I had an absolute blast answering these questions for Christine at South Florida Food And Wine. For those who may miss it have fun reading! Hey does this make me famous?
Sunday, August 15, 2010 The Iowa Wino, a Great Wine Blogger in the Spotlight
This week’s blogger in the spotlight, The Iowa Wino is endearing, amusing and very entertaining. I found the Iowa Wino on another blogger’s blogroll; I was completely intrigued by the name “The Iowa Wino “ and had to find out more about the wine writings behind this rather comical name. True to form as one would expect from America’s Heartland The Iowa Wino is real and true giving his readers wine information in a story format, (only in the way a Midwesterner can) that always seems to be shared with friends making you absolutely “feel the love” for his experience as if you are right there with him. With all the exotic wine dinners and fancy food pairings I go to the unfussiness of The Iowa Wino’s experiences puts the true definition of enjoying food and wine into perspective; a good bottle of wine + a good meal with good friends = a great evening. Blogger in the Spotlight readers, I present to you The Iowa Wino
South Florida Food and Wine: How did you start wine writing?
The Iowa Wino: The company I work for at all our functions would offer wine. Course I thought wine was for snobs but I really enjoyed the taste. Well a wine club started at work at 5pm on Fridays and each week you were required to bring 2 bottles to share. One day one in the group said "Who the heck is keeping track of the wines we tasted so we don't repeat" And so the blog was born, some of my own tastings and some of the groups. With the help of my new wine friends on Twitter and Facebook, they helped me create The Iowa Wino and have guided me along the way, good and bad. Some harassment too.
South Florida Food and Wine: Do you do anything else other than write about wine?
The Iowa Wino: I work in Finance for one of the largest independent office equipment leasing companies in the country. Wine relaxes me at night and cooking is relaxer. Golf a few times but I used to be an avid 5 times per week player. Once married with kids more like once a week 4 hours of silence.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about writing?
The Iowa Wino: Keeping it interesting. I try to crack a few jokes, hope to god I don't bore readers where they stop reading and think "This bum is about as interesting as watching a walnut rot".
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the greatest opportunity that has come from writing for you?
The Iowa Wino: Having the opportunity to sample some pretty awesome wine and getting this nice interview! Brownie points! Seriously, having a chance to taste Ceja Vineyards, St Supery, Cleavage Creek, Dolan Wine, Three Sticks, Selene, Lynfred Winery, Cathy Corison, Owen Roe, Passaggio and many more. These owners and winemakers believed in the blog, loved the audience following me and I am forever grateful to them.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your most memorable writing moment?
The Iowa Wino: There are so many it’s hard to pick one. Having your blog entry reposted by the winery on twitter, facebook and their own site is the best reward. Also when someone actually buys a wine you reviewed, sends me the email "hey it tasted just like you said." No kidding you think I would lie?
South Florida Food and Wine: It's your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
The Iowa Wino: A Russian River Valley Pinot Noir would start the evening off. A nice bacon wrapped beef filet, baked tater with butter and chives, green beans with bacon and olive oil. With the meal a Napa Valley Cabernet.
South Florida Food and Wine: What super-action-hero would you like to be and why?
The Iowa Wino: As I have gotten older I more resemble a Teletubbie or the double for Tim Allen in Santa Claus. I'd love to be Santa and bring a smile to the kids face. As you can tell I'm not super hero material.
South Florida Food and Wine: Do you have any wacky cooking habits?
The Iowa Wino: Yes stay the hell out of my kitchen. I'm cooking. I don't need your help. I once had an apron which someone has hidden from me which said "Skinny Cooks Can't Be Trusted". My family refers to me as Chef Loui cause I'm always creating something.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best wine advice you have to share?
The Iowa Wino: Drink lots of wine and experiment. I've learned so much about flavor and quality by tasting/gulping all varietals and regions. Don't be scared wine is fun. Attend tastings at your local wine shops, travel to the wine country and have a blast.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one obsessive wine habit?
The Iowa Wino: My wine must always be at the correct temp. I'm on my second thermoelectric silent cellar which by the way is on the fritz. The last one got chucked into the yard and his brother is right behind.
South Florida Food and Wine: If you could choose to be any wine, what would it be?
The Iowa Wino: Pinot Noir without a doubt. I'm high maintenance just ask my wife.
South Florida Food and Wine: If looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?
The Iowa Wino: 4 kinds of juice and so many leftovers from the weeks dinners we could invite the neighbors over for a feast. They get water to drink not my good wine. My really good friends drink the good stuff.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one "staple" food you always have in your cupboard?
The Iowa Wino: Pasta. You can create any meal with pasta.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your beverage of choice?
The Iowa Wino: Duh Wine. No actually I do love my Caribou Breakfast Blend coffee each morning, freshly ground. You don't want to see me without coffee.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite comfort food?
The Iowa Wino: I love roast, taters (notice second time I used this and family hates it) carrots, celery and lots of gravy. In the winter its cold and nothing better than a great meal. Port afterwards too.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your wine claim to fame?
The Iowa Wino: I'm one of a handful of folks here in Iowa who blog and is absolutely nuts about wine. Here you think of corn, cattle and hogs. About all you get here too if you have ever driven through for a visit. We have casino's too. I never win but that's another story. We also have a growing wine industry.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is in your kitchen junk drawer?
The Iowa Wino: Coupons which I cut out and forget to take to the store. God knows how many cell phone chargers for phones we haven't used in years. Some of my tools which I need when I'm in the garage and can't find. My cork screw is in the silverware drawer because it's considered essential. A phone book we never use and pens that won't write.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best wine gift you ever received?
The Iowa Wino: I will never top this one in a million years. My wife behind my back and with the help of our oldest and most devious child booked a getaway for the 2 of us in Napa the first week of June. I knew something was up cause the paycheck deposits in the joint account were smaller yet she was working longer. Well on Valentine’s day she hands me an envelope and said here is some money I have been saving to invest. Still didn't add up but I'm playing along. Next she wheels out our suitcase and inside is a map of Napa and Sonoma, 2 of my empty wine bottles and a sign that said "We are going to Napa." All prepaid and I had to plan the stops. Mouth dropped couldn't believe it. Well the visit was more than I could ever dream of. Cuvaison, Amelia Ceja, Rick Bakas & St Supery who by the way put our name on the marquee as we walked in, Titus, Passaggio, Hook & Ladder and Eric Ross Winery were the stops I had the chance to thank folks for samples and chat about wine. Scenery, food, climate is so spectacular. I wish I was there right now!
South Florida Food and Wine: What kitchen chore do you dislike the most?
The Iowa Wino: Cleaning all the pans I make dirty when I cook. Food is worth it though.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most exotic food you have ever eaten and where?
The Iowa Wino: If pig cheeks are considered exotic then that would be it. In Virginia on a business trip. Mouth watering
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most extravagant food or beverage item or culinary tool you spent money on?
The Iowa Wino: My silent cellar but the next one will be bigger.
South Florida Food and Wine: Where was the best wine you ever had? And why?
The Iowa Wino: Tough to pick one here. Many great Pinot’s, Chardonnay's, Cabs etc. I did have a 1983 Bordeaux a good friend brought over which he picked up on a business trip to France. Sadly I forgot the name.
South Florida Food and Wine: If you could share a bottle of wine with anyone who would it be and why?
The Iowa Wino: I would love to share it with you (more brownie points) for hopefully enjoying this interview. Really I think sharing a bottle of wine with all my winery owner/ wine maker friends would be the best. Without them we would never have great juice to enjoy. Salud!
Follow the The Iowa Wino on his blog and on Twitter @Dangod1or on facebook networked blogs facebook/dangoderis