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…

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…

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…

The Resurgence of the Local Winery

What Wine and Craft Beer Have Learned From Each Other I fondly remember the Hamm’s beer commercials from the 1970s. The silly Hamm’s beer was always up to some hi jinx while an outdoorsy spokesman declared the beer to be refreshing because it was from the land of sky blue waters. I don’t once recall…

What Does an 88 Point Wine Taste Like?

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of wine exploration and discovery, but I’m not a fan of the 100 point wine scale. I use it in limited situations when making the best comparisons I can across a similar methodology, but on whole I find the scale to be more detrimental to the…

Four Reasons Why Restaurant Wine Lists Might Be Improving

Restaurant wine lists fascinate me. The good ones are a fantastic way to discover and experience new and different wines that are typically unavailable at local retail or through direct order. Unfortunately, I find the good wine lists few and far between, and that is baffling. In most restaurants I visit while traveling the county…

When to Verify the Vintage in a Restaurant

Wine inventories move faster than menus get reprinted. So the wine that is listed on the wine list is more often than realized not the same vintage that is actually being poured by the restaurant. I am in complete agreement with the majority of wine writers who say that in most cases vintage is not…