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Showing posts from October, 2009

TEDxDetroit - Where Do We Go From Here?

I've given myself a day of reflection on TEDxDetroit before writing about it. I wanted to 1) let my head stop spinning from all the great ideas I was exposed to, and 2) allow some time for the Kool-Aid to leave my system and give the conference a more objective treatment.

I wanted to get these thoughts down while they were fresh, but as soon as the videos are available from these talks, I'll be sure to update the post to include them. Until then, forgive me if I don't offer a complete synopsis of the talks.

First off, if you're unfamiliar with TED or the TEDx concept, take a look at this piece in TIME about the TEDxDetroit conference for a little background information, or check out Chris Spiek's synopsis at Positive Detroit. Of course, you could visit TED.com and spend some time with a few of the videos there.

Charlie Wollborg, Terry Bean, Catherine Juon, Derek Mehraban, et al. did an incredible job lining up some real heavy hitters for the conference. The speakers …

Sonoma Trip Breakdown - Day 3

Up and at 'em early on Saturday. Chris had to work, but she left us a lovely note.

Richard took us up to Iron Horse for a tasting.


They had a Pinot Noir there that I consider to be my new baseline for what a Pinot Noir should be. It is the taste that I imagine when I imagine Pinot Noir. Danielle picked up a pair of Bourdeax style cabernet blends there.

After Iron Horse, it was off to the Redwood Forest for some photography. These pictures can't do the forest any justice. You feel so utterly small inside there.


We had a satisfying, yet somewhat unremarkable lunch up in Healdsburg (at least I got to see the final score on the Michigan game, ouch!), and then ducked over to Seghesio to sample the Zins.


Now, both Danielle and I are huge fans of Seghesio Zinfandel, so this was a much-anticipated stop. We were really looking forward to getting a taste of some of the zins that aren't in wide distribution. As expected, these Zins were great, but I didn't find them to be that much ab…

Sonoma Trip Breakdown - Day 2

We started today by dropping off Chris and Danielle for some antique shopping Healdsburg, while Richard and I headed to a few tasting rooms. We started at Dry Creek Vineyards.




They were wise to practically mandate a taste of their '08 Dry Chenin Blanc, a wine that may easily be overlooked. It shouldn't be. They also had a Late Harvest Zinfandel dessert wine that was too tasty not to pick up. I bought a bottle of each.

Here are the wines of note: * '08 Dry Creek - Dry Chenin Blanc (purchased) * '06 Dry Creek - Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon * '05 Dry Creek - Dry Creek Valley Merlot
All of those should be distributed widely enough to find out of town.
* '06 Dry Creek - Late Harvest Zinfandel (purchased)
After Dry Creek, we headed across the way to an old favorite, Teldeschi.



I've had great experiences there before, and have sent a few friends to visit when I heard they were heading out this way. They make some seriously killer Zinfandel. I must've tried a doz…

Sonoma Trip Breakdown - Day 1

We hit B. R. Cohn for a tasting. My first visit to this very cool vineyard. Apparently B.R. Cohn was the road crew manager for the Doobie Brothers forever, so lots of fun memorabilia on the walls. They have a very friendly tasting room, and Phil showed us some great wines.


Since I've committed to making this the el-cheapo wine tour, I'm trying to make sure that all my wines come in (mostly) under $25 a bottle, and I'm bringing back only a case. I picked up two bottles at B. R. Cohn:

* B. R. Cohn - Boater's Barbera, 06

* B. R. Cohn - Syrcab, 07
(77% Syrah, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon)

I also picked up a balsamic vinegar and a jar of the kalamata tapenade.

After that, we hit the CIA for lunch in Napa. We sat right next to the Demo Kitchen and watched them prep everyone's food.



Lunch was a terrific hangar steak, amongst various other samplings. We made a quick visit to the gift shop, but resisted coming home with any new cooking implements. After lunch, we headed back to base camp…

A Brief Sojourn...

October has been a very busy month. Tomorrow I head off to wine country in northern California to visit with some old friends. I promise to post some good pictures and tell some stories when I get back.

It's a much needed break from a very hectic year, and the first real vacation I've had since 2007. I should arrive back home refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the year.

First up on the agenda upon my return is TEDx Detroit. I'm very excited to be going, and I can't imagine being in a more perfect open mindset for the event than fresh off of vacation, especially considering some of the company I'll be keeping out in California.

I'll be sure and share what insights I gather from TEDx Detroit with all of you here. Be warned that, should there be any posting at all through the weekend, it is likely to wander off the reservation. Work and school have both imposed strict discipline of schedule and focus lately, so for the next 5 days, I'm taking my brain off …