Skip to main content

Department Read More


Ed Thompkins, Heinen’s Wine & Beer Buyer

Meet Ed Thompkins. He loves to talk wine (and beer)!

What book are you reading right now?
“Live to Cook”, by Michael Symon (Cleveland's own Iron Chef). I fully believe that in order to fully understand wine and beer you also need to understand food.

No books on wine? How did you learn so much about the subject?
It’s like anything where, if you’re passionate about it, learning comes easy. That said, you do need to continue to evolve your knowledge and palate.

How do you do that?
By tasting and inordinate amount of wines and beers almost daily. I wish the rest of my body got the workout my palate does.

Do you cook?
Yes. It’s the only thing I do well. I’m actually now assisted ably by my 11-year-old sous chef, my oldest son Nathan.

Name a few ingredients that are always in your kitchen.
Great extra virgin olive oil, truffle salt, good quality wine to cook with and Parmigiano Reggiano.

As someone who knows so much about wine and beer, what is one of the most FAQs you receive?
What wine (or beer) goes with what food. There are no “rules” with pairing, but I always look to understand what a person likes or doesn’t like before I recommend something.