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 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…

Winemaker Rendezvous: Lucio Matricardi Ph.D. of Stemmari

TODAY WE WELCOME A RENDEZVOUS WITH WINEMAKER LUCIO MATRICARDI, Ph.D. WINEMAKER AT STEMMARI ON THE ISLAND OF SICILY. LUCIO IS ALSO THE WINEMAKER AT ROTARI TRENTODOC AND MEZZACORONA IN ITALY. I’ll tell you what I was thinking, in the days leading up to my call with Lucio. Have you ever heard someone say to a young mother -several…

Cooking at Home: Affordable Bordeaux & Homemade Pasta

“Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” ~Sophia Loren Something elemental happened in our kitchen recently. We began to make our pasta from scratch. For years I’d believed this was a practice we weren’t entitled to, not being Italian and having the oh-so-easy bounty of boxed (and even pre-made fresh) pasta available at our local…

The Biodynamic Vineyards of Savoie

When I read the story of Jacques Maillet, Savoie vigneron, it echoed the message I’d heard from other biodynamic winemakers. The chemicals, they say, just aren’t safe. They are toxic to our plants, to our soil, to our wildlife and to us. The Tale of Jacques Maillet Jacques Maillet husbands four hectares of vines, most over 40 years…

The Wines of Red Mountain

The story of how I became familiar with the Wines of Red Mountain, an AVA in southeastern Washington state, is representative of how most of my wine connections are made: organically. Late November I received a note in my inbox from author Boo Walker. His third novel, Red Mountain, had recently been released and he…

Evenings with Merlot

This article is all about Merlot, in conjunction with #MerlotMe and #WinePW, featuring two bottles from the Napa Valley. When I was a younger gal, an early wine drinker, my go-to wine was Merlot. I still remember walking into a Champagne bar and ordering a glass of Merlot instead of bubbly. Merlot proved, and still…

Harvest in Bordeaux

This article visits the regions of Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers as an example of the harvest season in Bordeaux. As I write this, estates harvest. They send their hands and boots to the vines as the grapes they’ve nurtured for months (from the vines they’ve nurtured for years) come into the winery. The harvest comes in…

A Beginner’s Guide to Volcanic Wines

This article introduces Italian wine from grapes grown in volcanic soil. Volcanic Activity It’s one of society’s most fascinating and upsetting stories: Pompeii. …and the walls kept tumbling down, in the city that we love…grey clouds fall over the hills bringing darkness from above… ~Bastille, Pompeii From HISTORY: “Ever since the ancient Greeks settled in the area in…

Harvest in Provence

Here we enjoy scenes of the vendage, wine grape harvest, at Château Romanin in Les Baux de Provence AOP. I’ve had the great pleasure of enjoying the wines of Château Romanin during my visits to Provence. I still remember drinking my first bottle during a rainy spring evening in little cafè called Le Marilyn in…

Winemaker Rendezvous: Nicolas Laugner of Domaine Allimant-Laugner

Today we welcome a rendezvous with Nicolas Laugner, 11th generation Alsatian winemaker at Domaine Allimant-Laugner in Orschwiller. I have a very active imagination. There isn’t much that I can’t picture or create in my mind’s eye; but there is something about Nicolas that I struggle with. I just can’t wrap my head around the idea of…

Oysters & Sauvignon Blanc from Proud Pour

This story tells about the efforts of Proud Pour, a company working to restore oyster beds from the proceeds of their sustainably-produced Sauvignon Blanc from North Coast, California. Learning About Oysters Last January, during a southbound drive on I-55, I heard a story on the radio about the cost of checked airline baggage. A guest on…

Winemaker Rendezvous: Bernard Duseigneur of Domaine Duseigneur

  Today we welcome a rendezvous with Bernard Duseigneur, winemaker at Domaine Duseigneur. The 30 hectare estate spans Châteauneuf du Pape, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Laudun and Lirac. 17 weeks ago I clicked on an Instagram photo of of three bottles of wine from Châteauneuf du Pape. “Wonderful,” I commented. “I’d love to try.” “If you come over here our…

Tour de France: Mount Ventoux Wines

A kindly giant who watches over the aromatic garrigue scrubland and the carefully tended vineyards, Mont Ventoux shelters wines conducive to sharing and close companionship – celebrated with a fragrant, flavourful centrepiece. ~ CHRISTOPHE TASSAN Sommelier and Rhone Ambassador The Tour de France 2016 Stage 12 of the Tour de France will route cyclists from Montpellier…