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Bankrupt Premier Cru Store’s Inventory Auctioned

Peter’s latest article surrounding the beleaguered Berkeley wineseller Premier Cru is live on Wine Spectator’s website. “For eight months, 79,000 bottles of wine have sat in the warehouse behind bankrupt California retailer Premier Cru, sequestered by court order. Now the wine has been sold, bringing resolution closer for thousands of angry customers. Unfortunately, the sale will not pay them back much.” Read the article here.

Premier Cru

A man walks by the shuttered Premier Cru storefront. Photo: Paul Chinn from


Are Celebrity Wine-Makers Destroying an Ancient Art?

That’s the question Peter poses in a recent NY Post article on a host of celebrity wine makers. Brad and Angelina, Yao Ming, Jack Nicklaus, even Titus Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt have their own labels, with wine varying in quality, price and availability. Peter writes, “Are any of [the wines] actually really good? Do they deliver value for the dollar? How involved with the winemaking should we expect celebrities to be? (Quick answer: Mostly, not very!) If you’re inclined to give the back of your hand to the whole business of celebrity wine, you’ll probably agree with veteran California winemaker Stuart Smith, who says, “My first thought is that celebrities getting into wine is God’s way of telling them that they have too much money.”

Read the article here. 

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's Miraval Rose

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Miraval Rose. Courtesy of

Premier Cru Scam Covered in Wine Spectator

Peter recently wrote two articles in Wine Spectator covering the Ponzi scheme that has surfaced at the famous Premier Cru. John Fox, a co-founder of the Bay area wine retailer frequented by the well-healed, was “escorted into an Oakland, Calif., courtroom by federal marshals last week, shackled hand and foot.” Read the stories of how Fox admitted to scamming his customers and spending nearly one million dollars on women he met online.

Front Cover of Wine Spectator’s November 2015 Edition

Peter’s article inside look at the Rudy Kurniawan trial was featured on the cover page of Wine Spectator’s November 30, 2015 publication. The article, “Catching Dr. Conti,” tells the inside story of how law enforcement brought down America’s most notorious rare wine forger. Find it on newstands now or subscribe to Wine Spectator.



The Best Books for Wine Lovers

The Wall Street Journal published Peter’s article “The Best Books for Wine Lovers” on November 20, 2015. Searching for “wine” on Amazon yields nearly 200,000 results. Read the article and your list will be whittled to the best of them. Great advice for holiday gift-giving. See the article in WSJ. 


Peter’s Book Review, “A Pestilence of Bombs” in Wall Street Journal

As the 60s gave way to the 70s, American radicals turned into violent revolutionaries. Read Peter’s book review of Bryan Burrough’s new book “Days of Rage,” which chronicles this tumultuous time period.

View a PDF of the “Days of Rage” book review or read it online on 

Chief, Classic Cases from the Files of the Chief of Detectives, by Albert Seedman & Peter Hellman


“Fascinating! Seedman recounts with vividness and detail…crimes that were page one stories. Excellent!–NY Times.

See a list of other articles and books I have written.