Lake Geneva


Why the silence, and why a Sunday release?

Traditionally, Vino Voices is released every other Tuesday. However, I recently began a new consulting assignment for a U.S. company—managing an infrastructure project in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. I will work remotely until flights become available (they are currently cancelled due to Covid-19). I was too busy to write earlier, but now can dedicate time to Vino Voices during weekends. Hence the new Sunday release date.

Kimberly and Cody – U.S. couple living and working in Geneva, Switzerland

During an overnight in Geneva earlier this year, my friend Kim invited me to visit, to meet her husband Cody, and to share dinner with them in their apartment. Both are from the U.S.

I met Kim almost a decade ago in Pakistan when she spent time in that country doing consulting work for our company. She now works with the World Health Organization in Geneva, while Cody works remotely with a startup company based in the U.S.


They provided their address and the number of a recommended tram to take, and I arrived in the early evening.

What a night!

Cody, in anticipation of receiving his Romanian passport (because of his ancestral heritage) cooked a Romanian feast, and the couple opened both the same French rosé they drank at their wedding in Provence years ago, as well as one Romanian and two Moldovian red wines.

1. CHEF.

Cody cooked while we all gathered and sipped rosé and chatted about our past work in Africa, Europe and Asia. We almost began playing Trivial Pursuit (Wine Edition—in French) but veered clear and talked instead until way past midnight.


Cody cooked Mamagliga—which is a polenta based dish with chicken and sour cream. The chicken was French cooked—broiled rather than boiled—with a sour cream/yogurt mixture added.

As a child, Cody ate this food cooked by his grandfather, though with canned green beans added.

First, cook and shred chicken
Green beans and polenta sauce
Romanian feast …


The opening wine was a rosé that Kim and Cody shared with guests at their Provence wedding a few years ago.

Wedding worthy rosé

The first red wine (a 2017 Terra Romana from Romania) is made from Feteascā Neagrā (‘Black Maiden’) grapes, which are indigenous to Romania, and are resistant to frost, mildew and rot. The wine is aged for eight months in barrels. This wine is not shy, and includes beefy aromas of cassis, chocolate, sultanas and rum. In the mouth—tastes include treacle, black cherries and Maltesers chocolates. Reminiscent of both an American Syrah and a Turkish Ökügözü red wine. Hefty aromas, hefty body. Well structured and bold, though easy to drink.

In all – a stellar evening! Thanks Kim and Cody and we look forward to your visit to Bordeaux.

Romanian wine

The second wine, an Individo from Moldova, also includes the Feteascā Neagrā grape, but comes from the Bugeac region of the Republic of Moldova. Aromas of molasses figs, orange peels, cassis and Irish milk chocolate. In the mouth, a slippery and easy drinking wine with a hint of the taste of orange slices.

The third was also good, but by then my facility for making decent notes about taste had deteriorated.


Geneva is perennially filled with an international vibe, and was beautifully sunny when I arrived earlier that day. I wandered the lakefront and heard groups of people with eclectic accents. There were Americans who sounded American, and those who dressed as Americans—casual and without much style—but with accents that sounded Eastern European. The trip was fun and fresh and travel restrictions were not difficult to navigate.

Streets of Geneva
Lake Geneva


First, my latest Forbes articles are here.

Second, Tanin is a new French magazine that covers a variety of lifestyle topics—wine, beer, chefs, food and culture. The three magazine editors include an article where each recommends a wine that costs less than eight Euros ($9.50) a bottle. Obviously not a snobbish magazine.

Tanin magazine

Three years ago, while visiting a new Rothschild wine château in Rioja, Spain, I met Gabrielle Vizzavona, the now Editor-in-Chief/Producer of Tanin. We kept in touch, and I suspected this woman would become an icon on the wine and cultural scene of France—which has happened! Congrats Gabrielle—Excellent magazine!

Another midnight escapade during recent years – at Chez Vizzavona

My recent Forbes pieces is about why you should visit the northern Patrimonio wine region of the French island of Corsica…

Patrimonio Jewels …

Meanwhile – hope all is well, and thanks for tuning in!

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