May 15, 2019

“The majority of people didn’t wake up one day and go, ‘Let’s free the slaves.’ The majority of people didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Let’s give women the right to vote.’ It’s because of a small group of people usually considered outrageous radicals by the status quo of their day had a better idea. That’s how evolution works.” — Marianne Williamson

My view from the WWII airplane, The Spirit of Benovia
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Hello, friends —

May rolls on in epic flights with Sonoma winemakers (thank you, Benovia!) in a rare WWII airplane over my stunning city, foraging and fermenting in the always glorious Mendocino, and a lux pajama party in the historic Fairmont hotel atop Nob Hill in the legendary Presidential Suite (pictured below). All in a typical work week home!


From from the rooftop deck in the Fairmont’s Presidential Suite

The Latest10 Affordable New Neighborhood Restaurants: 7 notable new “cheap eats” in SF + 3 more newcomers in Oakland and Marin.
Wandering TravelerMy Top 10 Copenhagen Bars: My latest Gin Magazine feature covers the world’s first fully aquavit bar and 9 other Denmark greats.
ImbiberMy Top Bar & Bartender in LA: My first in a monthly bar/bartender/cocktail series at NEFT Vodka.
On the TownLexus Culinary Classic at Cavallo Point: Edible, visual and car highlights from a fantastic weekend.

Virginia’s Bottle Picks of the Month:
— Pono Wines: Hawaiian roots and story meet Napa & Sonoma grapes and winemaker Grant Long Jr. in the robust elegance of very small production Pono Wines. It was lovely meeting and tasting with founder Dave Sedono, a former longtime firefighter, Hawaii native & Sonoma local.
Charbay Whiskey: Months following the deadliest wildfire in California history (Camp Fire), my long beloved Charbay Distillery has released a limited edition Racer 5 (R5) Lot # 5 Aged Whiskey to benefit the survivors of this devastating fire, who still are struggling to rebuild their lives in our communities north via a non-profit they co-founded, Stand For Kindness. Details & where to buy it here.

As your personal concierge who tells it like a good friend would, I create personalized itineraries; provide food and drink consulting for restaurants and bars; and classes at companies for the layperson wanting to dig deeper in food and drink (more info here).


ThePerfect Spot, Founder — The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants Academy Chair

 National Editor/VP — ZAGAT SF Editor — SF Bay Guardian Critic — IWSC Spirits Judge

Regular Outlets/Columns: — Time Out Dining & Drink — Distiller Magazine — Google’s Touringbird — Food Republic —  Where Magazine — Gin Magazine — Wine Access — Books Pur in Spirit & Distilled Stories

Alaska Airlines Magazine,Whisky Magazine UKThrillistThe Times DrinkwirePaste Magazine TravelEaterTasting Panel, PureWow, Drink Me MagazineSpoonwizCitysearch, NBC’s The Feast, Blackboard Eats, Tasting Table, Grubstreet