We decided to create our Southwest Wine Guide and this About Us page to share our experiences and explorations because food, travel and wine tasting have been a part of our lives for over thirty years. We are total wine lovers and we enjoy finding the vineyards that produce them!
People are always asking us how we have come to learn so much about wine and food.
So, here’s a little bit about us and our story:
In the early 1970’s Paul spent two years in Italy serving our country in the United States Navy. Not having had much exposure to wines while a youth in New England, it was there in Italy and other European countries that he learned how to appreciate regional Italian cuisine and how to taste exceptional wines.
Carol’s grandfather was in the beverage business and as a young adult she remembers how he would often come to holiday dinners with home-made red wine which somehow always tasted better.
When Carol and Paul married in 1980, they honeymooned in Bermuda and stayed at the now-closed Lantana Colony Club which was a small property in the traditional Bermuda style with a large concentration of European tourists. They dined nightly overlooking the ocean and the stars and observed the etiquette and mannerisms of an elegant era nearly gone by.
It was in Bermuda that they learned the basics of wine tasting, fine dining and elegant service and it had a lasting impression on them. Unbeknownst to them at the time, it was also the beginning of a thirty year journey that has involved entertaining, food and wine.
Over the years, we have owned a gourmet food, retail and restaurant business in New England that was housed in a Circa 1809 Country Store.
We started out with a table for two by the potbelly stove selling freshly ground coffee and gourmet muffins
and eventually expanded into a thirty-seat café that was packed with patrons during the day for soups, salads and sandwiches and by night was transformed into candlelit dining with five-course dinners. Wines were B.Y.O.B. and the local village wine store always carried a nice selection for our diners to purchase.
In 2003 we decided to move permanently to Arizona because we enjoy the desert, the warmth and the history of this area. One of the most unexpected pleasures we have found living in this area are the Southwest wines and vineyards located in interesting places throughout the Southwest. Our Southwest Wine Guide is intended to provide information on wine tasting and touring in one of the most beautiful regions of the country.
If you liked reading about us and if you are thinking of visiting the Southwest, or if you are fortunate enough to live here, we hope that you will find our wine information useful in your search for the some of the best wines produced in America!
Carol, Paul & Collette ( Our Whippet )
Brown and Hopkins Country Store Photo Courtesy of Erika Smith