Conversation Salons Paired with
our Consumer Choice Wine Taste-Off 
Our Taste-off programs allow us--through a tasting panel of Bay Area Wine Society members--to select wines for our fundraisers.

Topic: TED Program ~ The Future You

  • Our September gathering focused on the TED Cinema Experience being held in the Cinemark  across from the Forge and 500 other movie theaters around the country.  The film will present the highlights from the Vancouver annual conference occurring over the previous five days with ticket prices beginning at $8,500.  

    THEME:  What does the future hold for you, for me, for us? In 2018, TED attempted to balance a hard look at the seismic shifts that are altering the way the world works with insights into how we can foster personal learning, growth and empowerment.

    In keeping with TED 2018’s theme, this year’s speakers and performers will unveil fresh ideas and insights about our future selves that we often don’t have time to consider 

    The Vancouver sessions will explore some of the most pressing questions of our time plus share what our future might look like; from how we'll work to how we'll connect and interact to how we'll collectively thrive in a world full of change. 

  • Click on this PayPal button to reserve a seat for our dinner discussion following the TED program. The $15 charged will be applied to your food order.  We will order off the menu matching the dishes with different wines from the Grocery Outlet for which there is no charge.

December Program

Please join us to rate and rank top value vino, i.e., wines with a excellent QPR (Quality Price Index).  We pair our taste-off of domestics and imports with focused discussion on our changing culture - a modest attempt at a modern version of the classical Greek Symposium with women and without the inebriation and couches.   

We will meet at Napkins Bar + Grill located at Main and  2nd St. in downtown Napa for brunch @ 12:30 p.m. We've reserved the private dining room ordering off the brunch menu. 

There is NO CHARGE, but I am requesting that you register for the event at this Eventbrite site

You be the judge: Participants will serve as a consumer tasting panel composed of those who buy their wines to enjoy with midweek meals not the professionals who drink samples and tend to seek other qualities in wines, like complexity and balance, rather that how delicious they are.  The Best of Tasting may be selected for a Consumer's Choice award and be featured in   digital magazine.  See last month's results here


In our inaugural Napa gathering--no more driving to SF on my part--we will discuss some key hot button topics.  I'm particularly interested in the overarching theme of nature and nurture, what some call our biosocial identity and the impacts on society.  

We'll consider the following questions in October.  After the questions I have listed some links to provide more background.

Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.  Are we locked in class warfare?  Will the election season ever really end?

Do we live in a bubble producing a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life as the Oscars proclaimed?

Can there be assimilation without resorting to a “whitelash” in Van Jones term, or “whitewash?  

Can we achieve creating a sense of being in this together going beyond group identities or are we speaking different languages. 

From the Oscars:

“United we talk to each” Jimmy Fallon

“Dare to be greatl” (Cadillac)

“Balance the equation” GE hiring  20,000 more women

“Love sweet love” Hyatt

Aren’t these just advertising slogans or empty cliches?

How do we bridge the chasm between classes and education levels?

Last night on the Oscars it was mentioned that women do it better-- Opposing without hatred  Might this lead to a bias against women because, on average, they are less combative than men?

Do you agree that women approach the world differently?

Do those who argue for differences  in gender and race deserve to be challenged or are these differences a starting point?

Christina Hoff Sommers recently defended herself against charges of misogyny and sexism for emphasizing how small average differences between the sexes at the ends of Bell Curve might lead to substantial differences in career choices and social interests.

Should Lawrence Sommers, a tireless advocate for equal treatment of women, be considered a sexist and fired as President of Harvard  for asserting that men seem to have a greater capacity for doing advanced mathematics?

Should we accept that men and women are different in some of their proclivities in part because of evolutionary pressures that shaped those differences in our species?

We know that STEM majors at elite universities are far more often men than women; conversely low-skilled men are becoming less employable than women, and are dropping out of the workforce at higher rates in industrialized countries ?  Any suggestions for improving these trends beside GE’s committment to adding 20,000 more women to their tech labor force.  Or Hyatt’s “Love Sweet Love”

Do you agree with this quote from Steven Pinker:  ”The desire to work with people versus things. There is an enormous average difference between women and men in this dimension…And this difference in interests will tend to cause people to gravitate in slightly different directions in their choice of career. The occupation that fits best with the “people” end of the continuum is “director of a community services organization.” The occupations that fit best with the “things” end are physicist, chemist, mathematician, computer programmer, and biologist.

Should we encourage people to sort themselves into college majors and job occupations that they’re reasonably good at and enjoy doing.

Is upholding orthodox Christian views of marriage and human sexuality not an act of hate? Is not expressing concern about the effect of large-scale immigration on wages and job opportunities an act of racism? 


"Homeplay" Assignment:

The titles below are also links that will take you to several short essays on our theme of 'isms' .

The End of Identity Liberalism 

How should this diversity shape our politics? The standard liberal answer for nearly a generation now has been that we should become aware of and “celebrate” our differences. Which is a splendid principle of moral pedagogy — but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age. In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.[click on the title to access the rest of the piece]

What is a sexist

 Like “racist”, the definition of “sexist” seems to have ballooned in such a way as to include any claim about average differences between males and females from the neck up. Some feminists, in particular, fear that assertions about differences between men and women threaten the social progress we’ve made over the past few centuries. Perhaps they have a point (as we discuss below). But we should consider whether such an expansive definition of sexism is helpful, or whether it actually represents a hindrance to moral progress.  

[click on the title to access the rest of the piece]

Is Wonder Woman being Forced into Early Retirement

It's come to light this week that the comic superhero's controversial tenure as the United Nations' honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls will be coming to a close this Friday.

That's less than two months since the character was unveiled as the face of a U.N. social media campaign to promote women's rights via tweets and facebook callouts. The decision sparked protests both in and out of the organization, with nearly 45,000 people ultimately signing an online petition that called the choice of a fictional character with "an overtly sexualized image" to represent gender equality "alarming" and "extremely disappointing."

What is a Racist? Why Moral Progress Hinges on Getting the Answer Right

The charge of “racist” represents a scalpel that has been substantially dulled in recent years. The result is an inability to cut cleanly around the cancerous tissue of racism. The term has been co-opted by well-meaning social justice advocates, and is no longer reserved for people who treat members of other groups as inherently inferior to members of their own group. Nor is it used to identify people who fail to treat members of other groups as the individuals that they are. Instead, “racist” is casually hurled at anyone who expresses ideas that have been emblazoned on an intellectual “no-fly list.”[click on the title to access the rest of the piece]

Progressive Orthodoxy Narrows Choices and Minds


Millions of Americans are furious with the scolding progressive impulse that’s branded “political correctness.”

‘Identity Politics’ Address Real Problems of Discrimination


We have a long history of responding to the suffering of “working class whites” by maintaining their status above others.

Political Correctness Reflects Crises More Than It Causes Them


Legitimate criticism of overreactions to racism needs to account for other real concerns that have angered and frightened some groups.

Declining Status Leads to Resentment of P.C.


Even people who harbor consciously negative views of minority groups rarely see themselves as racist.

An Identity Politics Where ‘Victims’ Vanquish Others


A culture of siege produces victims, and victims will sacrifice anything for their survival, even democracy itself.