Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

This is Halloween
Carving pumpkins, tricking and treating, ghoulish activities and costumes of all kinds, are garishly great reasons to celebrate—Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

Be safe in whatever you choose to partake in. Lookout for the youthful trick or treaters trying to gather candy and have a spook-tacular holiday.

Happy Halloween!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

PUBlication: Stone Enjoy By

Enjoy By 10.31.16
Trick or treat. Stone's Enjoy By 10.31 is a not-so-subtle double IPA brewed with tangerines. The zest of citrus was unmistakable with a fruit forward aroma. Colorful and dark, this Enjoy By has a hue that resembles that of an orange blossom or wildflower honey. There's a noticeable bite, making it a slow drink. 

Puréed tangerines help to mitigate the bitterness. Stone Brewing has crafted another intense double IPA, truly capturing freshness. Brewed to be enjoyed within 37 days of bottling. Look for this limited release in six packs, 22's and on draft. Drink by Halloween.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Always Believe

"Fifty-two years. Longest Title drought of any major U.S. city. Game 7 was the chance to end that misery. A chance to be the first ever to come back from a 3-1 deficit... Knotted up at 89-89 with under two minutes to play, the opposition's fast break appeared to be history repeating itself... LeBron had a different ending in mind as he came out of nowhere—"The Block"—a physics defying play that changed Cleveland sports forever. The fulfillment of LeBron's promise was closer than ever, but the game was still tied. Enter Kyrie Irving. The sticky-handled guard who gets buckets had prepared for this moment. The possession was his and his alone. Down went the dagger 3. When the final buzzer sounded and the team erupted in celebration; the world could now understand. The victory was more than a title. It was the culmination of a fifty-two year struggle. It was redemption. It was destiny."

-nike snkrs

Opening Night in the NBA. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

NBA Basketball is Back

NBA 2016-17
Tomorrow marks the start of the NBA season, proving that time does fly. Four months ago the Cavs did the unthinkable and became the first team ever to come back from a 3-1 deficit in The Finals. Has anyone seen Curry's mouth guard? There's no better ceremony than the raising of a championship banner. The Association tips off with a triple header. Cleveland hosts the Knicks in the first of two nationally televised games. San Antonio heads to Oakland (aka The Death Star) in the later game. Rip City hosts the Utah Jazz in the other matchup on opening night.

Not too long ago I posted my thoughts on who would make the playoffs and which teams might be the most interesting or fun to watch. Today's rant will focus on players who could snare the MVP, obvious or otherwise...

Kyrie Irving -

If Cleveland chooses to bludgeon the East they may end up with two candidates. The first and most obvious is LeBron James. He more than most understands legacy and his place in history. Only Kareem, Russel and Jordan have been awarded more MVP's than James. If the best player of this generation sets out to destroy, who I am to bet against him. After all, he's attempting to make it to seven straight Finals... His point guard, Uncle Drew, also has a chance to capture the league MVP. If LeBron plays in less games or logs less minutes, thus inducing Kyrie to go ballistic. There's a chance his numbers could get insane, especially in the scoring department. If leadership skills begin to develop as well, voters would have to take notice. Kyrie might also need to play in 80+ games to further cement those potential votes. There's also a chance that they cannibalize each other's votes. But in a year coming off of the greatest shot he's ever taken and made, it might just be his turn to take the regular season torch, he's more than capable of scorching opposing perimeter players. He out-dueled the unanimous MVP in The Finals. That alone is a pretty impressive feat to build upon.

Russel Westbrook -

I can hardly wait to watch Russel Westbrook nuke opponents this year. The energy and emotion with which Westbrook plays is unmatched. Fueled evermore by the cupcake decision of his past running-mate and the continued blathering by that same former teammate (though he'll never admit that). I expect Russ to morph into some type of hybrid X-Men basketball hero. He might even spontaneously combust, or shoot laser beams from his eyes and melt opponents. Either way, he's going to stuff the stat sheet. The Thunder are his team now. If OKC can grab a top four seed it will be the result of Westbrook's abilities, both physically and psychologically. I believe he can make others better. And if all that happens, he's a legit MVP candidate. Go Russ go.

Damian Lillard -

Coach Steve Kerr is quoted as saying, "...Damian Lillard wins the election. That's my forecast." I  agree with him. Dame has a purely unique identity and team, the competitive-motor runs high collectively. Last year he proved he's a leader. Rip City made their way into the second round of the playoffs after losing four starters. Other than game 1, the Blazers held the lead for 137 minutes against the Warriors in the rest of that series. He's a top three point guard that has no problem sharing the limelight with others. He'll continue to put up numbers as the trailblazers battle for a home seed out West. Portland has continuity coming into this season and they have Dame DOLLA. The stars could align.

Despite all of the juicy subplots that incubated during the off season, the players still have to play the games. Thanks for checking in. Now we can fix our attention to the NBA.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

PUBlication: San Diego Pale Ale .394

San Diego Pale Ale .394
October and playoff baseball go hand-in-hand. This postseason has already had it's share of awesome games. Did anyone else stay up all night to watch game 3 of the Cubs/Giants? We stayed up until midnight. Major League tension pairs perfectly with a cold beer. AleSmith crafts the SD Pale Ale .394—an homage to one of the game's best.

San Diego style is well-known. But when a San Diego brewery links up to create a delicious beer for San Diego's greatest hitter, it's legit. This pale has an IPA-like nose in the bottle. A heady foam cushions the top of this amber-tinted ale. The aroma produces more malt characteristics once poured. Reminding me a bit like Hops of Wrath in that regard. A slight sweetness compliments a bigger body, juxtaposing the transparency.

This ale embraces subtlety. Even with some strong legs, there's not much kick. There's a slipperiness to the mouth feel, I like it. Watch baseball intensely, drink responsibly.  6% | 26 IBU


Friday, October 7, 2016


MacRostie | Pinot-production facility
My appreciation of MacRostie Winery and Vineyards was further enhanced by a recent return visit to the beautiful estate house in the Russian River Valley. Westside Road enchanted our family as we slowly curved along wine country—dappled by early fall rain. Blurring the painted landscape were the rows and rows of grape leaves that have started to change color. This region is heralded for its micro-climates, allowing growers to produce some of the best grapes in the world. Winding along the vines is intoxicating as topography mixes with agriculture. 

The MacRostie Estate House is attractive, standing alone with its clean lines and modern warmth. Turning into the rows of fruit feels different here, intriguing and inviting at the same time. MacRostie gave the region a face lift, creating a paradigm that's different, and perhaps better, at making a first impression. Hell, they've built a new template for aesthetics in wine country. Gould Evans was the architectural firm and Wright Contracting sourced out the construction.

Before stepping inside we were offered a welcome wine, hello 2105 Clockwise Sauvignon Blanc. We were given the chance to taste in the VIP room. MacRostie is known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen is straight crushing it, pun intended. We settled in and pursued gluttony.

Pinot Noir | MacRostie |Vertical Tasting 2011-2013 
The vertical tasting of Pinot Noir's from the Wildcat Mountain Vineyard was outstanding. Being able to distinguish the year-to-year differences of the fruit was like being told a story, weather representing chapters, the earth's mantle the canon. My favorite of the three years was 2012, now murmured as a fantastic year. I really enjoyed the floral nose and dry subtleties. The mouth feel was outstanding, so much was going on without confusing the palate. Another uncanny Pinot was grown on 5 acres in Sebastopol. The 2014 Cummings Vineyard Pinot Noir was so smooth. It embodied the characteristics one would expect, but held onto a softness that made it incredible drinkable. This is an anytime wine, especially with fall upon us. 

It's almost too good to be true when a Monday includes fine wine shared with family. County paradiso strikes again. If you only have time to visit one winery, choose MacRostie. Drink responsibly.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Random Acts of Poetry Day


Going places with only you.
She's the calm.
Me, the storm.
The darkest hour.
Her, every dawn.
Going places with only you.

- Jesse James H.