The notion of wine as a way of life is neither new nor especially profound, but many of this week's stories take the theme in interesting directions. Tara Q. Thomas details the grueling ordeal three men undergo in order to be named "America's Best Sommelier." Corie Brown, in a LA Times column newly christened "Oeno-file," writes poignantly about the disjunction between the beautiful dream and arduous reality of being a wine importer.
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Tim Teichgraeber has an article featuring Philippe Melka as a "mountain man" with a suitably big (and quite adorable) picture of him beside the fetching owner of Marston Family Vineyards. And finally, Paul Gregutt is so dazzled by Rob Griffin's devotion to winemaking for 30 years that he finds himself unreservedly recommending Griffin's entire lineup of wines.