What's great in wine, beer, fine dining,
places to stay, & places to visit
in California State

Bruce Cass mug shot PicmonkeyBruce Cass photo courtesy Jancis Robinson Purple Pages

TASTE News Service, October 5, 2016 – The wine industry has lost a luminary with the passing of noted author, writer, teacher and tireless advocate of all things vinous, Bruce Cass. Cass died of natural causes at his home in the Sierra Foothills on September 20, 2016. Achieving national acclaim as co-author of The Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America published in 2000, Bruce was a perpetual student and an unforgettable teacher. He reveled in the exploration of Californian terroir in recent years, taking his motorcycle on the backroads and byways of the various American Viticultural Areas.

By Dan Rosenbaum

Mr Holmes Bakehouse cruffin web PicmonkeyMr Holmes Bakehouse cruffin


San Francisco neighborhoods are just like people. They evolve, grow bigger, grow tired or are born one day and become the center of attention. A four-block area above Little Saigon, west of Union Square and south of Nob Hill, with its flourishing dining scene of freshly mashed avocado toast, banh mi sandwiches packed to the brim with different kinds of meat, croissants falling in love with muffins making the aptly named cruffin and cocktail bars serving made-to-order waffles, is just that, the center of attention.

Mission District Murals Picmonkey

by Karen Lau

The Mission District is a virtual outdoor art gallery full of vibrant murals. Throughout the neighborhood, hundreds of walls and fences are adorned with colorful works of art featuring themes ranging from cultural heritage to social political statements. Best viewed on foot, take a stroll over to these locations for an up-close experience:

2 Palm House table PicmonkeyPatio has a tropical feel at Palm HouseBy Dan Rosenbaum

San Francisco is a late bloomer. When the rest of the country starts to cool down and the leaves start to change colors, the city starts to heat up. With the weather getting hotter, you better spend your time outside on these patios with a beer in hand or food in your stomach.

 Forbes Island 2 PicmonkeyForbes Island at Pier 39By Marcia Gagliardi

For those looking for something a little different in San Francisco, here are five unique places to eat at that offer plenty of atmosphere, from the funky to the fantastic.

Pied Piper Bar at Palace PicmonkeyPied Piper Bar at the Palace Hotel

By Kathi Wheater

August 1, 2016 - Not all great works of art are encased behind museum walls or exhibited at conventional galleries. Many of San Francisco’s fabulous art collections are an integral part of the city’s hotels. The result is a treasure trove of sculpture, paintings, murals and tapestries by some of the world’s most notable artists that you can enjoy against the arresting backdrop of a grand lobby or up close and intimate on the walls of your fashionably appointed room.

Santa Cruz Mountains wine map Picmonkey

July 6, 2016 - California’s many beautiful wine regions offer an extraordinary variety of wines and experiences to enjoy. To help visitors explore them all, Wine Institute’s California Wines Road Trips series highlights a different region each month.

This month, take a trip to the coastal Santa Cruz Mountains wine region, known for its wooded peaks and small, family-owned vineyards tucked into serene hillsides.

Saturday, 02 July 2016 11:39

July 1, 2016 Beer Pick of the Week

Anchor summer wheat bio can Picmonkey

Anchor Summer Wheat


Anchor Brewing

San Francisco

Style: wheat beer

Alcohol: 4.5%B

IBUs: unknown

Serving Style: kegs, 12-oz bottles and cans (our sample from can)

Availability: Seasonal (brewed May-July for national mkts)

Hakone Est Wisteria PicmonkeySasaki's serene design was implemented a century ago

TASTE News Service, April 26, 2016 – Hakone Estate and Gardens' Centennial festivities continue with the upcoming April 30 debut of the latest exhibit, “Hakone Centennial: The Tilden Era.”

The exhibit features photographs and artifacts from 1932-1961, the time frame Major Charles Lee Tilden owned and operated Hakone as a private retreat.

Friday, 15 April 2016 12:25

7 Best Things to Do in San Francisco

Sunrise on Golden Gate BridgeSunrise on Golden Gate Bridge

By Cailin O’Neil


1. Take a Bus tour

While in San Francisco I stayed at the San Francisco USA hostel located only 4 blocks from Union Square where I would start my trip off with a hop on hop off bus tour. Various bus tours depart from Union Square, it actually seemed like every bus tour in the city stopped there, right in front of Macy’s.

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