Tin Barn Vineyards: "I Blame My Dad"

One of the best parts of wine blogging is getting to talk with winemakers about their wines and what makes them special.  While most of the winemakers I talk to are understandably passionate about their wines, every now and then you meet someone who is not only passionate but also seems to embody the entire... Read more »

Castello Vicchiomaggio: The Wines That Made Mona Lisa Smile

Few places conjure up images of romance and beauty like Tuscany does.  A ruggedly stunning place of charismatic wines and tranquil scenes were imprinted forever on my brain (and heart) after visiting a few years ago. If the glorious landscape weren’t enough, the wines certainly stand on their own with their vibrant flavors and unique... Read more »

Spring Into Alicante Bouschet

As spring inches its way back into Chicago, and with it, long-awaited color, it seems the perfect time to focus on one of wine’s most colorful grapes, Alicante Bouschet (pronounced Ah-lee-KAN-tay Boo-SHAY).  Affectionately called “Ali” in Portugal’s Alentejo region where it reigns supreme, this grape is one of the few red grapes that actually has... Read more »

The Electrifying Wines of Champagne Bruno Paillard

I recently had the great pleasure to dine with Alice Paillard of Champagne Bruno Paillard.  Full of charm, energy, and joyful enthusiasm, Alice is Bruno’s daughter and runs the company alongside her father who started it in 1981.  On a quest to create an elegant style with tantalizing acidity and mineral-driven notes, Bruno sold his... Read more »

Trivento's German di Cesare Talks Music, Horses, and Wine

One of the most fascinating things about wine is its intrinsic intersection of culture, food, history, and nature. When you combine a multi-faceted winemaker with unique terroir, these elements come alive in particularly vivid wines such as those made by German di Cesare, winemaker at Bodega Trivento Argentina. I had the great pleasure to have... Read more »

Meet Richard Hood and the Wines of Washington’s Stemilt Creek Winery

I was fortunate to meet Richard Hood (GM and winemaker at Stemilt Creek Winery) at the Taste Washington event this past March.  Richard joined Stemilt Creek in April 2016 and is on his third vintage there but he’s hardly new to wine having made wine in various parts of California (including Healdsburg and Fallbrook) over... Read more »

Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery - World-Class Wines in Minnesota

One of the most exciting winery finds for me this year has been Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery.  Located in southwestern Minnesota near Mankato in the Southern Minnesota River Valley, this winery produces not just award-winning wines, but also spirits and dessert wines from both local grapes as well as sourced-in grapes from Napa and... Read more »

Domaine Bousquet - A Lovely Marriage of French Style in Argentina

Hearing a name like Domaine Bousquet conjures up a French chateau in one’s mind and you wouldn’t be far off, except this particular property is located in Argentina. Argentina is best known for Malbec, the Bordeaux transplant grape that found its natural home in the Uco Valley’s high-altitude and sunny climate near Mendoza.  In fact,... Read more »

Ten Tips for Planning a Successful Wine Trip

As spring finally arrives, vineyards across the world are bursting into green glory. This is the perfect time of year to go on a wine trip and experience all of spring’s exuberance in the vineyard.  One doesn’t have to go far to do that.  In Illinois and Michigan alone, there are multiple tasting rooms and... Read more »

Tre Bicchieri Visits Chicago

Chicago is lucky enough to be one of only 6 U.S. cities that the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri World Tour passes through.  This annual event features winners of the coveted Tre Bicchieri (meaning “three glasses”) award which are generally regarded as Italy’s best wines.  As a wine blogger, I have the additional benefit of entering... Read more »