Keeping track at a winetasting

How to keep track of which wine is in which glass?  Stem tags, paper place mats, or even water soluble markings on the glasses all do the job just fine.

But ultra high-end Kenzo winery has a more elegant approach. Etched into the base of each of their glasses is the name of the wine. No confusion, no unnecessary pieces of paper. It won’t work for a blind tasting, but it’s a sleek touch for comparing a winery’s best bottles.

wine glasses at Kenzo winery


smile-inducing extra

Today I had lunch at Zella’s soulful kitchen  in West Oakland. It’s her 2nd day, and I’ve worked with the owner and chef, Dionne Knox, on her marketing plans.

My sandwich arrived packed with colorful, fresh vegetables. Inside the to-go box was something I hadn’t ordered, wrapped up in butcher paper like a present. Who doesn’t like a present? It was delicious pickled cauliflower. Just a small addition to a lunch, not mentioned on the menu, and delivered as a secret surprise, way better than the common pickle or plastic cup of coleslaw.

Sorry there’s no photo – I opened and consumed it,  and only then realized I should have taken a photograph.

bakery box with a surprise

Tiny little bakery Choux whips up beautiful cream puffs in a sparkling white store. Started by French architectural designer Laura Beth David, Choux constructs modern puffs filled with lightly flavored creams, carefully decorated with small golden stars, miniature flowers, raspberries or disks of chocolate.

choux cool bakery box

If you have enough of a sweet tooth to buy 6 of her confections, get ready for a little something special. Laura designed a box to cradle each choux, and every time you lift one out, a different message greets you.

choux cool bakery box

Nice way to keep people smiling even after the very last choux.

what to do with laptop users who stay and stay

Café-as-workspace is so common now that even my 91 year old dad will ask whether I worked at home, office or café today. But café owners have a different decision — accede to laptops and staring faces, ban them, or figure out some mid-way policy like limited or paid wifi.

Taking a different route, one of my local spots, Cafe Réveille, added these little signs on tables a few weeks ago:

Hi! Please join me - table sign

These friendly little messages encourage sharing of limited tables and even a hello and eye-contact with a stranger, old-school style. It doesn’t prevent caffeinated screen-users from setting up camp but it makes everyone feel welcome.