Columns by John

John Brown has been a wine and food columnist in West Virginia since the 1980’s. His regular columns appear in the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail under the title Vines & Vittles and in The State Journal - a statewide business weekly

Fall wine and food events abound

Fall wine and food events abound
Charleston Area Wine Events
Mark your calendars for two wine-related events over the next couple of weeks. On Wednesday October 13, from 5 to 8 p.m., the Liquor Company will have a special tasting of Joseph Phelps wines at their location in the Patrick Street Plaza. Phelps is one of the most prestigious and historically significant wineries in the Napa Valley and their wines are renowned around the world. Cost of the tasting is $5 per person.

The Wine Shop at Capitol Market will host their annual Harvest Tasting on Sunday October 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the outdoor farmer’s market (weather permitting). The Harvest Tasting will feature an international array of more than 25 wines that will be specially selected to match the foods of fall. Munchies will be available and cost of the tasting is $15 per person.

By the way, if you haven’t had a chance to visit the wine shop lately, you will be pleasantly surprised to note that the location has been moved down the hall of the market to a greatly expanded space which features a special temperature controlled room for fine and rare wines. In addition, there is now a designated tasting area where wines can be sampled on weekends. Congratulations and good luck to the fine folks at the wine shop.

Owner Ted Armbrecht in his temperature controlled wine room

Canaan - Wild and Wonderful Wine and Food Weekend
It’s always both a pleasure and a learning experience to work with culinary professionals, and that’s why I love to be a part of the semi-annual Wild and Wonderful Wine Weekend at Canaan Valley Resort. These food and wine events have become a tradition at the Tucker County facility where you’ll also revel in the visual beauty of fall in the Potomac Highlands.

Join me and a whole host of other wine and food lovers on October 22- 24 for an entertaining and educational gourmet extravaganza. I select wines from the best vineyards on the planet that will be matched to culinary delicacies prepared by Canaan Valley Resort’s executive chef. The event will begin Friday, October 22 at 7 p.m. with a “taste-around reception” where wines from the world’s most prestigious regions can be sampled with matching culinary treats from food stations featuring, Italian, Mediterranean and Mexican delicacies. And for the sweets folks, there will also be a dessert station featuring custard and berries, chocolate cheesecake balls and mini apple dumplings.

On Saturday, guests will participate in a tasting of wines I will select that will be followed by a scrumptious four- course Mediterranean-inspired luncheon with matching wines. After lunch, guests will be free to hike, bike, nap (what I plan to do) or just enjoy Mother Nature’s purple mountain majesty! The evening’s activities begin at 7 p.m. with a six-course grand gourmet dinner with accompanying wines.Guests have the option of attending the entire weekend for a package price, or choosing to participate in individual events ala carte.

For pricing and additional information or reservations call 800-622-4121 or visit online at
2007 California Cabernet - Vintage of the century?
Wine in vending machines?