Category Archives: wine

A Weekend of Wine

It’s back and more popular than ever!  The the 12th Annual Washington D.C. International Wine & Food Festival’s Grand Tasting takes place on Saturday, February 12th & Sunday, February 13th at the Ronald Reagan Building.

If you haven’t been in the past, this is a great one! With over 100 wineries, a plethora of speciality food shops, cooking demos and tons of tasting, this is the premier event for Wine & Food in our region. On the grand stage be sure to check out demos from Mike Isabella and Carla Hall of Top Chef fame and Washington Post food gurus Bonnie Benwick and Joe Yonan.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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Light & Thirst Quenching Wine

I’m always looking to try new wines and during the summer months, I love sparkling reds (Shiraz, especially) and rosés.  The problem with rosés is most of them are weak… Since they’re pink and chilled, we tend to not take them as seriously – for me, they fall in the same category as Beaujolais nouveau – a wine we love to get excited about, only to be disappointed again and again.  Luckily, the New York Times did some serious testing and have put together a list of some of the best.  You can read all about them here.  I’m heading out now to pickup a couple of bottles.  Cheers!

photo from the NY Times – isn’t it beautiful!?

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Social Safeway is BACK!

and back with a bang, it is!  Last night we had the opportunity to check out the store before it’s opening to the public this morning and I must say, watch out Whole Foods. From a nut bar (yes, I’m serious), to an extensive wine cellar (including Gaja, Insignia, and a plethora of other great bottles), to an amazing chocolate counter, it’s got just about everything you could want in a grocery store, AND MORE!  I’ll be a frequent visitor to the world cuisine section of the produce department.  Last night, it was full of fresh garbanzo beans, baby purple artichokes, miniature cauliflower and guavas – all in perfect ripe shape!  Hurry over to check it out – there will be food samplings throughout the store for the next couple of days!

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Chicago Tribune Merlot: It’s All in the Micro-Climates “Back in the 1980s when the huge Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) was created, some Washington winemakers thought merlot would be their trump card in the wine game. It has been to a degree, but Columbia Valley is home to a number of well-known grape varieties.”

4. – The Boston Globe Merlot for the Masses “It would be wonderful if all the wine we consumed were made by salt-of-the-earth types working 100-year-old vineyards amid picturesque landscapes. But no amount of craft-scale winemaking will ever be sufficient to quench America’s thirst for wine. Corporations have always understood this, and long ago stepped in to fill this gap with heavily marketed brands made on an industrial scale. It’s big business, not art.”

3. – The LA Times The Savory Pie “Savory pies are the culinary equivalent of a down quilt: warm, cushy, uncomplicated — and precisely what I want to tuck into once winter has settled in and I’ve found myself safely on the other side of the high-stakes holiday cooking gantlet.

2. – The NY Times A Fallen Star of French Cuisine, Restored to Its Silver Platter “Boneless, skinless ones to be exact, the kind that millions of Americans make for dinner every week. The food snob in me has long rejected them as dry and bland and boring. Why eat chicken breasts, I’ve long thought, when the thigh is more flavorful, the tail more succulent, the wing crisper?”

1. – The Washington Post The Big Chill “Freezing is one of the most convenient and least time-consuming methods of preserving foods. The extreme cold retards the growth of microorganisms and slows down chemical changes that affect quality or cause food to spoil.”

photo from The Chicago Tribune

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

500924275. – The Chicago Tribune A Bit of Vampire History for your Halloween Bash “This vampire thing goes back, all the way to antiquity. Old blood indeed. The trail begins in ancient Persia, where someone discovered a vase depicting a man struggling with a blood-sucking creature. The Aztecs, too, got in on the sanguineness, convinced that offering a victim’s blood ensured fertilization of the Earth.”

4. – The Boston Globe Someone’s Gotta Do It “There are 50 of them, four of us, and the task seems a bit daunting. Over the next two hours, we will taste 25 white wines and 25 reds (identities unknown), compare impressions, and take notes. What we hope to find are a handful of wines that deserve to be called the best at $12 and under – the Grand Cru of Plonk.”

3. – The LA Times There’s a New Taste for Quince “Neglected for decades, the quince seems an improbable candidate for revival today, when consumers demand sweet, ready-to-eat fresh fruit. Why is it, then, that in recent years three books of quince recipes and lore have appeared, the fruit increasingly is featured at high-end restaurants, and half a dozen of these have even been named after it?”

2. – The NY Times Tater Tots for Two: It’s a Date “And thus is born false hope. Because dating in New York, as countless sitcoms, magazine articles and resolutely plucky blogs can attest, is no picnic. But let’s say that, through some quirk of dinner party seating or online profiling, you manage to meet someone. Where to take them?”

1. – The Washington Post Take Stock: There’s an easier way to do it “Bouillon, or stock, or broth, is the foundation of a range of dishes, not just French ones. It is the essence of a risotto. It is the heart of a soup and constitutes the body of a stew. Few chefs could imagine a world without it. A restaurant kitchen without a large pot of simmering stock feels barren and soulless. But one of the first things you learn once you have graduated from the University of Food Writing and enter the Real World is that people don’t make stock. Even many food writers and chefs don’t make their own stock from scratch, at least not on their own free time. Stock should be just a matter of knuckles and dimes. Yet it seldom is.”

photo from The LA Times

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

492672185. – The Chicago Tribune Winekillers and how to Tame them “Pairing strategies for foods that don’t play well with others”

4. – The Boston Globe Everything Old is New Again “When Jewish families gather on Friday night for Rosh Hashana, there is always talk around the table of the good dinners a grandmother once made, or how a younger cook tried to follow an elderly aunt’s sketchy recipe instructions.”

3. – The LA Times Farmers Markets Fear Los Angeles’ Fee “Farmers market managers in Los Angeles are in a tizzy over a proposed city ordinance that would charge more than 20 markets tens of thousands of dollars to recoup the city’s costs of enabling their events, which could force them to close or move if new ways to cover the costs can’t be found.”

2. – The NY Times A ‘French Chef’ Whose Appeal Doesn’t Translate “Julia Child may have been America’s best-known “French chef,” but here in Paris few know her fabled cookbooks, let alone her name.  Posters for the movie “Julie & Julia” were plastered across the city before its release here on Wednesday. But the movie was being anticipated more for Meryl Streep’s performance as Ms. Child than for any particular interest in Ms. Child, the principal author of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” who died in 2004.”

1. – The Washington Post Dude, Its Adds Up “I am sick of reading about how the obesity epidemic is being fueled by fast food. I can’t stand that poor people are eating it because they think it’s their only option.”

photo from The LA Times

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

CT Wine Ice082602.jpg5. – The Chicago Tribune Why You Should Chill that Wine “Wine is like revenge. Both are best served cold. But just how cold the wine should be depends on type — red, white or pink — plus grape variety, flavor profile, quality level and even where it was made. Americans are generally faulted for serving red wine too warm and white wine too cold. I think there are two basic reasons for this: central heating and modern refrigeration.”

4. – The Boston Globe Just Don’t Call it Breakfast “Getting kids to eat a healthy breakfast that will propel them through the rest of the morning – especially once they reach school age – can be tough. Tight schedules, morning grumpiness, and parents who skip breakfast themselves may lead to half-eaten bowls of soggy cereal or the temptation to make a go of the morning with little more than a sugary snack bar.”

3. – The LA Times So This is Dorm Food “Duck confit, pancetta-wrapped quail, butter-poached lobster tails, fried zucchini blossoms — not exactly how most collegians are expecting to dine when they head back to their school dormitories this fall. But those are some of the dishes that may again delight the denizens of Norris Hall at Occidental College in Eagle Rock come this semester.”

2. – The NY Times One Restaurant’s Closing is Another’s Fresh Start “Recycling may be the hottest trend in New York City dining this season. Not turning used cooking oil into fuel or making tables out of barnboards, but recycling restaurants themselves. What else can you do when diners want a more relaxed, affordable setting?”

1. – The Washington Post Online Club Members Cook Together, Miles Apart “Think of the phenomenon as a modern-day baking club and support group. Unlike the neighborhood-based cooking groups that proliferated in the 1950s, the new ones involve men as well as women. Many members are professionals who recently turned to cooking as a hobby and say they don’t have local friends who are as enthusiastic as they are about trying new recipes.”

photo from The Chicago Tribune

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