Five Holiday Gifts (Not) to Give Your Favorite Wine Geek

Five Holiday Gifts (Not) to Give Your Favorite Wine Geek
Let me begin by apologizing in advance to anyone who over the past many years has gotten me one or more of the gifts on this list. It is not your fault. No one told you. In fact, if your affection for me led you to scour the wine, museum, fine art or Spenser Gifts ...

Canadian Wine for Our American Holidays

Canadian Wine for Our American Holidays
Every year for the past 16 years, Julie and I have hosted a “Sunday Before Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner.” Billed as a pre-Thanksgiving event for our friends who have become our extended family, the event has grown with the square footage of the house and the capacity of the kitchen. From a relatively modest dozen-or-so guests ...

Wayda’s Wine of the Week from Ohio’s Grand River Valley

Wayda's Wine of the Week from Ohio's Grand River Valley
It has been several weeks since I have published here because I have been wine traveling and hosting large food and wine parties – but I am back! Julie and I took a long, fabulous wine tasting trip in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, which you will be reading much more about in the ...

Quilceda Creek: An American First Growth Wine 1

Quilceda Creek: An American First Growth Wine
In the mid-1990s I was first introduced to the wines of Quilceda Creek, one of the early producers in Washington’s Columbia Valley. Julie was representing a client in a case in Seattle and she brought home a bottle. We just did not understand what we had. A year or two later, our friend Steve Hamm, ...

Time in a (Wine) Bottle 2

Time in a (Wine) Bottle
What makes a wine special, and when should we drink those special bottles? You do not have to be a wine collector to have a collection of wine. We may think of the “serious” wine collector as someone with several hundred to several thousand bottles of wine preserved in some climate controlled space in a ...

Food and Wine Pairings: Barbecue & Wine 1

Food and Wine Pairings: Barbecue & Wine
Sixteen years ago some friends of mine had a dream. They were all professionals, but they were also amateur foodies who, along with another friend of ours, had formed a competition barbecue cook team called the BBQ Boys. In 1998, the BBQ Boys shocked the barbecue world by winning the brisket competition at the American ...

Promise and Challenges of Ohio Wine (Part 2)

Promise and Challenges of Ohio Wine (Part 2)
Wine grapes, like Goldilocks, like it to be not too hot and not too cold. Growing grapes for fine wine requires avoiding temperature extremes. That is why most wine grapes in the world are grown between 30 degrees and 50 degrees latitude in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Those are the temperate climate zones, providing on average ...

Promise and Challenges of Ohio Wine (Part 1)

Promise and Challenges of Ohio Wine (Part 1)
This is the first of a two-part series on Ohio wines, featuring last weekend’s North Market Ohio Wine Festival in Columbus, and some of my Ohio wine travels. There is so much history, and so many questions yet to be answered about where Ohio wines are going that this piece would be too long if ...

Guest Sommelier: First Time Selling Wine 2

Guest Sommelier: First Time Selling Wine
When you get to the point as a wine lover that you know a little more than the average wine drinker, you get used to being asked to make wine recommendations. Your friends tend to hand you the wine list in restaurants or they call to ask what they should buy to drink for a ...

Introducing the Wine Ombudsman and Four Wines Under $15 3

Introducing the Wine Ombudsman and Four Wines Under $15
In a technical, legal sense, an ombudsman is often a corporate or government official whose task it is to investigate allegations of wrongdoing against members of their organization. In a broader sense, however, an ombudsman functions as a trouble shooter and a problem solver, a go-between that seeks to address the needs of the public. ...