Notes From All Over

Signed Bottle

If you enjoy wine and travel, you have probably visited (more than) a few vineyards. On vacation, standing in a beautiful, peaceful place, probably holding a very nice glass of wine, you think, "This is the life! What fun it would be to live in a vineyard and make delicious wines."

That experience-the romance, the beauty-is at the heart of wine tourism, but also wine dinners and other winemaker events. We want to meet the people who are responsible for our favorite liquid. We walk away with the signed bottles or menus, but also with the memories.

VOTE (for Wine)
Vote for Wine

Admit it. You're tired of almost everything about this election. No matter what your political leanings, it has gone on too long, been too mean-spirited, too downright weird. And while there are still a couple weeks before we trundle off to the polls, we're all pretty much DONE with talking about it. So don't (talk about it-you should still go to the polls). Instead, vote-for wine.

Welcome to our new idea for simultaneously distracting you from the upcoming election while also enlivening Sundays featuring afternoon Patriots games: VOTE (for Wine).

Just the Grapes
Just the Grapes...

You just got home. You kick off your shoes, poke your head in the fridge to start planning dinner, maybe pour yourself a nice glass of wine. know, fermented grape juice.

Or is it? A 2013 study cited in Decanter magazine found that over 90% of samples from 300 French wines showed traces of pesticide residue. And if you are drinking a large commercial brand, you are probably also drinking several of the more than 200 chemicals and additives that our government has deemed 'safe'.

Days of Wine and Rosé
Wine and roses

Do you feel that nip in the air? Summer is not only gone, it's -gulp-GONE.
We've traded in beach days for tailgates, lazy summer evenings for sports practice, rehearsals, and homework help. Sundown comes earlier than we'd like. Sunrise, later. Evenings require a sweater.

This is the season of transitions. This year, I feel it especially keenly because I no longer have a child at home to tote to school and rehearsals; our daughter started her freshman year of college-in LA.

History- Sip by Sip

You can read about history, watch it via movies or TV, and imagine it at historical sites. But can you drink it? Possibly....

Glass of Wine

Pick up your glass of wine. Gaze into the depths. What's in there? Depending on the wine, the answer could very well be 'acacia gum, alumino-silicates, acetaldehyde, calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, potassium salt of casein, isinglass, a commercial strain of yeast, Velcorin, and Mega Purple*'. Plus maybe some grapes. Welcome to the world of 'controlled winemaking'.

The Nose Knows
Snowman Cartoon

Have you ever caught just the breath of a scent and been transported instantly through space and time? A whiff of must and old dust, and I’m in the upstairs ‘storeroom’ of my parents’ farmhouse, a house that was built by my great-grandfather Egbert Compaan when he homesteaded the property. Anise? I’m eating strong Dutch licorice with my Dad, or chewing the Black Jack gum he would send me even after I moved to New England. Warm berries equal the jam-making and canning of high summer on the prairie, hot and sweaty work made more pleasant by unlimited ‘tastes’. And wine?

George and Mount Etna

My job has two sides-product and people-and each side is interesting and ever-changing. I've met more than a few wines that have made an indelible impression on my soul, but the people have been even more significant.

Puritans, Alcohol & 'Quirks'
The Milk Bottle

I am not a native New Englander. And no matter how long I live here, I continue to be perplexed by certain quirky local customs. The accents, of course. The addiction to lobster rolls. The odd reluctance to drive more than ten minutes away from your homes. For sure, the Milk Bottle. But the customs and rules surrounding alcohol take the cake. You can chalk it up to the world’s longest (Puritan?) hangover, but seriously?

Beauty and Necessity
Beauty and Wine

Some days are just better than others. Last Wednesday, was a very good day, as I was fortunate enough to attend a tasting featuring a number of beautiful wines and two fascinating personalities. Steven Bitterman presented his amazing, old-vine Rieslings. Then Giuseppe Vajra, producer of exquisite Barolo and other lovely wines from the Langhe hills, practically brought down the house with his remarks about his family’s winery.