People always ask me, “How did you get into wine?” Well, actually, they don’t that much. But Christopher Chan did. He’s a sommelier who has ventured into the world of broadcast radio and invited me to be on his show, Happy Hour Radio.
One of the tales I tell is buying lots of Meridian Chardonnay, Ravenswood Zinfandel, and Rosemount Shiraz at my local bodega in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood in the late 90s. I was actually able to find it, right at the intersection of Broadway and Buena, via Google maps. I located the earliest street view (2007) and the memories started flooding back. I recalled a bar just west of the store on Buena that had a nice outdoor patio and excellent falafel sandwiches. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time at both places. (Side note: Kind of weird to have a place in Chicago called Manhattan Liquors, no?)
Here are some of the things you’ll hear about:
Getting seduced (by wine)
- Shout-outs to alma maters Grinnell College (“very prestigious”) and Norther Arizona University (“Go Lumberjacks!”)
- Young wine geek cred via Vouvray and Gewürztraminer from Alsace
- A (mercifully brief) mention of working at a benefits consulting firm
- How late-night carousing with restaurant employees honed my wine experience
- Being terror-struck during my retail wine debut
- The House of Glunz
- Milwaukee’s Best Light
- Going Haywire for BABY BUB (Thanks, Marc Smith! Check out 30 Day Adventures.)
Also on the show is Lucio Gomiero from Vignalta, a winery in Italy’s Veneto region. (Up north.) We taste a sensational sweet wine.
Listen to the show:
The Beast!(Milwaukee’s Best Light)6 bucks a 12 pack at the PX at Fort Benning, GA in 82-83. I thought I was the only one brave enough to swill this stuff.
I swilled a lifetime of it in college.