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Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Around 15 years ago, my wife Karen and I were invited to our friends’ beautiful home for a pre-dinner glass of wine. It was going very well until I saw the food we’d be “enjoying” with our wine: raw oysters on the half shell. Growing up in a family with 12 children, my love of fish extended about as far as the tuna noodle casserole we were regularly served. I didn’t want t…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

July 2016 was the first-ever Meatball Street Brawl in Buffalo. The brainchild of Nick Pitillo, owner of Osteria 166 in Buffalo and Villaggio in Ellicottville, the event is essentially a “battle of the meatballs,” with many of Buffalo’s best restaurants competing for the title. Last year we paired our meatballs with a wine tasting, and it went so well we decided to do it ag…

My real job is publisher and president of The Buffalo News. My columnist job is an excuse to try plenty of good wine. Sometimes I get to mix the two. The News was recently on the hunt for a new sports writer. A prospective candidate was in town with her husband, so I invited them to dinner to share why we love Buffalo so much. I came up with a dinner theme of sports …

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

There are so many meaningful organizations that need our help. Recently, a friend asked if I’d help promote awareness for breast cancer research for the local Susan G. Komen chapter. If you’re like me, breast cancer has touched someone you know, and you’ve witnessed the challenges that go along with it. My wife’s cousin, Doris, has been my inspiration; she’s fought t…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

My first experience with Charles Smith wines happened at a business dinner at Remington’s, when my dining companion brought along two mind-blowing wines for the evening: 2007 Skull and 2007 Old Bones. First I noticed the crazy labels…next I noticed how close to perfect they were. At the time, I’d already planned a wine trip to Washington State. Charles Smith, whose win…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

I always do the proper thing. (Well, almost always.) In the case of winery visits, I always send a thank you note to let the owners know how much we appreciated their hospitality, with an invitation to host them for dinner and a wine tasting if they are ever in Buffalo. I’ve had a few take me up on it in the past, including Dyane Savino from Domain Drouhin. After our…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

On our final days in Walla Walla, Washington, we visited three wineries: Gramercy Cellars, Corliss Estates and Figgins. Gramercy Cellars One of the first Washington State Syrahs I ever tasted was from Gramercy, so I knew it would be a great place to visit; they have amazingly good Syrah and Cabernet. Here is a list of our favorites, all of which I bought to add to my cel…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Three years ago I had my first bottle of Cayuse, and I will never forget it. We were visiting Washington and having dinner at Canlis, one of Seattle’s great restaurants. I was overwhelmed by the wine list; the restaurant employs five sommeliers, so is highly committed to wine. With some help from the head sommelier, we finally decided on a 2005 Cayuse Cailloux. I was ho…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Last month I began a four-part column about our wine trip to Walla Walla, Washington. This month I detail three wineries we visited: Doubleback, Delmas/SJR and Rasa. Buffalo Bills fans likely remember Drew Bledsoe, our team quarterback from 2002-2004. Retired, he’s now back in his hometown of Walla Walla making wine at Doubleback Winery. When Bledsoe was quarterback, we…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Three years ago we made our first trip to Washington State to explore the region’s wines. We were blown away by the great wines, excellent prices and wonderful people. On that trip we spent most of our time in Woodinville, and wanted to get back to spend more time in Walla Walla, another prime wine region. I researched a fall 2016 trip, setting up visits to 10 wineries the…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Growing up in the New York City area and spending 25 years in New Jersey have contributed to my obsession for great pizza, which culminates in this month’s pizza-and-wine tasting. Of all the many delicious types, I still crave New York-style thin crust pizza the most. It brings back memories of being a kid in Westchester County. My Aunt Pat always ordered “tomato pie’” …

The challenge: to submit a wine column, with no current tasting events planned. Between being president of the Buffalo News and getting our daughters off to college, I’ve been remiss in staying in front of the wine content. Then it occurred to me: my wife has been bugging me to empty out the small wine refrigerator in our kitchen. Admittedly, I have no idea what wines are …

I have been working at One News Plaza for 28 years and have hosted many events here. My wife recently had the idea to invite a few people to sit out on the fifth floor deck, listen to music from Canalside and sip some summer wine. For all these years we almost never used the deck, and I know why. There was nothing going on. Now there are thousands of people enjoying the ne…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

For a recent event, I was looking for a totally different place for an Italian wine tasting. Linguine’s, an unassuming restaurant tucked behind a gas station in Bowmansville, fit the bill. Linguine’s is a frequent stop for my best friend and me during the warmer months – our reward after 25-mile bike ride. (Somehow we justify having lunch and good wine after our exercise.)…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Over the years, we have travelled far and wide to taste wine – California, Washington, France and more — and I’ve written about many of those experiences for this column. Recently, Duncan Ross, owner of Arrowhead Spring Vineyards in Lockport, reached out to suggest I write about more locally-made wines. While the original intent of this column was to find wines that cou…