Despite the cornucopia of Christmas programming this time of year, including those poorly acted, mushy Hallmark Channel offerings and the ad infinitum showings of “Miracle on 34th Street,” no one spins a Christmas story better than Charles Dickens. He wrote many Christmas stories, but most n…

UPDATE: Regrettably, master sommelier Jacob Gragg’s plans have changed and he will be unable to honor his longstanding commitment to host the wine tasting mentioned below. However, Jimmy Collins, district manager for Banfi in Tennessee and Alabama, has graciously agreed to step up to the pla…

We are not exactly situated in the heart of winedom here in north Alabama, so it’s a good wine day when word comes that “a wine rep will be in town dragging a bag with a ride along.” This means a wine salesperson is coming to pour samples accompanied by a winery owner, vintner or someone clo…

When this column first appeared in the Star 17 years ago, I was a neophyte to varietal specific glassware. I, like a lot of my contemporaries, bought wholeheartedly into the Riedel Glassworks Company’s philosophy that cabernet should be poured only into glasses specifically designed for cabe…