Announcement – Best Wine Story Selected

We have chosen the top story for the “Best Wine Story Contest”. If you read any of the submissions you will know what a difficult decision it was to pick a winner. All the stories were memorable. In fact, since all the stories were so good we are going to send a little consolation prize to each of the entries.

The winner was selected because we felt the story embodied the best traits of drinking wine: It emphasized friends, family and sharing. Congratulations to Todd Leiser of Florida. Enjoy the Insignia – you earned it.

To read Todd’s winning submission click on comments button below.

To read all the submissions: Click Here

3 Responses to “Announcement – Best Wine Story Selected”


  1. 1 Brian Clark Apr 5th, 2005 at 6:57 pm

    Here is Todd Leiser’s winning story: (Originally submitted on March 28th, 2005)

    In the spirit of Grape Radio and your mantra, “Where Enthusiasm for Wine Gets Personal”, I share my favorite wine story in hopes of the winning that fabulous bottle of Phelps Insignia.

    Around 1980, my boss invited my wife and I out to dinner with he and his wife. At that time I knew nothing about wine, but he did. We had a fabulous meal highlighted by a bottle of Chardonnay from a small winery in Napa, Cake Bread Cellars. While he knew about wine, none of us had heard of Cakebread but the sommelier recommended we try it. This launched me on a life long pursuit of fine wine. We’ve been Cakebread fans before it was fashionable, have been to the *old* Cakebread winery/barn several times, and have shared our love for wine with friends and family for 25 years now.

    One such friend that I introduced the love of wine to was a co-worker about 8 or 9 years later. We were in Colorado Springs for a meeting and both arrived the night before. Since we were on the company’s dime, we decided to go out for a nice dinner. At the time he had not yet started his wine journey. The restaurant escapes me now, but the ‘82 bottle of Mondavi Reserve Cabernet does not. I had read somewhere that the Mondavi Reserve was comparable to the Opus made across the street but at a lower price, so I ordered it and we both thought it was simply fabulous.

    15 years later, we are still friends. Our work assignments separated us and eventually both left the company. Geography kept us apart but despite that we’ve kept in touch via phone and email. Even though we had not seen each other for nearly 10 years, our friendship was kept going by a variety of common threads, not the least which was his new found (and my existing) love of wine.

    Fast forward to last spring and we finally reunited at his home for a couple of evenings of great wine and fine dining. That bottle of Robert Mondavi that I had recommended to him15 years which was indirectly prompted by the bottle of Cakebread, recommended to me 9 years earlier had lead my friend to having built his own wine cellar with hundreds of bottles of vintage wine he has collected over the years and a true passion for wine that has surpassed both mine and my former boss who originally turned me on to wine.

    You made mention in this week’s show that for special occasions you open up several bottles of wine for guests to try. He did the same that weekend with 4 different bottles of wine each night to try. All cabs and all 97s: Darioush , Ristow, Justin, Quintessa, Chateau St. Jean, Swanson, Paradigm, and a Phelps Insignia. All great juice!

    The reason I share this story is that I believe having listened to Grape Radio now for a month or so is that this story is exactly the reason why you have created and invested in your podcast. Love the wine and share the experience.

    Should I win, I’d have you ship the Insignia to him (partly because I live in a state you can’t ship to) and I’ll make a return visit to his home to enjoy the bottle with he and his wife and celebrate what it’s all about!!

  2. 2 Douglas Griffin Apr 19th, 2005 at 1:53 pm

    Congratulations Todd!! Great story.

  3. 3 Max Jun 23rd, 2009 at 9:29 am

    A wonderfull winning story. Too bad I missed this one I would have like to have submit my story.

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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

GrapeRadio has received numerous awards and honors including the 2008 James Beard Award for excellence in Journalism.

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