Vine Helsing

Smallpox. The Madagascaran Fossa. Wine Snobs. What do these seemingly disparate entities have in common? Simply this: they are among the deadliest organisms on the planet. The fossa and smallpox are similar in that their basic biological function is to destroy. The wine snob, however, is more akin to the vampire or the zombie, creatures […]

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Hop On Pop

It’s always fun to pick on easy targets, like those restaurants with their overpriced wine lists who mistake diners for suckers. But it’s even more fun to discover those restaurants that get it right. These establishments not only price their lists appropriately, but actually have lists worth digging into, and the service that those lists […]

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Thank You, Sir. May I Have Another?

A few years ago, many Americans were caught up in the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” phenomenon: we know somebody who knows somebody…who knows Kevin Bacon. Well, the fact of the matter is not that we know Kevin Bacon, it is that we ARE Kevin Bacon. Specifically, the Kevin Bacon character named Chip that we see […]

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Holy Spumante, Batman!

I should probably make some sort of money deal with wineries and other corporations before I start pimping their products here. But, since I’m new to the blogosphere and can claim to be a bit naive and ignorant about how things are done here, I’m comfortable saying that enthusiasm and zeal trump avarice and security every […]

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If You Can’t Stand The Heat –Hot Wine Part II

Here’s another example of a meal gone bad due to hot wine, and a few ideas that offending restaurants might think about if they want to keep their customers, their good names, and maybe even make a few bucks along the way. Last summer I was in NYC for a few days and arranged to have lunch […]

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Excuse Me, Waiter, My Wine’s Not Hot Enough

The asbestos oven mitts and silicon-tipped tongs should have told me all that I needed to know about the wine I’d just ordered: this bottle was gonna be hot! Not hot as in popular or really exciting to taste, but hot as in too damn warm to even consider drinking. The problem, I realized, after […]

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Calling Them Like I See Them

The Grape Belt Manifesto: I want to look at the good and the bad, what’s right and wrong with all things wine-related, and criticize and praise where necessary. Restaurants, the media, producers, other writers — everybody and everything gets examined. No free passes, no sacred cows. My chief targets are pretense and snobbery, and anything […]

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