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Transition time for my blog


I started this blog way back in May, 2008. Wine blogs were then getting to be “the next big thing” and I wanted in on the action. Unlike most other bloggers, I had a steady daytime gig at Wine Enthusiast that gave me plenty of visibility (and a decent income). But I wanted the greater freedom that personal wine blogging afforded. No editors! No publishers! Nobody but me!

My wine blog got big, fast. It was newsworthy that a well-known wine writer had a personal blog. My writing style, too, contributed to its success. rose to the top of the wine blogosphere. It’s true that I never won any trophies from the Wine Bloggers Conference, but I got nominated a whole bunch of times and they asked me to co-keynote one of their conferences. Certainly, as measured by the “comments” my posts got, my blog was one of the most popular in America.

That continued even after I left Wine Enthusiast in 2012 to become Director of Wine Communications and Education at Jackson Family Wines. But when I retired, in 2016, I decided that it no longer made sense to write about wine. I would no longer have day-to-day contact with the industry. There wasn’t any more need to keep up with issues and events. And, to be honest, I wasn’t interested in the wine industry now that I wasn’t in it. So I told my readers I was transitioning. The subject of my blog would now become Donald Trump.

That was in September, 2016. He was by then the Republican nominee for president, running against my choice, Hillary Clinton. I knew what a horror Trump was. It was clear to me then that he, and the evil people around him, were threats to America, and to me personally. So I decided to use my blog to resist him. And that is what I did for the next 4-1/2 years, until he had been defeated in 2020, thank God.

Since then, my blog writing has been infrequent. I no longer post every day, as I did for more than 12 years. There was another reason for this: my blogging energies became transferred to my “other” blog at the Coalition for a Better Oakland, of which I am president. CBO, as we call it, absorbs a great deal of my thinking and time. My colleagues and I are serious about becoming a force for moderate Democrats in Oakland, a city long dominated by the “woke” politicians of the far Left. I hate seeing my beloved Democratic Party—the party of my parents and grandparents—being hijacked by ideological extremists, whose demands are driving voters away from the Democratic Party into the waiting arms of rightwing Republicans. The stakes are high.

I explain all this in order to tell my remaining readers why you don’t hear from me more often. Times change, and we have to change with them. I’ll still continue to post here every so often, but it’s no longer a priority. My daily blog at is now my priority. I hope you’ll read it regularly. It’s mainly about Oakland, but the issues will be familiar to all of you; they’re national issues. The important thing for me, personally, is to continue to have a platform where I can express my views, in the hope that my two cents will have some impact on things.


  1. Steve:

    Congratulations on the new priority. Though it may not be strictly true, your wine blog was the first blog I remember reading on a daily basis. Not only were you very influential, but you also wrote well and engagingly, two qualities not seen frequently in that sphere. I, too, spent time in New York and knew of Trump before he became a household name. Your pivoted blog became a casualty of my intense dislike of the irrational and unreasonable so I didn’t go to the blog as often as the quality of your writing warranted. I look forward to what remains on and to your new venture.


    Steven Mirassou

  2. Thank you Steven Kent Mirassou! Your comment means a lot to me. And your wines rock!

  3. Yes times change, good luck in your new endeavor.

    Cheers, Alain

  4. Thanks Alain.

  5. Bob Henry says:


    Speaking as someone who spilled more than his far share of “digital ink” opining on wine prompted by your daily wine blog (almost 500 discrete comments), let me say “THANK YOU” for helping to drive the narrative on wine production and marketing and consumption . . . while raising the standards of blog writing.

    At times my frequent comments no doubt tested your patience and good will.

    But you were always a “good sport” about it.

    And the two times we met and chatted in person here in Los Angeles while you were representing Jackson Family Wines remain highlights of my wine career.

    I wish you great success with your daily blog at The community is blessed to have your burning passion and stalwart perseverance.

    With the kindest personal regards,

    ~~ Bob

    We’ll meet again
    Don’t know where
    Don’t know when
    But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day …

    As for the caliber of online writing, I am reminded once again of this puckish piece by Michael Kinsley:

    From the Los Angeles Times “Op-Ed” Section
    (February 10, 2012, Page A19):

    “Syntax? Logic? Why?”

    Alternate URL:

    By Michael Kinsley
    [At the time, an editor at the Los Angeles Times]

    It’s been going on for too long, right before our eyes. Inevitably, someone was going to blow the whistle, and wouldn’t you know it would be Felix Salmon, the famous financial blogger for Reuters?

    Nothing, though, prepared me for the dazzling brilliance of Felix’s blog item this week about the quality of writing on the Internet. … his basic point is that on the Web, sheer quantity trumps quality. …

    Facts, Schmacts

    … Felix’s blog post … argue[s] that all aspects of good writing — accuracy, logic, spelling, graceful turns of phrase, wisdom and insight, puns (only good ones), punctuation, proper grammar and syntax (and what’s the difference between those two again?) — are all overrated.

    … Now one of our nation’s leading bloggers has confessed what we all suspected: that bad writing is inherent to the online world. …

  6. Bob Henry says:

    Hey, what’s a Bob Henry comment without a typo correction?

    To wit (or should I say witlessly?):

    “Speaking as someone who spilled more than his FAIR share of ‘digital ink’ opining on wine prompted by your daily wine blog …”

  7. And thank you, my friend Bob, for many years of commenting on my blog! Be well, and perhaps we will meet again some sunny day…

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