A First Course in Wine: From Grape to Glass. Copyright 2013; Race Point Publishers, NY. 224 pages. Forward by Mario Batali.

The ultimate handbook for all wine drinkers, for beginners and pros.

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An Ode to the Wine Echo

the wine echo:  the memory with perpetual reverberating powers.

the wine echo: the memory with perpetual reverberating powers.

Sometimes the echo is fleeting, and sometimes it’s more resonating, but regardless, a wine’s presence is a reverberating echo that can penetrate the most impenetrable of people, and the most impermeable of palates.  I’m forever humbled by the journey that wine creates – from the people to the places – and the echoing sensations that it leaves in its fluid wake.   The connectivity of something so simple creates unwavering power, immeasurable feelings, and lasting value.  The wines we enjoy the most in life are not so epic in appearance and prestige, but rather are those that create infinite pleasures trapped in time.  They cement in our minds the happy memories of whom we drank with, and where in the physical world we found ourselves.  Although our ability to remember with clarity eventually slows with time, the echo of that setting will never truly fade away, and will always play at bed level as long as our hearts are true, and our appreciations sure.

It brings a warming sensation over me when a customer timidly and hopelessly recalls a wine he or she once enjoyed – the one that “had a tree on the label”.   Ah, yes, the famous wine with “the tree on the label”.  While I have no idea which wine it was, and as I absorb the vague flavor descriptions the customer is rattling off when recalling how it tasted, I indulge in the echo, and partake in the pleasures it once gave them that damp starry night in the hills overlooking some foreign land I’ll probably never visit yet I can vividly see in my mind.  Although the chances of the customer and I finding the exact wine they once had are nearly nill, it’s likely the echo will lead us to another selection, and hopefully another reiteration of the echo.  A new echo that will take on it’s own identity down the corridor of our wine experience and carry the enthused wino to his or her next destination.  With tens of billions of bottles produced each year, and with quality making its way down the price point, there’s never been a better time dive into the deep end.  The louder the splash, the greater the ripple.  The greater the ripple, the louder the echo.

Wines for (the alarmingly low level of) CHOCOLATE!!!

There is a yawning deficit of chocolate, so go out and get yours today.

The combination of wine and food has been providing happiness and nutrition for many years. While less championed than other foods for its compatibility, chocolate is in it’s own category when it comes to pairing with wine. Chocolate comes in [...]

Interview with Filmmaker Tiziano Gaia on the Making of “Barolo Boys”

Rolling Vineyards in Barolo

This time of year winemakers in the northern hemisphere all over the world are picking ripe grape bunches from the vines and bringing them to the winery. The grapes are transformed into wine and in doing so tell the story of the land from whence they came. As it goes, [...]

Grove and Vine at the SOWEFWF this weekend!

Jonesin’ for some info on olive oil and wine? Join us this weekend for a FREE olive oil and wine seminar this weekend at the Southern Westchester Food and Wine Festival in Mamaroneck. Saturday morning 11AM at the main stage…and if that’s not enough to inspire you, catch THE RAMPS…NY’s premier food band, taking the [...]

How To Choose A Wine for ye ol’ First Date

We’ve all been there…the first date. Throughout the glorious years of restaurant servitude, I’ve witnessed many first encounters over a meal, and I’ve seen everything from the utter failures to the meteoric successes. With all the other excitement and anxiety revolving around a first date, wine doesn’t have to be the proverbial prickly thorn in [...]