#ClinkDifferent with Crémant: Bordeaux’s Sparkling Wine Paired with Crab Cakes, Squash Fritters, and the Daughters of Dada #Winophiles

“My life is full of mistakes. They’re like pebbles that make a good road,” said surreal artist and ceramicist Beatrice Woods. The avid journal keeper and author of I Shock Myself lived until she was 103 which she attributes to chocolate and young men.

Known as the Mama of Dada, she hung out with Marcel Duchamp and others in Paris where she studied art and acting. In one of her paintings in a surrealist exhibition in New York City, a woman rising from the bath with a real piece of soap in “the tactical position” as Beato put it, garnered a great deal of attention.

and what do you see here? missing: a bar of soap in the tactical position…

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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

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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Introduce a Friend to French Wine 2: Loire’s St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil AOC Les Quaterones, Amirault #Winophiles

Three Loire Cabernet Franc by Xavier Amirault

What can make French wine confusing to newcomers is that often the name of the grape inside the bottle is nowhere to be found on the outside of the bottle.

That means to know what grapes are inside the bottle you have to know what is grown in the region named on the bottle.

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Intro a Friend to French Wine 1: Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Comforting Cassoulet #Winophiles

While wine grapes may be grown throughout the world, it is France that many consider the most important country for wine. Ever since the Greeks cultivated grapes in Gaul (France) in the 6th century, for over 2,000 years,  growing grapes and making wine has been an important aspect of life in France. Wine grapes are grown throughout the country with 7-8 million bottles produced every year making France the number one producer of wine by volume in the world.

Did you know that most of the well-known grapes grown globally are actually French in origin? Continue reading

2019 Well Done, 2020 To Do: #ItalianFWT #WinePW #Winophiles

2020 is barely a week old, but as I’m calendaring the year’s prompts for #ItalianFWT, #WinePW, #Winophiles, winemaker lunches and trade tastings in LA as well as other activities like the Wine Media Conference in Oregon and wine travel to Europe and South America, I’m reflecting on what we accomplished here on Wine Predator in 2019– and trying to decide what to submit for the Born Digital Awards (see what articles I submitted to the Millesima contest here).

I’m not really sure how we found the time, but Sue and I participated in EVERY SINGLE monthly prompt for Italian Food Wine Travel aka #ItalianFWT, Wine Pairing Weekend aka #WinePW, and the French Winophiles #Winophiles.

We joined wine bloggers and influencers from around the world but mostly from the US as we tasted and wrote about wines together following prompts that the group developed and organized sometimes with samples, and sometimes not.

Here on Wine Predator, that means 36 posts altogether at 15-20k words each! That’s the word count of a good sized book!

For almost every single article, I researched the region, the wine, the winery, and Sue and I both researched the cuisine to come up with menus and pairing ideas. Continue reading