Thanksgiving with a Spanish Twist: Turkey, Lamb, and the Wines of Navarra, Spain.

Navarro Line Up
Nothing like wine from Navarro DO to accompany a holiday feast.

A friend recently asked my advice in planning a Friendsgiving dinner – she lives far from her hometown and has decided to invite other friends to share the day with her. She’s quite accomplished in the kitchen and has decided to prepare all the courses herself, with the exception of dessert. Good for her!

Years ago, I used to host Thanksgiving at my home, inviting a rag-tag group of friends, family members, neighbors, and friends-of-friends unable to go home for the holiday. The mix changed each year, depending on who was where, and it led to some interesting interactions. But that’s a whole other post . . . . Continue reading “Thanksgiving with a Spanish Twist: Turkey, Lamb, and the Wines of Navarra, Spain.”

Thanksgiving for Two: Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Roast Paired with a Beaujolais Cru

As we head into the second half of November, two events immediately come to mind: Thanksgiving, also known as America’s National Day of Overeating; and the release of the latest vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau (aka France’s National Day of Exporting Headaches.) Because they’re neighbors on the November calendar, the two are often mentioned as potential partners at the table. I give a qualified endorsement to … Continue reading Thanksgiving for Two: Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Roast Paired with a Beaujolais Cru

Tour de France 2017 and Cono Sur Bicicleta Wines

If you read my blog during the summer months, you know that I love cycling. I used to ride a lot, just about every day in fact, until multiple sclerosis took the sight in my left eye five years ago. Since then, it’s been a stationary bike for me! But that hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for watching the three Grand Tours – cycling’s biggest, baddest … Continue reading Tour de France 2017 and Cono Sur Bicicleta Wines

The Wines of Donnachiara: Five Generations of Irpinian Tradition

Last month I was invited to a winemaker’s luncheon in Campania, Italy. I didn’t have to travel far, though; just to West 54th Street in mid-town Manhattan, to a chic southern Italian restaurant. As I strolled toward my destination, I marveled at the hustle-and-bustle around me, which seemed exceptional even for New York: construction cranes peeked over office buildings, hinting at the sky-high aspirations of … Continue reading The Wines of Donnachiara: Five Generations of Irpinian Tradition

Reacquainting Myself with an Old Friend: #MerlotMe #WinePW

During the month of October, the Wine Pairing Weekend bloggers (#WinePW) set their sights on American Merlot, using their tasting and writing skills to remind the world just how good it is.  Many of us started out loving Merlot, enjoying the ripe fruit and silky tannins that make it go down easy. It’s a charming wine and makes such an amiable partner at the table that it’s difficult to understand how it fell out of favor.

Yes, Miles from the movie Sideways threw a forestful of shade on the wine when he professed his abhorrence of it. But those of us who knew the truth about Merlot weren’t swayed by his opinion. We scoffed at his disdain for the grape, especially when he later professed passion for a trophy French wine dominated by Merlot. We dismissed his generalization as rubbish, but how much Merlot were we actually buying? Speaking for myself, not much. Why?

Maybe I’m an outlier but, although I considered myself a fan of Merlot, not much made its way into my shopping cart. Where was the disconnect? Looking back at my wine journey over the past 15 years, I think I can identify the root of my inconsistent approach: an abundance of choices. Pursuing that theme, I guess you could call it Fear of Missing Out on the latest, weirdest wine capturing the attention of the hip sommeliers across the country. There was nothing wrong with Merlot but, in my quest to track down obscure grapes and taste the latest “must-have” wine, I simply forgot about it. Merlot, the trusted friend, loyal to the end, even after being relegated to second-class status. I don’t deserve you. Continue reading “Reacquainting Myself with an Old Friend: #MerlotMe #WinePW”

Your Holiday Wine Plan, Part 1: Stock Up on Affordable, Everyday Bottles

As we cruise into November, we can be sure of a few things: Pumpkin Spice Everything will morph into Gingerbread Everything; our party schedules will have us on the go from morning until night; and we’ll get used to feeling stressed and excited at the same time. Yes, the holidays are right around the corner! (Ugh, my stomach just sank a little . . .) … Continue reading Your Holiday Wine Plan, Part 1: Stock Up on Affordable, Everyday Bottles

Chianti and Chianti Classico: Two Wines to Pump Up a Weeknight Menu (#ItalianFWT)

Cooking a great dinner on a weeknight is easy: all you need is time to plan, time to shop, and time to prepare a delectable dish. Right? I’m laughing to myself as I type this because, yes, it does sound easy; reality, however, usually looks a little different, at least in my house. Sometimes I’ve got a fridge full of beautiful ingredients just waiting for … Continue reading Chianti and Chianti Classico: Two Wines to Pump Up a Weeknight Menu (#ItalianFWT)