Peter Birmingham

Three Modern Lambruscos

By Peter Birmingham / 10th April 2024

When I moved to Washington DC, I made a few professional wine friends who introduced me to their favorite imported wine specialties: the Hubert de Montille 1982 Volnay, the Giuseppe Quintarelli 1979 Valpolicella “VQPRS” (before the modern hierarchy system was established by the EU authorities). Impressed with my newly acquainted friends’ wines, I also wanted…

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A Wine American Remembered, Rebecca Wasserman-Hone

By Peter Birmingham / 3rd April 2024

August 20, 2021, Rebecca Wasserman-Hone passed away, leaving her British life partner Russell Hone, (her third husband). I was acquainted with Wasserman’s Le Serbet imports from the early eighties when she aligned with Christopher Cannon combining the experience of two legendary wine experts. One of my earliest professional tastings was with her American agent in…

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Portuguese Espumante

By Peter Birmingham / 19th March 2024

Bairrada (bay-RA-da) is the story of a Pig, and two really cool grapes – Bical and Baga. This culinary holy trinity reveals itself in quaint villages and 19th century luxe hotels. Pastoral Bairrada’s meadows, and pine covered mountains are the contemporary home for the discerning traveler in Portugal’s newest ‘Age of Discovery’. Nestled between the…

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The Cava D.O. versus CORPINNAT

By Peter Birmingham / 6th March 2024

When I first tried Spanish Cava in 1981, it was on the heels of tasting Cremant from Alsace and the Bourgogne regions. The first Cava I tasted was the Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut from Catalunya-Spain. My initial experience was tasting French sparkling and Champagne regional wines and demonstrated originally the higher style and quality of…

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Barefoot Winery of Napa Valley

By Peter Birmingham / 15th August 2023

I was getting into a doldrums finding American sparkling wines that peak my interest seeking the criteria of offering well made wines and delivering pleasure, with novel packaging. A tall order to request from any winery, much less discovered at a huge production facility in a region known for boutique wineries and prestigious wines. I…

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Central Coast’s Laetitia Winery of Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo-California

By Peter Birmingham / 18th July 2023

I had been selected to be the opening sommelier for Norman’s as Chef Norman Van Aken had been chosen by Cushman Wakefield real estate developers to be an anchor tenant at the newly built Sunset Millenium Plaza on the famous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The developers had spared no expense…

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Traverse City and Petowsky Bay, Michigan Wineries

By Peter Birmingham / 6th July 2023

It was a lovely early fall wedding. I was the best man for a SF roommate and his bride to be in Traverse City on the banks of Petowsky’s scenic Lake Michigan waterfront. A more idyllic location or weather could not have been ordered! The wedding was to occur on 2001, September the 9th. More…

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New York Finger Lakes District Sparkling Wines

By Peter Birmingham / 20th June 2023

New York Hudson Valley and Finger Lakes District Flying into John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) airport was a moment that bred expectation and potential. I loved the heightened frisson anticipation, and my lack of really understanding how far apart NY state distances really are. When I arrived taking the transit bus from JFK, I was dropped…

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Oregon Sparkling Wines Part II

By Peter Birmingham / 13th June 2023

I flew into Portland attending my brother’s funeral, he’d been in declining health for years stricken with failing organs, and cancer. We were brothers in the family but distant, as he was being married as an adult when I was invited to his wedding as an infant, accompanying my mother. Perhaps it was prescient having…

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