Meet Melissa & Jeff

Melissa & Jeff Lawson

About Our Team

Jeff caught the wine bug about over twelve years ago and hasn't put a bottle down since then!  When he was in his twenties he dabbled in wine a bit, mostly at weddings and business meetings, not really knowing that the house "red" or "white" didn't taste like all wines do.  Jeff was sitting at home one day and wanted to start discovering more about wine.  The thought of wine was romantic, classy and sexier than beer.  He quickly started reading everything he could get his hands on, did some research and bought his first case of red wine off of eBay of all places.  To his great surprise, the wine had been on the Top 50 of the Wine Enthusiast list of that year and it was really quite good.   From that day on, Jeff was hooked.

A former career firefighter and a very enthusiastic wine lover, Jeff will be the first to tell you that he is NOT a wine snob.  In addition to blogging, he works for his family business and lives by the motto, "Hard work isn't hard.  It's a choice."  His wife now shares his healthy obsession for wine, and she shares his passion and desire to share their thoughts and experiences.  They have four wonderful and unique kids, one fur baby and live in the Midwest.

Jeff caught the whiskey and bourbon bug a few years ago, but recently got more "serious" about is in late 2021.  We say "serious" because, as we continually preach, you need toe ENJOY and have FUN with the spirits and not get too serious about them.  Find pours that you like and share them!

So why do we write about wine and whiskey?  Jeff actually started seriously writing about wine in 2011 under his previous blog, Midwest Wine Guy.  That labor of love, like Drink The Bottles, was created out of a desire to share real wines with real people.   Uh.........what?  Sounds simple, right?   Jeff had visited dozens of wine blogs and websites over the years and found most of them pretentious, uninformed, unappealing, out-of-date or just a front to sell you the newest wine widget.  So instead of investing a dollar into the stock market for every time someone asked, "Hey Jeff, can you recommend a good bottle of wine", he decided to channel his energy into wine blogging.

We write about wines and spirits that we know you will enjoy.  These are wines that we would be happy to share with friends and family and we will cover everything from a $9 grocery store pick-up bottle to bottles worth hundreds of dollars.   If we don't connect with a wine or whiskey, you'll never hear about it here.  Some of the best whiskies on the market are everyday drinkers for less than thirty bucks.  Like wine, whiskey and bourbon doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to be enjoyable.

Like many, Jeff has been down the craft beer trail highway, but wine has really always had his heart.  And now whiskey is another passion of his that he wants to share.  He and Melissa love learning about it, tasting it, discovering new & interesting stories - and writing about it.  Every wine and spirit on the Drink The Bottles wine and whisky blog has been personally tasted by us, so you know the connection is absolutely genuine. 

Who are the people in this wine and whiskey tribe?  The folks that regularly connect with Drink The Bottles are primarily from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South Africa and Asia, but there is a scattering of oenophiles in just about every corner of the earth that drop by here from time to time.  We realize that most people are primarily 'visual', meaning that they like to look at wine labels and pictures first, so we try to keep our thoughts on the wine short, sweet and entertaining.  Sometimes we tend to get off track and ramble a bit, but it's always for a good reason!

Melissa's appreciation for wine evolved slower than Jeff's at first, enjoying mainly sweeter white wines and a creamy Chardonnay.  Her first trip to Napa in 2009 actually opened her senses for quality red wines that tasted great and that wouldn't make you feel like you had just gone 10 rounds with a heavy world weight boxer the next day.  

Melissa graduated college with a degree in teaching.  She and Jeff met at his family's business and been together for sixteen years.  In addition to blogging, she works for a promotional item & apparel company part-time and is the boss of the family (don't tell Jeff!).  Melissa and Jeff enjoy traveling and are drawn to any place that features a beach, hot sun and good times.

New for 2024!  Jeff's brother, "Mutt" Lawson, is joining our team to add another set of eyes and tastebuds to our whiskey news and reviews.  Mutt has been a whiskey and bourbon advocate for several years and loves sharing a good pour with family and friends.

Thank you for joining us.  We hope that you will help us Drink The Bottles!

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