Chablis and the Sea: French #Winophiles Travel to Burgundy

the night I found out about beurre blanc…

Many of us grew up with gallon bottles of white wine around that said boldly on them “CHABLIS.”

But it is very unlikely that my grandparents were actually drinking “Chablis.” Instead, my relatives were drinking white wine, most likely Chardonnay blended with other white wines like Muscat, Chenin blanc, and Sauvignon blanc (which I think was called “French Colombard”!)

Today, just like if a bottle says “Champagne” it should be coming from Champagne France, if a bottle says “Chablis” on it, it is most likely to be wine made from 100% Chardonnay and coming from the Chablis region of France.

What makes Chablis special? Here are nine reasons: Continue reading

NZ Meets LA: Dinner at Tangaroa During LA Food Bowl 2017

During May 2017, The Los Angeles Times is presenting a new food festival called “Food Bowl” featuring “31 Days of Food” with special programs, dining experiences and forums as well as conversation about issues of sustainability, food waste and hunger.  L.A. area chefs and foodies as well as renown chefs from around the globe are participating in this unique Festival taking place throughout the City and LA County.

Last week, from May 10-14, a Night Market was held at Grand Park in downtown L.A. that included over 50 restaurants and food trucks plus live entertainment. For the rest of the month, there will be many more individual events in kitchens and restaurants, at bars and coffee shops, in farmers markets and even in buses. Lots to do this weekend or next and during the week too!

During the first week, on May 4, Sue and I attended the LA Food Bowl event at the New Zealand themed restaurant Tangaroa with wine from NZ Wine Navigator.

Continue reading

May There Be Bubbles for Brunch! Plus Negronis, Strata for #WinePW

Let’s Do Brunch! So said Sue and I in suggesting this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend prompt.  We had no idea that this is actually #BrunchWeek for food bloggers who are also writing about Brunch this week!

But how many bloggers are writing about BRUNCH and WINE? Well, I’ll bet quite a few because for many a defining feature and interest in brunch is that they probably invented brunch so we could have wine with breakfast!

And for many, wine at brunch means BUBBLES! And while this was indeed true for many of us participating in Wine Pairing Weekend (scroll down and you’ll see!), Sue and I fell in love with a special Brunch Negroni! Continue reading

Let’s Do Brunch! RSVPs for Sat May 13 #WinePW

So who’s joining the Wine Pairing Weekend Gang for Brunch on Saturday May 13? And what are we bringing to the table?

Lots of bubbles! And a lot more! Read all about it in the invite; read on to see who’s doing what! Continue reading

An elephant or a hat? Hat Ranch Winery’s DRY Moscato from Idaho

“Of all of the wine days to fall on my birthday,” says Sue plaintively,  “why Moscato? why must it be MOSCATO? It is by far NOT my favorite wine!”

If she could have her way, I bet she’d have been born on Cabernet Franc Day. But no.

Will this Hat Ranch Dry Moscato from the Snake River Valley in Idaho change her mind? Only our taste test will tell.

HAT Ranch Winery – 2015 – Dry Moscato – Estate Grown – Snake River Valley – Alcohol 12.7% 182 cases $18

When my son saw this bottle of wine, he asked: is it an elephant or a hat?

“I showed the grown ups my masterpiece, and I asked them if my drawing scared them. They answered:”why be scared of a hat?” My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.”
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

In The Little Prince, we are reminded that as we age, how we see the world changes. We have certain expectations, and these expectations limit us, and our imaginations. When we were children, the world was fresh, and alive: we let our senses give us information, and we could imagine the extraordinary this way. (Read more about The Little Prince and imagination in this article from the Scientific American).

And so it can be with wine: been there, tasted that. Ho-hum.

Moscato Day.

Oh, just another one of those wine days. Continue reading

Trento Sparklers from Ferrari and Rotari with Seafood Risotto for #ItalianFWT

This month, Sue and I are hosting the Italian Food Wine and Travel group’s exploration into Sparkling Wine of Italy. We chose this theme because

  1. we love any excuse to pop open a bottle of sparkling wine
  2. many people don’t know about  sparkling wine from Italy other than Prosecco
  3. we had a sample on hand of a 2006 Ferrari that we wanted to pop open
  4. we love sparkling wine with food and think more people should too
  5. we wanted to learn more about the Trento region of Italy
  6. we thought it would be a fun to learn about sparkling wine of Italy
  7. it’s just in time for Mother’s Day, graduations, and weddings

Because over 150 million bottles of Prosecco are produced each year, it’s no wonder that this popular sparkling wine is the one from Italy that most people are familiar with these days.

Trentodoc photo

But the mountainous Trentino region in northernmost Italy has produced metodo classico sparkling wine for over one hundred years, and Trento is the region Sue and I decided to focus on with two $15 wines non-vintage wines from Rotari and a $56 2006 reserve from Ferrari. Continue reading

Around the World with Sauvignon Blanc: 7 wines from 5 continents

With Sauvignon Blanc Day on the horizon, Sue and I thought it would be fun to test our knowledge and to compete and contrast wines from around the world in a blind tasting. Imagine our surprise when in response to our request we received six wines from Terlato,  three from NZ Wine Navigator, and three from Brancott to add to samples from Idaho and others! With a dozen to choose from, we selected two wines from the Marlborough region of NZ, one wine each from NZ Wine Navigator and one from Terloto for Sauvignon Blanc Day #1 on April 25  And set aside the rest to choose from for a recent blind testing where

we tasted seven wines from five continents!

It was a warm day in Ojai so instead of paper bags, we wrapped each bottle in foil, used painters tape with sharpie to number them, printed out tasting sheets, made a plate with goat and other cheeses and appetizers including a pesto pasta salad, and away we went!  We grabbed them randomly from the ice chest and plopped the on the table for the tasting. Here are our results: Continue reading