I have lost count of the numbers of different wines tasted for this column over the past 20 years. Rarely were the bad and ugly addressed, but here are some of the most memorable.

In some luxury housing markets, a professionally designed wine cellar used to be a must-have. Not so much anymore, unless among those who can afford mega-million-dollar houses in major metropolitan areas.

Ordinarily it is not difficult to make wine accoutrement gift recommendations for wine enthusiasts. But as we know, there has been nothing ordinary about 2020. 

I managed to avoid celebrating Thanksgiving via Zoom, instead celebrating with two others outside under a glorious, cloudless, 70-degree, late November North Alabama day, and for that I am very thankful.

Like Democrats and Republicans over the past few years, cabernet and chardonnay have battled over which is top dog in terms of sales. It appears cabernet has pulled ahead, according to 2019 data. 

In recent idle, isolated hours spent quarantining at home, I have been reminiscing about two wondrous weeks spent this time last year in Tuscany, where I enjoyed glorious cuisine and wine, blissfully unaware that COVID was hovering on the horizon.

Anyone having read this column over the almost 20 years of its existence knows that I like wine. I am fascinated by its history. I like wines that tell a story, hence the recent column on Nyetimber, an English sparkling wine made from grapes cultivated on the English property once owned by H…

Sparkling wines are made in virtually every major wine-growing region in the world, from various grapes using various methods. The most famous and desired sparkling wine is Champagne — but not every sparkling wine is Champagne.

Now that summer is officially here, it is time to turn to summer wines. Some would argue there is no such thing as a summer wine, and that is likely true. Wine does not have a season, but alcohol does warm one up.

Today the words “artisan” and “artisanal” are freely applied to a host of goods. They are not to be confused with “artesian,” a word recently seen at a market causing me to wonder if the baked goods offered sprang forth from an aquifer.

As we approach what will likely be the most subdued July 4th celebration in American history, most — if we are wise — will stay at home in our backyards with friends and family cooking traditional pork, steak, burgers and other things grillable, all the while maintaining the requisite social…

This past week, I successfully participated in my first Zoom video conference via computer. Though I along with friends have tried to master this method of communicating, we have largely been unsuccessful.

I have long been puzzled by the preference of our local residents for red wines. Let’s face it; we do not reside in a large sophisticated metropolis where red wine snobs abound, but rather in a quiet hamlet populated with predominantly red wine lovers.

 In this time of pandemic and scarcity, few things remain certain. There are many questions. Where are people storing all that toilet paper? Do stores actually still stock toilet paper? If they do, does the first person in line buy the entire truckload?

Increasingly, the British admonishment to stay calm and carry on is made more difficult as the coronavirus spreads around the globe. Not only is this beastly virus taking a toll on human life, but it is also wreaking havoc on commerce.

 I have often written about Prohibition in this column. Prohibition, aka the Volstead Act or the Eighteenth Amendment, was enacted on Jan. 16, 1920. For 13 ensuing years, the sale, manufacture and transport of all beverages containing alcohol was strictly forbidden, until Prohibition was rep…

Last year, Americans spent an estimated $20.7 billion on Valentine gifts. Statisticians who keep track of such things say 17 percent of these gifts (roughly translating to $9.5 billion) were unwanted. And yet Americans are projected to spend more  this upcoming Valentine’s Day (which is Frid…

Wine Enthusiast magazine recently published its Top 10 most searched wines for 2019, admitting, “There was something a little voyeuristic about analyzing the browsing histories of strangers.”

Every year, Rob McMillan, executive vice president and founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division, publishes the equivalent of the State of  the Union address, called the State of the Wine Industry Report. That the bank should have a wine division is no coincidence.

Happy New Year, gentle readers. Six days less than we usually have between Thanksgiving and Christmas really did make a difference. Now that most of us can catch our breath after the Christmas marathon, it is time to look toward the future and turn our thoughts to prospering and surviving in 2020.

“Quid pro quo” has been on the lips of those in Washington who love posturing in front of media cameras trying to appear more intelligent than the rest of the proletariat, those of us who did not study Latin in school and who actually have to work for a living.

This is the time of year when retailers, publications and websites tout the Top 5 or 500 must-have Christmas items for those we hold near and dear. Attention shoppers, good news here: All items in Neiman Marcus’s Christmas catalog are priced below a million bucks this year.

There are certain experiences that evoke good, bad, transcendent and humorous memories. One of my humorous moments was provided by a Sonoma wine, La Crema, and is a gift that keeps on giving.