Category: Wine, design, and marketing

Oakland Wine Festival: Spotlight on Silverado Vineyards’ Russell Weis

In the run-up to last year’s first Oakland Wine Festival, I had the great pleasure of interviewing several of the leading winemakers and executives involved in the event as honorary Steering Committee Members. This year’s event seemed an appropriate time to revisit some of those conversations. Below are notes from my conversation with Russell Weis, General […]

Valentines Day Events: Wine is in the Air

Valentine’s Day pairs well with wine. Many wineries celebrate the day or the entire weekend with something special. I’ve picked five events, all of which are listed below. Choose one or let it whet your appetite for more research. Rosenblum Cellars Chocolate Dipping Oakland. On Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th, from 2 to […]

Unexpected Art & Design in Buenos Aires

My daughter is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this year and refused to come home for Christmas, so we took a few trains, planes and taxis to get to her. Upon arrival, our Airbnb host greeted the four of us with kisses on the cheek, which somewhat eased the pain of the 24-hour trip, as did the […]

When You Come to a Fork in the (Wine) Road, Take It

Admittedly our North Fork weekend happened sort of by default. Dedicated Riesling fans that we are, our original plan had been to go to the Finger Lakes for a no holds barred “It’s all about Riesling” weekend. So we were disappointed when calls to multiple B&B’s, tense searches on Kayak and Expedia, and even an […]

San Francisco Vintners Reserve at the Metreon

The Metreon was a winning venue for the soldout gathering of Cult Wineries and Reserve Wineries, by SF Vintners Market, One Brick, and The Mercury News. The size of the hall is big enough to give you an adequate rush, but not so big that you can’t get a handle on it. San Francisco was glistening […]

Branding for Houston Family Vineyards

Paul Houston is a new client. He is not from Napa, nor Sonoma, the Sierra Foothills, or any number of places known for wine production. Paul is from Hayward, California, where he is doing something new. He is harvesting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from his own vineyards, just a few miles from his home. Hired […]

Craft Spirits Carnival 2015

I attended the Craft Spirits Carnival again this year, held at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. It was hot around the Bay, which means it was absolutely beautiful in SF. But I get plenty of the city; let me tell you why I go to this carnival. In this world of buy-everything-on-amazon, it’s a real […]

East Bay Tasting Itinerary With Absinthe

When my friend Suja came to the Bay Area on business, she asked if I would prepare “one of my blog adventures” for us to do on her free day. Well of course. Sticking close to her hotel, here is what we did and I heartily recommend it for an awesome afternoon in the East […]

Playoff Wines: Hestan Vineyards Kickoff

The occasion: Oakland Wine Festival’s kickoff tasting and party. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Hestan Vineyards until very recently. With more than 500 wineries in Napa County, even the most dedicated wine geek can have trouble keeping up. All the more reason to learn about the winery and the wines during Oakland Wine Festival’s Kickoff event […]

Uptown Oakland for Craft Spirits

In pursuit of the memorable craft spirits that I sampled at the annual Craft Spirits Carnival in San Francisco, I booked a reservation last Saturday night at Duende in Uptown Oakland for a double date. Duende is interesting all-around, inside and out, but its claim to fame is their tapas. The four of us were […]

A Good Designer Offers You a Choice

Have you heard the commotion over Hillary’s campaign logo? As a professional graphic designer, I’m happy about the fuss because it validates the importance of what I do. My business is not one of life and death importance, but then again…maybe it is! A good logo, label, or website design, for example, could save the […]

Oakland Pride: Mountain Vineyards and The NFL

I’ve been fortunate to have attended nearly all the kickoff events for Oakland Wine Festival (OWF). The most recent one took place at Picán in Uptown Oakland. I first went to Pican about four years ago and it opened my eyes to the new and improved food scene developing in that part of Oakland. Southern cuisine […]

Running for Parliament: Oakland Wine Festival’s Silverado Vineyards Tasting

Last week’s tasting at Oakland event space Parliament had all the elements of a great evening: an eager crowd, wines from Silverado Vineyards, a well-known Napa name with a distinguished pedigree; and Melody Fuller: Oakland native, wine, food, and travel writer, and the organizer of Oakland Wine Festival. Although I didn’t literally have to run to this […]

Logo Design: What Clients Need to Know

After thirty years of designing logos, I’ve come to realize that my tips of the trade may be helpful to fellow designers and, more importantly, they may benefit clients. It’s not every day that a client needs a logo, so it is understandable that he or she may be unfamiliar with the process and industry […]