Wine & the Holiday Spirit

Over the last week, the online wine retailers turned into a pack of shameless shills pushing overpriced, overblown, and underperforming wines. I can only guess they were trying to package and gift wrap vastly ordinary vino to those who want to get their holiday shopping done quickly.

In my ongoing tracking of online sellers, one stood out once again for being different and being in the holiday spirit. Read their comment below to understand why I like www.lastbottlewines.com and then check out tomorrow’s marathon madness.

“Here at the end of 2016, we’re also aware that not everyone has the resources that we enjoy — so in that spirit, as we get ready to BLOW OUT 100s of cool wines, we’re also donating $10,000 to our friends at The Napa Valley Food Bank. This wonderful organization provides a variety of nutritious food to low-income individuals, families, seniors and non-profit organizations throughout Napa County through four programs: Emergency Food Pantries; Senior Brown Bag; the USDA Commodity Program; and Non-Profit Access. They feed thousands of local households every month and we are proud to support their work!!”

Author: robywine, norm roby

My career as a wine journalist/critic began in 1975 when my article about California Petite Sirah was published. My focus remained on California as I edited a monthly wine magazine and then moved on to The Wine Spectator in 1981. Over the following years, my column appeared under the banner of “Stormin’ Norman, and I also wrote articles about wine collectors and wine auctions. Without getting into a year by year bio, let me try to summarize here. During my time with The Spectator which I enjoyed immensely, I taught wine classes at a culinary school and at other venues in San Francisco. Before venturing into wine, teaching was my thing, English Lit and Rhetoric. After The Spectator I was the U.S. Contributor to Decanter Magazine, writing mostly about California, but also expanding into Washington State and Oregon. My Decanter years began in 1992 and after buying a summer home in France in 2000, I traveled throughout France and eventually published articles about St. Emilion, Castillon, Bergerac, Minervois, Roussillon, Luberon, Provence, and Alsace. Also, around 2000, my wife began working for Cousino-Macul in Chile, so we tasted and traveled our way through Chile and, of course, managed to fly over the Andes and explore and taste our way through Argentina. As travel lovers, we have also spent many interesting days visiting the wine regions of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Sicily, Greece, and New Zealand. And to come to a close, I was Director of a Charity Wine Auction for 20 years, 1992-2000 that benefitted a local hospital. That brought me in contact with wine collectors and to the auction scene. And finally, I co-authored a book, The Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine published by Alfred A. Knopf. It went through 4 editions and sold over 500.000 copies.

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