The Sunshine Blog: Love The Wine You're With - Honolulu Civil Beat


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The members of Civil Beat’s editorial board focused on ‘Let The Sunshine In’ are Patti Epler, Chad Blair, John Hill and Richard Wiens.


Short takes, outtakes, our takes and other stuff you should know about public information, government accountability and ethical leadership in Hawaii.

Drink up: A California winery has released another selection in its Hawaii-inspired line, the 2021 Imua Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, this one made in partnership with the University of Hawaii.

Your Sunshine Bloggers would have tasted it for you except it costs $195 a bottle. And people say the cost of living in Hawaii is too high.

The wine is part of the Pono Wines label, which is located in Napa. And it uses California grapes. Yet a press release issued last week tells us that this new wine “blends the premium grapes of Napa Valley with the native culture of Hawaiʻi.” We’re kind of wondering how that works exactly but branding knows no limits as the press release goes on:

“The wine is made from grapes grown in the volcanic soils of the Diamond Mountain District, one of the most sought-after harvest sources in the Napa Valley, and has a strong tannin structure with layers of plum, currant and cherry. The label of the wine captures the Spirit of the Rainbow Warrior, the UH Mānoa label, and features a Hawaiian Koa paddle with the University’s “H” inscribed on it.”

Pono Wines’ David and Carole Sedeno are behind the California company and the wine label. David Sedeno says he is a Native Hawaiian former firefighter who says he began working with wineries in California 20 years ago. (Screenshot/Pono Wines/2023)

Pono Wines press release says UH will “benefit directly from every bottle of the Imua Cabernet Sauvignon sold.” But it doesn’t say how much that is expected to be or how the profits will be split.

The Blog suspects they are counting on the mainland market where UH grads who can’t afford to buy such wine in Hawaii have moved.

  • A Special Commentary Project

The Spotlight is back on: Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji return to the airwaves Tuesday with “Spotlight Now.” It’s on Hawaii News Nows’s K5, and the first guest is a familiar one: Gov. Josh Green.

Tsuji and de Nies, both formerly with KITV, ended their previous 30-minute, Monday-Friday Spotlight gig with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser July 31 after a run of three years.

Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji are back in the spotlight. (Courtesy HNN)

The new one-hour live show, which will take questions from viewers on Facebook and YouTube, will be every Tuesday at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 7 p.m. and also available on demand on HNN’s digital platforms.

“Since it’s a longer time frame, we will likely have one or two guests per show, depending who the guests are,” de Nies told The Sunshine Blog.

“Ryan and I both enjoy having these conversations with leaders in our community that are live and unedited. The guests can speak at length and are given plenty of time to really explain their positions.”

There’s still hate in the 808: A longtime Civil Beat reader from Kauai recently inquired as to whether there are any Proud Boys on the Garden Island. You’ll recall that a former Proud Boy leader from Oahu was sentenced to prison for his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and more were sentenced just last week in the ongoing federal investigation.

Sadly, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that there are indeed still Proud Boys (categorized as a general hate group consumed with conspiracy theories) in the islands (although apparently NOT on Kauai).

But there are also seven other so-called hate groups locally tagged by the SPLC. They include a Honolulu chapter of Moms for Liberty (an anti-government group), Vinland rebels (neo-Nazi) and Parents Involved in Education (anti-government).

In 2000, the SPLC reported that there was just one hate group in Hawaii, a Honolulu organization called the National Association for the Advancement of White People. They’re now gone from our shores.


Read this next:

The Sunshine Blog: Misinformation, Island Style


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About the Author

The Sunshine Editorial Board

The members of Civil Beat’s editorial board focused on ‘Let The Sunshine In’ are Patti Epler, Chad Blair, John Hill and Richard Wiens.


Latest Comments (0)

People should know the shipping for one bottle of wine to Hawaii is more than $50 too! No arrangements with distributor or for bulk shipments to UH for pick-up.

ohanafirst · 1 week ago

Oh boy, Mayor Blangiardi will be over the moon knowing that Spotlight Now will be an hour now. He has been lobbying hard for it to run longer because the time past too quickly since he had so much to say.Since CB has that news sharing agreement with KGMB maybe The Civil Beat Pod Squad could be resurrected! With the new one hour format CB and Spotlight could rotate to make the workload more manageable for all. An hour is a longtime to go live with no breaks.

Frank_DeGiacomo · 1 week ago

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