A Quest for Sherry: Part 2

Wine Predator Sherry

When I heard that the July Wine Pairing Weekend challenge was Sherry Wine, at first I thought: Sherry? Sherry? Really?

What do you pair with SHERRY other than dessert or a fire?

Little did I know! Turns out, there’s quite a lot you can pair with sherry wine, because, like Champagne, Sherry isn’t just a wine for an occasion, it’s a wine to combine with food.

But the fact that Sherry does indeed pair well with food–and not just dessert!– is NOT what got me going on this Wine Pairing Weekend.

Because honestly, when I decided I wanted to do it I had no idea how well it paired and with what until I participated in the Saturday morning #WinePW tweet chat and checked out everyone’s blog posts! (links below)

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So what made me decide to participate? Continue reading

A Quest for Sherry: Part 1

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Wine Predator Gwendolyn Alley in her grandfather’s cellar with a bottle of his sherry

Quite a few years ago, I was enjoying dinner with then California Poet Laureate Al Young (http://alyoung.org/) at the home of his hosts, the Central Coast poet Glenna Luschei and her husband Bill. Bill found out I appreciated wine and he asked me

“So have you discovered sherry?”

Sherry? I thought to myself. Continue reading

Food and Wine, Wine and Food: A Wine Predator’s Philosophy Part 1

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What we eat and drink matters to our health, and to the health of the planet on which we live and that we share. How the food and wine that we enjoy is produced has an impact greater than we can easily imagine.

“If you want to feed your family healthy food, you’ve gotta ask a lotta questions,” says Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard.

Fortunately, people are helping us to understand the importance of our choices, and we can hear their message in films like Unbroken Ground.

My concerns for the planet informed me as a child who wrote about ladybugs and litterbugs, the child who started backpacking and rock climbing at 12, the teen who taught mountaineering in Colorado, the woman who was one of the first 20 women to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, the student who earned degrees in Environmental Studies and in Literature/Creative Writing with an emphasis in nature writing and in Ecopsychology, and the professor who today teaches college composition at a community college where students research and seek to solve environmental problems.

My environmental advocacy doesn’t show up as much in the posts of this blog as it does on Art Predator where I frequently write about a number of environmental issues with a focus the past two years on single use plastic. Continue reading

Pedroncelli Pretty In Pink for National Pink Day

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While National Rose Day is the second Saturday of the month of June, National Pink Day is June 23.  It’s also Pink Flamingo Day!

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Seriously though, National Pink Day is a day set aside to celebrate all things pink:

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to wear pink, to enjoy foods and beverages that are pink, and to give a donation to any of the charities that use the color pink. Use #NationalPinkDay in social media. You even listen to “Pretty in Pink”!

In particular, the color pink and the pink ribbon is associated with breast cancer; when you wear pink today, who do you wear it for? Who are you remembering or honoring?

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As Wine Predators, we should toast those who have battled breast cancer too.

With ROSE of course!

But which one?

How about one made by women? One that’s estate grown and sustainably farmed?

Continue reading

How to Toast United Nation’s Internat’l Yoga Day: Montes Cherub ROSE!

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Today is the United Nation’s International Yoga Day! Have you seen this video of how to drink wine while doing yoga? It’s a fun one!

I started doing yoga when I was in college at UC Santa Cruz, but I didn’t get into it until I had a serious rock climbing accident where I fell 15′ onto my back and my chiropractor was my yoga teacher. Later, when I moved back to Ventura, my teachers kept asking me to sub; one of the first classes i subbed was a Patagonia where I had two students: Yvon and Malinda Chouinard! When I learned one of my favorite Yoga Journal writers, Erich Schiffmann, was doing a 40 hour teacher training in Santa Barbara, I figured it was time to take the plunge. A few years later, I followed that up with Iyengar teacher training with Bryan Legere who I studied with for 15 years.   These days, I mostly have my own practice, attend classes, and do the occasional subbing.

As a yoga practitioner I definitely DO NOT recommend doing yoga while drinking or after drinking! Do yoga then drink wine!

During your yoga practice today, you should definitely do a few sun salutations (because solstice!) and in recognition that, like the sun, you ROSE off the ground for those sun salutes, the obvious wine to choose is ROSE! For International Yoga Day, you might want to try Continue reading

Rose Revolution: Around the World With 5 Roses

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“Hey, I could drink this all day!”

so says Marshall Moneybags as he discovers rose recently.

That’s exactly why there is a #roserevolution going on: dry rose really is a wine that works from brunch on.

You really can drink rose all day.

And what better day than today –National Rose Day?

Rose is a very good daytime wine. It goes well with picnic food, or what you want to eat at a concert at the bowl: it’s like a symphony wine. The colors are varied but always so beautiful and inviting. And best? Dry rose wines pair so well with food from humous to ham, from salami to sausage.

And that’s why I had Marshall cook us up a ham to pair with our rose because, like rose, ham is a meat that you can eat all day –from breakfast steaks and scrambles to brunch to lunch and dinner grilled cheese, ham sandwiches, and more.

Many years ago, I had a sample rose from Planet Bordeaux and as we had prepared a ham, I gave it a try. The ham was cooked on the grill, smoked with special wood, and covered in cloves as well as other flavors in the rich glaze. It was a match made in heaven and now whenever we have ham, my go to wine is dry rose.

Rose also pairs well with a number of sides making it a versatile choice for holiday meals.

Because we had a number of different rose wines from around the world to sample, and it was a #winestudio Tuesday focused on rose, and #WinePW or Wine Pairing Weekend coming up with a focus on Rose, and we had a friend from far away visiting on her birthday

AND the second Saturday of June, IS NATIONAL ROSE DAY

so we thought it would be fun to do something special so we opened up 5 and did a blind tasting to see if we could guess what country and what grape the rose was made from, and to compare notes. We loved the difference in colors,. That was the first playfully fun thing that we noticed when looking at the glasses as you can see below.

Continue reading

All Aboard for Albarino! 9 meals to pair with this white wine from Spain

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Recently, for nine weeks, Que Syrah Sue and I learned all about Albarino from Rias Baixas in Galicia just north of Portugal in the western and northernmost reaches of Spain during an online weekly educational program using the hashtag #WineStudio as discussed in “April Fools for Albarino.”

As you can see from the list below, we tasted more than a case of Rias Baixas Albarino. In this blog post, I am going to share a few highlights from each night to pique your curiosity, then I will link to the blog posts as I get them up.

We really went all out on what wines to pair with these Rias Baixas Albarino!

Coming blog posts will go into more detail with tasting notes, menus, recipes and links to recipes. Subscribe so you won’t miss out! In general, foods that pair well with Sauvignon blanc pair well with Albarino.

While most of the wines we tasted over the nine weeks were 100% Albarino, a few were Albarino blends. As they all came from the same region, Rias Baixas, the tasting was organized by various themes, listed with the wines below. On many of the evenings, not everyone received all of the same wines being discussed, and that made it a bit more chaotic than usual. We definitely prefer it when we are all tasting the same wines at the same time and in the same order to have a better conversation about the wine.

Overall it was an amazing experience and we came away with a love for Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain!

There were so many wines in this two month period that at one point I used sticky notes to keep track of which wine to drink when! Above are the first group of wines we tasted in April and below the second group of wines that we tasted in May.

Continue reading