John Capone

Content strategy/ writing and editing

John Capone

Probably on deadline.


Preston Farm & Winery

A serendipitous sequence of luck, magic, mystery, chaos and belief brought Lou Preston to the place he is today. Which is, essentially, where he started—and, at the same time, far from it.
Edible Marin and Wine Country Link to Story

That unsold bottle of Merlot is probably winding up in your gas tank

The first thing you notice is the smell. An acrid eau-de-wet-garbage mixed with electrical fire and burning diesel. Mad Max meets scratch and sniff. Breweries and distilleries have a distinct aroma, like moist bread. The backrooms of gin distilleries can fill with the scent of cardamom and juniper and smell like a Silk Road spice cart.
Quartz Link to Story

Drinkers Without Borders

Wine country restaurants are (finally!) taking their wine lists way, way beyond Napa and Sonoma. It sounds like blasphemy, but it’s true: Finding an adventurous wine list in wine country is shockingly difficult. Laboring under the misapprehension that regional wines alone are of interest to their customers, Napa and Sonoma restaurants all too often stick to the usual suspects—mega-production “local” wines easily available from their distributor.
San Francisco Magazine Link to Story

Hungarian Wines Are Getting Their Shot at the Spotlight

Decades of Communist rule didn’t kill Hungary’s centuries-old winemaking tradition, but the country’s reputation for mass-produced, sickly sweet wines nearly did. Today, however, that’s finally changing.
San Francisco Magazine Link to Story

Is California Bubbly Finally Coming into Its Own?

California’s sparkling wines are growing—in both number and quality. And they might finally get their due. Throughout the country, the popularity of sparkling wine is surging skyward like a cork shot from a bottle. And here in the Bay Area, a growing number of producers are competing with champagne houses to go straight to your head.
San Francisco Magazine Link to Story

The Best of the West

YOU’D THINK THAT PLACING a “Napa Valley only” limit on a restaurant wine list would constitute an unwelcome constraint in the eyes of sommeliers, but Kelli White and Scott Brenner of Press in St. Helena, Calif., have accepted the challenge with enthusiasm. After moving to Napa from New York in 2010 to launch Press’ wine program, the two have assembled the largest collection of Napa bottles in wine country, with vintages going back to the 1940s.
Hemispheres Link to Story

Such Great Heights: Manchester Ridge Vineyard and the “Island” AVA

“This road is littered with winemakers who have tried to make wine here,” says Greg La Follette, careening in a rickety pick-up through a winding and narrow dirt road with shear drops into the ravines below. We’re bouncing along the road to Manchester Ridge Vineyard, a place where La Follette has come since 2008 to make what some call one of America’s best pinots.
Drink Me Link to Story

WINE of the WEEK: 2012 Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco

Barolo is not for those seeking instant gratification. That wine made from the Nebbiolo grape, like some of the old-line winemakers who produce it in the region, has a reputation for surliness—but unlike those particular Piemontese, the notoriously tannic wine mellows with age. These wines give Nebbiolo appreciators another, often more approachable, way to enjoy the fruits of these protean vines grown in their most renown region, and they give producers wines to offer that do not require 10 years to tame.
Robb Report Link to Story

Red Hook Winery

Dressed in throwback running shoes and shorts, Chris Nicolson looks more like a guy about to go for a jog with Prefontaine than who he actually is: One of the most important young winemakers in New York. He plunges a long glass pipette (or “thief”) into a barrel and then offers a sample of the still-maturing blend of riesling and sauvignon blanc destined to become the house wine at Momofuku.
Long Island Pulse Magazine Link to Story

Prime 103 Does Owe a Debt - to Angelo and Maxie's

The concept for Prime 103, Ed "Jean Luc" Kleefield's new steakhouse and lounge on the Montauk Highway, isn't borrowed from a Miami Beach rival, despite recent accusations. Its inspiration, it turns out, is much closer to home.
Grub Street Link to Story

The Decline of West Village Civilization

Nothing kills the flavor of a neighborhood like the arrival of a bank. Especially the modern bank with its flat screens and gaudy 24-hour glowing facades. Hudson Street, which has been suffering for some time, died a little more today.
NBC New York Link to Story

Growth Industry

Winemakers diversify their portfolios—by planting vegetables. NAPA VALLEY JUST 40 YEARS AGO was a vastly different landscape from today. Acres of orchards, fields of produce and thousands of oak trees once competed for space with vineyards. However, following the region’s rise to fame on the heels of 1976’s Judgment of Paris—when some Napa wines bested their French counterparts in a tasting—much of this diversity was wiped out in order to produce as many award-winning wines as possible.
Hemispheres Link to Story


John Capone

John Capone is a writer and editor from New York currently based California. As a freelancer he's written for’s Grub Street, BlackBook, Radar, The Daily, Hemispheres,, [wherever]: an out of place journal and many others.