An outsider makes good

“Most winemakers come to the career of wine through a family history or connection or an inherent fantasy of the product or the lifestyle,” Wine & Dine columnist Doug Paulding writes. George Bursick took an entry-level job at a winery all the way to the top, becoming a successful consultant and, now, serving as executive winemaker of Maxville Winery.

Putting the spark in sparkling

Legendary French Champagne makers Taittinger hired Eileen Crane to help plan and develop California’s Domaine Carneros, from vineyard to winery to château. That was 40 years ago and today it and she are at the forefront of American sparkling wines.

Naked came the oyster

Forget the cocktail sauce. Whether the briny East Coast variety or its light, sweet West Coast cousin, today’s commercially farmed oyster needs nothing more than a good white wine, says Doug Paulding, WAG’s resident Dionysus.

Touring the lush, lovely Loire

Ah, the Loire Valley: I’ve heard many appreciative comments about the region. And over the years, I have met many winemakers and winery owners from the Loire and tasted many of their wines. Now, however, I’ve returned from a whirlwind Cliff Notes tour of the valley and have a firsthand perspective.