Elated to host a class at Elan

Yesterday I had the distinct honor to entertain a group of seniors at Elan Spanish Springs, an assisted living facility in The Villages. It was the first time that I ever taught a wine class in front of a group that was older than me! The experience was fun and instructive (hopefully for the participants […]

Red Wine and Blue Oceans

A cartographer might argue with the assertion that central Florida is an arid desert. But a wine enthusiast might be more sympathetic to the characterization. Just ask the (former) owners of the only Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant in the area, the now-defunct Cuvee Wine Bistro. There are a couple of ways to respond to this […]

What Aristotle Can Teach Wine Critics

In an article about Warren Winiarski, Dorothy Gaiter asked the legendary Stags Leap Wine Cellars vintner about the process he used to evaluate his wines. He [Winiarski] explained to me that “to be complete, a wine has to have three fundamental things. It has to have a beginning. It has to have a middle. And […]

Sometimes Red Will Calm the Bull. 

A few years back, Casey Johnson, a former student of mine, imagined – in one of her branding projects for Loco wine – that it took a powerful wine to stand up to the power of a big, marbelized slab of beef. Back then I didn’t really understand how correct she was. Some wines are […]

Truffled Chicken, Sunday-Night Pizza Style. 

   Truffled chicken, or Chicken in Half Mourning, is a French dish that is made by inserting slices of fresh black truffles under the skin of a whole chicken that is then oven roasted. Ideally, the dish would be paired with an old red or white Burgundy wine.  I, however, had a much thriftier idea […]

Lost Zin Space

To be appreciated wine demands attention and contemplation; and the appeal of tasting is enhanced if one can analyse it. – Emile Peynaud The theme of the evening was Zinfandel. The wines were superb (with The Terraces 2013 Zin being the standout). The company engaging. But the introvert in me was in full bloom and […]

The Virtues of 77 Point Greek Wines

Feta Mediterranean Cuisine is a gem of a family-run Greek restaurant in downtown Ocala, FL. The owner, Dimitri, also has a passion for Greek wines. He poured me more than one on the last occasion I visited the restaurant, but one in particular was instructive. The Delectable score on the third wine I sampled that […]

Please Don’t Eat the Lemon, Miss Roseannadanna

“Dear Waiter, I’d like to complain about the food.” “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. What’s wrong?” “I’ll tell you what’s wrong, Mr. Suspenders. These bright yellow side dishes that came with the fish are just awful. Who do you have cooking back there, the Marquis de Sade?” “I’m not sure I understand, ma’am.” “They’re full of […]

Taming the Wild Artichoke

Wine and food pairing enthusiasts will already know the wonderful insights afforded by British wine writer, Fionna Beckett. A celebrated wine-writing veteran, Beckett is one of my go-tos for inspiration when planning food and wine adventures. But even an expert’s advice can lead one astray, especially with something as subjective as personal tastes. To wit, […]