Megan J. Headley

Megan J. Headley ate and drank her way through the food and wine worlds of New York, San Francisco, and Florence before pulling up a permanent seat at Charlottesville's bountiful table in May 2006. After a few years as an accidental restaurateur, she began writing The Working Pour in June 2009, contributing to All You Can Eat in January 2011, then took on the enviable yet filling job of Food & Wine Editor in September 2011. With other writing projects and a plucky preschooler under her domain, hobbies beyond cooking, making Playdoh snails, and orchestrating weddings between Snow White and Eeyore have been shelved for the time being.

Oysters meet their match on both sides of the pond

Oysters meet their match on both sides of the pond

(File Photo) As oyster lovers are already painfully aware, April traditionally marks the end of their slurping season. Until September, when months get their “r”s back, it’s advised not to eat bivalves. Some rewrite this rule, proclaiming it a vestige of the past, but if you’re a seasonal eater, you’ll want to wait until the […]

Johnny Jackson makes quick work of shucking a dozen oysters to be slurped off the half shell at the Blue Light Grill. (Photo by John Robinson)

Briny bivalves: All about oysters

Oyster purists insist on consuming their sea creatures unadorned and straight from the shell, but the uninitiated might want to work their way up to a slurpfest with these half dozen cooked versions—from poached to broiled—on restaurant menus around town. Rhett’s River Grill serves Oysters Rockefeller—they’re topped with spinach, garlic, cream, Pernod, and breadcrumbs and […]

Michael Shaps and Philip Staffords’ Virginia Wineworks label got an overhaul courtesy of Watermark Design after its original rendition didn’t resonate with buyers.

Judging a wine by its label

Looks are everything. Wait, what? No matter what your mom tells you, looks do matter—especially in a crowded marketplace. When it comes to wine, unless we’ve had a bottle before, we base our buying decision on its label. And thank goodness there are producers who make downright ridiculous labels. How else would we know which […]

Sweet eats: Paradox Pastry owner Jenny Peterson will open her Glass Building café later this month. (Photo by John Robinson)

Sweets by design: A look at the new Paradox Pastry space

Designing your dream house, wedding, or wardrobe is a cakewalk with Pinterest—the virtual pinboard that keeps magazine clippings from cluttering your life—but Paradox Pastry owner Jenny Peterson has always been able to visualize her designs. It’s a handy talent to have when the bread-and-butter of your job is producing an average of five multitiered, highly […]

Diggin’ doughnuts

Diggin’ doughnuts

What’s not to love about a doughnut? It’s sweet, deep-fried dough for goodness sakes. Here’re a baker’s dozen of Charlottesville’s “holiest” delights. Row by row, left to right: Carpe Donut’s once-roving cart selling irresistible apple cider doughnuts (and pudding-thick hot chocolate) is permanently parked behind C’ville Coffee, but will travel for events. Grab one from […]

Raising a wine (or pint) glass to spring

Raising a wine (or pint) glass to spring

Spring’s sprung early everywhere this year and with the buds already breaking on the vines, wineries, breweries, and cideries are ramping up for the year with exciting events and happenings. Here are a few ways to get out this month to drink in the beauty of our backyard. Easter weekend Get closer to nature April […]

April ABODE: My other kitchen

April ABODE: My other kitchen

Justin Hershey and Vu Nguyen (Photo by Cramer Photo) Not only do owner Vu Nguyen and executive chef Justin Hershey work together at Zinc, West Main’s gas station-turned-shrine to local, seasonal food, but they also live together. Fortunately, the roomies agree on organization and cleanliness and keep all of their pantry staples and spices in labeled glass jars. Their small, square […]

Chenin blanc’s ninth century birthplace along France’s Loire Valley showcases the grape’s wide range. (James Morris/Axiom Photography/Newscom)

Chenin blanc’s a charming chameleon

Certain wines confuse people just by nature of their multiplicity. It’s easier when a wine has an overarching flavor to define it—like grapefruit in Sauvignon Blanc or black pepper in Syrah —but why scoff depth when there’s shallow pleasure to be had?

A boozable feast: Ernest Hemingway (third from left) dines in France in 1944, 20 years before the publication of his memoir on being an American expat in Paris.

Lessons learned at a wine-soaked writers’ symposium

I’m usually too busy drinking and writing about wine to really hone my craft. But last month, I received a fellowship from Terlato Family Vineyards to attend the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, where I had four days and four nights in the Napa Valley to do some serious navel-gazing. I normally wouldn’t subject you […]

An evening with Tom Colicchio

An evening with Tom Colicchio

The top chef When Tom Colicchio comes to the Paramount on Sunday*, call him the winner of multiple James Beard awards or the no-nonsense judge of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Just don’t call him a celebrity chef. “I hate that term,” he said in our recent phone interview. But with nine seasons of the Emmy Award-winning […]

Intoxicated by St-Germain

Move over Campari, there’s a new liqueur in my life. I first had St-Germain, the elderflower liqueur years ago, but it was in some overpriced abomination of a cocktail, so I never noticed its bewitching delicacy until I had it on its own. 

The Ivy Inn conjures up an unforgettable meal

The Ivy Inn conjures up an unforgettable meal

I was so elated after a recent meal at The Ivy Inn that I woke my husband when I got home to tell him all about the six delicious courses that chef and owner Angelo Vangelopoulos had served us. My husband fell back to sleep halfway through the second course, but I continued my exaltation […]

East of Rome, Abruzzo is high above sea level and brimming with sheep. (It’s also where you’ll find montepulciano grapes, which are recommended for planting in 20 of Italy’s 95 provinces.) (File Photo)

Montepulciano’s a wine for hard times

If ever there were a wine that could answer our prayers in this winter and economy of discontent, it would be Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. It’s red, alcoholic, consistently tasty, meant to be drunk young, divine with weeknight pasta, and best when it’s under $15. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is made from the montepulciano grape—not to be confused with […]

How to age gracefully

We all know from cleaning out the fridge after a vacation that wine’s ability to improve with age sets it apart from other consumable goods. But not all wine gets better with time. More than 90 percent of the wine produced is consumed within a year of bottling, and drinking many wines beyond a year […]

Prosecco sparkles on its own

Prosecco is so consistently billed as an inexpensive alternative to Champagne that it’s selling like Miller High Life. Its current 220 million bottle production is expected to double within two years and grow to five times that size by 2035. The U.S. has quadrupled its consumption of the sparkler in the past decade. SIX WAYS […]

Spike your holiday with spirits

Spike your holiday with spirits

Nothing takes the edge off the holiday crazies like a mug of something that warms you right down to your grinchy little toes. These winter warmers will light your fire and keep you aglow through all the gift-buying, package-sending, tree-trimming, Christmas-caroling, party-going, a-wassailing, stocking-stuffing, gift-wrapping, and relative-visiting that comes your way this season. Leave a […]