OMFG. Like That and It’s Over.

PCH is wall to wall and LA beaches are packed!

And that was 100 years ago.



[ed. excerpted from Los Angeles City Archive] It was mid-September 1918 when cases of influenza began appearing in the Los Angeles area. At first, the disease attacked seamen aboard a naval vessel that had arrived in the harbor. On September 28, officials at the Naval Reserve Station at Los Angeles Harbor was placed their installation under quarantine, although they were quick to state that the move was merely precautionary, as no cases yet existed. Several days later, Army officials placed the Arcadia Balloon School under protective quarantine, prohibiting the men there from visiting nearby Pasadena and other communities without special permission. There too, officials stated that there were no cases amongst soldiers.1

The first civilian cases in Los Angeles appeared on September 22…on October 11, Mayor Woodman declared a state of public emergency.6…The health commissioner then ordered schools closed and banned all public gatherings – including public funerals, movie houses, theaters, pool rooms, and other public entertainments. In other cities, tens of thousands gathered for the celebrations kicking off the Fourth Liberty Loan drive, creating conditions perfect for the spreading of influenza. In Los Angeles, however, residents had at least one less opportunity for getting sick.Hollywood Historian William Mann Compares 1918 Spanish Flu With ...

Clarifying questions ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous: Are dental schools included in the ban? What about piano lessons? Should businesses stop holding sales, playing music or doing other things to attract crowds? Will the health department recommend wearing gauze masks? Should they be mandatory? Since poolrooms are closed, should a hotel shut down its single pool table?

No Masks. No Vaccines.

L.A. city leaders were not as easily convinced on the mask issue as their Northern California counterparts…the City Council simply decided to recommend masks except for situations where the state required their use.

The value of influenza vaccines was also debated energetically amongst those in the Los Angeles medical community. On October 25, the state Department of Public Health announced a statewide plan to provide inoculations to all Californians who wanted one. Periodically, the L.A. health department directed Angelinos to three sites in the city for free inoculations.18 The program was not very popular, however, and grew less so in late-November when one representative of the U.S. Surgeon General’s office told Los Angeles residents that he was not very enthusiastic about the efficacy of the vaccine.19

Sunday Morning! "Pale Rider: the Spanish Flu of 1918" by Laura ...As October waned, the daily tally of new influenza cases fell below 1,000.  By November 9. By then the daily tally of new cases fell below 800 for the first time in a month.22

In early-November, a group of Christian Science churches formulated plans to reopen despite the closure order. Church leaders questioned the constitutionality of shuttering churches. By mid-November, the number of new influenza cases dropped dramatically, but still hovered in the 500 per day range. On November 29, the number of new reported influenza cases fell below 350. Health Commissioner Powers and the Influenza Advisory Committee asked City Council members to pass an ordinance lifting the ban effective Monday, December 2. Alas the epidemic was not yet truly over. Alarmed by the upward trend in new cases, especially among children, Powers alerted the Board of Education and recommended that it consider closing schools.38 The Board agreed, and on December 10 ordered all public schools closed until further notice.

flattening the curve 1918…LA 3rd row 3rd from left

Mayor Woodman acted decisively to avoid conflict between the Los Angeles’s business interests and City Council. Within two days of the school closure announcement, the Mayor invited ten business and civic representatives to serve on a Business Advisory Committee.41 The business advisors launched a publicity campaign to educate citizens on how to avoid infection. This included “four-minute” speakers who spread into the community at various public gatherings to talk about precautions. The advisors also hired a public relations expert [to come up with] a campaign theme: public health regulations were expensive, but personal action and caution was free.44

School Closures

The October 11 closing order, which included schools, received full support from the Board of Education and Superintendent. [They] kept schools closed well into the New Year. [The School Bord] implemented a system of correspondence instruction for the 90,000 children in the Los Angeles public school system and arranged for its 3,400 teachers to continue receiving their pay by either doing volunteer work or furthering their own education.46 [They] developed a system to monitor infection rates within the school district. Using this data, Powers was able to determine which areas were ‘flu free,” allowing schools in those neighborhoods to reopen. As a result, the first five of the 230 public schools in Los Angeles reopened as early as January 9. As the epidemic subsided across the city, children once again returned to their classrooms. On February 6, the last of the remaining buildings reopened. Under the new model, thousands of children thus were able to return to their classrooms much sooner than otherwise would have occurred.47


Los Angeles used early and consistent measures to reduce exposure to influenza during an extended confrontation with the disease. These included school closures, a ban on public gatherings, enforcement of home quarantines starting December 2, and the cooperation of most of its citizens throughout the epidemic. This undoubtedly contributed to the city’s rather successful campaign against influenza.

There were problems, however. The debate over the efficacy of gauze masks revealed some of the cracks in the city’s otherwise unified façade. Theater owners protested against what they believed to be unfair treatment. This occurred in several other American cities as well. In Los Angeles, however, theater owners escalated the battle by bringing in producers and film studios. Then there was the legal challenge from Christian Science churches and their desire to bring a test case to the California Supreme Court or, if necessary, the federal courts. To be sure, the sailing was not entirely smooth in Los Angeles in the fall of 1918.

Ultimately, however, quick action, a strong working relationships that health commissioner Powers had forged over his many years of service, and good cooperation with city officials and business and civic organizations helped keep Los Angeles’s anti-epidemic campaign on track. In the end, Los Angeles experienced a lower epidemic death rate than many other American cities: 494 deaths per 100,000 people. By contrast, San Francisco – which acted slowly and which relied heavily on the purported protection of gauze face masks to stop the spread of influenza – had an excess death rate of 673 per 100,000.48 Powers, Mayor Woodman, and the City Council could be proud of their efforts.

Here is a good place to get your daily COVID19 updates without the TV hosts

And here is a very useful video that concludes Spanish Flu and COVID19 are NOT equivalent diseases. However, the social response is very similar. Bottom line? Widespread compliance is essential otherwise “we could be in for it.”


This Is No Time to Fälter. Jim Moore exclusive!!



The more we hear from The House of Morons on Pennsylvania Avenue the more valid we find the phrase in vino veritas. We offer our own contempo observations on Wine as Remedy. How are members of the tBoW family faring?

Let’s clear the text bag. KrisB ignited a textstorm upon opening and slugging down a 2007 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spatlese from the Mösel aka “Moselle vine.” He bought at Woodland Hills Wine Co in 2011. He sat on it for nine years. It took him two nights to consume. Then he wrote this. “It was glorious. Guava flavors predominated, on the nose like the purest fresh squeezed guava and the most sophisticated POG juice on the palate.”

tBoW reviewed this wine in 2014 under the guise of tBoW interviewing Bill Belichick on wine. In Jan 2011 tBoW [ed. hit the link! hit the link!] we wrote our own review of this very same bottle… Belichick is the legendary NE Pats prick coach known for being exceptionally taciturn.

tBoW: Coach, the 2007 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spätlese surprised alot of holiday partygoers with its bracing acidity, typical Mösel low alcohol and U20 price. Were you ready for this wine? Belichick: Mösel is known for Riesling. They always do a good job. We have to focus on our next wine.” [ed. I don’t care who you are that’s funny; helps to be an NFL fan.]

KrisB loves him some Riesling and Farmers Fizz. We got so excited I opened a spa bottle immediately. There is a nest of these in the cellar!

1994 Theo Schmitz-Schwaab Riesling Spätlese Urziger Wurzgarten. Naturally tBoW had to pull an ancient Riesling – 26 years young – from the cellar for the spa. Spätlese means it is NOT super sweet. The color was medium gold with good viscosity. Flavors were Lychee backed with marzipan. How Germanic! Alcohol 11%.

2018 Vin de Savoie Gamay Rose. $10. This is the top rose for the summer to date and it ain’t even summer yet. The PQR [ed. price quality ratio] is outasite. The flavors are a bit exotic with Lebanese spice [ed. cardamon? is he talking cardamon?] and some tropical flavor like fresh lychee close to ripe. Suchadeal. Try Desert Wine Shop.

Heard from Jim Moore from Napa this week. He is staying in place which somewhat conflicts with selling wine. Here is an inside peek at how one goes about selling and ends up buying wine in a pandemic. Jim’s label is Uvaggio. Lodi Winegrape Commission - Blog - Uvaggio's Vermentino and ...

JM: I was out selling in late Feb (a time when such was still feasible) and bought a few interesting modestly priced bottles. One of the wines was so-so, another well above average. The latter wine happened to be a Cinsault Rose from the south of France which is a particular weakness for me. It checked all the right boxes, although it was very commercial starting with the packaging and far from artisanal. I contemplated routine consumption so I called the boutique distributor to ask about local availability, plus whether I could buy direct. Lucky for me not only would they offer me wholesale they would deliver to my door gratis. So far I have drunk or given away 3 cases, plan on buying another 3 cases. BTW – it is a 2018 Rose. I think most Rose is consumed a little too young. Last spring I really enjoyed a similar (yet different) 2017 Rose but when I purchased another case they only had the 2018! Not as ready for immediate enjoyment. My goal (as always) is finding the best VALUE which for me is a combo of PQR, utility and personal satisfaction. The past Friday evening meal was a spicy bowl of “Jim’s homemade faux pho.” I enjoyed a bottle of Pfalz Riesling (kabinett halbtrocken) which was $11 from Last Bottle. It was exactly the type of value and food affinity I always seek, maybe even more so in these uncertain times.”

Thank you Mr Moore. My online list for purchases leans towards Desert Wine Shop and Kermit Lynch. tBoW hits Last Bottle on occasion. If you love Riesling and similar wines from Italy, i.e., Vermentino [ed. Jim’s Uvaggio Vermentino is special] and Spain, e.g., Basque, then you must go to Kermit Lynch who by the way has his own dirt cheap sampler. You can be certain Kermit has no…bad…wines.

Lettie Teague is often worth reading. She is the wine columnist for WSJ. She posted on California Chardonnays this past week. She commented on the disappointing New World styles [ed. we coulda warned her..but everybody needs copy]. She made positive comments on two labels then shared a common tBoW POV on the others.

“The rest of the Chardonnays I tasted were a mixed bag of wines from large corporations and tiny family-owned properties whose names I’ll refrain from citing. While the former were largely formulaic—dosed heavily with oak chips and redolent of tropical fruit—the latter group disappointed me even more.” Summing it up in one sentence she wrote “the cocktail of wood and tropical fruit that a heavier hand can make of Chardonnay.”

tBoW long ago lost his palate for Chardonnay generally finding it “foxy” and “feral.” I can live with the latter but not the former. When Mr. and Mrs. tBoW were “discovering” Calif wines living in SF [ed. a Cow Town then if ever there was one] in the mid 70s Chardonnay and Cabernet were the press favorites. Consensus was Chardonnay was world class (as seen in the move Bottle Shock about the 1976 Blind Tasting in Paris; a Napa Chard took some dopey prize…and this is why we have Rombauer).

HOW TO BLEND WINE. I learned this from pal Milt Olin. He routinely mixed red and red wines and even white and red wines. Of course tBoW was horrified. However our motto is “I’ll try anything twice. I might not like it the fist time.” Case in point…why it is important to look past the conventional and mix bottles when one or more is just not right!

This happens to everybody who drinks wine. You open a bottle of red and decide it is too fruity. So you figure let it sit a bissel and you open another red. Too rugged as in harsh, spicy. Now what? AHA! Blend the two wines in one glass. The fruity Sangiovese should match pretty well with the muscular Aglianico. All you need to do is get the proportions right which depends on who is drinking. Some prefer fruit to spice and muscle. Others go the opposite. Consider the meal. The fare on that evening was veggie burgers grilled with ketchup and onions and cheese. Bada bing! Perfect match. Stranger things have happened.


Beers and Rattlesnakes Bring COVID-19 Relief


Church Ain't over Till the Snakes are back in the bag | Make a Meme


Our guest blogger is HrtyBaer and he is a beer drinking pro. He knows beers like Fauci knows pandemics. Like Pence knows safety masks. Hey…come up with your own metaphors and make a comment below. Lord knows we can use a fresh perspective. HrtyBaer’s assignment? Review THREE BEERS.

Three beers? I’ll get straight to the point. Here are three workhorse brews any wine drinker can appreciate; core beers of their respective breweries, easily accessible in Southern California, interesting but not overly complicated, and flexible enough to work in just about any situation.

Passion Pool 5% ABV, Mikkeller Brewing San Diego $11.99 16 oz four pack Total Wine: This l’il puppy is a gose, an old German ale that fell out of fashion sometime during the Triassic period. Luckily, the style has experienced a renaissance in the last decade or so. A traditional gose is salty, sour, lower on the ABV spectrum and displays a refreshing character. This one hits all those notes and adds in a little passion fruit to balance everything out. It’s light, it’s quenching – do it. [ed. read about how gose beer is made – and how to pronounce the name – from a beer critic revolted by the style!] What a snob.

Vibes 5% ABV, Almanac Beer Company $13 four pack Total Wine: Vibes is a modern take on a Pilsner [ed. tBoW loves Pilsner!]. It’s got the light, dry body, cracker-y malts, and prickly carbonation of the classic style, but it’s dry-hopped with new-age hop varietals that impart a fruity (honeydew, lemongrass, citrus), and more rounded character while dialing back the bitterness [ed. tBoW loves bitterness – doesn’t everyone?].

Retreat 8.6% ABV, Offshoot Beer Company $18 four pack 16 oz cans Total Wine: Classic West Coast IPAs can be so bitter that it’s almost impossible to find any real flavor. Modern New England IPAs are often measured by their hazy, opaque visual characteristic and can be sweet to the point of cloying – just a sugary mess. This double IPA from Offshoot is indeed hazy, but it incorporates the best of all the IPA worlds to create a beer that provides excellent balance with great citrus flavor (orange and grapefruit), a smooth, soft body, and a refreshing light bitterness on the backend. It’s dangerously easy to drink and is always stocked in my fridge.

Trumer Pilsner ABV 4.8% $9 six pack 11 oz Total Wine: following comment borrowed from Beer Advocate: “There is not a better example of a true Pilsner brewed in America. If you like traditional pilsners with a slightly sweet finish but no lingering residue in the mouth this is the one. It is not going to please those who like the new style pilsners that have a hoppy characteristic to them, but for the majority of pilsner drinkers just looking for something crushable this is it.” All that being said, here is what tBoW likes…just the right amount of bitterness which for mois is considerable…hits the mouth right away filling it with sharp bracing bitterness…high bitter finish…sheeaattt…made in Berkeley CA! I bitterly love this bitter beer. Nothing bitter than a better beer. Mix it in waffle batter? Eat that with butter?

Some comments on rating beers…how does the QPR [ed. Quality Price Ratio] scale stack up to wine? Beer Advocate …we have the Wine Advocate… uses a 5 point scale with two decimal points which of course makes it 50 point scale. As with the absurd 100 point wine scale what is the difference between 4.2 and 4.25? Correctomundo! Nothing! Which brings us to pricing. Total Yawn – oops Wine – sells for $16 a six pack…proving once again only dummies shop there. Gelsons the fancy pants market across the street sends it out the door for $8.99. Go figger but don’t take too long…OK long enuff! Total Yawn is b-o-r-i-n-g. And shtooopid.

Postscript: Thanks to HrtyBaer for his wunnaful wunnaful contributions. As the weather heats up the snakes come out and the goffers are ready to play. Seldom see snakes on a goff course but it has happened. Everybody be safe…from snakes and corona. Ja love.

Here is a video captured this week by a local Topanga guy. As things heat up the rattlesnakes start sunbathing. This is a real beauty. Don’t worry. It ends well. They really do not want to bite. The tail rattles to suggest you get moving along.

Outta Gas. Pandemic Fatigue. Only Wine Can Save Us Now.



Let’s get political. Trump is a M-O-R-O-N. It is truly amazing that such a dummy could end up the LEADER of a nation…any nation. But the USA? His stupidity is boundless. His narcissism is so transparent it is “beautiful.” Glad I got that out. Let’s talk about wines. I reserve the right to return to this topic.

Mrs tBoW advised I have to slow down with the online wine purchases. There are several plum choices: Woodland Hills Wine is my local go-to. They have pickup out back. I’ve been in that store so often I could walk in blindfolded – with mask and gloves of course – and find my way to their best buys. Besides David Russell is the Burg Whisperer. Quality is his middle name. I bought some Huet sparkling wine from David in the past 6 weeks. Huet is a major Alsatian producer which means this is made with Chenin Blanc. Yeh. No chard or pinot.

2016 Huet Petillant Brut $28: 14% Golden color, thick on sight. Ripe green apples (yes you can have ripe green apples!), clove, viscous. Masculine wine. If Brad Pitt was a sparkling wine…Robert Mitchum for the TMC fans. David Russel of WHW pushed out it out near $20.

2017 Domaine Audebert et fils Bourgeil $20: 100% Cab Franc rose! Yummmeeee. You might think lotta body. Nope. You might think lotta flavors. Nope. Delicate in a masculine way. 12.5%. OMG. Jeff Welburn imported this wine. Hi Jeff!! Jeff is a very decent person who knows his wines and can be trusted. Nuff said. Congrats to Jeff and Wine Agencies Inc.

2018 Ginglinger-Fix Riesling Vielles Vignes 12.5%. $20. The Krisses love Riesling wines including those from Alsace which is the center of every war between Le Bosch and Les Francais. None of which is apparent in the wines. Alsatian Rieslings do seem different than German or Austrian. For tBoW it is about the delicacy. Maybe Viennese (and near regional) Rieslings are operatic even stuffy, while German Rieslings show power and finesse. Or maybe that is too much stereotyping. This wine is delicious, a titanic food wine and a repeat buy.

2012 Il Chiosse Gattinara Terre Vulcaniche 14%. Mrs. tBoW upbraided tBoW with the latest credit card statement. Slow down pal. This Fass selection is another example of what happens when tBoW encounters an importer who is 75% matched in palate. Same is true for Desert Wine Shop…Fass is a direct importer and we like what he likes. This is Alto Piemonte – a region which tBoW personally discovered and uncovered to the world for value and quality. AltoP [ed. cognoscenti wine speak] blends Nebbiolo with native varietals unlike Baroli wines which went to single varietals to sell into the USA market [ed. undrinkable since 2000]. This wine is a monster. Deep and impenetrable [ed. but not like VP Pence cannot be penetrated or would not ever be penetrated – never mind]. Hmmm. I wonder what “vulcaniche” means? Maybe grown in volcanic soil? Ya think? Needs minimum 3 years to round out. Even longer. Hell we cannot wait. That is why we must buy wines that drink on a more human SARS2 timetable. I left this bottle open overnight and it was still brawny and stout. Yeh. Gone now.

Feeling better now. I feel like I can take off my mask and gloves. Be careful and stay healthy. Please.

Bet you haven’t seen this Corona parody song.




This post features the Krisses. If you search for Kris A and KrisB on tBoW you will find them loping up and down the steeps of the Mosel. They learned to l-o-v-e German wines. In fact, they love all German beverages including BEER of which tBoW and kindt also are quite fond. In fact, you may quote KrisB in confirming that German beverages are pretty much tops all round.

Then they dropped out of sight like a hailstorm in September [ed. metaphor does not really work but what the hey.]…like a vineyard in February. Like a plate of cheese on a Spring afternoon with a delightful bottle of Burgundy.

They produced their own special blends – two bebes – and now the Krisses are back to share their favorite post partum wines with all of us.

2013 Weingut Beurer Riesling trocken: Really delicious estate trocken. All the cut you want. Reminds me of the beginning of a wine tasting in Germany. Tastes like Germany? Very good. Honestly maybe didn’t know a basic estate could be this good.

2010 Renato Motalli Valtellina Superiore – Valgella NEBBIOLO Very nice. Had this tinny thing that took a while to blow off, but really deepened and fleshed out the next day. Great wine. Here are cellar tracker notes. [ed. hmmm..posting cellar tracker notes.]

2018 Azienda Agricola Platinetti Guido Colline Novaresi Guido. Super tasty. Tastes like Italy. Classic northern Piemontese blend. Super delicious. Cellar tracker notes. [ed. he did it again. Once more and it’s a trend.]

NV Coessens Champagne Brut Nature Largillier Definitely very mineral with not a lot of red/blue fruits (surprisingly, because it is 100% Pinot), instead yellow fruits abound with a stony edge. Very very good. Cellar tracker [ed. crime-in-italy!]

2016 Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir Basis KrisA’s [ed.that be the missus] first Pinot after Beckett was born. Amazing nose off the bat. Very rangy at first with super high acids. Deepened further by the hour. Really good. And the price! Super value. Cellar tracker. [OK. Since this wine helped tBoW turn a corner on German pinots I had to see what CT said. “Decanted but was open from first pour. Beautiful just ripe cherry fruit with minerals, herbs, and some bark. Mild tannins were barely noticeable. Elegant but with excellent concentration of flavors. Excellent and great QPR. If this is the base wine, really looking forward to the Liaison and single vineyard wines.” tBoW rebuttal: No need to decant. Flavors are dependent on one’s palate. I will say this: based on QPR – quality-price-ratio – I bought summore!]

2010 Weingut Günther Steinmetz Wintricher Geierslay Riesling Spatlese sur lie: This was killer First wine after Beckett was born. [ed. the Enderle & Moll was 1st for Kris A. This must be for KrisB, no?] Nearly ten years old, yet still super electric and pithy, but also with delicate kabinett fruit flavors. Tastes mostly dry despite 28g RS. 11g of acid will do that! Super fresh too.

Lets also welcome the Field Maus [ed. he’s still around? been ages since he posted!] who would like to share something warm and touching about dogs and wine. We can all use some of that.

Here’s something unusual. Dance competition for cowboys and polka.