This past weekend we went on out first camping trip of the season. I was so excited and planned the life out of this trip for weeks and weeks. I love doing that because it makes the excitement of the trip last longer for me. We went with another family that has two kids, one of whom is the same age as our son. They are super fun and I was so happy that they were joining us for this trip. Continue reading »
In spite of all the posting I do about wines from France, Italy and most recently, Paso Robles, the wines that influenced me the most came from Napa. There is one wine in particular that holds a special place in my heart because it is truly it a fantastic wine year after year is the Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon. I remember clearly my first visit to Hall years ago. I loved the wines and the winery so much that I joined their wine club on the spot (it was my first wine club too which made it even more exciting and memorable).
Italian marinara sauce is one of the first things that I learned how to cook when I was a kid. My mother made homemade sauce regularly and used it to prepare a wide array of dishes. The recipe is simple and does not call for any fancy techniques other than patience. As I have mentioned in many posts, my friend Kathy has taught me quite a bit about Cuban cooking in the past few years, and introduced me to a sofrito-based tomato sauce that is common in that cuisine. I recently decided to experiment a little and created some Italian – Cuban fusion dishes to see if I could get the best out of both worlds. Continue reading »
As I mentioned in a previous post, my local wine shop recently recommended a Cabernet based red wine from Lebanon. This is not exactly one of the more widely known wine regions in the world so I was intrigued. The bottle I bought was a 2001 from Chateau Musar and they told me I could sit on this for a while if I wanted. I became even more intrigued because with the exception of a Brunello I bought there, pretty much everything they encourage me to buy is ready to drink. And then, the NY times wrote an article about this winery and a series of dinners they had in Manhattan and all of a sudden I could not wait any longer to try this wine.
My love of marsanne recently pulled me towards the “other whites” section at Whole Foods. I love to learn about and try different varietals of wine. My recent wine travels have taught me quite a bit about white whites made from Rhone varietals, including marsanne, grenache blanc, viognier and roussane. Today’s wine was grown and made in the Costieres de Nimes region of the Southern Rhone by Chateau Roustan. This wine is lovely for sipping on the porch on a sunny spring afternoon (I know this for a fact!). It is a blend of roussane (60%), grenache blanc (20%) and viognier (20%). It smells of peaches and honeysuckle. It is bone dry but luxuriously silky and decadent. This would a great wine for Chardonnay lovers who want to try something different.
Everything about my visit to JUSTIN was magnificent. This winery, located in Paso Robles, makes some very impressive wines from primarily Bordeaux varietals. The place is huge, and not exactly small production which is sometimes a deterent for me. However, I would visit again in a heart beat because everything about the visit was…magnificent. Continue reading »
I read an article in the NY Times a few days ago about a winery in Lebanon called Chateau Musar. My local wine store recommended one of their wines a few weeks ago so I was drawn to this article. One of the interesting things I noted was the order in which the Musar wines were served at a dinner recently held in NYC. The reds were served before the whites, which is very unusual. “Once you taste the wines, you’ll understand why my white is my biggest red,” the winemaker stated. The dinner paired the white with quail, which I don’t eat often, but would estimate is similar to chicken and can be prepared to match red or white wines. This did make me rethink the traditional notion that whites are served with the lighter starter courses before moving on to the star attractions, which are enjoyed with red wines. Continue reading »
I recently sat down with Adam Jed, owner of Bluestem Brasserie in San Francisco, to talk about his innovative wine program. When I first dined at his restaurant in late February, I was intrigued by the wines available by the glass. There are 12 options and they are all served “on-tap”, similar to how beer is commonly stored and dispensed. I was curious why he went to great lengths to offer wines in this format, and wanted to understand the benefits to his restaurant and to diners. After our discussion, I am amazed that more restaurants are not pursuing similar programs as offering wines by-the-glass via traditional wine bottles now seems silly and wasteful. Continue reading »