Drinking for a Cause

Originally posted on Departures.com

Starting next week, I’m heading down South to pour, drink, and bid for good causes at great philanthropic wine auctions: the Triangle Wine Experience in Raleigh,Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction in D.C., and The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction, one that is particularly dear to my heart (pictured below, my mom Louise Bray, left, and Sara Steinfeld, 2001 Auction co-chairs at last year’s event in Atlanta).


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Singular Terroir in Saint-Emilion

I had the great pleasure of sitting down to taste through select vintages of Château Magdelaine and Château Bélair-Monage with Christian Moueix last fall. The two adjoining estates were merged after Bélair-Monange was acquired by J.P. Moueix, so we explored past vintages, the future of the newly renamed and reclassified property, and the insight of a man as renowned for his vast expertise (he was the winemaker at Pétrus for a time) as he is for his innovations in the world of winemaking. SOMMJ DEC15-JAN16

Read more about the decision to bring these two properties in Saint-Emilion together in my most recent piece for The SOMM Journal.

Drink Grower Champagnes


Originally posted on Departures.com.

I always love any occasion to drink Champagne, but I get extra excited when I have the opportunity to drink wines by individual winemakers instead of the big name labels. This category of grower Champagne has been one of the most exciting trends to watch in wine over the past decade: These smaller producers are crafting wines that provide unique, highly varied, nuanced expressions that center on the individual parcels of land upon which their grapes are grown. Continue reading