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Archive for the ‘American Wine Culture’ Category


The Wine Industry Notices Louisville, Gasps in Disbelief

September 29th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

I joke about writing about wine from someplace not, broadly defined, wine country. As I say on this blog’s “About” page:  Tom lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky — which is not exactly the center of the wine universe, but oh well. So it’s interesting that the September issue of Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch (print only) [...]

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The Baptists Warned Us About This

September 26th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Children wiggling their toes in ripe grapes, being brainwashed into thinking that wine is a normal part of life. The photo is from Lover’s Leap Vineyard & Winery’s annual harvest grape stomp. Good crowd, beautiful afternoon, pretty good wine at a price point that should make Yellow Tail nervous.  

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More Evidence That Olive Garden is the Center of American Wine Culture

August 24th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

A driving instructor in Coralville, Iowa, has been accused of buying wine for two of his students before their driving lessons.  Frederick D. Bindner, a 62-year-old driving instructor of Auto Right Driving School, was said to have offered the 14- and 16-year-old glasses of wine at the Olive Garden restaurant in Coralville, Iowa, on June [...]

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Letter From the Void

July 18th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The bartender stares blankly at me. I am in the lobby bar of an old, downtown hotel in a medium sized city. The hotel has been beautifully renovated, rescued from its fate as a cheap residence to resume its role as an urban hub. People go to the restaurant for Sunday brunch; the bar is [...]

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American Wine Culture: Mixed Messages

June 27th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Within days of each other, two things: First, research published in the peer-reviewed journal Addiction indicates that even a small amount of alcohol in the bloodstream makes driving more dangerous. It is not, according to the study, that low-level blood alcohol makes accidents more frequent, but that the accidents tend to be more severe. There [...]

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American Wine Culture: Young Love

June 18th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

TMZ reports that when Bristol Palin lost her virginity to Levi Johnston, they were drunk on wine coolers. UPDATE: Gawker reports the significant event took place in a tent.

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Olive Garden and American Wine Culture

June 14th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

I’m working on an article for Vineyard & Winery Management that has me talking to people about wine in restaurant chains. (And, for record, neglecting this blog.) The people I’m talking to are wine professionals who don’t see wine through any kind of gauzy romanticism. They appreciate what works, what sells, what promotes restaurant “beverage programs” because [...]

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Toward an Emerging American Wine Culture

May 28th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

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There Is No Such Thing As Being Far From Civilization Anymore

May 1st, 2011 by Tom Johnson

So I’m out in the flooded farm fields of central Illinois, at a restaurant called Popeye’s in the 10-building town of St. Rose. The first thing you see when you walk into Popeye’s is a pool table. There is taxidermy hanging on all four walls — nothing exotic, just the same familiar mammals we saw [...]

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Camouflage

October 12th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

We here in Kentucky, we’re new at this winery thing. I mean, sort of. The state claims that it was home to the first commercial winery in North America, and while I, personally, don’t believe that for a second, I haven’t actually been able to disprove it. It comes down to your definition of “commercial” [...]

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