Wine Lovers

I will be submitting these brief wine recommendations to my readership on the Saddlebag Notes website a few times a month. Wines that I recommend can usually be found locally, although I may o… Read more

One of my favorite things about being involved in the wine business is the endless varieties and options that are available. Exploring different grapes, regions and even vintages keeps my inte… Read more

In a few short days we can gather and congratulate ourselves for making one more trip around the sun. Although in my experience our New Year’s celebrations tend to be of the abbreviated sort, … Read more

I consider September a shoulder season; the part-time residents have yet to return, but we start to see relief from the scorching sun and moderation of the monsoon humidity.  It’s nice to give… Read more

It’s mid-June and while sitting in my living room contemplating my topic for this month it was impossible to ignore the 107 degree elephant that loomed just outside the window.  Living in sout… Read more

If you are looking for the best wine-based vacation within driving distance of Tucson few can argue that Santa Barbara County, California shouldn’t be at the very top of your list. A 10-hour d… Read more

As the summer doldrums linger on, those hardy souls who remain here in SaddleBrooke make the necessary adjustments to survive the high heat of the Sonoran desert.  We are driven to seek shelte… Read more

Truly enjoying wine is by its nature both social and experiential.  Bringing together friends to open that special bottle brings an added element of satisfaction to the occasion.  Another meth… Read more

This month I will delve into the concept of ‘QPR’ or Quality-Price ratio.  This is a fairly common term used in wine circles that identify wines that have a great price compared with wines of … Read more

Last month I provided an overview for visiting Santa Barbara’s wine country along with a few recommendations. In this article I suggest four “not to be missed” stops in the area: three tasting… Read more

Even at the tender age of 58 I do find myself occasionally “waxing nostalgic;” remembering what shopping use to be like.  The retail sector of our economy has changed significantly over the la… Read more

If I had to identify a single wine varietal that can be described as both approachable and complex it would be Pinot Noir.  With tannin levels lower than most other red wines, Pinot Noir is li… Read more

During my travels in Italy I have developed a soft spot in my heart for the town of Montalcino.  One of Tuscany’s many medieval hilltop towns, Montalcino is encircled by fortified walls and gu… Read more

As this issue of Saddlebag Notes arrives at your mailbox the annual ritual of holiday shopping has already commenced.  In spite of this I submit for your review my 2017 comprehensive holiday s… Read more

Coming from the northeastern part of the country I discovered, to my dismay, that the Tucson metro area can seem like a desert when it comes to fine wine.  There is a scarcity of wine-centric … Read more

It is not unusual for me to encounter customers who have developed “comfort zones” when it comes to wines. They have gravitated to a particular grape variety or specific brand and the product … Read more

Recently the most prevalent question that I have been hearing from my clients is: “How are the fires in California going to affect the wine industry?”  Since this is a valid question I thought… Read more

Following up on last month’s article on New Mexico wines, I’m showcasing a winery in northern New Mexico that is producing interesting wines and exemplifies the winery experience that you will… Read more

Over the last several years there has been increasing interest in produce and food products that have been grown by organic and environmentally friendly methods.  The wine world is not immune … Read more

SaddleBrooke residents have a number of occasions to sample wines at various tasting events both within our community and in the greater Tucson area.  That being said, there isn’t a better opp… Read more

Back in the late 80s there was a television show hosted by Robin Leach titled “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”  Each episode would showcase the lavish day to day lives of wealthy entertain… Read more

In the blink of an eye the holiday season is upon us once again; a time for gathering with family and friends and celebrating all of our many blessings. With this in mind I would like to intro… Read more

Considering the fact that my wife, Michelle is 100 percent Italian it would be imprudent for me not to have a fondness for Italian wine.  Regardless of my desire for domestic harmony I have to… Read more

My topic this month will be a slight variation from the norm.  I recently had the opportunity to visit Hamilton Distillers in downtown Tucson and chat with founder Stephen Paul.  Hamilton was … Read more

Stylistically, California wines have developed a reputation of power over finesse.  “High in alcohol,” “jammy” and “over-oaked” are descriptors that I often hear from clients who prefer a more… Read more

Back in the late 80s there was a television show hosted by Robin Leach titled “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”  Each episode would showcase the lavish day to day lives of wealthy entertain… Read more