Frank Sinatra: 100 Years of Ol’ Blue Eyes

Charisma never dies—or at least, it lives on through the legacies created by those who possess it and use it for good. So it almost seems unnecessary to commemorate what would have been a mere 100 years of a charismatic life, when we have the rest of time to enjoy it. However, any occasion is…

Beyond Bubbles: The Essence of Champagne

Pop and fizz, tiny pearlescent bubbles of celebration. Another year has begun, and the drink of choice to commemorate a joyous moment of camaraderie and excitement? Champagne: The iconic bubbly and companion to all momentous occasions universally. How did this wine beverage become so synonymous with celebrations? At what moment did Champagne become the standard of…

Red, White, and Madeira

Picture this: It is July 4, 1776, and the Continental Congress of the thirteen rebellious American colonies has just adopted a wildly liberal document called The Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the document, along with his four co-authors, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and Benjamin Franklin, are surely settling into a…

Cahors, France: The French Malbec Story

It is simply undeniable that the Argentine Malbec has eclipsed many other red varietals as one of the most popular wines on the market right now. Rarely do you speak with a lover of wines who does not include Malbec in his or her list of favorites, and often these same people will be able…

The Gospel of Wine

When, exactly, was the beginning of viniculture as we know it? Obviously, wild grapevines have been growing on earth as long as there has been vegetation on the planet, but when, exactly, did humans start cultivating grapes to make wine? This question is fiercely debated by scholars who are schooled way beyond my level of…

The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln, A Book Review

“They had put the president’s health, well being and safety in my hands, under their threat to me. How had they put it? ‘We entrust the sacred life of Mr. Lincoln to your keeping. If you don’t protect it, never return to Illinois, or we will murder you on sight.’ I didn’t drop my guard…

The Yellow Birds, A book Review

“Sure, there is a fine line between not wanting to wake up and actually wanting to kill yourself, and while I discovered you can walk that line for a long while without even noticing, anybody who is around you surely will, and then of course all kinds of unanswerable questions will not be far behind.”  –The…