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Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Thomas Jefferson may have been our nation’s earliest wine enthusiast. As the American ambassador to France in 1784, he is known to have loved French wine, and visited many chateaus when he lived there. One of them was Chateau Carbonnieux in Bordeaux, which we recently had the opportunity to visit ourselves. I had heard about the outstanding wines from this estate and I …

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

I recently traveled to the Virgin Islands to help my best friend deal with some serious problems with his home caused by the 2017 hurricane. My first assignment: finding a restaurant near Logan Airport in Boston. I did my research and selected Mario’s Ristorante, advertised as the “Closest thing to Mamma’s Cooking.” Mario’s was just what we were looking for, a small fam…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

The Colville family has a summer party every year, and my wife Karen and I have committed to doing it for 10 years. 2018 was our ninth year for “Ponderoysterfest.” Each year, I try to curate new oysters and wine for the party. My new friend Johnny Flynn is the owner of Colville Bay Oysters in Prince Edward Island, Canada; even though Flynn doesn’t ship to the U.S., we h…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

In the olden days, when the drinking age was 18, I thought I was very cool drinking my first Portuguese wines: Mateus Rosé and Lancers Rosé. (At that time we also drank Southern Comfort with a beer chaser.) There wasn’t the internet back then so you learned by reading and talking with people in the know. I was ready for my next step. My first great experience with Po…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

About three years ago I hosted a number of Niagara wineries for a tasting to highlight in this column; we had quite a few wines to taste, and it was a fun day. A couple months ago my wife Karen and I went to see a puppy for sale, and it turned out to be the owners of one of those wineries: Victorianborg. They graciously offered a tasting while we were there, and it hatc…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

We have a lonely nine-year-old Yorkie named Muhsu. Several months ago, my wife Karen started to talk about a puppy and I thought it was just that: Talk. As usual, I was wrong. She wanted a French Bulldog, so I began researching the breed. While many people love them, I wasn’t sure it was the right breed for us (snoring, lots of gas and respiratory problems topped the li…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

I’d been to the Lodge at Glendorn — located in Bradford, Pa., just an hour’s drive away — several years ago, and thought it was one of the coolest places I’d ever stayed. Tucked into the mountainside, it served as summer retreat for a Pittsburgh coal baron in the early 20th century; for decades he built new cabins throughout acres of gorgeous property to accommodate his gr…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

As a wine columnist, I get many requests. More than once I’ve received phone calls from friends, at a restaurant, asking me what bottle of wine to order. I’ve even had restaurateur friends ask me for help in putting together their wine menu. Recently my friend Tom, owner of the Blue Lantern in Elma, asked for my help narrowing down his wine-by-the-glass offerings. He se…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

My job requires a great deal of reading about a great many topics. To relax, I read about food and wine. Recently, I read that the best oysters in Prince Edward Island, Canada – one of the world’s top oyster-producing regions – come from an outfit called Colville Bay Oysters. Despite loving oysters, and taking any opportunity to taste them, I’d never heard of these or s…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

There’s been a lot written about Bob Wilmers’ passing. He will long be remembered and appreciated as Chairman of M&T Bank and a WNY philanthropist. Having known Bob for 29 years was an honor. His vision inspired me in many ways. One lesser-known part of Bob’s legacy was a later-in-life passion, his winery in France. My wife and I had the privilege to visit Chateau H…

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…