8 Posts Back Home

Make Sure You’re Buying The Real Thing – Shopping Tips For Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

With the holidays upon us, you may have butter and gravy on the table.  Why not add a bottle of traditional balsamic vinegar?  A few drops of balsamic adds a burst of flavor to any dish, and I love it drizzled on vegetables, especially roasted Brussels sprouts, and a drop on pumpkin pie would be fantastic.  Balsamic vinegar also makes a great gift for the foodie on your list. When you go to buy that vinegar, how do you know what to buy?  Facing supermarket shelves of balsamic vinegar is overwhelming.  I mean, where do you start?  On a recent visit to Acetaia Leonardi, an authentic, traditional balsamic vinegar producer in Italy, I learned what it takes to make this handcrafted, artisan product.  If you want to get a true traditional balsamic vinegar, an Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena D.O.P., handcrafted by a producer such as Leonardi, there are a few tips to guide…

Why Don’t You… 10 Non-Resolutions for Wine Drinkers

I love New Year’s – a good excuse to drink bubbly, but I hate the idea of making new year’s resolutions, don’t you? Instead I’m going to follow what fashion icon Diana Vreeland, the legendary Vogue editor-in-chief (pre-Anna Wintour) would say about fashion rules. Prior to her years at Vogue, Vreeland wrote a column for Harper’s Bazaar titled “Why Don’t You…” So with that inspiration, here are my top 10 suggestions (non-resolutions) for the year 2012 in wine.
Read more

My Top 10 Wine Moments of 2011

As December comes to a close we’re all reflecting back on the year that has been 2011. Although we’re still going through challenging economic times, spirits of the vintners throughout wine country seem to be rising, as sales are slowly picking up. There’s a feeling of hope and optimism that I haven’t seen in a long time. So keeping that positive state of mind, here are my top 10 wine moments of 2011. Read more

Wine Pairings Have Jumped the Shark

“Jumped the Shark” is a TV term coined when an episode of Happy Days featured Fonzie jumping a shark on water skis while wearing his iconic leather jacket. It was such a ridiculous plot line that it pushed the show way over the edge and it never recovered. From that point on “jumped the shark” meant the downhill slide of an otherwise good TV series. It can apply to other things as well.

As Halloween approaches, we’re bombarded with blogs and articles touting how great wine pairings can be with candy. Give me a break. Read more

Red, White and Wine: What to Drink on July 4th

Happy Birthday America. We raise a glass and toast our collective history and accomplishments. What’s in that glass? For me and fellow wine lovers it sure won’t be beer. July 4th is a time toy celebrate our great country and wines made on American soil.
From burgers to fried chicken and apple pie, we’ll be feasting on a typical American menu. The wine should also be as American as the food. Read more

SHOP DRINK – A shoe-in for wine – my favorite holiday gift

Happy new year! Like me, I’m sure you are recovering from the holiday 2010 season, and trying to get back into the swing of things. This post is a bit overdue, but I just had to share my most favorite holiday gift. It is from my brother, and he wanted to be on the phone when I opened it. Voila, the coolest shoe ever. It’s a shoe wine bottle holder – a total wine fashionista must! Gotta love the leopard print and the rhinestone embellishment. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this; my brother gets major kudos for finding it!

EAT DRINK – Sweet wine for Thanksgiving…seriously!

Thanksgiving is a time for tradition.  The traditional turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce and yams with that marshmallow topping.  A safe, time-honored wine, Pinot Noir.  Yawn. This year I’m gonna shake things up a bit.  I’ll be pouring a sweet wine for the main event and not just for dessert. I’m inspired by Aline Baly, a champion of drinking what most of us consider to be dessert wines, from the beginning to the end of the meal.  Aline’s family is the proprietor of Chateau Coutet in Barsac, a sub-district of the Sauternes region in the southern part of Bordeaux.  Chateau Couter is a Premier Cru Classe Sauturnes.  That’s all they make. Last time Aline was in the San Francisco Bay Area, she invited me to join her for lunch at Wood Tavern in Oakland (one of my fav restaurants).  To demonstrate how versatile her Sauternes wines are, we ordered straight…

DRINK – What’s in our glasses for Thanksgiving

I usually get assigned the task of bringing the wine for holiday events. For Thanksgiving you always see wine experts recommending a good Pinot Noir or Riesling to pair with the meal. Not for me this year. I’m serving bubbly. If you think about it, Champagne or sparkling wine goes with just about any food, and the bubbles help cut through some of the rich foods that are part of the Thanksgiving meal. Best of all, I got a deal. Seguras Viudas makes terrific Cava, the sparkling wine of Spain. It’s refreshing and lively. I picked up this magnum for only $9.97. Yes that’s right, $9.97 at Cost Plus markets. There were still plenty of bottles when I got mine yesterday. So a magnum is 1.5L which equals 2 standard bottles of wine. The funny thing is Cost Plus has the 750 ml standard bottle of the same Cava for…