Category: Best of AWB

  • Best Moment of an Overwhelmingly Good Trip

  • Wine Law: The Times They Are ‘A Changing

    Advocates of the Three-tier System of Distribution continue to block changes in laws that would benefit individual consumers and wine drinkers seeking direct shipment of out-of-state wines.

  • The Complaint as a Gift: A Tale of Three Wineries

    The Complaint as a Gift: A Tale of Three Wineries

    Research indicates that for every one complaint there are hundreds of customers who say nothing, and just take their business elsewhere. Is your business losing out to your competitors? Do you know wineries that haven’t a clue how to deal with bad reviews?

  • Restaurant Review: Pope’s Pairings Protect Plonk

    The brainchild of Chef Monica Pope t’afia promises “coastal Mediterranean cuisine inspired by local ingredients.” Let me just summarize up front by saying the decor is trendy cafeteria-cool, our waiter was friendly, the food is good, but the place is very loud. Acoustics in t’afia are not conducive to quiet conversation. At least not when sitting on the long communal bench. I could hear the conversations from the tables behind me and beside me, but could not hear my dinner partner sitting across from me.

  • An Unspeakable Tragedy

  • The Successful Wine Bar: No Pimpin’ Required

    A wine bar opens and begins to attract a following. Then come the lines, the need for bouncers four nights a week, and the requisite “look” necessary to not only get in the door, but be waited on. Soon there is no parking, no room for regulars, and as one guy puts it, the bar becomes “a smorgasbord of plastic, cocaine, and working girls.”

  • Flavor Profiles – Food and Wine

    Approaches to Food & Wine: Are You a Mad Scientist or Methodical Scholar? When learning to cook or to pair wine with food, I am of the opinion that Jacob’s scholarly approach is the best way. Once a good foundation is laid, let the mad scientist Alex loose. Over the years I have taken the opposite approach when learning a new skill and have regretted it, despite having some success.

  • Break-Up Wine: Do You Own a Bottle of Spite?

    On my first trip to Wine Country I knew next-to-nothing about wine. It was in the early 90s. And everyone I knew was drinking White Zinfandel. Some of the adventurous women were drinking Chardonnay. But when I met Joe later; in 1999, I still had this one spiteful little bottle of wine, I’d taken from the ex. It then traveled with me when I moved from Houston to Ohio to go to law school. And again from Toledo back to Houston. And somehow it ended up in the wine jail.

  • Why do I hate Sandra Lee so much?

  • Customer Service: A Tale of Two Bartenders

    Bartender Fail: A good bartender, waitperson or sommelier knows that he’s not doing the customers “a favor” to serve them, but that they’re doing him a favor by being there. That but for the customers, he would have no job. And in today’s economy, especially, there are 10 people just waiting to take his job.