A (Moderately) Short History of Stemware

ancient wine glasses

I own an absurd number of wine glasses. How many is absurd? North of 200, let’s just leave it at that. By any reasonable standard, I meet the clinical definition of a hoarding when it comes to my stemware — an excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them.  Every once in […]

The Fiasco of Chianti

tuscan wine map

When I was young, my parents were super fond of an Italian restaurant in Washington, DC called Luigis. The restaurant opened in 1943 and closed its doors for good in 2013 (some pretty good longevity). It was a little bit kitsch inside — decor consisted of red and white checkered tablecloths, and basket-covered bottles of […]

Taub Family Vineyards & the Business End of the Wine Spear (aka, the Three-Tier System)

Taub Family Vineyards

Outside of a certain wine-circle, the Taub Family isn’t exactly a household wine name.  Gallo and Mondavi, sure.  But Taub?  Not so much. So, who are the Taub’s? Some background:  Martin Taub founded a brandy rectifying business on December 6, 1933.  For the history-minded, that was the day after Prohibition ended in America.  Mr. Taub was on […]

Wine, Words & Wednesday, No. 106

I’ve been studying Champagne and sparkling wines for my WSET3 class, so I’ve got bubbles on my brain. Today’s words come to us from British statesman and Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.  Sir Winston’s affinity for alcohol (and Champagne in particular) is well documented. By the age of 24, Churchill had already figured this out: A single glass of Champagne […]

Wine, Words & Wednesday, No. 95

Today’s words are brought to us by Inglenook Winery.  Specifically, an ad for Inglenook Estate Wines that appeared in the March 1974 issue of The New Yorker. The headlines for that March 1974 issue?  Sample Resignation Speeches for Richard Nixon and Why Women’s Dresses Don’t Fit and Other Tales from the Garment Center. There’s also a groovy ad for […]

Wine, Words & Wednesday, No. 76

Today’s words come to us from one of the great female pioneers of Champagne, Lily Bollinger. Madame Bollinger (or Madame Jacques, as she was known) gave much to Champagne, including these terrific words.  A British reporter once asked Madame Jacques when she drank Champagne, and she gave this glorious response.  If you were ever in doubt about when to drink […]

Hungarian Wine: What a Bor!

No, I did not just slight the viticultural traditions of an entire nation — the Hungarian word for wine is Bor.  And Hungarian wines are anything but boring. A couple of weeks ago, I participated in an online wine chat on Twitter (#winechat), hosted by the Protocol Wine Studio and the Blue Danube Wine Company.  Several wine bloggers have already written their […]

In the Neighborhood . . . of Roma

italian hill town

I’ve been thinking and writing a lot lately about expanding my wine horizons, and drinking outside my comfort zone.  One of my girlfriends is going to Rome for a few days in March. Rome!!  Sigh.  If I can’t go with her, I will live vicariously and use her trip as motive to continue down the road […]

The Azerbaijani Wine Paradox

azerbaijan wine

I know what you’re thinking.  Because it was my first thought, too.  They make wine in Azerbaijan?  Isn’t Azerbaijan a Muslim country?  Yes.  According to the CIA Factbook (so you know it’s true), Azerbaijan is 93.4% Shi’ite Muslim.  And isn’t alcohol kind of a no-no in Islam? Yes.  Alcohol is forbidden in Islam.  And yet . […]

The Oldest Winery in Ohio . . . Check.

Johiln Century Winery

Sometimes I add things to my Bucket List after I’ve done them . . . just so I can check them off.  Because I still haven’t been able to check-off Visit Antarctica or Play Quidditch, and I’m starting to feel a little unsatisfied.  So, sometimes I add things and make them retroactive . It’s probably against the Bucket List Rules, […]