Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 in "Snapshots"

Looking back at 2010, I would say that it has been a tough year, but also a lot of fun. I'm going to do the requisite blog post of reviewing the year in terms of snapshots- I'm going to pick some of my favorite moments from each month, and talk about them, and what beverage was in my hand at the time.

January- The moment that sticks in my mind from January was the night my neighbors decided to have a "progressive" dinner. We started at our house for apps, went to another house for entrees, and to a final one for dessert. One of my neighbors loves this whiskey-based stuff called Sweet Lucy. The snapshot is of us trying to drink this crap, while he also tried to teach me to play guitar. It was a lot of fun.

February- one thing that we did in February was go to the Dorm Room dinner put on by the guys from Niche. At the dinner, Gerard served the most over-the-top thing I have ever eaten- Two peanut butter cookies with about 2 oz of foie gras and a moscato gelee in between. I think I was drinking Spanish wine, but it didn't matter. That wonderfully obscene dish still makes my stomach hurt.

March- On March 17th, I played hooky. That was Saint Patrick's day, and I went to a party that my friend Sara was throwing. The mental image of that fantastically fun, sun-soaked day was watching a 50-something year old woman dance with a 20-something year old guy, and she was wearing only a bra and jeans. Gross? Yes. Fascinating? You bet. I'm sure I had a beer in my hand, and it was probably a can of Guinness.

April- April was a great month, and I'm having trouble picking one particular moment. One is my birthday party, which was amazing. However, the next day after a crawfish boil and riesling tasting, we went out to Farmhaus with my friends Bill and Ellie- the snapshot was Bill demanding in beer-soaked logic that their soon-to-be-born baby be named Megatron. I think I was drinking Schlafly something.

May- The snapshot of May came on May 7th, when I turned in my notice from Premier Cru. I left the office, returned a plant for my wife, and then had a terrible Mexican lunch. I sat there, scared as hell, drinking a Bud Light, wondering if I had just made the biggest mistake of my career. It wasn't.

June- June was a crazy month, as we were getting then Epiphany Wines off the ground. The snapshot is from when my folks brought over a couch from KC, and we sat on it, toasting the new company with a bottle of bubbly. Little did we know what we were in store for!

July- this was another month full of snapshots. In fact, I have two. One was sitting at the noodle bar of Momofuku in New York, eating one of the best things I tried in 2010- their ramen bowl with pork belly, drinking a Shiner Bock. The other came on my BBQ Road Trip with my brother- standing in front of Jerry's in Memphis, "drinking" a Dreamsicle Supreme with some of his friends. It was fantastic!

August- the snapshot from August came when I had a cup of coffee in my hand. That was the morning that I was talking to my friend Ben on the phone, and the Fed Ex lady showed up with a certified letter. Uh oh. That letter was the "Cease and Desist" from Parker Station winery- we had to stop using the name Epiphany in our business. Oh well, truth be told I like "Harsha Wines" better.

September- The moment that sticks out in my mind from September is when we took my parents out for an outstanding and fun meal at Niche for their anniversary. We had great wines (04 Baumard Quarts du Chaume stands out in my mind), and Gerard really took care of us.

October- I can't bring up the month of October without talking about Tour de Moose. Man, I both loved and hated that day. The snapshot is watching my sweet bride sing karaoke at DD's lounge, while drinking Bombay and Tonics with my friend Ned.

November- For some reason, I was fairly grumpy in November. Maybe it was stress, working 60 hour weeks, or just the weather turning. At any rate, I had a great time with my family at the In the Vineyards event. Too many wines to list, but it was a really fun evening.

December- The image burned in my mind came yesterday. My parents got my nieces a Wii. All three of them squealed, starting hugging each other, and fell on the ground. At that time, my brother's 2 1/2 year old son did a flying, get-fined-in-the-NFL style leap on top of them, and they all laughed. It was such a great moment watching childish innocence in action. Beverage-wise, I had a Diet Coke in my hand.

This has been a great adventure of a year. Thank you to all my friends and family for their support of my insane ideas. I love you all, and here's to an "epic" 2011.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful for Generous Food and Wine Friends

I'm a blessed man. Not only do I have an awesome bride, a family that loves me despite my multitude of mistakes, a great little house, two dogs that like me, a growing business, and a car that gets me from here to there, but I also am surrounded by friends that share the same passion for food and wine that I do.

Seriously- the people that I often hang out with to eat good food and drink good wine are some of the most generous people I have ever met. In fact, it's crazy how much more giving they are than a lot of the "church people" I'm in contact with. I have wine buddies that regularly open $60-$300 bottles of wine, just to share. I have a friend that footed a $100 dinner bill for me, so I could experience a fantastic meal this week. This is a great group of people that I know, and am proud to call them my friends.

So, in the Christmas spirit, I want to publicly thank Ned, Kelly, Bill, Ellie, Mike, Irene, Eliot, Amy, Izek, The moved-away Tony and Janet, Steven, Jeff, Mike, Dylan, Chad, Chris, Kris, Shannon, Jonathan, Jim, Peggy, Patrick, KBO, Lou Jack, and anyone else that my coffee-fueled brain has skipped for the drinks and bites to eat this year. I'm really glad that you are in my life- you rule.

Cheers! Don't slip on ice today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Whites

Hello all,
Yeah, I know it's been a while. Running a company during the holidays leaves little free time to pound out inane thoughts on the interwebs.

Today, let's talk about white wines for the winter. I know it's about 3 degrees outside, and the last thing on your mind is a cool, refreshing glass of sauvignon blanc. However, the winter time does lend itself to some really fun whites. It's not like people completely stop drinking white wine between December and March, so you might as well drink the good stuff! Think about these:

Bubbly- Anyone who knows me for more than about 2 hours knows that I love bubbly wines. Saturday night, the mrs and I had a late dinner reservation, so we stopped at a wine bar. Did we drink Syrah, Cabernet, or a 17% ABV Zinfandel? Nope. They were warning of some weather apocalypse outside, so we drank Champagne, and it was delicious. Although bubbly should be drank year round, I think this is the perfect time to open Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, or any other sparkling wine with a loved one.

Chardonnay- Yes, you read that correctly. I'm a wine guy, and I'm saying it's okay to drink Chardonnay. In fact, a lot of the restaurants are putting out dishes this time of year with a ton of butter, cream, etc in them. The perfect match to these dishes is a chard with a touch of oak to it. Many of the big, heavy wines that you used to see coming out of Cali are much more restrained now. Also- don't fear white Burgundy. They are delicious, and if a restaurant or shop is carrying them, there's a good chance that someone on staff can tell you about that wine.

Riesling- I'm suggesting this for two reasons. First of all, this is a high-acid wine that cuts right through the fat of heavy, wintery dishes. Also, riesling is produced where it's cold. See? People in Germany, Alsace, and Upstate New York are producing white wine- it must be okay to drink in times besides the summer. Although they aren't made from Riesling, there are also similar wines from Savennieres, Quarts du Chaume, and Coulee de Serrant that fit the bill for the same reasons.

So, there you have it. Definitive, unarguable proof that it's okay to drink white wine in December.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Enough Already

Last year, I noticed a trend starting that irritated me from the beginning. This has nothing to do with wine, but rather with the use of the word "Epic". That has become part of our current vernacular, meaning great, awesome, amazing, etc. I understand if people used it, like, once a year. However, now people have started using it to mean anything that is basically slightly better than "good."

Can we just all agree to quit using the word? Thanks.

Also, it would be great to consider when to use words like "awesome" (which I am guilty of- but not nearly as often as I thought. I used it twice on Twitter in November- once in reference to Cook's night out, once in reference to a friend of ours that really does cause awe with her dedication to a charity.) Another one is "Amazing". do that many things in life really cause you to be amazed?

I realize this post sounds grumpier that it should. I'm actually in a really good mood today. I am just trying to figure out another adjective to describe the Dorm Room Dinner last night, prepared by Anthony Devoti from Five. The courses were well thought out, delicious tasting, and had a bit of whimsy that was fun to be part of. Was it Epic? No. Was it Awesome? I guess not. Was it a really fun evening that I would love to repeat? Absolutely.

So, if we could all just quit diluting these words, that would be awesome.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One of those weird weeks

The week of Thanksgiving is always a strange one in the wine business. Here's how it will go:

Monday- Check in with basically all accounts that are open. Nobody will want to take a delivery on Wednesday, so all of this week's worth of work will be packed into two days. However, it will also be just an order-taking day, as most accounts will not even consider a new product for the week. This is a bit of a stretch of a day to work hard, because most people use Monday as their "warm up lap", and aren't used to working hard.

Tuesday- make some deliveries, and check in with the restaurants that weren't open Monday. This is actually the easiest of the days this week. My advice is to eat lunch somewhere good.

Wednesday- because every retailer and restaurant in the city will be covered up with people, you feel like you have to be working hard. The truth is, most accounts don't want you there bugging them. This is a day where some retailers like you to hang out, and help people shop for wine. Others just want you out of the way.

Thursday is the day that we eat too much, drink too much, and nap too much- all in the name of giving thanks.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, folks! If you want to pair wine, think along the lines of riesling, gewurtztraminer, Champagne, pinot noir, etc.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The same questions

Yesterday, I taught a "Basics of Wine" class to a group of about 55 senior citizens. It is so funny to me that, whenever I teach a class like this, the same group of questions always seem to pop up. So, here are the answers that I'm thinking in my head to them, as opposed to what I really say out loud.

Q: "My husband and I bought a bottle of wine on our honeymoon 26 years ago. It it still any good?"
A: I don't know. I have no idea what the wine is, where you bought it, what conditions it was stored under, or if it was good enough quality to begin with in the first place. My guess is that it has been moved 17 times, stored in a rack on top of your refrigerator, and probably resembles cat urine right now.

Q: "Have you ever heard of Blackstone Merlot?"
A: Yes. And what an amazing point that you bring up, interrupting me in the middle of my segment of how to make Champagne. Thank you for derailing the presentation altogether.

Q (when tasting the wine): "Does this have any oak in it?"
A: Nope. That's why I have been talking about the oak treatment on this wine for the last 2 1/2 minutes, talking about the specific oak barrels, and how you can taste the vanilla notes in the wine as the result. I was trying to trick you.

Q: "I like a really sweet, kind of dry wine, what should I try?"
A: Getting your terminology right. Those terms are opposite. That's like saying "I like a black, kind of white paint job on a wall."

Q: "I like to put ice cubes in my wine. Is that okay?"
A: Only if you are drinking it out of a Dixie Cup.

Q: "Do you like Missouri wines?"
A: For the most part, no. But I'm going to tell you I do, because I don't want to hurt your feelings.

Q: "Your job sounds awesome! So, do you really just drink wine all day?"
A: Yes. I never do anything like get to my office at 6:30 am to unload 72 cases of wine by hand from a surly truck driver that is about to cough up a lung on my sweatshirt. I also don't spend hours filing, updating quickbooks, emailing, and dragging around a heavy bag of samples just hoping that a given account will see me and buy something so I can afford to pay my mortgage.

Now, before you get offended, realize that these answers are just the smart ass ones that flash through my mind. I wouldn't ever actually say them, and most of them are exaggerated a bit. I love my job, and would want to do nothing else right now.

It's about that time- sit back, crack a bottle, talk to someone you love, and enjoy.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Advice for the youngin's

Last night I had a great meal at Five with a buddy of mine that just graduated from Med School. One thing that came up in our discussion is that medical schools don't do anything to prepare newly graduated doctors for the social situations that they are about to find themselves in. So, if you are just about to head out into the work force (whether you're a doctor or not), here are some rules to live by when it comes to the wonderfully awkward situation known as "meeting for cocktails" in a business setting. Most people eventually get invited to a business dinner- we will go over etiquette for that later. Before said dinner, you will be asked to meet for cocktails. Here's how you survive, without looking foolish:

1) Have a drink that you can order with confidence. Make sure this is a cocktail that is relatively easy to make, and classic in style. You also want to order something that makes you look professional. Stay away from anything that uses coke or fruit juice as a mixer. My go-to cocktail is a Manhattan. If you aren't into something that big and bold, you might consider something in the realm of vodka tonic, Campari & soda, or simply your favorite (which should now be Ketel or something similar) vodka on the rocks. Under no circumstances should you order Rum and Coke, Vodka and Orange Juice, or a Singapore Sling. You are out of college- leave those drinks behind. Also, no shots are to be ordered. Ever again.

2) Only have one or two of your cocktail. After this point, things may start spiraling out of control for you. If people are pressing on, switch to beer.

3) If you order a beer, make sure it's decent. Again, leave the Bud Light in your college apartment, or your fridge at home. If they don't have a craft beer at the bar (they should), then at least order something that is locally made, or Guinness.

4) Don't get drunk. This is a touchy one, as the people who invited you might have too much to drink. However, if you cross the line, they will see you as less-than-professional, and won't forget. One easy way to keep this in check is to drink a full glass of water for each cocktail or beer you have. This will slow your consumption rate.

5) Be wary of wines by the glass. This totally depends on where you are. Most restaurants basically don't have very good wines by the glass and are making a ton of money on cheap product. If you at a wine bar, or a place that specializes in wine, throw this rule out. Also, don't ever, ever, ever order "House Red" or "House White". That's Busch league.

6) Offer to buy a round. When you do this, don't say anything about the prices of the drinks- they will cost significantly more than they do at your corner bar. Everybody already knows this, by mentioning it you will look like a rookie.

7) Have something to talk about. There will be some work talk, but also have a few subjects that you have brushed up on. One good way to do this is to read the front page of, and so you can know what's going on in the world and in sports. Just like Momma told you- stay away from politics and religion. These usually just get people riled up, and aren't appropriate for most business situations. Oh, and don't talk too much.

If you follow these rules, and actually smile and have a good time, you will be just fine.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Many things going on

I'm glad I didn't blog over the weekend. On Saturday, I had a couple of posts written in my head. Mainly, they were about the following points:

1) To all small business owners- Don't forget that the very customers you complain about, are rude to, and are sending away because you are "too busy during the holidays" are the same people that put food on your table, pay your electric bills, and put shoes on your kids' feet. Don't treat them as the enemy.

2) To other small business owners- Okay, I get it. You have thoughts about politics. However, you might want to chill with them a bit on social networking sites. Don't forget that roughly 50% of the people in your shop/restaurant/building are voting for the other side. By spouting off too much, you will certainly get your viewpoint across, but also risk driving your customers across the street to your quieter, nicer competitor.

3) If you have never been to a restaurant, it's a really jerk move to go there 3 days before it closes, and write a scathing review on Yelp. That doesn't give you power, rather just makes you look arrogant, selfish, and foolish.

I'm sure if I had written the full extent of the posts I had in mind, I would have named names, or dropped big hints, and as a result probably put part of my own business at risk.

From the offices at my small company, we are proud to announce that we have officially hired our first employee in St Louis- she will be doing deliveries during the holidays, and slowly start building a sales route. We also bought a big ol' van to drive these deliveries around.

Finally, as you prepare for the holidays, check out these wines: Domaine St Vincent (delicious sparkling wine from New Mexico), Villa Creek (awesome Rhone-style blends from Paso), Hermann J Wiemer (killer whites from New York), and Pavan Moscato (the ultimate wine for guys to say "I'm sorry", "I love you", or "Let's get freaky" to the woman they love.)

That's all. Have a great week. Make sure you look at the difference between "urgent" and "important" regarding the things in your life- they often aren't the same.


Thursday, October 28, 2010


I am here today to talk about the mighty mangalista. Never heard of it? That's okay. Up until about a year ago, when I started hanging out with my extremely food-centric friends (note that I did not use the term "Foodie". Evidently that's a bad word), I hadn't either. The food folks were talking about it because it is raised specifically for its lard, and evidently tastes better than most other pigs. Now, that's saying a lot. Those that know me realize very quickly that I am a fan of all things porcine. In fact, I would have made a terrible Jewish guy- I love bacon, chops, tenderloin, belly, skin, etc, etc, etc. When I heard that there was this super-pig hailing from Hungary, I had to check it out. Then I had to eat one.
Much like the Budini, an elusive cat in the hills of Argentina, I had a hard time tracking one of these monsters down. I would hear about them popping up for a night or two at a restaurant, but by the time I got there, they had already been eaten.

What was a guy on a mission to eat a wooly pig to do?

Stumble into one.

Yesterday, I was having a "business lunch" at the Crossing. Ian, the chef there, came out and asked the magical question: "Have you all ever heard of Mangalista"?


I have!

Me! Me! Me!

Look over here!

Long story short, he served up some piggy ribeyes that were one of the best things I have eaten pig-wise in my life. The meat was tender, with just enough bite to keep it from being soggy. The flavor was amazing, as the fat on the pig is- I don't know- sort of lighter than your normal pork chop. It was freaking delicious, and worth the wait.

Should you come across a Mangalista, either on the street, or in a restaurant, grab a bottle of high acid red wine (we had a Barbaresco, and a Barolo with ours), and dig in. You'll thank me for it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tour de Moose, redux

This last weekend, I was invited to participate in one of the most painful, yet fun, things I have done in quite a while. There is this annual bike ride/pub crawl/benefit fund raiser that happens each year called the Tour de Moose. It is called that because the guy who sets it all up is nicknamed "Moose" I guess. Basically, about 70 riders meet at Lemmons on Gravois on a Saturday morning, and start riding their bikes. Each 3 miles or so, they stop at a watering hole for games, beer, food, contests, and the like. The entire ride took about 17 miles to complete, and hit probably 8 different establishments. The money raised went to benefit the Matthew and Andrew Akin Foundation (
My wife didn't participate, as she was worried that it would be just an insane drunken brawl of a time. Truth be told, it really isn't. Most people (yours truly included) take it easy on the drinking and eating front because you have to get back on the bike and ride more. Those of you who know me, or at least have seen me in real life, probably could guess that I'm not much of a bike guy. In fact, this ride was a tough one for me- 17 miles on a borrowed bike that didn't fit me resulted in cramped legs, and being quite "Saddle Sore". Oof.
The portion of the event that was the most interesting was the after party at Double D's on Hampton. This is a cramped, smoky, local-style bar just down the street from Record Exchange. A group of 5 of us walked in to survey the scene. What we saw was a little, well, sad. There were 6 people in the bar, and 4 of them were related to the bartender, Tom. Tom let us know in no uncertain terms that any Karaoke (which is offered on Saturday nights) would have to wait until after the Mizzou-OU game. However, his tune changed as soon as about 25 more people walked in, money in hand. The game got turned down, the karaoke got fired up, and I'm sure the Double D lounge had one of their better nights in sales for the last several months. The original 6 people at the end of the bar left.
This is all to say that the biking portion was tough, but I made several new friends and had a great time. The Mrs. was even persuaded to get up there and sing karaoke, which is something I didn't think I would ever see.
I will be Touring with Moose again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Winery Profile- Boedecker Cellars

Every once in a while, I have to completely rely on those around me in regards to wines to bring in. Such was the case when a buddy of mine told me I had to try the wines from Boedecker Cellars. This is an urban winery in Portland that uses grapes from some of the best vineyards in Oregon to make their wines. Wine geeks will recognize that their grapes come from such vineyards as Shea, Stoller, and Carlton Hill.

The philosophy of Boedecker is simple- the husband and wife team of Stewart Boedecker and Athena Pappas each make their own Pinot bearing their name, and their own sense of style. Put simply, the wines flat out taste delicious. Besides the "Stewart" and "Athena" wines, they also make single vineyard versions of Pinot Noir, an unoaked Chardonnay called "Purity", Pinot Gris, and a line labeled "Pappas" which is their entry-level. In order to be earth-conscious, they package all of their wines in lightweight bottles, and screwcaps.

Check out the Stewart Pinot, which will retail around $30- it is fairly fruit forward, showing notes of black cherry, a touch of vanilla, and really nice cigar box aroma.

Other wines that are available in MO are the Purity Chardonnay (about $17), the Pappas Pinot (about $23), and the Pappas Pinot Gris (about $20)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Advice from Spiderman's Uncle

In the comics, Peter Parker's (Spiderman) uncle Ben said "With great power comes great responsibility". I am slowly learning this in small increments. If you follow me on Twitter, last night there was a tweet that I put out there encouraging people to read this blog today and get a negative review on a local restaurant. About 20 minutes later, I got a text from a friend that owns another establishment, encouraging me to rethink my intentions. (Yes, I got a text about a tweet that referred to my blog. Welcome to 2010!!).

I quickly thought about the implications of what I was about to do, and I decided not to review the restaurant on here. I also deleted the tweet. This was for a couple of reasons:

1) This is a wine blog, not a restaurant review site. I do this thing for free. Even though it has led to a small, paying, writing gig, I am not paid to talk about restaurants here. The intention of this blog is to inform people about beverages. Sure, I eat out a lot but I'll let the full-time critics give you their views.

2) It's not fair to the restaurant. Look folks, just because you have the ability to get onto a blog, twitter, Yelp, etc doesn't mean you should. If you are blessed, like I am, with people that actually read your words, remember that they will also listen to them. This is where Uncle Ben's words come into play. Really think about the appropriate way to discuss your experience. One option (which I will take) is to send a letter or email to the restaurant if you had a negative experience. This gives them the opportunity to respond. Trust me, restaurant owners hate Yelp. Anyone can get on there, covered by anonymity, and say just about anything they want. I don't wish ill fate onto restaurants that don't serve good product. I wish they would fix their issues and deliver food that is worth the hard-earned money that I'm paying for it, but I don't want them to go out of business.

3) I'm a food snob. There, I said it. I think that you can get a great dining experience at any price point, but you can also get pretty bad food as well. In my restaurant and wine career, I have had the opportunity to eat at some of the greatest restaurants in America. This has jaded me a little in that I'm pretty critical about anything that is put in front of me. The meal last night wasn't bad at all- I was just going to be picky about little things in it. Truth be told, most people would have probably found the meal amazing.

4) I'm trying to avoid hypocrisy. Last week, I wrote a post about how people aren't positive enough. Razing a restaurant on here would not have been positive, and would have gone against my own desires.

So, there you go. The next time you are about to flame some other business, just think first about all the people that will be involved, and the fallout that your words might have. I'm not saying not to ever bring up negative points, just do it in a manner that is fair and equitable.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wine transition days

This is a strange time of the year for most wine drinkers. Summer is officially over- most of us have put the slightly out-of-style shorts and last year's shirts in the drawer or closet until next year when they won't fit anymore. We have replaced flip flops with the shoes we originally bought to "get into shape for real this time". We have also started to replace our summer wines with fall ones. We are finally able to admit that the crisp, clean, unoaked wines that we drank all summer are starting to wear on us. We want a big, hearty glass of Cab. However, the weather just isn't cooperating. It's just too dang nice outside. This weather calls for something good, but not too serious yet.
Another hitch in the ol' gitty-up is that many restaurants are starting to roll out the fall menus. Cue just about every possible interpretation of dishes with pumpkin or butternut squash in 3, 2, 1....

Might I suggest something? We don't need to be so black-and-white in our thinking (or, red-and-white as it were). I have already expounded on the virtues of Rose' this month, but remember that they are still delicious. Quite honestly, this is the perfect time of year for lighter reds. Think things like Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Pinot Noir, and dare I say even Merlot (GASP!!!). When you are eating the butternut squash soup with basil oil and some other thing that tries to make it fancy, try it with a glass of riesling or gewurtztraminer.

Or, you can always drink Champagne. Seriously. It's okay to drink Champagne on days other than Christmas, New Years, and your Anniversary. Try it, it's fun.

Whatever you do, enjoy the weather, the changing of the leaves, and football. Don't worry- a crappy, cold day that calls for the Barolo will be here soon enough.


Monday, October 4, 2010

The hot new thing...wait, what?

Being in the industry, it has been really interesting to see trends come and go. I often talk to retailers, suppliers, bartenders, GM's and waitstaff to find out what the "hot" items are at any given time. To my surprise, lately there has been one answer that has permeated the discussion. Evidently the thing to buy right now is Moscato. Yep, the slightly sweet, low alcohol, slightly sparkling stuff that normally comes from Italy.

Made from the perfume-driven Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains grape, this really seems to me to be a wine that would have been popular 20 years ago. The examples that I have tried range from just a touch sweet to almost syrupy, and have other notes of lemon peel, flowers, perfume, peaches, and green apple. A bulk of the wine that is made from this grape comes from Piedmonte, but there are delicious examples from Verona, and even from France and Australia.

To put this theory to the test, I ran an experiment with my family (yeah, I know, but hey- they got to drink out of the deal). Basically we had a large family get-together, so I put a couple different bottles of moscato on the table, as well as other various whites and a few reds. To say that the moscato was a hit is a gross understatement. Two bottles were completely gone before we even sat for dinner! The other whites barely even got touched.

So, with that in mind, get out there and celebrate this cooler weather with a bottle of wine that is easy to drink and rather refreshing.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Every once in a while, I try a wine that really gets me jazzed. I like most of the wines that I try, but sometimes there are single ones that really stand out. These are the wines that I want all of my friends, family, and customers to try because they have something special to them. This has happened with the 2009 Pinol Ludovicus.

This wine is a blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, Syrah, and Cabernet, coming out of the Spanish region of Terra Alta- located a bit Southwest of Priorat. It is aged for a mere 3 months in French oak, resulting in a wine that is fruit-forward and a bit modern, but has enough "Spanishness" to it to make it interesting. The nose has a ton of floral notes, and the palate follows that up with black cherry, and blueberry flavors blended seamlessly with a touch of baking spice and mushrooms.

This is one of those wines that you start off slowly sipping a glass with your burger, then suddenly realized you and your spouse have polished off the entire bottle without thinking about it. I suggest buying multiple bottles in case this emergency occurs.

Starting tomorrow, it will be available at all Friar Tuck locations, Wine Styles, Veritas, Wine Chateau, and served at Modesto Tapas and Five. 33 Wine Bar, The Wine and Cheese Place, and Sanctuaria have all said they would bring it in as well. Your retail cost on the bottle should be about $11 or $12.

Cheers, and Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Be Forwarned: this post has very little to do about wine or restaurants.

I want to bring up something that I have noticed lately, that has probably been going on for a long time.

Why is it that people, as a whole, are getting less and less positive? Seriously. I'm generally a pretty happy-go-lucky, smiley type of guy. However, if I tell someone that I'm having a great day, the reaction is usually a suspicious look. I know we can all blame the economy, or the weather, or Obama, or GW, or Satan, or God, or whomever, but I personally think that being happy and positive is a choice.

When was the last time you were honestly happy that a co-worker got a promotion that they worked hard for, and deserved?

When was the last time that someone lost weight, got into shape, and you were glad that they made a healthy lifestyle choice, instead of being jealous?

When were you last happy for someone who won an award that they honestly should win?

Heck, even for you reality TV watchers- when was the last time you were excited about the person winning whatever show it is that consumes you?

I wonder (out loud, evidently) if the trend that our culture is taking towards chatting/facebooking/tweeting/emailing all of our emotions has left us a bit cold and uncaring and as a consequence we have gotten bitter.

I challenge you- take somebody that you don't know very well out for a cup of coffee or a beer this week. Ask them about themselves, and listen to their response. Don't think about how your experiences match up or beat theirs, just learn about another human, face-to-face. Or, how about this- write someone a letter. Seriously, there are these things called pens. Go get one, and get another thing called stationary. Then just send someone a handwritten note, letting them know that you are thinking about them. Not an email. Not a text. Not a tweet. Not a DM.

Will you do one of those? If you do, please let me know how it goes. I really think it might put that thing called a smile back on your face.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pietra Santa Cab

My wine suggestion today is for those that have 1) gotten sick of the hot weather that is the scourge of all things that show sweat, and 2) those that think that you still have to pay $75 for a decent bottle of California Cab.

Go check out the 2006 Pietra Santa Cabernet Sauvignon. Yeah, I know that the '07s that are coming onto the market are all the rage right now. However, I also know that they tend to cost a lot of dough. I don't know about you, but during the middle of the week, I'm willing to sacrifice just a touch of quality in lieu of not paying so much for a bottle of good wine. This is exactly why I like the Pietra Santa stuff. Made by Italian-born winemaker Alessio Carli, these wines are from estate grown, hand harvested, sustainably produced grapes. Their belief is that the wines can only be as good as the grapes that go into them. Trust me, these grapes are good. Oh, and then there's the oak treatment. Carli likes long oak treatments- this cab saw nearly 3 years in oak! By the time the wine sees that much wood, it really integrates the spiciness and vanilla notes well. Production on this wine is only about 1200 cases.

So, if you put all of these things together- green farming, extended oak, small production, hand harvesting, you get the things that make Napa Cabs $75 a bottle. However, since this wine is from the Cienega Valley (25 miles inland from Monterey), you get a cab that is going to cost you $18 or less retail.

Check it out. If you don't like the wine, I'll buy the bottle back from you.


Monday, September 13, 2010


When it comes to areas of the world that produce really nice, value driven wines, Spain must currently be at the top of the list. From this wonderful country, you can get reds, whites, rose's, dry, sweet, bubbly, and just about every other imaginable sort of wines at decent prices. One such wine that I recommend is the 2008 Torremoron. This particular wine hails from the Ribera Del Duero region in North Central Spain, which is an area that produces stunning examples of Tempranillo. Torremoron, besides being a good little, slightly oaked version of the grape is also a cool story. You see, the winery is located in the town of Quintanamanvirgo (say that ten times fast). This is a tiny town of around 200 people. That in and of itself isn't notable, but the fact that nearly the entire town works for the winery is. The winery literally supports this town- they employ most of the adults, and pay for health services and schooling for the majority of the children. Pretty cool for a winery that produces 66,000 total cases of wine.

Go buy yourself a bottle- it should only cost about $12, drink up, and toast the fact that not only are you getting a nice, inexpensive bottle of wine, but you are also doing some social good in Spain (even if you can't pronounce the name of the town).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Don't Believe the Hype

There is an trend that happens this time of the year regarding wine that is starting to bug me. For some reason, restaurants and retailers start the rumor with their customers that Rose' "season" is over as soon as Labor Day passes us by.

Don't believe the hype!

I stand with my feet firmly planted in the camp that rose', when made correctly, is a wine that can be enjoyed year-round. Caveat number one is that I said "made correctly". I'm not talking about Beringer White Zinfandel here. Don't drink that plonk, it sucks. However a rose' from Southern France, Spain, Italy, or even some producers in California tastes just as good when the humidity in the Lou dips below 93%. Here are a few reasons why you should still be drinking rose':

1. It's made from red grapes. Gentlemen, this one is aimed directly at you. I don't know how many times I have heard guys say something to the effect of "My wife likes that pink stuff, but I only drink red." Well, do a little research Einstein- the pink stuff that your wife is drinking is likely made from the same grapes (often time the same batch) as the red wine that's in your glass.

2. It's refreshing. Trust me, I'm just as much of a fan as a big, bad, robust glass of Cabernet as the next guy. However, sometimes at the end of the work day I'm just plain thirsty. I want the flavors of red wine, but also want something nice, cool and delicious. Once again, Rose' fits the bill.

3. It pairs with a huge array of foods. Rose is the wine version of a classic blue suit for men- it just goes with almost everything. Chicken, salmon, tuna, fillet, pizza, burgers, mushrooms, by itself, etc, etc, etc- it just matches. Notice I said "almost". If you try to throw the asparagus or jalapeno harpoon into my argument, I'll just tell you to drink a beer.

4. It causes a stir. One of my favorite things to do with a large group tasting or dinner is to unleash a rose' onto them, right in the middle of the event. Inevitably, I will see lots of eyes rolling, and hear people muttering under their breath. What happens once they are forced to drink the wine is fun. All of the sudden, I walk around the room, and people start saying things like "I had no idea!", or "Wow, this is surprisingly good!". If you are out with a group of wine sophisticates, order a bottle of Spanish Rose in the middle of dinner. You will be a short-term hero, and will truly raise your street cred.

5. It's usually inexpensive- unlike the red wines that come out of the same tanks, rose' is very seldomly expensive. In fact you can almost always find a well made example for less than $15 or $20 retail.

Please join me in the fight against post-summer rose' naysayers. Buy a bottle, heck- buy a case and pop it open all winter. You will thank me later.

In the meantime, check out the 2009 Rose from Cortijo. It is a 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo from Rioja. It's inexpensive (probably will cost around $11), has wonderful strawberry and earth notes, and will make you look cool.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mediocrity speaks Italian

Last night, we were out of food. Not just out of something good to eat, we were seriously out of groceries. Since the Mrs and I have both been working 12 hour days, going grocery shopping just hasn't fit in. So we did what every couple that is trying to improve their fitness, health, and waistlines should do- we went out for Italian food.

I won't say the name of the restaurant, but if you know me well enough, you will figure out what it is. It's an Italian "Bistro" that is about 3 doors down from one of our favorite watering holes (that I mention on here a lot).

We walked in, and were immediately greeted by a server that seemed surprised by our presence. We were sat quickly, and handed menus and the wine list. The first thing I noticed was the decor. It was like they couldn't decide whether to be upscale, or just a family-friendly checkered tablecloth restaurant. Here's a hint- putting a Guy Buffet poster in a frame doesn't make for fancy art.

The wine list was fine- fairly well chosen, and stuck to their theme of being mainly Italian, with a bit of American wines on there. We chose a Paitin Nebbiolo d'Alba, a nice little wine for the price (I think it was $33).

I will have to say from the beginning that the service was astonishingly bad. I don't know if it was because our waitress was slammed (she might have been the only one on duty), or just couldn't handle 6 tables. She recommended the Lasagna, which I ordered, and Nicole got some pasta. We said that she would eat a couple of bites of the soup that I ordered as an appetizer. We had to ask for a spoon for the soup- which was brought to the table in a small bowl of additional soup by the bus boy (he was by far the shining spot in the service). The soup was bland- Nicole said that "Campbells makes better soup than this", it was completely void of either beans or pasta- either of which I thought usually went into this classic dish.

As a side note, the bread was stone cold. I'm not going to get into the whole bread basket debate, but IF you are going to serve bread that you don't make in-house, is it too hard to throw it into an oven for a couple of minutes before serving it? No, it's not.

The entrees were fine- the Lasagna was smothered in about 2 1/2 pounds of cheese, and I couldn't finish the portion.

Then the bartender walked over to us, with our check and said "Okay, here's your check". No thought from the waitress about asking us for dessert (which we wanted), or even trying to sell us anything. I asked for a dessert menu, and the waitress came over- apologized, and rattled off about 7 desserts in rapid-fire succession. We ordered Tiramisu (awful) and gooey butter cake (actually really good). I asked for Tua Rita to drink, and you would have thought I asked them to solve a Ramanujan equation or something. Tuaca was the closest they had heard of, so that's what I got.

In retrospect, it wasn't a bad meal, but for $100 out the door, I guess we're a bit spoiled and expected more. It was mediocre, which I can deal with. I just feel bad for a couple that doesn't go out often, or doesn't normally spend that sort of money on a meal, should they choose to go to this place.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to the old

I came across a realization this morning- When I turned on Pandora on my laptop, it didn't yell at me. You see, when I was spending a lot of time at my office, I was constantly on the verge of crossing that 40-hours per month limit that Pandora lets you listen to free music. Pandora would "yell" at me, giving me the choice of either paying for unlimited service, or turning it off. This morning, I looked at my account, and I have 37 free hours left. Wow. This means that I have been spending significantly less time at my office, since that is usually my music source of choice.

I also realized that this blog has been a lot about me and the new company- probably not the most enthralling reading for those of you who simply want to know a little more about wine and the restaurant scene in St Louis.

Today I will attempt to go "old school" on you, and teach briefly about wine. The lesson today will be about Ribera Del Duero. Translated "Duero River", this is the area in Northern Spain surrounding....wait for it.....the Duero River. This particular area is midway between Madrid and the Atlantic Coast of the Bay of Biscay. Much like Rioja, Ribera del Duero is well known for the Tempranillo grape (which is sometimes locally called Tinta del Pais). The most magnificent examples of this cherry-flavored, dusty-noted grape can go for hundreds of dollars per bottle. However, you can also find inexpensive versions. Check out the Torremoron, available at Sam's Steakhouse, for a great version that is a wonderful cross between Old World earthiness and New World tannins and fruit.

Drink something good today, and let me know all about it.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Justus, Blue Stem, Ernie, and Bert

During the middle of this last week, I went over to Kansas City to launch our wine distributorship in the area. Part of the "necessaries" was to eat at some of the best places in town. This led to two amazing meals- one at Justus Drugstore in Smithville, and the other at Blue Stem in Westport. Although they were both great meals, it's hard to compare them- they are totally different styles of places. Therefore, I will use the analogy of Ernie and Bert. You remember them- the two fellas that were best friends on Sesame Street, and sang songs in the tub.

Justus was Ernie.

Blue Stem was Bert.

In the show, Ernie was the more colorful one. He was more likely to get into trouble, he wore a brightly colored, horizontally striped shirt, and had an orange head. This is analogous to the experience at Justus. Jonathan Justus is an artist at heart, and it really shows in his food. It is bright, splashy, loud, and has lots of big flavors all combining toward a common goal of exciting the palate. There were things like marrow foam and goose on the menu. I personally loved the black pepper gnocchi, as well as the goose breast that I ate. My father, however, "won" the entree round by ordering the Wagyu Brisket. Freaking delicious is all you can say! The decor was modern, with lots of colors mixed with grays, and then accented by warm wood. The service was kind, efficient, and made us feel right at home. Even the bar staff was kind of wild with great renditions of classic drinks- including house-made absinthe and bitters. I would definitely go back in a heartbeat.

Like I said, Blue Stem was Bert. Bert was the trustworthy one- more of a linear thinker (he wore a v-neck sweater over a turtle neck, for God's sake.) He was a bit more buttoned up and polished. This was similar to the ethereal dinner at Blue Stem. The word that comes to mind in describing the entire experience is "refinement". First the decor- much softer feel, with tons of mirrors acquired from garage sales and flea markets, pictures of grass burning, and deep, dark fabrics and upholstery. You feel special just walking into the place. For dinner, you choose 3, 5, 7, or 12 courses, priced accordingly. Our table of 5 each chose the 5-course route. I started with a fantastic Foie torchon, followed by incredible and spicy crab folie pasta. Then came the biggest damn scallop I have ever seen in the Midwest (perfectly seared), and a duo of Pork. Yeah, I know that eating things like foie and pork at a place like this is sort of giving the chef softballs to knock out of the park, but the rest of the table ordered an array of fish, hen, salad, and tomato dishes. There wasn't a single off-flavor on the table. Speaking of perfection, I don't like to pull the whole "I have eaten at the best restaurants in the US, and know what good service is" card, but I'm gonna. And it's okay. The service at Blue Stem was absolutely immaculate. It was a really fun experience, and again, one would not have to twist my arm to go back.

So, there you have it- two different restaurants for two different experiences people may be looking for. Neither one was better, it just depends on what you want.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Worlds Collide

Last night was one of those times when my worlds came crashing together- fortunately with great success. Most of you know that I often help out with Entre Underground- an underground, secret, moving restaurant located here in STL. I have done the wine pairings for these guys for around a year now, and sometimes act as their sommelier at events. Fewer of you know that my wife and I are members of the Journey, a church located on Kingshiway across from Tower Grove park. Through the Journey, we have had the opportunity to work with an organization called Mission St. Louis.

Check them out here-

This is a wonderful group of people that do community development through education, empowerment, and good ol' hard work in some of the lower-income areas around town.

Last night, the guys from Entre did a benefit dinner for Mission St Louis at an undisclosed location.

This is where it got a little strange for me. I'm one of those people that looks at the people in my life and unwittingly compartmentalizes them. I have my "church" friends, my "work" friends, my "wine" friends, and my (for lack of a better term) "foodie" friends. Very seldomly do these groups meet. I actually wish they would more often- Surprisingly enough, when they have, it usually went okay. The foodie friends realize that the church friends will have a glass of wine and a plate of good food with them, and not preach to them or make them weak khaki. The church friends realize that the wine friends won't set anyone on fire, or give an expletive-laden speach about how God is just an idea while drinking cabernet out of a goat skull in the moonlight. Naked. (Actually, that one might happen.)

Last night it went rather smoothly- wine and great food was shared, people laughed, and I think that most of the people had a good time. It was just strange explaining the oak treatment of a wine from Priorat to the dude that I sometimes serve communion with. Maybe he'll buy my wine for it.

Have a great week- reports coming soon about some meals to be had in Kansas City.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Wine Styles

...No, I don't mean the store out in Chesterfield on Clarkson. However, it is a nice little store, and the owner, Bryan, is a good guy. Today I want to talk about the (de) evolution of what people in the wine industry wear.

When I first started selling wine, I was coming off of a stint at a very high-end, New York-based steakhouse. We wore suits every day- dark suits, white shirt, dark tie. Nothing too crazy or fancy. We were to look like we worked at an old-school, expensive, lots of dark wood and leather steakhouse (which we did). When I got my first wine job, the expectation was similar- it was owned by two older brothers that both wanted us in suits. However, this presented a small problem. You see, the Boston metroplex is essentially cut in half by the Charles River. On the south side of the river is Downtown, and most of the fancy joints. The sales people here wore suits and shiny shoes everyday. On the north side of the river was Cambridge and Somerville, where I worked. Now I can see how one might think "Oh, Cambridge- where Harvard, MIT, Tufts, etc. are- you should probably wear a suit there, too". Nope. This was a land where people dressed down to look smart. If I wore a suit everyday, I would probably be the only person in any room that I went into dressed like that. I very quickly, and in a clandestine manner, started wearing button up dress shirts and slacks. I learned that when a guy my size walks into a restaurant or retail shop in a suit, often times the owner doesn't trust me. They see me as a suit, not as someone that wants to help them make money. I literally had accounts ask me to take off my tie, so they could talk to me. The clandestine part came when I would keep a neutral-colored tie in my car, because my boss didn't seem to share my sentiment and he had a habit of surprising me by joining me in the middle of the day. In fact, he was pretty brutal the times he caught me without a tie. He also didn't have any friends.

Then a fresh, cool breeze started blowing in from California. This breeze came in the form of the "Tommy Bahama" style silk shirts that wine guys were suddenly wearing. This was a great thing, especially when I moved to St Louis, where the summers are ridiculous.
I have noticed around town what most of the wine guys wear. In the summer, a lot of them are in dress slacks and golf shirts, or silk shirts I just mentioned. I also know of a company that requires their men to wear a long sleeve shirt and tie, even in the summer. That's just mean.

For the new company, we have adopted a strategy of dressing as-good-as, or better than, anyone we meet with in that particular work day. Most days thats exactly what I described- Polo Shirt, Dress Slacks, dress shoes. I might don a nice pair of jeans on Fridays when I'm out running around. If I'm visiting a hotel, or a really nice restaurant, I'll put on a sport coat. I want to work as much as I can without ever wearing a tie.

Thank God a lot of my accounts wear jeans and t-shirts!

Okay, so that has nothing to do with "sippin". For those of you who want a wine-tip, get some Zestos Malvar- it's crisp, delicious, and sold by the glass at Farmhaus.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time marches on...

The name change is almost complete. We are now registered with the state of Missouri as Harsha Wines, llc and working on getting all of our licenses changed as well. If you look up the former, you get

Yes, it was a hassle. Yes, I'm still a little bitter about it. Yes, I still want to mail a bunch of my old company stuff to the front door of the big, mean, doesn't-care-about-the-little-guy winery. However, that takes too much energy, and I have already spent too much company dough on this baloney.

So, moving on- get out there with this weather change and drink some Cabernet! I really like the Pietra Santa 2006 cab. Treated in oak barrels for 31 months, this sucker is a bruiser of a wine. Big, bold, and rambunctious with notes of cassis, black cherry, and allspice, it will stand up to any red meat you can burn on a grill. The best part- it's less than $20 retail! I had a friend in the industry say it was perfect for someone who is "looking for Caymus for less than $20."

Wait, you say you want to try it before you buy it? For FREE? Well, what a coincidence! I just happen to be pouring this particular wine at the Wine Chateau on Saturday from 12-4. Come getcha some!

If you can't drive out to Clarkson to buy it, this wine is also available at 33 wine bar and Ernesto's.

Have a great day. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Franco, Monarch, etc

Yesterday, after defending the friends of mine that are in bi-racial couples, or have other-race children that they have adopted (long story, I'll tell it again sometime on here), I was in the need for a good bit of food and beverage. The Mrs and I headed over to the hard-to-find, but worth it, doors of Franco. There, TJ whipped up some magnificent cocktails for us, and we ordered some apps. The scallops were perfectly cooked, the pate was freaking delicious, and the chicken sausage was perfect for the upper-80's weather.
We then headed over to the newly remodeled Monarch, which was even more of a pleasant surprise. They have changed it so the area by the bar is sort of southern style comfort food. 7 of us had just about one of everything, and some killer wines. I highly recommend the Crawfish Bread (sort of like a cajun Hot Pocket), the praline bacon, and the shrimp and grits. Truth be told, there wasn't a bad thing on the table. Several friends endorse the Gumbo Dog- a foot long hot dog, served in a po' boy bun, and covered with gumbo. The prices are right, too. Our tab, with an app or two, two entrees, two desserts, and a bottle of wine was less than $100. I like the addition of the several televisions in the bar- I can envision myself grabbing a po' boy and watching Monday Night Football there very, very soon.

Drink something good today- You're worth it.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Good little surprise of a wine

One thing that is a perk of owning your own distribution company is that you get to try a lot of wine. You also get to know lots of people that have great ideas of products that you have never tried. When I was placing an order with one of my suppliers, I took their word on how good a particular wine is. I didn't order much of it, just to be safe. Let it suffice to say that I will be ordering more of the 2008 Ardevol "Anjoli" wine from Priorat.

If you aren't familiar with Priorat, you should acquaint yourself. Located in eastern Spain, just a touch southwest of Barcelona, this is quickly becoming an area that produces some of the best wines Spain has to offer. It is located essentially up on a mountainous plateau, and is extremely hard to get to. The soil is really poor, and the grapes get sun-soaked, which results in really good, ripe, hearty wine.

This particular wine is made of 40% each of Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remaining 20% being split between merlot and syrah. The nose is that of wonderful cassis, blackberry, and perfume. After being open a while, some raspberry and raw meat notes come into the glass. Put another way, this is a kick-ass red that is well worth the $24.99 retail pricetag.

You can buy this gem of a wine at Lukas, Kayas, and Farmhaus. Buy it, drink it, enjoy it, repeat.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

For Heaven's Sake, Support the Little Guys

If there is one thing that I have learned about this debacle with the name of my company, it's that big companies simply don't care about you. Seriously. They are more concerned with protecting their image than providing you with the service and quality that you deserve for your hard-earned cash. Instead of simply picking up the phone and calling me, they sent a letter that contained the following script:

"Your use of the same name creates confusion to the general public including wine customers throughout the world and improperly diverts customers to your company and website..."

Whoa! Throughout the world? I had no idea I was such a media magnate. Never mind the fact that my company only has three people in it. Never mind the fact that the "general public" rarely sees the name of the distributor that brings the wine they drink to the store or restaurant. Never mind the fact that they produce a product, and I provide a service.

That being said, look at other places you do business with. When was the last time you said "Man, I really just had a killer meal at Applebee's"? When was the last time you said "Wow, that person at Wal-Mart really went out of their way to get me the exact product I need"? How about "Dude, you wouldn't believe the folks at Jiffy Lube- they found three things wrong with my car, and just fixed them for free!"?

What I'm saying folks is this- support the little guys. You always have a choice. Support the restaurant, winery, mechanic, ice-cream shop, farmer's market, or deli that is independently owned. Remember that all of those small businesses you drive by on a daily basis were started by someone who had the guts to take a risk, borrow some money, and hang it all out there. You will meet some amazing people along the way as you talk to them about their businesses. Sure, it will cost you more, but you will be enriching your own life, as well as those who will really make an impact in this economy.

Off of my soapbox now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Harsha Rules

On Monday, I announced that we would be calling the company "Savor Fine Wines". I was wrong. After looking into it, there are just too many companies out there with Savor in the title for us to be comfortable calling ourselves that. Not to mention, I guess there used to be a restaurant here in STL with that name, that wasn't very well received.

So, we are going with the safe play, and calling the company Harsha Wines, llc. Sorry to the kind young lady that thought she won the contest- we just won't be able to use the name you suggested. Find me around town, I'll buy you a beer or three.

So, even though the name isn't legally changed yet, feel free to follow us on twitter- @HarshaWines

Thank you again for reading my scribble.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Onward and upward

I must say that the naming contest went splendidly well. I got tons of submissions via email, text, twitter, facebook, and phone calls. Here is a list of most of them:

Revelation (submitted by lots of people. Unfortunately, the same company also makes a wine called Revelation. No need to go through this again.)
Small Time Wines
Humble Wines
Pivotal Wines
Essential Wines
Mareh (Hebrew word for Theophany)
Burning Bush wines
Purah (Hebrew word for Wine Press)
Shamgar (I loved this one- the Mrs didn't. Shamgar was a guy that slew 600 philistines with an ox goad in the book of Judges)
Harsha Wine Co (the safe bet)
....and several others.

However, I think we're going to go with a suggestion that fits our personality as a company-

Savor Fine Wine Company

What do you all think?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Contest- help us in our struggle against big business

Today has been interesting. This morning, I got a letter from a law firm stating that I have 14 days to "Cease and Desist" with any business use of the words "Epiphany Wines". You see, there is a big company out there- I won't name them- that bottles a wine using the same first word as my name. Evidently, they also own the trademark on the word "Epiphany". They feel that some customer somewhere in Missouri might get confused that my company (whom the general public rarely even hears the name of) is the same company that bottles the wine.

Never mind the fact that we are a wholesale distributor, and they are producing a wine label, and the two companies will never step on each other's toes.

So, I have a couple of choices- I can fight this, go to court, and most likely win. I can see if they will play nice in the sandbox, and ignore my lowly little three person operation. Or, I can change the name of the company. Frankly, I don't have the cash to spend on a lawsuit in Federal court, regardless of the fact that I would probably win because I'm not infringing on anyone's trademark. Because the winery in question is so big, I doubt they will play nice. So, I must change the name of my company.

Here's the contest- If you can email me a name for the new company by 6 PM on Sunday, and we end up using it, Jeff Stettner (owner of 33 wine bar, and champion of all things small business related) has said that he will give you a 12-bottle case of wine of his choosing (read: From My Company) for $1.

That's right folks- Name a Company, win wine for a buck.

My email is and I look forward to hearing your suggestions.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Wine Blocked" by Dick Vermeil

Mom, cover your eyes. In today's vernacular, there is the term "cock-blocked". This is when a guy is hitting on a girl, then someone else swoops in and ruins his chances. Well, yesterday I coined a new term- Wine Blocked.

I was at an account that I hadn't called on since working for my previous employer. The buyer was tied up with a customer for quite a while, which is understandable. While waiting, I got to talking to another wine rep that was at the store, and he told me that Dick Vermeil was about to come in to show his wines to the buyer. He knew that I was in a bit of a hurry, and said that I could go first.

When the buyer was done flirting, I mean working, with the customer, he and I started talking about the new company, and when I should come by. He then asked if I had wines with me to taste. Being the wicked good salesman that I am, of course I did. I answered in the affirmative, and leaned down to grab my bag and pull out samples. At precisely the moment I grabbed my wares, who should walk in the door but Superbowl XXXIV winning coach-now-wine guy, Dick Vermeil (I guess we all thought it was some other guy, or a joke). The buyer looked at me and said "Well, Dick's here. You can either hang out and wait until we are done, or come back another day."

I was "wine blocked"!!!

But it couldn't have happened by a nicer guy. Mr Vermeil was very pleasant, introduced himself to me, took my business card, and I walked out the door.

I have no idea if his wine is any good, but any guy whom has coached my KC Chiefs is okay in my book. Go buy a bottle, and report back to me.

I also want to give a shout out to my new blogger-friend Michelle. She writes Buttermilk Grosses Me Out, a great little food blog. My dad and I were sitting at Sanctuaria having delicious cocktails and tapas yesterday, and Michelle came up and introduced herself. Check her blog out, it's good!

Cheers, go drink some of my wines.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let the craziness ensue...

Yesterday we held the Launch Party for Epiphany wines at Atomic Cowboy in the Grove. It was an amazing event! I really want to thank my family, friends, and customers for showing their support. I hope everyone had fun. I also want to acknowledge the following businesses for having people there.
Atomic Cowboy (of course)
33 wine bar
Mom's Originals
Wine Chateau
Sasha's Wine Bar
Eclipse (had dinner there- amazing effort by Wes!)
Pinnacle Imports
Major Brands
Brasserie by Niche
Cafe Provencale

...If I forgot to list your organization, I apologize- I'm tired. Please let me know, and I will amend the list.

Cheers, and have a great, hot, sweltering day!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

News Article

New sexy beast from Spain

If you get the chance, check out a wine called "Dignus" from Bodegas Vina Magana in Navarra, Spain. This little gem is 50% Tempranillo, and 25% each of Merlot and Cab. The current release is the 2005 vintage, and shows notes of dusted cherry, cedar, and toasted bread, along with just a touch of tobacco and cassis. The winery makes some very cool, old-world style wines. A couple of weeks ago, I tried some Merlot that they had made in the early 80's that I would have guessed as Right Bank Bordeaux if I was tasting blind- they were stunning wines that aged gracefully.

The Dignus is available for about $17 at 33 wine bar.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A wine to watch the Cards win with

Okay, so I'm a Red Sox fan. However, since I live in Saint Louis, and they are in the National League, I have started paying attention to the Cardinals. Baseball isn't a religion in our household, more like something to have on in the background, or to flip to when I get tired of watching Mad Men reruns. I do like watching good games, and also having a glass of decent wine with it.

Yesterday I was showing the Sacred Stone by Pietra Santa winery around, and I was trying to come up with a way to describe it, showing that it is a relaxed, easy-to-drink wine, with zero pretension, and that you don't have to pay a ton for. I was going to say a "wine to drink while eating a slice of pizza and watching CSI", but I've used that one before, and CSI is starting to majorly slide in my opinion. I got stuck mid-sentence saying "It's a wine to drink while eating a slice of pizza and watching....." Brain Freeze. My customer finished my sentence for me "...the Cardinals win." Score! That's exactly what this wine is for! It's a delicious blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, Carignan, and Dolcetto from Pietra Santa's estate vineyards in the Cienega Valley (inland from Monterey in California). It sees 2 years in oak, and is big, juicy, and fun to drink.

So, go out and grab yourself a bottle (should be around $10- available at Wine and Cheese Places, and Friar Tuck), crack it, and watch Pujols crank one into the upper deck.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

And the winner is....

This post is fun, and painful to write. First of all, thank you to Kevin for agreeing to go on this trip with me. It's been a long time since he and I could catch up, and have good "brother time" together. I look forward to making this an annual event. Secondly, there will be some that say that we didn't give Kansas City a fair shake. On this, I defer to Kevin's expertise. We had several people say that Oklahoma Joe's is the best BBQ joint there, along with Jack's Stack, Gates-n-Sons, and others. Kevin eats at Oklahoma Joes probably once a month, so his opinion in this contest weighs heavily. Their sauce is amazing, but this is a contest about meat- not sauce. The highway collapse in southeastern KC prevented us from going there. I have eaten repeatedly at Jacks Stack, and at Gates. They simply aren't as good as the other places we went (with the exception of Pork n Pig- they flame that place.) Finally, this isn't a serious thing. Sure, we will send t-shirts to the winner, but that's about it. I'm sure my dozens of readers will understand.
So, without further ado- here are the winners:

Best Ribs- Neely's. Pappys came in close 2nd, but man, I must admit that these ribs from Neely's were the best I've ever had. I'm still thinking about them.

Pulled Pork- Pappy's. It was the most succulent, and had the best flavor.

Sausage- Split decision- Kevin says Neely's, I say 17th street. Brothers will never agree on everything.

Bologna Sandwich- Neely's. Of course, they were the only ones to offer one, but it was freaking delicious.

Beans- 17th street. The ones at Neely's came a close second, with Pappys not far behind. I just loved the tanginess, and the fact that they had 3 separate kind of beans in them.

Sauce- 17th street. More on the mustard/vinegar side, it was tangy, refreshing, and the only one we bought.

Dry Rub- Neely's. Even though it has a cheesy picture of Patrick and Gina on the side of it, it's killer. I bought some, and put it on potatoes last night.

Overall Winner- As much as it hurts me to say it (I was rooting for my home team of Mike Emerson and the boys at Pappys), this coveted prize, and t-shirt, goes to....
......NEELY'S. We had to take all things into consideration, but this was a BBQ road trip. Their meat was the best overall.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings. Back to our regular-scheduled programming on Monday.
Until then, Cheers.

Dining with the Neely's

Friday night, the Harsha Boys Midwest BBQ Smackdown reached it's furthest destination- Memphis, TN. We checked into our fairly low-rent motel (fine for a boy's trip- the wives wouldn't have stayed there), and met up with friends Aleks and Sarah, locals. Since they have lived in Memphis for a number of years, we trusted their judgement on where to go for the best BBQ. I know some people are sitting there reading this saying "Rendevous", and others "The Interstate". Our local tour-guides disagreed. They took us to the Neely's restaurant on Jefferson. Let me say right now that I'm not a huge fan of Patrick and Gina Neely's show on the Food Network. I'm sure they are nice people, but they tend to bee too syrupy sweet and obnoxious to watch. Their restaurant is a bit of an ode to themselves- with their own pictures making up about 89% of the decor. It was a bit more rustic than expected. I almost thought we would walk into a TV "star" restaurant, and have it be uber-nice. Nope. All wood panelling, comfortable chairs, and a great mix of black, white, hispanic, and several other races eating there. It was exactly what a BBQ joint in Memphis should be.

The first course was the Sausage and cheese- Kevin liked this sausage the best out of all of them we ate. I actually liked it at 17th street the best, but this one did have an amazing rub sprinkled on it. What came next was jaw-dropping. Kevin ordered the "combo" platter- Ribs, Pork, Beef, and Turkey. I ordered a fried bologna sandwich. Yes, you read that correctly. I had never seen it on a menu before, and I'm glad I ordered it. The bologna was about 1/2" thick, smoked, and freaking delicious. The ribs were served piping hot- incredibly meaty, and supremely tender without being mushy. The pork was fine, nothing to write much about, as was the turkey. The beef was a bit tough. Another item that Sarah ordered that was probably the least-favorite thing on the table was BBQ Spaghetti. Huh? My mouth was confused. Let me go back to the ribs- I literally couldn't stop eating them! Will they give Pappy's a run for the top of the leader board?

The night ended with a trip over to Jerry's- a "famous" snowcone stand. You can get all flavors either regular, "supreme" (with soft-serve ice cream" or with "cream" (condensed milk). I opted for the Dreamsicle Supreme. Kevin got the "Legit". He doesn't know what flavor it was, but we both found small pockets in our pork-laden digestive tracts to shove the sweet goodness in.

Next post- the winners.

Friday Lunch- 17th st Bar and Grill

Friday morning, we headed southeast out of Saint Louis, destination Memphis. However, since I'm pretty much a geek and have actually read the book "Peace, Love, Barbecue" from cover to cover twice, I knew that we had to hit one of the Midwest meccas of all things pork- 17th St. Bar and Grill in Murphysboro, IL. For those of you not-in-the-know, this restaurant is owned by Mike Mills, a guy who has won the coveted World Championship of BBQ at Memphis in May not only once, but 3 times. Simply put, he knows how to smoke a rib.

The first curveball came when we approached the door, on a side street of a po-dunk town. The dining room of the bar and grill had been moved up the street 1/2 block. When you enter, it's sort of like walking into the banquet hall of a Holiday Inn. Not what you expect for eating great BBQ. Kevin ordered the ribs and chicken, I ordered pulled pork and sausage (anyone sensing a pattern here?). Service was deplorable, but to our server's credit, she did have to deal with a 6 top of blue haired women, and a 5 top of middle aged women, ALL of whom wanted separate checks and to pay with separate credit cards.

Folks, let me rant for a moment here. Dont do this to your server! It takes forever, it's easy to make mistakes, and usually the server gets screwed on tips. You all took math at sometime. Put it on someone's credit card, and pay them back later.

Back to the food. The ribs and pulled pork were good, but that's about it. Just good, not world-champion worthy. I honestly think I could approximate them with a couple hours of hickory and apple wood smoke, and some dry rub. What were outstanding were the sides. The tangy beans were just that- tangy, with a vinegar kick and just a touch of heat. Kevin said that the red beans-n-rice were the best he's ever had. The sausage was cooked through, had a slap of heat on it, and delicious. The sauce was the best we had the entire trip- we each actually bought a bottle.

In retrospect, I would say that the ribs were definitely better than Pork n Pit, but Pappys kicks them in the junk. They were a bit lean on meat, and a touch dry. The same goes with the pulled pork. I just got the feeling that they might be resting on their laurels a little bit, and more concerned with opening restaurants all around the Midwest and Vegas to pay attention to their food quality slipping. If you happen to be in Murphysboro (or even Carbondale- it's worth the drive), check out 17th street bar and grill, but I wouldn't go an hour out of your way off of I-55 to try them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pappys lays the smack down, name mistake

First of all, let me say that yesterday, I made a mistake. I called the place we got the terrible ribs from "Pig N Pit" when it was actually "Pork N Pit." Oops.

Yesterday afternoon, my brother and I headed into Pappy's in Saint Louis. One sign that a BBQ place is going to be good is when there's a line of at least 30 people waiting- at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Thursday! I must admit that I am a little bit biased when it comes to this place, as I have probably eaten there a dozen times over the last couple of years. I really, really like it. Plus, I think that Mike Emerson, the owner, is a great businessman that runs a true, clean, honest spot. He isn't trying to make it something that it's not. He also didn't see his success over the last couple of years, and try to open 4 more outposts, diluting the efforts of the original.

To say that the ribs blew the previous ones away is an understatement. They had a beautiful smoke ring in them, and just the right amount of "snap". I once heard that a rib should be tender, but still show the shape of your bite when you pull it away from your mouth. These did that, and had just the right amount of spice that you almost don't even need sauce on them. The pulled pork (not Kevin's favorite dish at any BBQ mecca) was moist, flavorful, and uniformly pulled. How in the world does Pappys do that? I have tried so many times to get my pork at home this consistency, always to fail. The ancillary items were just as delicious- I actually recommend the smoked chicken. It's killer!

So, if you are in the Saint Louis area, I would highly recommend this place. It's a bit tough to find- give me a call, I might give you directions.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's sad when 5 adults don't finish a rack of ribs

...This was our reaction upon trying the BBQ at the first stop of the Harsha Boys Midwest BBQ Smackdown. I had gone over to Kansas City, in hopes of trying a great BBQ restaurant with my brother, and sharing with my family. Let me start by saying that the Pig N Pit in Lees Summit was not our first choice. However, a hiway collapsed in KC this last weekend, making it virtually impossible to get from the Southeastern corner of the metroplex (where my brother lives) to anywhere else. Truth be told, I have had the sauce from Oklahoma Joe's dozens of times, but time constraints kept us from going there for the ribs. We were also kept from going to Gates n Sons, or Jack Stacks either. My brother had heard of this new place in Lee's Summit that was supposed to be really good. I don't know where he got his information, but it was incorrect.

The trip started in an innocuous manner. The Pork N Pit is located on Colbern road in a minimalistic, BBQ-Friendly environment. The 8 tables were surrounded by families obviously enjoying the meat, and the owner's eyes lit up when I told him his wares were being "pitted" (pun intended) against the best BBQ from St Louis, Murphreesboro, and Memphis. He even gave us a small sample of the brisket to try while waiting for our pulled pork, ribs, and burned ends. The brisket was tender, had a great smokiness to it, and proved to be the best thing we tried. We took the rest of the food home, and ate it there. I got a little worried about the ribs when I first opened them. They were grey, and literally fell apart when you picked them up. For you non-BBQ fanatics, this is not a good thing. "Falling off the bone" is not a good sign for quality smoked ribs. They had obviously been boiled, and then finished off briefly in a smoker. They were almost a mushy texture, and had a faint, acrid aftertaste of garlic-gone-bad. I'm not exaggerating when I say that 5 adults didn't finish a full rack. The Pulled-Pork was dry, lifeless, and didn't seem to have an ounce of fat in it. Again, not a good thing for BBQ. The sides we tried were unmemorable (the website claims to have the "best fries in the world- they aren't).

In all, if you are looking for the best BBQ in Kansas City, avoid this place. Those of you that know my style know that I very rarely tell you not to go somewhere. If you are stuck in Lees Summit, skip the Pork N Pit. Go to Holy Smoke BBQ instead- the place with easily the best beans I have ever tried.

Next post- Pappy's in Saint Louis.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BBQ Challenge

Today begins the Harsha Boy's Midwest BBQ Challenge. That's right- my brother and I, over the next couple of days, are going to sample BBQ from the great cities of Memphis, Murfreesboro (IL), Saint Louis, and Kansas City. We will try ribs and pulled pork from institutions in each city, and report back with our candid thoughts on each one. The winning joint's owner will receive an Epiphany Wines shirt, and free veterinarian care for a year. (Just kidding on the vet care, no worries Kev.) More thoughts to come....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Winery Profile- Villa Creek

To say that I'm excited to bring in the wines of Villa Creek (pronounced Vee-ya, Spanish Style) is an understatement. I had first tried their wines a couple of years ago through a local friend, but they haven't been available in the St Louis market yet. Located in Paso Robles, this particular winery produces Rhone and Spanish-style blends from grapes that they source from the Denner, James Berry, and Ohana vineyards. They also own a 60-acre estate that will be planted in 2012. Their white wine is a killer blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Picpoul that is reminiscent of a white CdP, but has a new-world feel. I really look forward to sipping it while warming up my grill. After I cook pig, chicken, or beef on said grill, I will move onto their reds. The ones I will be looking at bringing into the state at first are the Willow Creek Cuvee (Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah), La Boda (Grenache/Mourvedre), and Avenger (Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache). This isn't to say that the state won't be getting the other wines- stay tuned for the other wines down the road.

In the meantime, check out their website at


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NYC, other schtuff

On Monday morning, I flew to the Big Apple for an afternoon and Tuesday morning meeting with my Spanish wine supplier, Ole Imports. It was a very well run meeting, and we got to try some truly incredible wines. One of the best parts was that there were several of the winemakers there, and they were all jazzed about Spain winning the World Cup. If you are curious, look at their website to see the portfolio-

Monday night, we had a dinner/reception on the roofdeck of the Kimberly Hotel- really an amazing spot for cocktails (despite the fact that Ketel was $16 per glass. Oof). This is where the night took a southward turn. Some of us left the reception, and went over to Times Square, where my iPhone was promptly stolen off of a bartable. So, I was in a big city, no phone, no email, and most importantly, no map. To get back to my hotel, I wandered around a bit, and got very lost very quickly. Then my savior appeared- a black transvestite hooker with bleached blonde hair. After I declined the opportunity for a "date", he/she was nice enough to point me in the direction of my hotel. Now I guess I have my NYC story.

The next day, following the rest of the tasting, I took a cab over to Momofuku, and had an absolutely killer Ramen bowl with pork belly, scallops, and a poached egg. That was followed by a cab ride to the Spotted pig- quite possibly the coolest bar in America. One long, uncomfortable plane ride, and I was home. It was a heck of an adventure, but I'm plenty content with our decision to live in the Midwest. There's just no place to get away quietly in NYC.

In other sports news, I just got off the phone with Cris Cherry of Villa Creek winery, and I will be carrying their wines. Their winery profile to come tomorrow.

Tonight, it's Blues Music and a picnic dinner at the Botanical Gardens. Cheers!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Winery Profile- Denner Vineyards

Today, I wanted to let you know about a cool little winery out of California that I will be working with soon. Denner Vineyards is located in Paso Robles, CA, and is the epitome of a "local boy done good" in the wine scene.

The vineyards themselves, owned by the Denner family, were planted in 25 small blocks in 1999. They focus on sustainable agriculture, and minimalistic approaches to fertilization, pest control, and irrigation. The vineyards are planted with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier, Roussanne, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, and Zinfandel.

The local connection comes through Anthony Yount, who was born locally and grew up in Clayton. He studied his wine stuff at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and then worked as an intern at Denner. From there, he was the cellar master at Villa Creek under Cris Cherry, and then moved back to Denner where he is the current winemaker. He also makes the Kinero brand, which focuses on off-the-beaten-path whites.

I must say that everything I have tried from this vineyard has been exceptional. I particularly like the Theresa- a white Rhone-style blend, as well as the Dirt Worshipper- a Cote Rotie style blend of Syrah and Viognier.

So, even though these aren't the cheapest wines on the market, if you are fortunate enough to find some in your local store or restaurant, please snag it, drink it, and report back.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wine from New York??? Really???

Yesterday I had the opportunity to try a couple of wines from New York, and I am getting really excited about the fact that they may soon be available in the state. The winery that sent samples was Hermann J Wiemer, which is located on the West coast of Lake Seneca. For those of you unfamiliar with the fact that New York is an entire state, and not just a city, this is about 5 hours Northeast of NYC in the Finger Lakes region, and you have to go through Pennsylvania to get there. Located near the town of Dundee, Weimer vineyard was planted in 1973 by Hermann Wiemer, a German immigrant that was born to a wine-making family in the Mosel. They have been producing wine from their 140 acre estate since 1979- most of which are in a fairly German style.

I only tried the semi-dry Riesling and the Cabernet Franc yesterday, but will get to the dry Riesling, Gewurtz, Cuvee Frost (blend of Riesling, Gewurtz, Chard, and Pinot Noir), and sparkling (method champenoise, made from Chard) either today or tomorrow.

Now, I can sit here and wax eloquent about how these wines were a great hybrid of German and New-world Rieslings with peach, apple, apricot, lychee and hazelnut notes, but rather I will tell you the true proof that this stuff is good. My wife and I usually have a bottle of wine open at dinner, especially lately since I have been sampling so many. Last night was the first time in months that I sat there and watched her drink her glass of Riesling, finish it, reach for the bottle, and pour herself another glass. Folks, we have a winner!

Here's to bringing a wine from the Finger Lakes into the red state of Missouri. Now, if I could only get it in a camo-can so my neighbors would buy it...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Delicious Wine from Alsace

Every once in a while, I taste a wine that has such an immediate impact on me that I have to tell other people about it. This happened this week with the 2004 Rolly Gassmann Gewurtztraminer from Rorschwihr in Alsace. The Gassmann family has been producing wine from 21 separate vineyard sites in the area since 1676, and the name of the wine comes from the marriage of the Rolly family and the Gassmann family in 1967. All of the wines from this estate have been produced Biodynamically since 1997.

Enough about the technical stuff- how did it taste? As soon as I opened the bottle, the kitchen was instantly filled with aromas of pineapple, mango, ginger, and perfectly ripe pear. These notes continued right through the palate, along with flavors of Juicy Fruit gum, cinnamon, flint, and petrol. This isn't a watery wine by any stretch of the imagination, but rather viscous and full bodied. I tried the wine 2 days later, and it still hadn't lost a bit of its fruit. The word to describe this particular wine is "wow". Once again, we have living proof that white wines, especially those from Alsace, can age.

I highly recommend you get some of this wine, and check it out!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Trip to Denver, other goings-ons

I didn't post on Thursday because I got up early to fly to Denver in order to meet with a potential supplier of mine, and on Friday because I was coming back home. A lot has happened since my last post, so bear with me a bit.

Thursday in Denver was a great trip. I will likely be doing business with a wonderful importer there that took me out to lunch and dinner, and showed 14 wines or so. The dinner at Barolo Grill was absolutely stunning- the courses were a Salmon Carpaccio; Mushroom Consome with mini raviolis; Black Rice with Quail Egg and Foie Gras Sauce; Guinea Hen with peas and fava beans; and finally a rhubarb soup with yogurt ice cream. It was a bit of a heavy course-load for summer, but it was a delicious endeavor nonetheless. I will post more about the wines we decided on as they become official. While in Denver, I also checked out their version of Atomic Cowboy. Ours is much better here in the Lou. I don't think there's any relationship between the two.

I came home from Denver to find shipments from three separate suppliers that want me to taste through their wines. It's a tough job trying to taste through 40 wines or so, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Again, as these become official, I will post about them on here. (**Hint- I may have accidentally leaked a few of them on my twitter feed for the company @epiphanywines).

So, now I'm back in the office, paying bills, blogging, writing my price book, writing an employee manual, and recovering from the massive amounts of grilled and smoked pork product I ate over the weekend. It's glamorous, I know.