Houston Native Wine Celeb Ray Isle Returns Home, Finds Food Scene "Deeply Local While Still Cosmopolitan"
My 80-year old mother may not know his name but she knows his face.
"You mean that handsome young man who talks about wine on the Today show with Kathie Lee [Gifford] and Hoda [Kotb]?" she asks when I mention that I'm having lunch in Houston with Food & Wine executive wine editor Ray Isle.
But hey, let's cut Ray some slack: My mother isn't exactly totally up to speed on the highest-profile wine writers in our country today. But she does watch morning television religiously.
Thanks to his monthly columns and frequent appearances on national television, Ray is known to more American wine lovers than any other U.S. wine writer working today. And his work not only reflects the heightened levels of wine connoisseurship in our country, it also shapes and informs the American wine palate on a scale unimaginable even a few short years ago.
Yesterday, Ray sat down with me at The Pass & Provisions on Taft for a sampling of its menu and a chat about his visit this week to Texas, where he spoke at the Austin Food & Wine Festival and spent some time catching up with family and eating his way through Houston.