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

Wine and food events in November

Before I regale you with more juicy details of my Italian trip, I thought I’d let you know about some upcoming wine and food events you may wish to get on your calendar.

Spanish Wine Dinner

The Wine Shop at Capitol Market and the Bluegrass Kitchen are teaming up to present a Spanish-themed gourmet wine dinner. The event will be held at the Bluegrass Kitchen on Monday, November 2 and will feature food prepared by Chef Gary Needham.    Wines will be introduced and presented by Felipe Gonzales Gordon who will be representing his family's winery Gonzales Byass.

With its origins dating back to 1835, Gonzalez Byass has no shortage of rich history in wine making.  In addition to the five course, five wine meal, guests will be served a sparkling wine aperitif and appetizer and will be entertained throughout the evening by classical Latin guitarist Eduardo Canelon.  Seating is limited for this meal and reservations must be made in advance through the Wine Shop.  Call for prices and reservations at 304.343.9463

 Canaan Valley Resort Wild and wonderful Wine and Food Weekend

Once again, I will be working with the fine folks at Canaan Valley Resort for another Wild and Wonderful Wine Weekend in the Mountains next month.  Join other wine and food revelers on November 13-15 for an entertaining and educational gourmet extravaganza. I’ll select wines from around the world that will be paired with a cornucopia of culinary delicacies prepared Canaan Valley Resort’s executive chef Nemat Odeh classically trained in Europe.

The event will begin Friday, Nov. 14 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, including crab cakes, an international cheese station, smoked salmon,a pasta bar and other treats.  I’ll lead guests through a wine tasting with matching cheeses on Saturday at 11 am followed by a delicious three- course luncheon with specially selected wines. After lunch, guests can attend a culinary demonstration by Chef Odeh, or enjoy an afternoon of activities or relaxation in and around the Canaan Valley. The evening’s activities begin at 7 p.m. with a five-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

 I hope to see some of you at this tasty event.

Sippin’ and suppin’ in Italy - Part II -
My trip to Italia - Part I