Second Annual PRI Next Round Wine and Cocktail Recommendations

The holidays are upon us, so we’ve decided to compile a list of our Next Round podcast guests’ alcoholic beverage recommendations for our loyal Right by the Bay readers once again.

There’s something for everyone on the list, from Michael “the most interesting man in the White House” Anton’s cabernet recommendation, to the legendary George Gilder’s favorite zin, to our own Kerry Jackson’s Trader Joe’s bottom shelf pick.

We also have some beer fans — Senate Minority Leader Pat Bates and our fellow think tankers at R Street and Mercatus.  And finally, some fancy cocktail concoctions from Harry Crocker at Regnery Publishing and Nick Loris of the Heritage Foundation.  We hope you’ll try some of them at your holiday table or even at the park or the beach – after all, this is California.

Happy Thanksgiving to all from the Right by the Bay writers.


Cabernet sauvignons were the clear favorite among our guests.  Andy Puzder recommended the luxurious Merus from St. Helena while former White House aide Michael Anton picked the equally posh Clos Du Val.  Author Laurence Jurdem also has fine taste with his choice of Silver Oak cabs from Napa. Super policy lawyer Todd Gaziano enjoys Stags Leap Artemis, while Pete Peterson, Dean of Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy, likes Round Pond and Robert Hall. Tech guru Ned Desmond recommended Amici Cellars of Calistoga.

We also had quite a few pinot fans among our guests.  PRI senior fellow Henry Miller, who has a second home in Sonoma, recommended Donum Estate which makes excellent pinots and has a wonderful sculpture garden on its premises.  Also in Dr. Miller’s backyard is another favorite, Cline Cellars, which uses Rhone varietals.  PRI fellow and fellow blogger Damon Dunn is also pinot fan.  His pick was Rusack Vineyards of Solvang.  Washington Examiner journalist Tom Rogan recommended a tempranillo – Casillero Del Diablo.  George Gilder, who favors zins, likes Kamen’s Writers Block (my pick last year).  Our own California fellow Kerry Jackson, who is always in search of value, recommended Rabbit Ridge, an old stand-by from Trader Joe’s.


We had a few white wine recommendations.  Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review, likes Tablas Creek’s Espirit de Tablas blanc from Paso Robles, while our colleague Will Swaim, president of the California Policy Center, chose a Riesling from Chateau St. Michelle. Tia Boatman Patterson of CalHFA enjoys Santa Margherita pinot grigio. Former state legislator Connie Conway chose La Reve champagne, while PRI’s counsel, Dean McGrath, also recommended champagne. Steve Maviglio chose craft brewed sake (not sure if this belongs in the white wine category, but here it is).


Ian Adams of the R Street Institute recommended Ninkasi IPA while Jared Meyer of the Foundation for Government Accountability picked CalCraft Beer. Mercatus Center’s Salim Furth and Emily Hamilton offered Dogfish Head Sour from Delaware.  California Senate Minority Leader Pat Bates recommends that when visiting Carlsbad in her district to check out the craft brewers on Hops Highway. Chuck Devore of the Texas Public Policy Institute and former Californian likes Family Business Brewing Company of Texas.


For cocktails, free speech heroine and teacher Rebecca Friedrich’s favors Mai Tais and margaritas.  Regnery’s executive editor Harry Crocker recommended the Custer Cocktail (bourbon, bitters, club soda and an orange slice). Sacramento political strategist John Kabateck enjoys a Whiskey Smash, while Los Angeles film producer Patrick Reasonover recommended good ol’ Jack Daniels. Nick Loris of the Heritage Foundation is fond of a concoction called Blueberry Bourbon Basil Smash; Pete Constant, CEO of the Retirement Security Initiative is a whiskey and bourbon fan, and Richard Samuelson of Cal State San Bernardino, likes Jefferson Bourbon.


We couldn’t leave out our non-alcohol drinkers.  Bryan Anderson of the Sacramento Bee likes Cheerwine, a cherry soft drink, while Michael Thom of USC enjoys classic diet Coke.  And last, but not least, Lance Izumi, senior fellow in PRI’s Center for Education, is preparing for the holidays with un-spiked eggnog.

Rowena Itchon is senior vice president at the Pacific Research Institute

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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