Articles written by: Tom Plant

Chef Daragh Matheson
California / Chefs of Distinction / Destinations / Food / United States

Restaurant at Leoness – Hard Work (and a little luck) Pay Off

I sat on the patio of the Restaurant at Leoness with winery owner Mike Rennie on a sun-kissed spring afternoon. We were talking about Executive Chef Daragh Matheson. “He brings a very European style that is unique to wine country,” Mike replied when I asked him what Daragh brought to the table. […]

Fried Green Tomatoes Eggs Benedict
Destinations / Food / Georgia / Hotels & Resorts / United States

Saint Simons Island Beckons Me Back

It’s only been a few months since my visit, but I miss Saint Simons Island, Georgia, tremendously. The majestic King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort was my home for my all too brief visit, and I left feeling officially spoiled. We began our first full day on the island with an […]

Tom Plant & Wilfred Wong
Chronological / Destinations / Oregon / United States / Wines & Spirits

A Visit With BevMo!’s Wilfred Wong

When I was picking up my name tag at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, I saw Wilfred Wong’s badge and thought it would be nice to meet him. Not only did I meet him, we had an opportunity for a good visit. As the Cellar Master and wine rater for BevMo!, […]

Flatiron steak sandwich with roasted corn mayonnaise and grilled peppers
California / Food / United States / Wines & Spirits

BBQ Class At Thornton Winery

It’s amazing to think that just two months ago I fell and injured my left leg, requiring major surgery. I’m delighted to report I’m driving again and have loved rediscovering my backyard: the Temecula Valley’s magnificent wine country. This past Saturday I went to Thornton Winery  for Executive Chef Steve Pickell’s BBQ […]

CRUSH at the Monte de Oro winery in Temecula
California / Chronological / Destinations / Hotels & Resorts / United States / Wines & Spirits

CRUSH at the Monte de Oro winery in Temecula

For decades, Temecula didn’t exactly have the best reputation in the wine industry. “They only make sweet wines.” And, “It’s too hot to grow good fruit.” The valley has taken its share of hits.

Kirk Venge: Born to be a Winemaker
California / Chronological / Destinations / Hotels & Resorts / United States / Wines & Spirits

Kirk Venge: Born to be a Winemaker

It’s not often a pre-schooler knows the career path he or she wants to follow. If they do, you’ll probably hear them say they want to be a firefighter or maybe a doctor. Kirk Venge wanted to be a winemaker. Not only that, he knew he wanted to be a winery owner since he was a “little guy.” He came by it honestly.

Visiting Greater Seattle
Chronological / Destinations / Hotels & Resorts / IFWTWA Trips / United States / Washington

Visiting Greater Seattle

One of the highlights was a June visit to the Seattle area. As is often the case, I was in the company of a group of fellow writers from the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. In advance of a week-long cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage, we met in Seattle and checked into the beautiful Hotel 1000. Easy walking distance from Pike Place Market, the hotel was ideally located.

Visiting Temecula
California / Chronological / Destinations / Hotels & Resorts / IFWTWA Trips / United States / Wines & Spirits

Visiting Temecula

I’ve lived in the Temecula Valley for nearly eight years now. I wasn’t aware of how much I hadn’t seen until last week’s visit by a group of writers from the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. I was introduced to this outstanding organization at a luncheon at Thornton Winery last year. I joined shortly after the luncheon and took my first trip with them this past January, a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. When I heard they were planning a Temecula tour, I decided to toss my hat in the ring and see if I could join the group.