SWIRLosopher Wine Blog

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 […]