Forlorn in France, Flourishing in the New World? Malbec! #Winophiles

Do you know these 13 French indigenous grapes?

These are just a few of the French indigenous grapes that are considered “god-forsaken” Continue reading

For Sweethearts and Friends: Fondue, Croissant Casserole, 3 Alsace Wines #Winophiles

fondue fun with Alsace wines

What’s an easy, romantic and fun meal for Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or an evening with friends? Fondue!

Fondue is fun and easy, especially if you buy the cheese in a kit ready to melt! No need for a fancy fondue pot; you can melt the cheese on the stove. Cook up some vegetables and sausage, cut up some bread and you’re good to go! To make chocolate fondue, chocolate chips are easy to do also, either in a double boiler or microwave, and then dip strawberries and bananas in it– yum! Continue reading

A Sparkling Valentine to My Local Loves … with a side of lobster!


I want to send out a little love.

A little Ventura County local love.

A Valentine to Ventura County.

The native California Peonies are just starting to bloom! And there’s a whole hillside of them near my home where I walk most MWF mornings from 8-9am. I suspect having that hillside burned down by Thomas might have something to do with it…

Nestled between the transverse range and the Pacific Ocean with the Channel Islands peeking out like castles in a large moat, Continue reading

Kosher Food Wine Experience 2020: NYC Mon 2/17, LA Weds 2/19

As I wrote last week, it’s time to calendar wine events like the Garagiste Festivals, single grape festivals (can you say PINOT NOIR?) and Kosher wine too!

Following events in London today and Tel Aviv last week,  the Kosher Food Wine Experience comes to the US next week with events in NYC on Monday and LA at the Hollywood Palladium next Wednesday. While VIP tickets are sold out, regular admission tickets are still available! Continue reading

Chicken and Savoie for Sweethearts, with Fondue for Friends #WinePW

You never know who you will meet and what you’ll talk about during the 7-15 minute ride up on the mountain in the icy wind while in the confined space of a ski lift. Generally there are greetings and pleasantries about the weather and the ski conditions, where you’re from and where you usually ski. Topics are usually lightweight, often playful, always friendly. Over New Year’s we skied two days at Snow Summit at Big Bear in Southern California, then two days at our “home” mountain of Mammoth, then three days at Lake Tahoe.
It was on a lift at Squaw Valley about 10,000 feet in elevation that I recognized that the woman I was squeezed next to had a French accent. She and her husband grew up skiing at Chaminix in the French Alps, she told us, then she revealed that she grew up in Jura and her husband in Savoie.
Delighted, I asked her about the wines of the region and the cuisine they paired with them.  Cheese, they said, and potatoes, especially cheese fondue, but what they loved with the wines most was chicken bresse, made with mushrooms and cream which she says she cooks in a dutch oven for 2-3 hours.

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2020 California Garagiste Festivals: Sonoma Feb. 15, Solvang April 18/19, LA July 24/25, Paso Robles Nov. 12-15

Did you know that last Tuesday, the final Tuesday of January, is National Plan Your Vacation Day?

If you didn’t, now you do!

But what we REALLY need is a National Plan Your WINE Vacation Day!

That’s when you open a glass of bottle of wine with a few friends, take out your calendars, and compare notes to plan to attend as many wine festivals and other wine country events in the coming year that you possibly can schedule! Whether you want small producers, Kosher wine, or pinot pinot and more pinot, there is a festival for you!

Today, here’s a focus on four festivals in California that celebrate “garagiste” winemakers, next up will be four Kosher wine festivals taking place around the world in the coming weeks, and finally, three festivals that are all about pinot noir Continue reading

3 Bottles of Bubbles from Val D’Oca Paired with Crab Butternut Bisque and Polenta Lobster Speck Shrimp #ItalianFWT

Three sparkling wine from Va; D’Oca Italy

When you look at a bottle of wine, what do you see on the label?

You’ll see information on who made it, the country and region where it came from, the amount of alcohol in it, and usually you’ll  find the vintage as well as a bit of misc info like whether or not it is certified as organic or biodynamic.

What you’re not likely to find is whether or not the wine is made by a cooperative a number of smaller producers band together to pool their resource in order to make a more affordable product.

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