I have been seriously experiencing wine and food for over 45 years and I started young
My first taste of the grape was the result of my grandfather unknowingly “inventing” the wine spritzer in the late 50’s when he mixed his homemade, backyard Concord grape wine with Seven-Up as a drink for my sister and I… little did I know.
My wine interest developed in the mid-70’s and led to classes at The Chicago Wine School with the late Patrick Fegan. Over the following years and to this date I attended all types of public and industry tasting events where I meet, talk with and interview wine industry people from all over the world.
25 years ago a good friend was teaching a wine tasting class at a community college and asked me if I would do some Thanksgiving meal items to help answer his most asked question, “…what wines go with Thanksgiving dinner?” We eventually hosted our own series of classes that featured different types and styles of food and wines to both match and not match as part of the learning process, but we always included Thanksgiving dinner no matter what time of year just to make the point. We were featured in the Chicago Tribune “Good Eating” section and other local papers.
I have taken WGWW in several different directions; from catering food for wine matching events at Chicago area wine stores, appearing on Chicago television (CBS2) and radio stations (WLS-AM) doing demonstrations and commercials to teaching wine/food tasting classes at a community college. I also organized and hosted corporate wine events.
I served for six interesting years as a founding member and marketing adviser of the Illinois Grape and Wine Resources Council serving alongside Illinois wine industry members. I’ve written a monthly wine and spirits column for a statewide travel magazine and currently still write “Woody’s Whine” that appears in a suburban Chicago newspaper and of course on this web site.
It has been my good fortune to I have traveled to wine regions in France twice aa well as to Spain, Portugal, Oregon and Washington State. We were often in the wine regions of Michigan during our many years in Chicago.
In December of 2016 I fulfilled a long kept dream of relocating to Sonoma California. My wife Peg and I and Ricky the cat are happy and safe in Santa Rosa where I am slowly immersing myself in the wine and food culture that we are surrounded by every day – along with the unbelievable weather and landscape. It’s a bit overwhelming but I’m taking measured steps and finding my way. Please take a few moments and review some of my latest ‘Woody’s Whine’s” to see how I’m doing.
Love to hear from you!