Hello my people. I hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy. This last week has been a traumatic one, an exhausting one, riddled with what on the surface seems like only bad news. But I suppose the positive is witnessing and experiencing the love and support that can be found. When tragedy hits, when injustice hits, those who speak up, stand together, and promote strength, peace and community—those people are the good news right now. Let’s do our best to be the good news in our own communities shall we?

Here’s a look at what’s been going on in the wine and food industries this past week.

Fast Company: People applaud Ben & Jerry’s for condemning white supremacy in strongest corporate statement yet

With a message of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the strongest possible terms, Ben & Jerry’s continues its track record of dialed-in advocacy.
With a message of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the strongest possible terms, Ben & Jerry’s continues its track record of dialed-in advocacy.

Ben & Jerry’s tweeted out what is far and away the strongest message from a brand since George Floyd’s death in police custody Memorial Day weekend.

More than a simple tweet or a black tile on Instagram or even a donation, Ben & Jerry’s included a statement with a four-point plan toward dismantling white supremacy, including specific legislation people might advocate on behalf of. The company’s message eschews clichés and “Kumbaya” sing-alongs to get to the heart of the matter in unflinching fashion:

“What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated Black bodies as the enemy from the beginning. What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is the fruit borne of toxic seeds planted on the shores of our country in Jamestown in 1619, when the first enslaved men and women arrived on this continent. Floyd is the latest in a long list of names that stretches back to that time and that shore. Some of those names we know — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, Jr. — most we don’t.”


Bon Appetit: Black-Owned Restaurant Lists Circulating the Internet, Organized by City


As many of us have been inspired to stand in solidarity with the Black community, so has food media. Across the country, restaurant critics, writers, and local food lovers have been pulling together extensive lists highlighting Black-owned businesses in their respective cities. We wanted to share what they’re creating, from Google spreadsheets with updates on take-out/delivery options and GoFundMe links to websites that have long been celebrating Black-owned businesses and owners. We will continue to update this page as more resources become available, and encourage you to use these resources now, and always. Let us know if you come across anything that would be helpful to add to this growing list by emailing us at staff.bonappetit@gmail.com with the subject line “Black-owned businesses.” READ MORE…


Napa Valley Register: Sonoma County health officer set to fully reopen restaurants, stores for indoor shopping, churches by Saturday

Barring a spike in coronavirus cases or people needing hospital care for the highly contagious infectious disease, Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said Tuesday she plans to reopen a big portion of economic activity by Saturday.

Mase expects to allow the resumption of indoor dining at restaurants, wineries and brewpubs, in-store shopping at malls, and haircuts at barbershops and hair salons. Also, religious leaders will be able to again welcome people into churches, up to 100 at a time, for religious services.

She described the COVID-19 outbreak in the community as stable, and said if the situation holds steady the remainder of the week, she’d allow this critical portion of the county’s vast services industry to fully reopen for the first time since her original stay-home order went into effect on March 18. READ MORE…

North Bay Business Journal: Napa County says wineries can’t roll in food options to be able to reopen earlier, officials say

Tasting of five Bordeax-variety wines at St. Supery Estate Vineyards and Winery in Napa Valley's Rutherford (BRYAN GRAY PHOTOGRAPHY)
Tasting of five Bordeax-variety wines at St. Supery Estate Vineyards and Winery in Napa Valley’s Rutherford (BRYAN GRAY PHOTOGRAPHY)

California’s recent allowance for winery tasting rooms to reopen as long as they serve meals along with the libations doesn’t overturn Napa County policy over the past three decades barring certain new winery food service, officials confirmed. READ MORE…

VinePair: How Wineries Are Preparing for Harvest in a Year Like No Other

While harvest logistics aren’t a significant headache for Freixenet Mionetto in Italy and Spain, the situation may prove more taxing in California, where wineries often rely on guest workers from Mexico. With the border between the United States and Mexico closed due to the pandemic, Ceola says he’s concerned about losing that crucial workforce. “This year it’s probably going to be challenging,” he says. “We don’t know yet what will happen.” READ MORE…

Wine Titles Media: Familia Torres reaches its 30% carbon emissions reduction target a year ahead of schedule

Spanish wine powerhouse, Familia Torres, has reduced its carbon emissions per bottle by 30 percent across the entire emissions scope – from vineyard to consumer – compared to 2008 levels, according to the company’s 2019 carbon footprint inventory. READ MORE…

Blogs Worth a Read

Taken from the list of Blogs I follow regularly, here are just a few posts from this past week I think are worth a read. Shoot me a note if you have suggestions or want your blog included.

A Balanced Glass: Listen, Learn and Act: Supporting our Black Wine Community

As an Australian-born white woman, I have been a beneficiary of white privilege my entire life. Much like the majority of this community, understanding the complexity, scale and generational trauma experienced by our Black community is something I will never comprehend, but I want to understand better and advocate for a more just future.

The intention for ABG has always been to support the community, through resources, tools, connections and networks. This week, rather than add to the cacophony of opinions, I want to offer resources that put the power to make changes in your hands.

Here are the critical ways that I believe that we can step up. READ MORE…

Tablas Creek Blog: When we reopen post-Coronavirus, things will look different. But safe and fun aren’t mutually exclusive.

On our patio, with our other safety and cleaning protocols, I feel that we can open with exceptionally low risk to our guests and team. And that's critical. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
On our patio, with our other safety and cleaning protocols, I feel that we can open with exceptionally low risk to our guests and team. And that’s critical. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

At Tablas Creek, we’re not a restaurant, and don’t feel it’s wise for us to try to become one just to reopen a few weeks early. Food, after all, changes how wine tastes. There’s a reason that professional tasters don’t evaluate wines over a meal. And great food (as well as great food service) is hard, particularly if you have to provide “bona fide meals” as specified in the state protocols.

If I thought we were looking at months before we could reopen, I might evaluate, but I really do think that we’re in the home stretch, and reopening tasting rooms under new safety protocols is a matter of weeks away, not months. After all, as a recent letter from CA regional wine associations to the governor points out, if serving food and wine can be done with an acceptably low level of risk, serving just wine is (if anything) safer. There’s less prep, fewer utensils, less cleanup. Less to sanitize. READ MORE…

Jancis Robinson: The highs and lows of alcohol

William Hogarth Gin Lane
Gin Lane, William Hogarth

This here pandemic is making us rethink our relationships with many things – workplace, travel, family, face masks, for instance – and alcohol.  For all of us confined between four walls 24 hours a day, the cocktail/wine/beer hour has been an extremely welcome, not to say keenly anticipated, punctuation of routine. So welcome that, to judge from my constant diet of BBC Radio 4, an increasing number of people have been starting to worry about their alcohol consumption during lockdown. READ MORE…

Vinous: Exploring Northern Rhône Whites

Saint-Michel-sur-Rhône is home to both top vineyards and some of the region's best cellars.
Saint-Michel-sur-Rhône is home to both top vineyards and some of the region’s best cellars.

Even though whites make up a tiny percentage of Northern Rhône production, they are a very important part of the vinous landscape. Almost all of the top producers here make at least one white wine, and the larger négociants usually produce a number of bottlings, often from every region up and down the river. Recent vintages in the northern Rhône (and across France) produced generous, fruit-driven wines that, in most cases, will likely show their best soon after release and over the coming three to six years. READ MORE…

Jamie Goode: Ribero del Duero: an introduction to this important Spanish wine region

Grapes have been grown here for at least 2000 years, but fame has only come recently to the region. The DO was created in 1982, and it is only since the late 1980s that it has had much international visibility, with the exception of Ribera’s most famous property, Vega Sicilia, which has been here a lot longer and became famous long before the DO was created. READ MORE…

Wine Folly: 50 of the Most Eye-Rolling Wine Snob Moments

Rolling your eyes at a wine snob might not get rid of him, but it sure does feel good! And here are 50 of the most aggravating, insane, and hilarious moments we could find.

Sometimes the worst wine snob is so full of themselves they can see what they had for breakfast two days ago. And sometimes it comes from them having zero idea what they’re talking about.

We’ve compiled our favorite (if that’s the right word) wine snob moments based on the answers that our readers have given us on social media over the last few months.

We’ve changed the names to protect the innocent, of course. How many are you guilty of? READ MORE…

The Wine Gourd: Reporting of wine-industry reports: accuracy or exaggeration?

As a scientist, I am often intrigued by commentary in the popular press concerning the contents of formal scientific reports. It is clear that several things can happen: the reporter gets it roughly right, which has happened recently for much of the Covid-19 reporting; the reporter has not really understood things, and distorts the information, often badly; or the reporter simply exaggerates the whole thing, presumably for some sensationalist purpose of their own. READ MORE…

Fermentation: California Brings On the Winery Tasting Room Silliness

When it comes to alcohol, digressing into silliness isn’t uncommon. On the one hand, the stuff can get you drunk and you can do silly, stupid things. But on the other hand, the stuff is the source of huge amounts of tax revenue, it is among the most heavily regulated substances in the country, and there are entire departments of government devoted to overseeing how alcohol is made, distributed, sold and drunk.

Put that all together, mix in a little COVID-19, add a dollop of historic economic pain and what do you get? The rule in California that winery tasting rooms may again open up as long as they serve full meals with the wine tastings. READ MORE…

The Cork Report: Paul Brady talks with Chicago sommelier Anthony Minne about the future of sommelier positions

This Instagram interview with Chicago sommelier Anthony Minne focuses on his perspective coming up through the industry, beginning as a teenager stocking shelves to working in celebrity chef-run restaurants to having some of the heftiest buying power in Chicago. We touch on ditching the wine-or-bust mentality of sommeliers into understanding that the mentality really needs to be just to work. READ MORE…

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