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T’was the night before…


The year again ends with a twist, or 2 or 3 or 4
So let us now acknowledge friends ‘ere oh-ten shuts the door.
For starters, there’s the family back east, the good folks at The Thuse
Without whose love (and backing) I could not report the news.
It is with certainty I declare, my dear Mister or Madam,
My gratefulness to he who runs the place, the good Sir Strum, of Adam.
And Tim, the Moriarty, of smiling Irish mien
And Susie K., who lights the way, our editorial Queen.
To Virginie, welcome aboard, and Mon in Rome, and Roger, Bordeaux-bound,
and good old Paul, Seattle-way, you drinking, rocking hound.
And to the Schach–I’d be aback if his name I didn’t mention,
and anyone else who’s not here listed, it wasn’t my intention!
To Allison, of SF town, my faithful travelin’ girl,
Whenever we two hit the road, you know we’re gonna whirl!
To Lauren, Joe, Marina, Syl, Sybil, Marco, Jay and all the rest,
You’re why The Thuse (we’ve paid our dues) is simply winedom’s best.

Turn we now our attention to San Fran, it is the best!
For those of us who left New York for our nation’s hopeful West.
We were so proud of Mayor Newsom, the Gav of same sex vows
Who from the Louie Gov’s high perch will now that goal avow.
To Wilfred Wong, who’s never wrong in scoring BevMo’s wines,
May you treadmill off those calories in these recessionary times.
For P.R. friends, whose never-ending help we writers crave,
Many’s the time a hard deadline they’ve managed me to save.
There’s Jo and Jose, Diaz by name, and Sao Anash, my Muse,
And all the others who understand that writers need some news!
And to Jose, an extra Hey, thank you so much for helping
Each and every time I bother you with my bloggy, confused yelping!
To Rusty Eddy, Caroline Shaw, Benson Marketing,
Jim Caudill, Sam Folsom, Tom Fuller–it’s facts to me they bring.
Mia Malm and Catie C., Timmy McD. et al, hear hear!
And Michael Heintz, Marie Gewirtz and Ms. Ameila Weir.
To “radio voice,” my telephone pal, Mr. Carpenter, née Scott.
Every time he calls, it’s always a ball, we like to yak a lot!
J.A.M. and Julie Ann, Kate and Rusty, thank y’all,
and up at Napa Valley Vints, the one & only Terry Hall.
And over at the U.C. Press, a hug to Amy and Blake,
Through two great books you held my hand, of your wisdom I did partake.

To winemakers far and wide who fought the Good Fight this strange year,
I hope you made some super wines! Now go and drink some beer.
There’s Goldschmidt, Nick, and Ullom, Randy, and Chris at Cardinale,
Cabral at Williams Selyem, and Darek Trowbridge–a new pal!
And Genevieve, of Janssens fame, a lady and inspiration,
And Ehren Jordan, at Failla, not an overnight sensation.
To Doug and Elias, simply the finest, top wines in Napa Valley,
Gina Gallo, Heidi Barrett, Joy Sterling and Brian Talley,
Billy Wathen, in flipflops, Kent Rosenblum and Edwards, Merry,
and Terrien (Michael), Pisonis collective, here’s wishing you Best Wishes, Very!
Dan Lee, of Morgan, and Kathy Joseph, keep your fiddle well in tune,
Good Rick Longoria and Gary Heck, for bubbly and Valley of the Moon.

To Adam and Dianna, up Siduri-Novy way,
and Justin Smith and Greg La Follette, and young, smiling Rob Mondavi.
And lest the grapes feel left out, here’s a sincere holiday proffer:
All hail the royal King of Vines, Andy S. Beckstoffer!
To Mr. Jackson, Jess by name, of K-J and much more,
And Foley, Bill, whose Cali wines are those we love to pour.
A brand new Hermes scarf & St. Laurent for a soirée
Is my heartfelt gift (if I had the cash) for my friend, J-C Boisset!
To Scott McLeod, post-Rubicon, I hope your new gig’s cool,
And Lew Perdue, for all you do, your news feed is to rule!
To my intern, Mister Chuck Flanders, without you I’d be swamped.
If it was up to me, you’d be much, much more aptly comped!
To Dirty South Wine, a blog celeb, he sure knows how to party,
A big Xmas shoutout to The Man himself, Mr. Wallace (Hardy).
Oded Shakked, my Longboard bud, here’s rubbing your shiny head,
And it’s always fun for me to run into NorCalWine’s swan, Fred.
For those who crave a brand new read, to sit back and just kick it,
From Amazon buy yourself a “Vertical” from Rex Pickett.
I’m not real big on the cocktail gig, but St.-Germain’s just fine,
So raise a glass and toast the man who mixed it, Phil Pepperdine.

And then there are the wine writers, for whom gratitude is betoken,
Starting with the connoisseur himself, my buddy Charlie Olken.
And down along the Central Coast, who writes with modesty?
The columnist and all-round maven, Kathy Marks (Mrs. Dan) Hardesty.
There’s Berger (Dan) and Bonné (Jon) and the sage of Monkton, Parker,
And Laube (Jim) and Steiman (Harvey) and Kramer at Spectator.
To a mutineer, much holiday cheer, our hats we do now toff,
To the dapper dude himself, the cool super-somm, A. Kropf.
Let’s not forget the digitals–light bright the yule logs
For all the brave new online guys, may they churn out their wine blogs!
Doc Vino and Sir Alder, Gary V. and Eric A.,
And Palate Press and all the rest for vinous things to say,
And special kudos to a guy who’s hip but never rude,
Here’s hoping you leaven in ‘11, Joe Roberts 1 Wine Dude!
And speaking of things bloggy, take the bubbly, pop the cork,
For he who started the whole darned thing, the amazing Tommy Wark.
To Nancy Light & Bobby Koch, here’s a great big Xmas smoochie
For all the good work that you do–and you, too, Ms. Horiuchi.
And down in SLO town, much renown for the man who made my blog look nice:
May the wind be always at your feet, my old friend, Thomas Reiss.
And to my young friends at Old Crow, when first we met, who knew
You’d teach me all the joys (and pains) of having a tattoo?
To Philip, Stewie, Miah, Terry, you guys are just fabula!
And so’s the pup. Sit in my lap whenever you want to, Lula!

And finally, biggest thanks of all, to the readers of my blog.
It’s for you I write, five days a week, working like a dog
To post the best prose I know how. And it truly is my pleasure!
You guys and gals are awesome, a blogger’s gratifying treasure.
So Merry Xmas, Happy Hanukah, and have a good New Year!
Come Jan. 2, I’ll be just where I always am: right here.

  1. And to think I used to pine to be included in Herb Caen’s Xmas poem each year…now, one more thing off the bucket list. Very nice job Herb, er, Steve.

  2. Jim, I confess that Herb was my inspiration. Gosh, I miss him.

  3. Jose and I just red this together. You always humble us with your praise and marvelous friendship. All the best to you, too, in 2011. And remember, it is said that those who tweet are the influencers, for which we know you’re one. It’s just stream of mind consciousness, and it builds your brand. Be well!

  4. Okay, that would be “read.” Why didn’t I edit!?

  5. Aw, shucks.

    Keep up the great work. You make blogging look easy–which, of course, it is not.

    Best for the New Year.

    C. Betoken Olken

  6. It’s a pleasure working with media people like you, Steve.

  7. This would be fabula with some Lute music.

    Good writing!

  8. Tim McDonald says:

    SH, Brilliant! Herb would have smiled big time! Thanks to guys like you in the wine biz we all get to smile a lot, Cheers Mr. Steve and Happy New Year! McD

  9. Steve, it is always a joy to read your posts! I do not read/ care for Wine Enthusiast magazine, but you rock!

  10. Thanks for the kind mention Steve.

  11. Sam Folsom says:

    Spreadin the luv! Very generous, Steve. Best, Sam

  12. No mention at Yuletide of the wine bloggers’ fool snide
    Spells personal disaster for unlamented HoseMaster
    Of Olken and WineDoody I’ll refrain from the snooty
    But Yarrow the Alder is dash-suffixed Balder
    And Bergers belong on the grill.

    A Wark is the doodle of an ancient old Poodle.
    While I once made fun in ways mostly crudle,
    I now wish them luck in their blogs that they write–
    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Trite!

  13. The Hosemaster returns! At least, temporarily.

  14. It’s only ever temporarily.

    Happy Holidays, STEVE!

  15. A great read Steve – thanks! Happy holidays and here’s to a fabulous 2011!

  16. Good stuff. Happy holidays and enjoy your time off, Steve!

  17. Amelia Weir says:

    Really enjoyed that…cheers to the holidays and another year of your blog:)

  18. Thanks, Steve! But you mispelled “you’re leaving” in the reference to my blog… 😉

  19. And at many a desk did you get smiles going…!!! So great and honored to be in your line-up, Steve!

  20. Now that’s some holiday cheer! And it even roused the Hosemaster from somnolence! Thanks, Steve.

  21. Steve,

    Well done! I hope you have an amazing holiday.

  22. lori narlock says:

    In a word: AWESOME. Steve, I hope you have the merriest of merry this season.

  23. I was trying to come up with a guitar riff to go with your refreshing rhymes but failed – maybe because I don’t play guitar! Maybe next time on the player piano!

  24. This is great holiday cheer! Thanks for keeping us entertained, informed and enlightened all year long–Cheers to a wonderful new year! Terry

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