Showing posts with the label cognac

“Living Loaded”: The Wine and Spirits Travel Adventures of Dan Dunn

I write about wine and spirits travels around the world, but none of my adventures can quite compare with those of Dan Dunn. After all, how do you compare anything to the life of a wine and spirits writer who works for Playboy ? Living Loaded is the true story (with a few exaggerations thrown in there) of Dan Dunn, a liquor and wine writer whose main outlet is Playboy Magazine. Dan spends more than half his life traveling around the world. His dysfunctional upbringing in Philadelphia and inability to commit to a long term relationship fuels his need for heavy duty sex, drugs and booze. And these vices fit nicely in his profession. It is a battle he often discusses with himself, though not in the same way his mentally disabled mother does. My life lends itself to more time for writing books than reading them, but this one had me engaged from beginning to end. There was times when I shook my head in disbelief and others when I smiled because I totally got it, but most of all, I spen

Cognac in Cognac

My first venture into the world of spirits travel came just a few months ago as I had the good fortune to be invited on a press trip to Cognac, France . We were quite a group -- journalists specializing in spirits (and/or travel) and representatives from the four major cognac producers. The trip began in the lounge of British Airways at JFK, where we met for the first time to embark on our weeklong journey. I would highly recommend Open Skies , as an affordable all business class alternative to Paris , with comfortable seats and excellent food. It was my first venture into Paris’ Orly airport and I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly we were out of there and on a bus to Montparnasse train station. From Montparnasse in downtown Paris, you can reach Angouleme on the high speed train in about three hours. From there it’s just a scenic 30 minute ride to Cognac, where our first night was at Chateau de L’Yeuse, a quaint and beautiful accommodation where we could have tea o

Traveling through the Wine and Spirits

After many years as a (magazine, web and book) tennis writer, I found myself without full time work in that field in 2008.  I was lucky enough that I had the experience and opportunity to continue my work as a writer, but I needed an additional niche to fill my schedule (not to mention my pocketbook).  I stumbled upon the obvious one purely by accident. Let me begin with the beginning. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, working for magazines even while I was a “kid” in school.  One of the things I did to push my career forward was to join the staff of the C.W. Post Pioneer .   It was a wonderful experience to be on the newspaper staff then (where I worked my way to Managing Editor), but it led to an even more exciting opportunity now. In January of 2008, there was a reunion at C.W. Post of past editors of the newspaper and magazines.  I hadn’t seen anyone in years so I thought it might be fun.  It was by chance that I met former fellow Pioneer editor Frank Col