April 28, 2009

I can’t believe I was out of town for yet another sunny weekend–this time I was up in St. Helena researching an upcoming piece for tablehopper (and for another project I’ll share with you in a moment). If you have a chance to head up to wine country during this magical spring season, jump on it.

Highlights from my weekender included a visit to Schramsberg (I had no idea the winery’s history was as extensive as it was, quite remarkable); a high-falutin’ wine tasting (Atelier) at Acme Fine Wines with winemakers Andy Erickson, Celia Welch Masyczek, and more in the mix (you can read the Napa Man’s detailed recap of the event here); a tasting at Orin Swift’s arty-chic headquarters; a break from all the wine with a lunch at Go Fish that was delightfully paired with sake; and I had my first burger after weeks of just saying no thanks (that cloth napkin burger quest really did me in) at Taylor’s. Lip smackingly delicious. The view from my patio at the Wine Country Inn was quite peaceful and pretty. And I will never, ever tire of sleeping in the dream beds of Meadowood.

After 48 hours of complete and total hedonism, I came home and promptly started a three-week detox/cleanse. (I know, what a send-off. Hey, if you’re gonna do something, do it right.) No, the Dalai Lama has nothing to do with this decision. You can read all about my upcoming three weeks of monk-like existence in the health nut. Yeah, it was about time that section returned–I had to find a flashlight first. (Cough.)

So, ya ready for some big news? I am pretty damned excited about finally letting this one outta the bag: I just finished signing a contract for my first book! It’s going to be a tablehopper guidebook to dining and drinking in the City and outlying areas (title forthcoming). The award-winning Ten Speed Press will be publishing it, and the book is going to be released in spring 2010. I’ll share more about the concept later, but there is definitely going to be a twist to differentiate it from the other guidebooks out there.

I’m incredibly excited, as you can imagine, and also going to be incredibly busy for the next few months writing this thing (my manuscript is due in July). What does this all mean? Well, I am definitely going to be less available over the next two months. I will need to make this column a bit shorter (well, I will try); I won’t be attending as many events; I won’t be answering as many emails, or at least keeping my replies short and sweet… You get the drift. Gotta buckle down, batten down the hatches, and write, write, write. So thanks for supporting me in this very exciting next chapter (har), and for inspiring me to do all this in the first place!

All right, it’s time for me to go munch some carrots and drink green tea.

Yours in health and happiness,