Jeffrey Lewis Foreman

Former Business Owner Was Known For His Love And Knowledge Of Wines And Wine Collecting

August 29, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,

Jeffrey Lewis Foreman, former owner of an Internet provider and computer consulting business who enjoyed collecting and sharing wines that he had gathered from the world's vineyards, died Aug. 21 of a brain tumor at Gilchrist Hospice Care. The longtime Hunt Valley resident was 61.

Born in Baltimore, the son of a barber and a Social Security Administration analyst, Mr. Foreman was raised on Chippewa Drive in Pikesville.

He was 16 when he graduated from Polytechnic Institute. He earned his bachelor's degree in accounting in 1970 from the University of Maryland, College Park.

After working in accounting for several years in the early 1970s, Mr. Foreman became interested in computers, and was employed in the industry for a while before becoming a licensed stockbroker.

For a decade, he worked in the investment business for several firms, some of which included Bache Halsey Stuart and Thomson & McKinnon Inc., before establishing two businesses, Millennia Consulting & Systems Inc. and Attachnet, an Internet provider.

He sold the businesses in 2007.

Mr. Foreman's passion in life was wine, which he enjoyed collecting and learning about. He also visited vineyards to speak with winemakers.

Mr. Foreman was living in Roland Park during the late 1970s across from a liquor store when he purchased his first case of wine.

"When he turned 30, we bought a case of Robert Mondavi wines and moved up from there," said his wife of 31 years, the former Nancy Guggenheim, a Lutherville interior designer who owns Nancy Foreman Design Inc.

The couple later settled in Hunt Valley.

"We planted a few vines out back, but we never got any grapes," said Mrs. Foreman, laughing.

Mr. Foreman expanded his wine knowledge with trips to vineyards the world over, including Australia, Italy, France and California.

He had a wine cellar installed in the basement of his home that could warehouse in perfect climatic conditions his expanding collection of several thousand bottles of wine.

"Jeff eventually developed a fine and keen sense of taste and identification," said Mrs. Foreman.

The couple, who wished to share their bounty, began hosting "First Fridays at the Foremans," a wine tasting, about three decades ago.

"We'd have 60 or 70 people, wine and heavy hors d'oeuvres," Mrs. Foreman recalled.

Michael Panopoulos, a Timonium resident and wine aficionado, and his wife, Phyllis, who worked for Mrs. Foreman, were often included at the monthly wine tastings.

"As an enthusiast, Jeff taught me most of what I know about wine today from tasting and talking. He inspired others who had that passion at any level of appreciation," said Mr. Panopoulos.

"He also taught me that value was important, and like his amazing stock-picking talents, he and Nancy found wines that no one had ever heard of that were great but yet undiscovered," he said. "To paraphrase his stock-picking, which he applied to wine, 'Buy low, sell high.' "

Mr. Panopoulos described his friend's palate as "amazing" and said Mr. Foreman could "detect subtle nuances and distinguishing characteristics better than most wine enthusiasts."

In addition to the red wines he cherished, Mr. Foreman also was a knowledgeable collector of ports.

"They were a particular and special love," his wife said.

Until being diagnosed with the brain tumor in 2007, Mr. Foreman and his wife made two annual trips to California's Napa Valley in search of good wine and fine dining.

Because of his numerous trips, Mr. Foreman became a well-known figure in Napa Valley.

"Jeff really did love Napa and their wines, and over the years, eventually built up an excellent cellar with some of Napa's finest," said Joe Hickey, a wine salesman at Cranbrook Liquors in Cockeysville who was often a wine traveling companion.

"We were in Tuscany together and in southern France where we drank Rhones, which he liked," Mr. Hickey said. "I also recall a wonderful afternoon in Provence where we drank Chateauneuf-du-Pape, another of Jeff's favorites."

Mr. Hickey praised his friend's wide and detailed knowledge of wine, and said people relied upon his recommendations.

"Friends would drop by with a special bottle of Dominus, and Jeff was able to enjoy a little glass. In fact, he was still able to enjoy his wine until a week before he passed away," Mrs. Foreman said.

In addition to his love of wine, Mr. Foreman was an accomplished and self-taught landscaper.

He designed and created two ponds on his property, which he stocked with fish, and also terraced the land and built patios and rock gardens.

Mr. Foreman also enjoyed discussing politics and was considered a lively and informed conversationalist by family and friends.

He also enjoyed collecting cordial glasses, contemporary art and chess sets.

He was a member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

Services were held Monday.

Also surviving is a daughter, Lindsey S. Foreman, a junior at Clemson University.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.