Shortcuts Through The Wine Maze

Of all the undying clichés about wine, perhaps the one I hear most often is, “There’s no correlation between price and quality.”

So begins this week’s NY Times Wine School article from wine writer Eric Asimov. Over the course of his career, Asimov has done a fine job promoting wine by taking an open-minded, populist approach to wine education. A quick spin through the comments section of the article shows that Mr. Asimov has lots of work left to do. While more Americans are drinking wine than ever before, just as many people ignore or even avoid wine. Like Mr…

Sunset over a green track through a vineyard, with wooden fences to either side.
Sunset over a green track through a vineyard, with wooden fences to either side.
Vineyard Sunset by Chris Gin


Terroir is context. Context is everything. Everything is connected. I’ve arrived at this mantra after years of exploring the world through my sense of taste.

A quick online search will reveal the contentious nature of this term. Some of the resulting headlines: Terroir, What Is It And Why Is It Controversial?; What Exactly Is “Terroir” And Why Does It Matter?; A Wine’s Terroir? What Exactly Do You Mean?; Is Terroir Real?

Do I believe terroir is real? Yes, definitely. What do I mean when I talk about terroir? I believe in an expansionist approach to the term but…

The Kitchen Confidential Generation Confronts The Restaurant Apocalypse

Original Artwork by Colin Crane


Come midnight tonight you’ll find me in my kitchen. The counters will be stained with chicken blood. Tall, alabaster candles will adorn every surface, reaching for the ceiling like skeletal fingers. I’ll be sitting cross legged on the floor, burning bundles of rosemary and Marlboro Reds. In front of me, an altar ladened with negronis and jamón ibérico de bellota. The Stooges’s Fun House, or maybe Richard Hell and the Voidoids will blast from the stereo speakers. My focus will be a portrait hung on the wall in a midnight black…

Excerpt from Uncle Tony’s Revenge

What is hospitality? Answering that question proves to be so much more challenging than one would think. I recently revisited The Duchess Who Wouldn’t Sit Down: An Informal History Of Hospitality by Jesse Browner. It’s an excellent book on the subject and stretches close to 200 pages. I was hoping to find a concise summation of the term that I could reference here. The fact that I didn’t find that perfect passage speaks not to any failing on Browner’s part as a writer but to the fact that the question “what is hospitality?” …

Charles Prusik

Charles Prusik is a writer and a twenty-year veteran of the restaurant industry.

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