A wine critic fights back.

So this past weekend I wrote a story about the limits of wine criticism for the National Post. I received the following email from a wine critic whose name you’d likely recognize. I have decided not to identify the author. Andy [sic] – You entered into this article with a clear bias against wine criticism and sucked and sculpted every supporting quote out of any willing wine critic you could find (and not the best in the land either except for Szabo). You were smart enough to give Szabo the only valid counter-point, but only on the superfluous issue of…

My ebook will tell you how to make cocktails (updated with links to buy)

On Dec. 4, my first e-book will be released. UPDATE: Here’s where to buy it: iTunes Kobo Amazon Google Barnes & Noble OverDrive Drink Different: A Refreshing Guide to Home Mixology is based on my columns in the National Post, but I rewrote stuff and added to it so that it functions as a primer on making cocktails at home. That’s fun and easier than you might think. As a teaser, you can read the first chapter here. Anyway, if you have a thirst, a thirst for knowledge, and an e-reader …


Blogging about booze for The Huffington Post

As of this week, I’ve joined HuffPo as a blogger, specifically on the subject of booze. I’m still not sure about the whole writing for free thing,  but people who think a lot more about branding and self-promotion than I do assure me that raising my profile/traffic/whatever is a good thing. OK then. This is my page at The Huffington Post. Only one post so far, but it’s a start … here’s an idea: You could subscribe to the RSS and check regularly.

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Introducing my new booze blog

Ladies and gentlemen, it brings me great pleasure to announce my new booze blog, That Sweet Burn. Some of you may have noticed my links to the site via Twitter, Facebook and so on already, and have asked what it’s all about. This post explains it. The name is of course a reference to the tickle and sting that accompanies a swig of the finest hooch. I’m not sure the interweb necessarily needed a whole new booze site, as there were plenty of fine ones to begin with (check out the blogroll over there). But I just had so many…

George Lucas turns into O’Brien from Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Lucas says Han never shot first, you were just confused | Film | Newswire | The A.V. Club (click link or headline to read) Compare to this passage from my favourite book, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: An oblong slip of newspaper had appeared between O’Brien’s fingers. For perhaps five seconds it was within the angle of Winston’s vision. It was a photograph, and there was no question of its identity. It was the photograph. It was another copy of the photograph of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford at the party function in New York, which he had chanced upon eleven…

Hey Starbucks, make 5 p.m. taste like it does in Milan

I’m not a big fan of chain coffee shops generally, and I don’t normally dole out free advice to companies charging more than $3 for a fancy cup of joe. But with the news last week that Starbucks is expanding its list of stores serving alcohol, I feel compelled. If they do this thing right, the experiment could change North American after-work culture for the better. Forgive the cynicism, but I had feared critter plonk, bland lagers and Skinnygirl Margaritas. But the reality is that Starbucks appears to be getting this right so far.