Dog Friendly Wineries in California

So where are the top dog friendly wineries in California? On a recent trip to Napa I found myself charmed by all of the friendly faces in the tasting rooms – not just staff and visitors, but the pets that seem to feel as at home in a winery than at a dog park. It…

Historic Vineyards of Mâcon

Burgundy, known as Bourgogne in France, is one of the world’s most incredible wine regions. Due to an intense history dedicated to winemaking, there are stories to be told, lifetimes to preserve. Let this video, from Bourgogne Wines provide an introduction:   Vineyards in Burgundy have been cultivated for over 2,000 years, first by the…

Wine for a Summer Cookout

Many years ago I hosted a cookout party for family and friends to celebrate my sister’s achievement of earning her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. I made, truly, the best pulled pork this side of the Mississippi and I thought to myself (as I often do): Rhône reds.  Turns out, I had a houseful…

Like a Local in Languedoc Wine Country

We started May in France and ended it in California, with a bit of sweet ‘real’ life in between. The trips allowed us to bask again in warm favorite spots, and afforded us – in good measure – the opportunity to sit in new seats and chat with new voices. We’ve got stories to tell,…

Drink or Hold: Burgundy, Where Parker Got it Wrong

Today we feature a guest post from Gerald (Jerry Clark). Jerry has written for L’occasion in the past, recently with his thoughts on wine as an investment. This month he shares perspective on Burgundy wines, a great fit for our readers between a two-part series on Burgundy.  Jerry has a wide scope of experience with…

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…

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…

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…

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,…