Bon Vivant: (n) a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink.

All posts in Capitol Hill

I’m Back.

Posted in: Behind the Scenes, Bon Vivant, Capitol Hill, Champagne, Drink Well, Entertaining, Lifestyle, Tried and Trues

I would be remiss to not address my absence from writing.  Several years ago I went to wine school and switched my hobby and my career- wine for politics. Like many, I have had a hard time writing about wine and lifestyle during a time when things seem dire.  I’ve even considered dusting off my political resumé and getting back in the game to work on issues I care most about. Living in the middle of the nation’s capital can be both exciting and exhausting when tensions are this high. Dear friends and family members are estranged by ideologies in a way that I’ve never seen before.

Many wine and lifestyle writers are wondering if our duties perhaps lie elsewhere.  And for some, they may.  However, I have been reminded many times that the world needs all sorts, particularly during times of great stress.  Our society and our lives would be rather bleak indeed without art, music, travel, the joy of sharing a great meal and great conversation.

And let’s be honest, more than a few of us have been reaching for wine bottles to soothe frayed nerves, regardless of how we feel about world affairs or where one lies on the political spectrum.

I was reminded recently of a lesson I learned over a decade ago in Greece while studying political philosophy and conflict resolution with The Fund for American Studies. I’ve written briefly about my time there. It wasn’t in air conditioned classrooms where I learned the most, but rather over hearty debates with a glass of local wine in under grape vined trellises, on breathtaking beaches over frosty glasses of Mythos, and on terraces watching the sun rise over Chania after staying out all night. There were myriad religions represented that summer. 19 countries.  Countless opinions. At first glance there was far more to divide us than unite us- and yet, that’s what happened. I am reminded once again what we were taught that summer. The questions unite us and the answers divide us, which has perhaps never rung truer.

During a recent social media debate over a political issue things got rather heated, as they are wont to do.  At long last, once the parties had agreed to disagree, I made a wine recommendation based on something I knew the other person would love.  And then the strangest thing happened; I received an apology for something that had offended me in the dialogue. No Greek island required.

And I realized anew that perhaps it’s not just the questions that can unite us, but a shared bottle of a 2012 Brunello. Or a 2008 Champagne. Or a beautiful vintage tawny port.


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The Hill is Home

Posted in: Capitol Hill, DC events, Drink Well, Guest Posts, Wine Shops, Wine Tasting

I’m excited to be teaming up with the folks at one of my favorite neighborhood DC blogs- The Hill is Home. Those in the area know it as a great resource for all things Capitol Hill- from community meetings, festivals, local politics and now food and wine!

To check out my first post on where and when to  taste wine for FREE click here.

If you’re in the neighborhood and have any ideas on what you’d like to see, sound off in the comment section below!


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Top 5 Reasons to Support Your Local Wine Shop

Posted in: Bang for Your Buck, Bon Vivant, Capitol Hill, Drink Well, Helpful Hints, Tried and Trues, Wine Recommendations, Winemakers, Wineries and Vineyards

Although grocery stores are convenient, and places like Costco can save you a few dollars, I’ve always been a huge proponent of shopping at my local wine store (or winery!). Here are a few reasons why:

Just one of my many finds  from a neighborhood wine tasting- Xion Albariño.

Just one of my many finds from a neighborhood wine tasting- Xion Albariño.

1. A good store’s owner will have tasted every.single.bottle.

…Along with another 10 or 20 that didn’t make the cut! They’ve taken much of the guesswork out of the equation for you! They’re also constantly refreshing inventory, and there are always exciting new finds to try.

2. Most offer free wine tastings on the weekends!

This means no taking chances on fancy bottle designs only to be disappointed by the contents. Try before you buy and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.  These tastings often come with more information about the wine from the distributor or even the winemaker- they can be a great way to learn more about the wines you’re drinking!

3.  As you develop a relationship with the proprietor, they will come to know your palette and make suggestions.

This has paid off for me more times than I can count. Owners’ recommendations almost always pan out, and I’ve even amended a dinner menu to accommodate a new find!

4.  It boosts the local economy!

No one works harder than folks that own their own businesses- often on weekends and holidays.  Support them!

5. They generally have more interesting wine!

Sick of seeing the same labels everywhere you go?  Try a smaller, local vendor.  They tend to work with smaller, independent wine producers who don’t necessarily have the volume to contract with major chains, but are making outstanding wines.  If you’re not drinking these wines, you’re missing out on some of the best the wine world has to offer!

Where do you tend to shop for wine and why?  Do you have a favorite local store?



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