Francine 2

Certified Specialist of Wine

By Catherine | On May 29, 2014 | 1 Comment

Francine Lubera of Baltimore, Maryland, recently earned her title of Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), an internationally recognized certification denoting a high level of wine knowledge and expertise. The Society of Wine Educators, a non-profit organization, founded in 1977, authorizes the certification, publishes the materials, and administrates the testing. Francine had been interested in wine for years and became the…

woman tasting

How and Why We Taste Wine Differently

By Catherine | On Apr 30, 2014 | No Comments

People have different perceptions upon tasting a particular wine. What I love, you may not care for. What I find too sweet, you may find just right. What seems too tannic to me is perfect for you. Most people are aware that our tongue and palate are able to identify the five primary categories of taste, which are sweet, sour,…

Rewined

2014 Charleston Wine and Food Festival

By Catherine | On Mar 22, 2014 | No Comments

Charleston was buzzing with activity as the 2014 Wine and Food Festival took place.  One of the events I attended was billed as Passport to Pairings, held at the Thomas Bennett House, and sponsored by an innovative company, Rewined, that repurposes used wine bottles into wonderful candles.  Each guest received a candle and mine is Carmenère-scented, one of my favorite…

Retail wine photo

Wine Ratings – What do they Mean?

By Catherine | On Jan 29, 2014 | No Comments

As you stand in front of the shelves at your local grocery store or wine shop, you can’t help but notice the shelf tags with ratings for certain bottles.  What do they mean?  Should you pay attention or not?  Although based on a 100 point scale, popularized by Robert Parker‘s Wine Advocate newsletter decades ago, it is really a 50…

Champagne 2013

Champagne 2013

By Catherine | On Dec 21, 2013 | No Comments

Life has been busy with the holidays and all.  I think we have all been a little out of sync with Thanksgiving being so late.  The annual Grower Producer Champagne seminar was held in November, hosted by Harry Root of Grassroots Wines and facilitated by Marie Sauer of Sauer Grapes.  The wines presented were another “killer” line up.  It is…

Rue Mussels

Fall Feasting

By Catherine | On Nov 7, 2013 | 1 Comment

For the first couple of weeks after the trip to Italy, I tried to behave myself, conserving calories and dollars.  However, that can last just so long!  My daughter, Hilary, visited me in Charleston the last weekend of October and we had great fun, as always, eating and drinking our way around town.  Among the highlights were lunch at 39…

Sunset from Hotel Forum

Arrivaderci, Roma

By Catherine | On Oct 5, 2013 | 1 Comment

The last day in Rome dawned bright, but soon gave way to rain.  I wasn’t about to let the rain stop me, so with umbrella in hand, I set out in the direction of the Trevi Fountain.  The rain got heavier and navigating the narrow streets full of people with umbrellas was hazardous.  I forged on, turning down an even…

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Rome!

By Catherine | On Oct 2, 2013 | No Comments

Our departure from Gubbio was not without problems.  It was raining (first time during the trip), but more importantly, there was a local run that morning and the tiny streets were blocked off while the runners got started.  I believe I mentioned the bicycle race that interfered with our day in Florence – what are the chances of encountering two…

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Spoleto

By Catherine | On Oct 1, 2013 | No Comments

Saturday’s day trip was to Spoleto, home of the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, conceived by Gian-Carlo Menotti in 1958. Charleston is home to the US version of the famous music festival. Spoleto is an ancient city built high on a hillside, dating back to 240 B.C.  Today, the city is accessed via a series of escalators that easily take…

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On to Umbria

By Catherine | On Sep 30, 2013 | No Comments

Thursday we said goodbye to the Villa Montecastello and headed east into Umbria and the town of Gubbio that would be our home for the next three nights.  Gubbio is built into a steep hillside and dates to the early 1400’s.  We have been staying at Relais Ducale, a charming old hotel that features beautiful patios and gardens.  One of…

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