Justifying The $20 Bottle of Wine

I am sitting in one of those crowded coffee houses that seems to be on every street corner around the country. The line is long and seats are full of people who’ve dropped around $5 each for a cup of soy, no foam chai latte.  A few minutes earlier I was in the wine aisle…

GEORGE: How a wine list should be constructed

I have long hoped for a place in Coppell to carry a great selection of wines by the glass and a reasonable price. Two years ago I wrote a series of posts deconstructing the wine lists of the 6 restaurants in the city (two of which are no longer in business).  Although each had a…

Why You Should Order Directly From Wineries

With hundreds of bottles staring at me every time pass the wine aisle at our local grocery story, it’s hard to believe I get bored with the selection, but I do. The store serves as a wonderful place to pick up our old standbys on any given night, but the wine world itself is so…

Villa Bellezza Winery: Crafting Award-Winning Hybrid Wines in Wisconsin

The Great River Road is an American icon, a series of state and local roads that follow the Mississippi River through 10 states from Minnesota and Wisconsin down to Louisiana. The Northern end of the Road is shutterbug’s dream. Dotted with scenic overlooks from the top of towering bluffs, picturesque small towns with quaint restaurants…

Patiné Cellars: Pinot Noir With a Scoring Touch

I started playing hockey when I was 6 and grew up watching the sport from my home in Wisconsin. There was no national hockey television presence in the 1980s, so I didn’t see very many L.A. Kings games, but certainly followed players like Marcel Dionne, Luc Robitalille, Bernie Nichols and Larry Murphy, even before Wayne…

Why Wine is Good for Your Brain (And Not for the Reason You Might Think)

It seems like every week there is a slew of new reports and studies on the how wine either is good or not so good for your health. Resveratrol, quercetin, and ellagic acid have all been touted as magical health properties contained within wine, while others trumpet warnings about the potential damage from alcohol. While…

Why I am Wary of a Recommendation from Total Wine

Last week I was in the Zinfandel aisle at Total Wine—a megastore for wine and liquor purchases–when a man asked a store employee to recommend a bottle of Zin for him. The employee asked one question, “What are you looking to spend?” and at hearing the price range of $20 to $40, zeroed in on…

For the Love of Laurel Glen

It’s no secret that my favorite wineries are those owned and operated by real people with a real story who have a passion for making good wine.  Sonoma’s Laurel Glen Vineyards has a history going back to 1968, has vines on the estate with mystery red grapes that may date back to 1880 and, and…

Bottling the Winery Experience for Social Sharing

I love to visit Napa Valley. One of my greatest fascinations about wine is the intersection of complex new technology with the simplicity of centuries-old agriculture. At the Hall Wines Rutherford facility (@hallwines), I awed at the hexagonal stainless fermentation tanks with temperature controlled by smart phone apps then stepped outside to behold the perfectly…

How Social Media is Like Wine: Part 1

The Foundation Wine is the original social media. For centuries, wine has been used as the liquid medium for seasoning social connections in order to commune, discuss, and discover. Perhaps the roots go even deeper. It turns out that the process vintners go through to produce a quality bottle of wine also serves as an…

Wine Buyer Beware: Those Sneaky Shelf Talkers Tend to Lie

Over the past few months I visited three different Tom Thumb stores, looking to rate a recommendation from one of their store employees. No luck. All three stores were absent any live person who could provide a recommended wine. At the last of the three, though, I noticed another customer read a shelf talker, the…

Improving The Wine Retail Experience

In far Northern Minnesota lies Nicollet Creek. It’s similar to thousands of other creeks in the United States: the water is cool and fresh and in most places you can step or walk across it. What makes Nicollet Creek different from the others is that it is the primary inlet into Lake Itasca and the…