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.

Useful gifts for the wine enthusiast

I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it every year: Just because someone loves wine doesn’t mean that she wants a wine gadget as a gift…or a cork doormat or a light-up wine bottle Christmas tree topper or a Rudolph bottle stopper, for that matter. The ideal gift for the wine lover is […]

The beat on Tempo

The beat on Tempo

After leaving a restaurant that will go unnamed without having been served (not a drink or even an ounce of eye contact), we wandered into Tempo, one of the newest additions to the city’s replete culinary scene. Owner Stuart Cunningham and his son, Brice (part owner in Fleurie and Petit Pois), greeted us and we […]

Pairing up on Thanksgiving Day

Pairing up on Thanksgiving Day

Food steals the show on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean the wine should be a complete afterthought. It is, after all, easier to reconcile family feuds with a glass in hand. This pairing advice comes straight from the pros in town who know just what wines will get along with Aunt Edna and her cranberry […]

Drink crû over new

 Want to know what wine geeks all over the world are guzzling as their year round house red with everything from pizza to pork chops? I’ll give you a hint: It shares a name with that barely-fermented bubblegum juice that starts winging its way into glasses this Thursday. Despite having a region and a grape, […]

What's local about our local beer?

What's local about our local beer?

Taylor Smack clears out a brewing tank, known as a mash tun, of spent malted grains from a freshly brewed batch of a doppelbock. Eating and drinking local is getting easier every day. We shop at farmers’ markets, drink wine from vineyards just down the road, and taste beer at our local breweries. But, when […]

 Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert at The Paramount

 Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert at The Paramount

The good chef You probably know Chef Eric Ripert as a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef” or from “No Reservations,” where he’s traveled and eaten with best buddy and fellow silver fox, Anthony Bourdain. But, this soft-spoken chef from Andorra, France, is a star in his own right, with four cookbooks, a show called “Avec […]

What wine pros would drink (and eat) on their deathbeds

What wine pros would drink (and eat) on their deathbeds

 I don’t often contemplate death, yet the thought of asking food and wine people what they would eat and drink as a final meal is irresistible. It’s a passionate question for a passionate bunch, and while coffee-table books have been dedicated to last meals, the wine is often overlooked. I say that’s the meat of […]

Dirty Wine Jobs: Part II

Dirty Wine Jobs: Part II

Back in August, I closed my laptop for a week to scrub, power wash and throw out my back, but it was only the prep before the storm. I was on call for dirty harvest jobs (exact picking and processing dates can’t be predicted), but with the searing summer we had, I expected to have […]

Not your medieval mead

Mead, the honey wine drunk by famous olde tymers like King Midas, Chaucer and the Vikings, hasn’t had a big following since, well, King Midas, Chaucer and the Vikings. Mostly poured by velvet-clad, corseted “wenches” at renaissance fairs, mead’s been trapped in the Middle Ages. But with a current estimate of 60 dedicated meaderies nationwide […]

Crazy for Chang

Crazy for Chang

Charlottesville cried into its hot and sour soup when legendary Sichuan chef Peter Chang skipped town, but then we counted our fortune cookies when he reappeared to open Peter Chang’s China Grill this spring. There, chefs trained in his techniques and fiery recipes give us a place to swoon and sweat seven days a week […]

Chopsticks and wine

When we made our reservation at Peter Chang’s China Grill, manager Gen Lee asked us to bring wine because he doesn’t love their list. The request came as no surprise. Wine certainly isn’t the first pairing that comes to mind when you think of fiery hot and intensely spiced Sichuan cuisine. Beer, yes, or maybe even small sips of water between tears.

Get thee to the Greek

Get thee to the Greek

Ironic that the cradle of all things civilized, including wine, should only now be experiencing a renaissance in winemaking. But since its B.C. days of fueling bacchanalias and famous philosophers, Greek wine became something of a tragedy.    Winespeak 101 Amphorae (n.): A vase-shaped ceramic container with two handles and a narrow neck used to transport and […]

Dirty wine jobs: Part I

Dirty wine jobs: Part I

If you think my job as a wine writer is cushy and glamorous, you’re right. On winery visits, I get to frolic through the greening vines, sample new wines in the cellar and then taste the finished products in comfy tasting rooms, eating all the oyster crackers I want.

Wine schooling

Wine schooling

As pleasant as the sleepy and sparsely populated summers are here, the start of school injects energy back into this brainy little town. If you’re anything like me, you get student envy: wistfully thinking back to brand new Trapper Keepers and 5-Subject notebooks. The good news is that with your compulsory education complete, you can use your free time to learn while you drink.

We are what we drink

James Bond had his shaken-not-stirred martinis; The Dude had his White Russians and Carrie Bradshaw had her Cosmopolitans. In this day when our Facebook profiles precede us, it’s nice to have a signature that captures our three-dimensional selves. Hairstyles, clothes and scents help to define our styles, but I say drink orders are the window […]

Blue ribbon cones

Blue ribbon cones

The melody of an ice cream truck can whisk you down memory lane as fast as a lick of a Bomb Pop, but this vestige of nostalgia seems to have gone the way of the paperboy and the milkman. Thankfully, there’s still one truck jingling its way around town.

Brown-bagging it

Brown-bagging it

Kids are notoriously picky eaters, but when a professional chef is in control of the brown bags every day, all sorts of miracles happen —vegetables are eaten and nothing gets swapped for a bag of Cheetos. Ivy Inn’s Angelo Vangelopoulos whips up something delicious for his son, Alex. Until last year when his youngest graduated, Aromas […]

Whites, rosés and reds of Rioja

Whites, rosés and reds of Rioja

When life gets in the way of vacation, you’ve always got wine. Opening a bottle and pairing it with regional foods can take you on a virtual voyage faster than you can click your heels and say, “There’s no place like the Mediterranean.” And my Spanish high heels found their way back home the minute […]

Winning with red

Winning with red

On the heels of the Virginia Wine Board’s spring announcement that viognier would be our state’s signature grape, it came as no surprise that eight of the 15 participating Monticello AVA wineries submitted a viognier as one of their four wines to be judged in this year’s Monticello Cup. But what I and the other six judges at Prince Michel Winery did find surprising last Monday was how few of the viogniers we loved.

They came, they drank, they tweeted

They came, they drank, they tweeted

Thank goodness I upgraded my power cord-dependent laptop to a fully mobile one earlier this year, because scribbling in my Moleskine journal would have had me ousted from the Wine Bloggers’ Conference held here two weekends ago. Anyone peeking into the Omni ballroom might have guessed it was a technology conference with most of the […]

Rosé, how do I love thee?

Rosé, how do I love thee?

I never need a reason to drink rosé, but I did need a reason to write about it again. “La vie en rosé” was my debut Working Pour two years ago (cue sentimental sniff here). Since then, the once-snubbed pink drink has gone from a seasonal obsession of the few to a summer wine for all.