Author Archives

Mary Ann DeSantis

Mary Ann DeSantis is a fellow of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, Napa Valley, and recently received certification from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). An award-winning journalist, she has written for Lake & Sumter Style since 2006.
The romance of rosé 

The romance of rosé 

Summer is just a few weeks away and it’s a wonderful time to stock up on rosé wines. The refreshing wines are food-friendly and low in alcohol content. And, we should mention, they can be quite romantic for summertime picnics.   Story: Mary Ann Desantis, WSET Few places inspire passion in wine lovers like Provence, France. Sitting in sun-drenched cafes, eating aromatic Provençal cuisine, and…
Cruising beyond the port

Cruising beyond the port

Story: Mary Ann Desantis, WSET Portugal’s Douro River Valley is getting an international reputation for its distinctive red wines created in some unlikely rocky vineyards. Many people think the only wine that Portugal has to offer is port, the fortified sweet wine that is a delicious accompaniment to desserts. Up until a few years ago, finding a dry red, unfortified Portuguese wine in the United…
Patience pays off

Patience pays off

A vertical wine tasting compares different vintages (harvest years) from the same winery and grape varietal. It’s also a fun way to learn what you like and what you don’t when it comes to wines. Story: Mary Ann Desantis, WSET Organizing an affordable wine vertical tasting takes a lot of patience and sleuthing. If you collect wines, you know how hard it is to keep…
The wine world’s Big Six 

The wine world’s Big Six 

Six grape varieties comprise the “big six” in the wine-making world: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Salute continues its Big Six review this month with a look at the three red grapes that are the foundation for many of the world’s best wines.  Story: Mary Ann DeSantis, WSET I thought writing about red wine would be easy, because these three…
THE WINE WORLD’S BIG SIX

THE WINE WORLD’S BIG SIX

Start with the basics when you want to learn about wine. A good place to begin is with the six grape varieties that are the foundation for many of the world’s best wines. This is the first of two articles discussing these amazing grapes. Walk into any wine shop or supermarket and you can’t miss the Big Six—the grapes that Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson…
FINDING PURA VIDA IN COSTA RICA

FINDING PURA VIDA IN COSTA RICA

STORY: MARY ANN DESANTIS PHOTOS: GERALD BAUM, MARY ANN DESANTIS, & COSTA RICA TOURISM BOARD Mother Nature smiled on Costa Rica, the Central American country where many Floridians are finding the call of the wild hard to resist. Lush, green rainforests, scenic ocean views, and unspoiled environments bring a new understanding to living a pure life. No alarm clocks were needed in Costa Rica; after…
Blazing the  Bourbon Trail

Blazing the Bourbon Trail

Story: Mary Ann DeSantis As the cocktail culture explodes once again, bourbon is making a comeback. Some fans say it never left as millions of people have journeyed along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® to learn more about this truly American spirit As a wine lover, I do not drink much bourbon. Something about the holidays, though, draws my palate to the caramel, vanilla, licorice and…
Que Syrah, Shiraz… What will your wine be?

Que Syrah, Shiraz… What will your wine be?

Whether you choose a French or American Syrah or an Australian or South African Shiraz, you will find a lot of similarities in the wines produced from this hardy and popular grape. But you’ll also find some mouth-puckering differences. What will your wine be when you serve your favorite pot roast recipe or a hearty leg of lamb? A Syrah or a Shiraz?  Either way,…
Black Grapes, Dark Wines

Black Grapes, Dark Wines

Malbec, often called ‘the black wine,’ is produced mostly in Argentina, but the varietal has its roots in Cahors, France, where it has grown since the Middle Ages. This past summer, New World and Old World winemakers faced off during a masterclass at the 6th Annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. French and Portuguese wines represented Europe—the Old World—while California and Australian wines were the…
Six Degrees of Connection

Six Degrees of Connection

A dear friend told me years ago that I embodied the “six degrees of separation” theory more than anyone else she knew. This revelation came when she learned her son’s guitar instructor was my ex-father-in-law’s nephew—someone I barely knew. As time passed, she encountered more of my “connections,” leading her to the conclusion that I truly was the quintessential example of six degrees. Originally based…
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