Will Travel for Wine

L’occasion Passport: what it means to me to move around the world to taste wine and meet winemakers. Contagious: The Travel Bug One of my early wine tasting trips was to a little town in Northwestern Illinois called Galena. Galena is one of those delightful spots, with a historical downtown, a river view, lots of charm. Ulysses S….

Vouvray during WW2: A Wine Worth Fighting For

The wines of Vouvray, in France’s Loire Valley, represent the ancient treasure that is French wine, a wine worth fighting for during WW2. Hidden Bottles, Wine Parties in Prison and a Historical Winemaker: Gaston Huet At the mention of Vouvray, I’m reminded of a gentleman that passed way about 15 years ago. That he lived into…

Provence Rosés from VinAzur

The charms of authentic Provençal wine from top-quality, small-scale producers, most with sustainable practices in the vineyards…this is the VinAzur way of providing a taste of Provence.

Cooking with Wine: Chipotle Pinot Noir Enchiladas

One of my husband’s favorite food memories of growing up in Chicago was the tamale lady. She was a neighborhood mother who made a huge batch of tamales on a certain day of the week. She’d sell them hot and ready to any family that opened their door in time to catch her. So when I…

North of the Border: British Columbia Wine

Get an insider look into the 2015 vintage of British Columbia wines with interviews of regional winemakers via BC Wine Trends. Canada in general has always fascinated me, sitting friendly up there, sharing a border with America. It seems so international, yet so sheerly Canadian, balancing history, present and future with grace and stability. Canada…

36 Hours in Lombardy

Spend a weekend in Lombardy (Lombardia) and be rewarded with fascinating history, stunning natural beauty, the rush of city life and the authenticity of a classic wine region. Choose luxury, discoveries and relaxation on vacation or a night at home with wine, food and family…all inspired by Lombardy! Lombardy: A Rich Region Lombardy is well-known…

A Frost in Burgundy: Am I Out There With the Heaters?

This month I met with a local winemaker, Susan Danenburger of Danenburger Family Vineyards. She told me a story of a cold spring season that drew her (and everyone she knows) into the vines with fires, heaters, blankets, warm water…anything that would protect the baby vines from frost damage. This technique is practical, time honored…

A Flâneur Through Beaune

I “met” Cindy from Grape Experiences virtually, though in fact we were in the same event at Public Chicago when Vins de Provence took over The Pump Room in February for their 2015 tasting. We didn’t realize it, until later, that we’d likely brushed past one another with a glass of rosé in hand. Always one for…

A Taste of Burgundy with a Grand Cru Finish

Last night my husband and I had the opportunity to attend an outstanding Burgundy tasting offered by my local shop, The Corkscrew. Sean O’Hare from Fine Vines in Chicago was our guest for the evening as he presented an impressive lineup of wines paired with courses prepared by Chef Coffey at American Harvest Eatery. A…

Sustainable Wines for Earth Day

April 22, 2016 is Earth Day. Ask any winegrower the number one ‘ingredient’ in their wine and they’ll answer: terroir. The land. The Earth. This post is a round up of some of the recent sustainable and biodynamic (biodynamique in French) wines that I’ve highlighted on L’occasion. (And one recommendation for the beer lovers.) Profile…

Five Things I Learned about Loire Wines from a Bottle of Rosé

It’s a common travel fantasy: visit the Loire Valley (maybe on some sexy-fat-tire-bike), sip white wine, ogle the châteaux, ogle sunflowers, relax like royalty. If you bring a date, even better: ogle them too. Let’s bust up that vision a bit, shall we? I’m not arguing with tradition. I just want to snoop around a bit….

Monaco: Passport to Pleasure

Before a trip, people often ask, ” Are you traveling for business or pleasure?”. If your business is pleasure, you go to Monaco. My recent trip to Monaco was a Monte Carlo stop on a short road trip from the Alpilles region in Provence for a weekend in the Italian Riviera (also, highly pleasurable). The…

Welcome Spring with Fresh Food & Le Ferme Du Mont Côtes du Rhône

“Do not search in a wine for the reflection of an exact science. The formulas of scientific oenology are only a thin competition which does not know how to respect the mysteries of eternal creation.”  ~The late Jacques Perrin, Château Beaucastel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Eternal creation. The mysteries of eternal creation… is there anything more beautiful? The…

Spring Meal Pairings for Southern Rhône Wines: #winePW

  {Spring Meal Pairings for Southern Rhône Wines} Saturday April 9, 2016 at 11 a.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Central Join in on twitter with #winePW The Rhône Valley of France is a diverse and fascinating wine region; for this #winePW, we’ll focus on the wines and winemakers of the Southern Rhône. As many parts of the…

Provence WineZine: Vins de Provence Annual Competition

Emmanuelle Baude of Domaine Tour Campanets was a Gold Winner for their Bois des Fées cuvee. Photo credit: W.T. Manfull of Provence WineZine.   The Vins de Provence annual tasting competition took place on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at the Maison des Vins Côtes de Provence in Les Arcs sur Argens in the Var Department. …