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jim white
Napa Valley, California
I am a former foreign correspondent who has been a food and wine writer for 35 years.
Interests: food, wine, chocolate, food and wine, oh, and did i mention wine and food?
Recent Activity
That’s an anagram above – the letters of “Mel Taub” rearranged to spell “Mutable.” Mel Taub Anagrams are the key to solving my favorite-ever crossword puzzles, the ones on which I grew up, created by a remarkable wordsmith, Mel Taub.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2016 at
The headlines and obituaries will note that Margrit Mondavi, a pioneer of modern-day California wine, and wife of Robert Mondavi, died today. But Margrit was much more than that to me. She was a friend and, as Robert’s wife, the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2016 at
Attention passengers! We are now entering the tiny, grape-growing region of Napa Valley known as Coombsville, a somewhat hilly, bucolic region, dotted with small family wineries producing wonderful wine. Population: Who knows? Typical Coombsville vineyards While five million visitors annually... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2016 at
The highlight of just one tasting panel featured wines dating back to 1968, including the very last bottle of 1969 Cabernet Reserve at the winery. Some 150 special guests assembled for an extravagant celebration over the last three days to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at
The highlight of a two-day Madeira tasting in Seattle, WA, this past weekend was a 1795 Barbeito Terrantez. There aren’t many left in the world. To call this a transformative experience is an understatement; once you’ve had a wine of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at
What do US Presidents Andrew Jackson, Abe Lincoln, and Grover Cleveland have in common? They were in office, respectively, when each of three wines I just tasted were made – in 1834, 1863 and 1885. And each of these wines... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2016 at
How is it that you can open hundreds of bottles of wine over a few months and not find a single candidate for Wine of the Year.... and then one night, with a juicy, braised leg of lamb, you open... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2015 at
As we come to the close of the year, I am in a reflective mood (color me Nike headband). “What were your best meals of the year?” you ask. Surely, you assume, they might have been Italian, for napaman spent... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2015 at
When you go to Africa, where I lived on and off for years as a photographer and foreign correspondent, I often hired a guide to go on safari. I figured the same might be required on my recent trip to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2015 at
What a black Christmas it’s going to be for staff and patrons of what is one of Napa Valley’s iconic restaurants, Tra Vigne, in St. Helena. In what is a personally sad story to have to report, Tra Vigne will... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2015 at
Remember how they gossiped when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got married? Everyone conjectured that their kids would be stunning, runway model gorgeous. Well that’s what we’ve been expecting in wine country, after two of Napa Valley’s super stud wineries,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2015 at
Every once in a while, napaman strays from his wine-country beat to discover a hot new restaurant, or bar, in San Francisco. Call me Wanderlustman . Or SFman, if you must. Until now, my three, all-time, favorite SF restaurants (in... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2015 at
It was a dream assignment: Napaman was invited last night to a private dinner in Yountville at Bottega, one of northern California’s top Italian restaurants, to celebrate a singular Italian wine from a singularly good vintage: We’re talking about the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2015 at
This is the story of an inexpensive Italian Chardonnay which drinks like an expensive White Burgundy. I’m talking about Cavallotto Chardonnay, from Piemonte, Italy. Last June, on a trip to Italy, my good friend Josh Eisenhauer, who is head sommelier... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at
Hall Rutherford, 750 foot above the valley floor The price of winery tours in Napa Valley has nudged north like the price of premium Cabernet itself. Back in the early 2000s, you could take a great winery tour for $20,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at
jim white is now following Sandi Mansfield Richard
Jan 25, 2015
Napa artist Lisa Livoni’s work is so bright, so fresh, so evocative, that one glance at her watercolor of flowers, bulbs, or fruit, is enough to get you through another dreary winter day. Lisa’s watercolors are a visual elixir, a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2015 at
White wine of the Year The year was only six weeks old when we opened and drank what may have been the single best bottle of wine that we drank all year. It was a 375 mL bottle of 1999... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at
I’m beginning to think so. The Springfield, MO, chocolate-maker keeps inventing new products with the speed, and creative genius, of America’s legendary inventor. Just a few weeks ago, I reported here that Shawn had brought to market his Askinosie 60%... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2014 at
“I drink between one and one-and-a-half-bottles of wine a day,” says Gerry Facciani, who is both a friend and now an author – of the book above. Gerry’s self-published book, The Drinkers Guide To Healthy Living, makes the case that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2014 at
If edible luxuries qualified, the new Askinosie Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar would be selected for the collection at MOMEA –the Museum of Modern Edible Art. The Askinosie bar, or tablet, presents a dark, rich, unctuous Tanzanian chocolate, which borders on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2014 at
A year ago, I discovered a sensational 3-D map of the Napa Valley depicting its 16 sub-appellations. Produced by the Napa Valley Vintners, the map is an ideal tool to help visitors orient themselves to our demi-paradise; the map depicts... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2014 at
Well, there could be if you visit Hall Winery, in St. Helena, and stand in the vineyard, admiring a 3.5-ton, stainless steel sculpture called “Bunny Foo Foo.” The sculpture is only part of what’s new at Hall, which dazzles guests... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2014 at
Like Labor Day and the start of the football season, Mt. Veeder’s annual Appellation Tasting occurs each September. This year’s tasting, which featured 24 wineries, was held this afternoon at The Hess Collection (winery), on the outskirts of Napa town.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2014 at
View from the top of Coit Tower While napaman is a Napa-centric website, every once in a while a guy’s gotta get out of town, blow off some steam... and get high. My idea of getting high is to visit... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at