A Wine To Basque In

A curious wine popped onto the Sacramento scene recently (and I’ll bet you can find it in many areas).  Its less familiar name draws attention then challenges one’s pronunciation.  The color charms with its hue, while taste has you second-guessing its tickle, then whop!  Drawn in for another try to make sure you’re really drinking […]

Dates Turn into a Bar

Depending on your palate, likes and dislikes, and whether you have a sweet tooth or not, these may be serious business for you.  They’re a wonderful companion to mid-morning coffee or tea rituals.  But you won’t want to limit your consumption after you’ve tasted this date bar. Moist and chewy flesh, fresh dates of the […]

Wine for Valentine’s

February.  With the hectic holidays behind us and resolutions intact- or not- the month brings things to look forward to.  For me, it’s picking out the perfect wine for Valentine’s dinner.  This year it’s a bottle of Molino de Viento. Wine often has priority over food in our house.  When that certain bottle speaks to […]

Minestrone with Runquist Wine

Crazy Northern California weather this past year confused many plants but the strength of Bacchus in the Amador and El Dorado county wine areas prevailed.  New wineries surfaced while many established operations flourished, making stand out wines.  In Amador County, I’ve particularly enjoyed wines from a small producer with an unwavering focus on reds, Jeff […]

Cava in Penedes

A short train ride from Barcelona and you are in the Penedes area of Catalonia.   95% of all cava (sparking wine) is produced in this region of Spain.  Regardless of whether you like the stuff, it´s a beautiful place to visit and take a tour or two. We chose Cava Rovellats, partly because it´s […]

All Wine Roads Don’t Lead to France

I met Claiborne Thompson in the early 90’s while on a wine exploration trip through the Edna Valley on the central coast of California.  Previously a tenured professor and Scandinavian Studies department chair at the University of Michigan, he and his wife and fellow professor Frederika Churchill stumbled on the winery scene in 1981, got […]

Port and Chocolate or Cheese?

When I ask people what they pair with port, the first response is usually chocolate.  Deep, dark, silky and smooth, it’s wonderful with most all port.  But I have friends who don’t like chocolate and want something different.  So I set out to find something for offering up when chocolate gets a thumbs down at […]

The Wine Word: Chocolate & Dessert, Part II

Last week I shared chocolate and dessert items that go well with wine.  That gave me the bug to bake, not to mention a mention of promised future recipes.  Savor a splash with a sweet bite?  Always sounds tempting to me! Cantucci are essentially small biscotti.  Dennis at The Hidden Kitchen serves them as a […]

The Wine Word: Chocolate & Dessert

I like wine and I like chocolate, good chocolate and 98% of the time a darker variety.  I only eat it straight up if I’m craving something sweet and I don’t have anything in the house to satiate my inherited sweet tooth (thanks dad!) Not much is needed, just a few bites to slowly savor.  […]

In Search of the Small Winery Experience

The “LaMancha” release last fall was an opportunity to not only check out the wine, but to cater the party for Wofford Acres Vineyards wine club in Camino, just above Placerville.  I followed this up with a surprise I made to specifically pair with their newly released Port at a recent wine club event.  A […]

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