As a grocery-store wine steward, I was accustomed to introducing customers to wines. But what happened when one of them returned the favor, with a legend no less?
As I’ve packed up my life in Seattle, waves of nostalgia have overtaken me. I’ve combed through boxes of letters, photos, and memories that brought up all kinds of feelings. It’s been very emotional. On that note, here are images conveying all the things I’ll miss.
Let me couch it in the terms of our world of smart phones and dating:
It's like Chardonnay is on Tinder, swiping hella left, and feeling very fussy, finicky, and unfulfilled. (UNLIKE ME, OF COURSE.) Until coming across an oak barrel. Which not only had natural good looks, an upright nature, and curves, but also some words of interest:
Looking to add richness and texture to your world without stifling your true nature. Battonage, lees, and stirring things up? Yes, please. NO FLAKES AND NO HOOKUPS!*
And Chardonnay swipes right and it's totally a match.
In 2007, my father dropped dead while standing in a lift line at a ski resort. I heard a similar refrain from a lot of well-intentioned people, “At least he died doing something he loved.” Which was no consolation to me because, well, dead is dead.
I was upset and cynical, mostly because my dad had just
retired and looked forward to years of travel with my mother. She posed a question: Would I travel with her instead?
I said yes, though we weren’t close at the time.
Where can you spend one breezy, scenic afternoon tasting hemp vodka, wine made from Austria’s signature white grape, Grüner Veltliner, and talking local varieties at an artisanal cidery? Just a short drive from British Columbia’s charming capital, Victoria, will get you to that place: the Saanich Peninsula.
Of the red wine grapes that make up classic Bordeaux blends, Petit Verdot seems to have the fewest fans. It ripens late and can produce wines with overwhelming tannins. Petit Verdot has been judged to be a supporting actor, a component for boosting color and body. It rarely gets to be the star. But every grape has its champion—or at least a winemaker willing to work with one often relegated to a minor role.
In a past life I was a baker, so while recently in Victoria, BC, I was excited to check out Fol Epi. I got a hot tip from my friend Jay Friedman that the smoked albacore tuna sandwich was not to be missed.
I have looked at so many wine labels in my decade-plus career in wine as someone selling it, tasting it, buying it, and writing about it. The good, the bad, and the ugly have all come across my path. One wine and label I’ve been fond of belongs to the Castaño Monastrell.
But so what if I like the label? What do the pros think? I contacted five of my pals who are professional graphic designers with a passion for food (and wine) to chime in
“You’re going to live on a farm?!? YOU?!?”
This was my family’s incredulous reaction when we gathered at Christmastime and updated each other on our lives. I hadn’t realized how thoroughly I had cultivated my reputation as a soft city boy. You see, I had just announced that I was going to live (and volunteer) at Finnriver Farm and Cidery for the month of January.
During a recent visit to Nashville, my guide was Susan Ruth. A performing songwriter, she not only put live music on the menu, but also offered a wine-centric tour of the city. Particularly memorable was a bottle of COS’s 2013 Pithos Rosso during dinner at City House.
Upon returning home, I thought it would be great to have Ruth and five Nashville musicians (and one group) send me their burning questions about wine. I picked one query from each act to answer.