Bios

Spittoon.biz

Andrew Barrow (Editor) - Bio

There was a question doing the rounds awhile back; what do you do outside the food and drink field? For Andrew, the answer was very little. “Immersed” is a word that could be used (as are several others not quite so complementary!). As well as his own blogs — spittoon (which covers wine and drink) and spittoonextra (more food orientated) — he writes for several websites with a little wine consultancy on the side. Photography is a recently re-awakened passion, having had many photographs and travel articles published a few years ago. Now even that focus is on food and wine. Andrew is a WSET Diploma holder, has a geeky side, and has had to abandon his three cats (and a draughty Victorian terrace house) to move to a converted 19th century foundry in the river-side town of Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England.



On The Wine Trail

Alfonso Cevola

Alfonso Cevola is a third generation Italian American. He was born in a vineyard in California, raised in and around his grandfather’s vineyard, where he had first exposure to the grape and the vine.

Living in Italy as a youth gave Alfonso the opportunity to work in his Italian relative’s vineyards in the summer and during selected harvests.

Making the move to Texas in 1978, Alfonso made wine in the early 1980’s in North Texas where he was a Gold Medal-winning winemaker in the Texas Wine Competition in 1982. By then, he had already traveled extensively in Italy and the other wine producing regions of the world, including France, Germany, Portugal, South America, California, Oregon, Washington, Texas & New Zealand.

Alfonso conducts educational training sessions for the wine trade throughout the Southwest and lectures on his current area of research, “Italian wine, Ancient and Modern”, in the United States and Italy. Currently offering his services to the Glazers Family of Companies, based in Texas, as the Italian Wine Director. He is the “ambassador” who translates the Italian experience (and its importance) and helps define, communicate and reinforce the Italian wine message, both inside the company and the community-at-large.

Alfonso is a Certified Specialist in Wine and a Special Contributor to the Dallas Morning News. His Wine Blog, On the Wine Trail in Italy (http://acevola.blogspot.com/) has become an just-in-time source for Italian wine and culture.

He also makes a mean Eggplant Parmigiano.



Deb Crowley

I transplanted myself from the Cincinnati, Ohio area to Key West, Florida in 1999 with my husband and dog. I still make trips up north occasionally when I need to smell fall or catch a few flakes of snow.

I have not had a formal education in wine, but started drinking it seriously in the early l980’s. Like many others, I started with the good old standby back then, Boone’s Farm Apple Wine and some unknown label of Lambrusco. Eventually my pallet started screaming for something a little better and, thankfully having a new friend in the wine business, she pushed me along in the right direction. At the same time in my life, I started collecting cookbooks and expanding my knowledge of the culinary side of the world. My passion for wine and food seemed to explode. I would get the latest wine magazine and immediately head to the nearest wine store to make my selections for the week. Then I would pair up the wine that I purchased with the food I was preparing. My friends and family were “happy campers”, as they were the beneficiaries of my adventures.

Wine and food is still such an adventure for me and I enjoy sharing my findings with everyone. Lately I have been challenging myself with ideas like, how many good wines can I find for under $10 or I go on a search for the best sauvignon blanc I can find. Being in the tropical south for 8 years, I tend to favor white wines, due to the heat and humidity on the island. But, no matter what the temperature is outside, my husband is a red wine drinker. Therefore, our wine rack usually has a nice variety of wines to match whatever the chef (me!) has on the menu for the evening. I hope you enjoy the ups and downs of my adventures in the wine world and I look forward to hearing yours! Please stop by and visit me on my daily wine and food blog at Key West Wine and Garden Cheers!



      

John Eddy

As the new guy, I stand in slight fear and trepidation at having to accurate summarize who I am in what is commonly known as a Bio, especially since I was more of a physics and chemistry geek.

So, a little bit about me.  I’m diabetic who has discovered that he’s lucky enough not to have wine affect my blood sugar all that much.  I’m snarky, punny, sarcastic and generally a little… odd.  I like long walks along the beach and… oh, sorry, wrong bio.

I wear a utilikilt, pay no favorites to type of libations (tho I will tend to avoid white wines that aren’t dessert types), and try to live a green life along with the love of my heart.

Current hobbies:  Entering (and losing) writing contests, playing Xbox and collecting gamerpoints, photography and job hunting.
 

 



      

Frank Haddad and Susan M Boyce

Frank: It all started with a wine list. Or more appropriately, my futile attempt to impress a lady by reading the wine list in front of me.

At the time, I was almost a decade into my career as a greensman in the movie industry. We’re the people who work with plants and growing things to make a Vancouver beach in February look like the Hamptons in July, who make it snow in summer and turn a downtown alleyway into the eerie world of X-Files -
But even after working with luminaries like Jim Henderson on The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, arranging exploding trucks and hurricanes for Superman to conquer on Smalleville, and creating a new vision of heaven and hell in The Snow Queen, I still couldn’t read a wine list. The lady in question wasn’t interested in a second date.

I knew I didn’t like over alcoholic, fruit-bomb wines with big tannins - although at the time, I probably couldn’t articulate what it was I didn’t like about them. Then I discovered the WSET - Wines and Spirits Education Trust.

Four years and many, many bottles of wine later, I’m about to commence studies toward my Diploma Advanced Level certification. I find I have developed a serious crush on Jancis Robinson and freely admit I wish Hugh Johnson was my dad and Michael Broadbent my uncle.

I love the crisp acidity of a Grand Cru Chablis, the rich petrol of a Alsace Riesling, and the smooth, voluptuous taste of a Condieu. And while I will probably never have the same passion for Barossa Cabs and Shirazes that Susan has, I believe there are few wine more romantic and seductive than a Masi Amarone sipped in front of a roaring fire on a cold, rainy evening.

Susan: My love affair with wine developed slowly - ploddingly some might say. I have thankfully vague memories of swilling wines marked simply “Red Wine” or “White Wine” out of a gallon jug at university parties and in the privacy of my first apartment. So city savvy, or so I thought.

But even then, something was missing. Being blessed with what some consider an annoyingly overactive sense of curiosity, I was delighted when a friend of a friend of an ex-boyfriend took me under his wing and introduced me to my first bottle of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Alas, he soon vanished from my life - a career opportunity and fiancé in Northern British Columbia. But my passion - for wine - was awakened.

I’m still far less technical than Frank. To be honest, I seldom care what the percentage of old or new oak is, whether a wine has been fermented in a Classico style or not, and the numbers surrounding details like residual sugar and malolactic fermentation hold no fascination. I either like a wine or I don’t. If I really need more detail, it’s far simpler to consult my personal wine authority and besides, the answer usually entails a bit of real world research. Sometimes I can be a very slow learner. Amarone anyone?


       

Kens Wine Guide ScreenshotKen Hoggins

Ken Hoggins is the founder of http://www.kenswineguide.com/ & http://www.bostonwinebuzz.com/. Ken’s website & blog are designed to help readers find that perfect bottle of wine. Ken’s thoroughly scans the web, blogs, & many wine magazines to bring you the latest news & information on wine.



Fabio Ingrosso

I am a master student of communication at the University of Milan, Italy. I will finish my studies next July. I am writing my final thesis about wine & C. I love wine and my search work is about the new possibility emerging to communicate better the product wine in a space like internet. After I worked for several months in the Italian public television, I started to develop with a team the vino24’s website where you can find wine info in Italian.

We are changing now and taking a shape of a social network, principally following the internet-based collaborative way to work. In addition, I am publishing my thesis work on our corporate blog: here you can find step by step how I proceed. With regard to my life and my passions, I use to live in a sunny place, to write, to experiment kind of communications on internet, to play my guitar, to take pictures and to drink wine.


       

Grape JuiceErin Harvey

Erin Harvey is a freelance writer, contributing to VINES magazine, and co-editor of the online wine publication Grape Juice. A closet wine fan since the early years, her true passion emerged while studying at a university situated just outside of the Niagara Peninsula. Love at first sip, she has been swirl, swish and spitting happily ever since. When not drinking, thinking, or writing about wine, Erin is a peculiar cross of forensic chemist and executive editor in the digital entertainment media industry.

Grape Juice came about as a way of keeping track of wines tasted and tried. It logs the on-going wine education of its two co-editors and seeks specifically to provide information and recommendations on Canadian wines, and more generally to communicate with the online community about relevant issues and ideas.

 



Sonja Kassebaum

Sonja Kassebaum loves beverages, plain and simple.  Always has, really.  Although not professionally behind the stick, she is an avid home bartender and can often be found in her kitchen with various bar paraphernalia strewn about, or in a great cocktail bar enjoying a libation.  Of course she dabbles in wine as well, especially as it plays into her cocktails.

 

Her reputation as a cocktail party queen has only been enhanced by her latest professional endeavor.  She is the co-founder of North Shore Distillery, a boutique small-batch distillery based in Lake Bluff, Illinois.  Prior to starting the distillery with her husband Derek, she was in human resources and practiced employment law at a large firm in Chicago.  So far, Sonja has found that making spirits, drinking cocktails and writing about her adventures is more fun than practicing law.  Sonja has her own blog called Thinking of Drinking (thinkingofdrinking.blogspot.com) and writes newsletters and web content for North Shore Distillery (http://www.northshoredistillery.com/).
 



Barbeque BlogCurt McAdams

I write my own blog about food, with an emphasis on barbecue, at Bucky’s Barbecue Blog. My interest in wine comes from traveling in Europe when I was younger and just liking the stuff! I’m not educated in wine as many of the writers at Wine Sediments are, but I can talk about what I like and how I use wine. And, hopefully, I can give some insight into using wines with foods that aren’t traditionally paired with wines. I have a real passion for foods and cooking and learning about foods and cooking, and I’ll gladly share both successes and mistakes that happen upon me along the way!



Madeline Miller

I think the fact that I am a second-generation Californian (there’s not that many of us) living only 45 minutes from Napa automatically qualifies me to write for Wine Sediments. You want more than that? Um, I like to drink wine and I like to write. I also dive into learning a subject with reckless abandon, which is exactly what I did several years ago when I discovered that wine might actually be worth drinking. Like many people, the amount of information that I have to learn about wine is much larger that the amount of information I know. I consider learning about wine to be part of the fun of drinking it. My own blog can be seen at Everything Rachael Ray.



Cate O’Malley

Consider me a wine virgin. Admittedly, when I’m drinking wine, it’s usually because it’s part of a cocktail I made, like White Wine Strawberry Sangria. I am on a mission to find wines I like all by themselves, and I know the, ahem, research is going to be fun. When I’m not popping in here, you can find me at Sweetnicks, a site dedicated to Food & Life. My site’s name comes from my 4-year-old son, Nicholas, who loves to help me in the kitchen almost as much as he loves Dora, Spiderman and his girlfriend.



Mike Rosenberg

I’m not a sommelier, restaurant professional, vintner, or anything along that line. I started learning about wine a few years ago after meeting my Sweet Partner in Crime, who broadened my food palate extensively. Wine followed closely on the heels. I started my wine blog, The Naked Vine, after a grape-soaked conversation with a good friend of mine who gave me my mission statement:

“The trick is not to find a good $50 bottle. The trick is to find a good $10 bottle.”

I try to be fun, educational, and accessible with my writing — which is now featured weekly in the Dayton City Paper. The Vine has an upper cost limit of $15 per bottle, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the research…

I’m a native of Eastern Kentucky and a resident of a number of other places. I currently make my home just across the river from Cincinnati. I’m an unapologetic college basketball fan (growing up in Kentucky and getting degrees from Duke and Arizona will do that to you), a pretty decent homebrewer, and a doting stepdad to Mooch the Magnificent Mutt.



Colin Smith

I’m Scottish, married to an American and live in South East England, Tunbridge Wells to be exact. We share our home and garden with one cat and three chickens, both our adult children having moved out of the family home soon after graduating from University.

If you believe in stereotypes you’ll think that being a Scot I’m bound to be interested in the drink. The answer is a resounding yes although my favourite is not malt whisky but wine. I’ve been interested in wine for a long time but it is only recently I’ve extended my knowledge by studying some of the WSET courses, my current challenge being the Diploma. And it’s amazing how much a little knowledge can improve your enjoyment of what you drink.

Janet my wife was brought up in an Italian American household in New York so has been exposed since a very young age to all that is good about home cooked Italian cuisine. As a result she is an amazing cook and we both eat well.

My personal http://grapefan.blogspot.com/blog expands on my WSET Diploma and other wine experiences.