Thomas Jefferson in Burgundy

There is a phrase in the French language – déformation professionnnelle – which describes one’s tendency to perceive every situation through the biased eyes of one’s profession. But consider the constant shape-shifting of reality for a man with armloads of professions: inventor, farmer, author, diplomat, ambassador, drafter, architect, teacher, United States President, archaeologist and onward. Jefferson, Wine Lover Thomas…

A Sense of Provence: Domaine Dalmeran

On a recent trip to Provence I met with Ana Lopez from Domaine Dalmeran for a tasting of their red, white and rosé wines. The domaine is located in Les Baux-de-Provence AOP, a region that makes organic and in many cases, biodynamic, practices a thumbprint for the appellation. I’ve written widely about the AOP so…

Fresh American Wines for Brunch

When I was a young mom in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood (hands up if you are from Chicago) the place to be seen with your family was John’s Place for brunch on the weekends. It was a right of passage, you were now adult enough to be up before noon, but were young enough that…

The Good Wines of Lirac

Last fall I spent some time with winemakers in Lirac, a cru located across the Rhône River from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I covered a significant conversation with Rodolphe de Pins, winemaker at Château de Montfaucon and Co-President of Lirac AOP in a recent piece published on Palate Press: I’m in a vineyard on top of a graceful…

The Band of Boys Bringing Attention to Douro Valley Wine

Earlier this year I was introduced to The Douro Boys when I interviewed Pedro Carvalho, one of DuVine’s local guides in Portugal. We were chatting about the food and wine of rural Portugal when The Douro Boys came up. “The Douro Boys, a network of five winemakers, are leading the charge. At each of their quintas…

Cool Wines For The Adventurous Wine Lover

My April column at California Winery Advisor is dedicated to unexpected varietals in California Vineyards. I’ve featured Clenenden Family Vineyards – Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria, Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz and Markus Wine Co. (a subventure of Borra Vineyards) in Lodi. California is a state rich in vineyard microclimates and terroir. With over 800 miles…

Five Wines For a Beautiful Day

Who wants to drink a glass of chilled wine, face to the sun, ice-bucket ready? As Spring bursts in the northern hemisphere, it is time for fresh and vibrant wines in white and rosé. There are five days in the week, five wines to try: Riesling from Nik Weis My Riesling selection is the 2015…

A World of Flavors in Marseille

The Southern French port city of Marseille has been the entry point for the world since the Greeks settled there around 600 BC. The second largest city in France is home to people of scoping nationalities and this diversity makes Marseille the world’s kitchen. Marseille is also in an excellent wine neighborhood, with the best…

The Stunning Blessing of The Senses

In June 2016 the people of Chicago waited -cameras focused- for Persephone, a corpse flower, to bloom in her home at the Garfield Park Conservatory. That same year, two more corpse flowers bloomed in Chicago: Alice and Sprout, both at the Chicago Botanical Garden.   Above: Alice the Corpse Flower blooms in time-lapse at the…

15 Years, 5 Houses, 3 Kids and 1 Wine that’s seen it all…

My husband has a pair of jeans that he calls his painting jeans. He’s kept them around for painting projects, each one adding to the mess that makes them the perfect source of memories: here is the Ralph Lauren red from the upstairs hallway; here’s the Phillipsburg blue from the dining room; here’s the pink…

5 Italian Easter Dishes and Wine Pairings

A robin made a nest in the wreath on our front door. She’s been out there, fluttering from the edge of the roof, to the twigs in the planter, to the shrub…constantly moving about. My husband called it: she’s going to lay eggs.  New Life and A New Season Now there is one delicate blue…

Wine Stories: Bernard de Nonancourt of Champagne Laurent-Perrier

Twelve years ago I wrote a fictional story about a vigneron named Emmeline, raising her daughter in wartime Provence. This character was based purely on imagination, written in my basement office during my maternity leave to care for my middle child. The story was subsequently published initiated a sense of intense need to keep going, to make the…

Champagne avec Les Winophiles Français

Champagne is the focus of this month’s Winophiles treatment. The Winophiles are a group of wine writers and bloggers that love French wine. Each month we focus on an area or aspect of French wine. Topics include regions, routes, food, travel, history, profiles, tastings…we expand widely and seek to learn. Champagne! Just the sound of…

A Gigondas from the Cellar

During a visit to Gigondas last fall, I had lunch with Thierry Faravel, proprietor and winemaker at Domaine le Bouïssière. Thierry and his brother Gilles are second generation vignerons, tending vines planted by their father Antonin, who grew grapes for the co-op for 41 years (not uncommon in Southern France). The family vineyards are in Gigondas,…

A Time + A Place for Champagne

Champagne is… …home to a 15,000-strong team of highly skilled winegrowers. …an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC that’s been in place since 1927. …comprised of four main growing areas: The Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs et the Côte de Sézanne, the vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Bar. …situated at a northerly latitude…