Here’s to a sparkling new year

I have in columns past admitted to sighing wearily (if not audibly) for many years at the offer of a glass of sparkling wine. Several things changed my mind (and palate), including the greatly increased availability of good, interesting bottles and my discovery of sparklers’ affinity for all manner of food. Sometimes, though, I think […]

December 24, 2014 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Holiday shopping for wine lovers — no need to leave town

Daughter Julian announced that her holiday gift to the whole family would be a case of Navarro wine for us to enjoy with Christmas dinner. I thought this was such an excellent idea that I decided to include a Navarro special in my annual holiday gifts-for-wine-lovers column. Yes, it’s way out of the usual Wineaux […]

December 11, 2014 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Here are a few things to be thankful for, part two

In a novel I recently read, by a Brit, the narrator lists various national groups attending a summer school class in Norfolk, England. One of them: “Americans with complicated dietary needs.” Ouch. Little did I think that we were internationally notorious for obsessions with one diet or another. Imagine the bewilderment (or eye-rolling hilarity) of […]

November 26, 2014 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Things to be thankful for, part one

A Napa friend writes a column for her local paper (and a blog for the rest of us) called “Amuse-bouche” — a smart, informative and witty account of her culinary adventures. In the latest issue she moaned — as I so often do in this column — about the State of the World. And then […]

November 13, 2014 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Calming and curbing the crouching curmudgeon

I was recently complaining (after long hours of automated voices, incompetent and rude technicians and malfunctioning machines) to a customer rep of my best beloved phone-Internet monopoly. Explaining to him why I was unhappy with a new service, I heard the words, “Well, young people understand these things.” “Ah yes. But I am not a […]

October 30, 2014 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Say it once, say it again, repeat

The chief pitfall of a long-running column: repetition. Regular readers no doubt tire of my tirades against high alcohol and highly manipulated wines, my exhortations to patronize locally owned businesses, my paeans to the pleasures of the table. So I delight in reading “real” wine experts who express the same sentiments, especially when said expert is […]

October 16, 2014 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

Summer’s over. We Davisites might not yet experience this in our bones, which are still very much warmed by the sun, but facts are facts. And now that fall is upon us, most wine writers probably will stop writing about rosés. But I like rosés any time of the year, so I’ll continue, especially as […]

October 02, 2014 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,
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