Category Archives: wine

In Print: Clips from Food Sections

08left600.15. – The Chicago Tribune 7 Tips to Cut Food Bill, but Not Flavor “How much of your family budget do you spend on food? The answer will vary from household to household, depending on such factors as income and family size. But on average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we Americans spend a whopping 30 percent of our budgets on food.”

4. – The Boston Globe DIY Cookbooks “Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton have all the skills between them to publish their own cookbooks. Hirsheimer (she’s a she) was a founder of Saveur magazine, has written a number of books, and shoots food photos for Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, and Rick Bayless. Melissa Hamilton is a chef, food stylist, and recipe developer.”

3. – The LA Times Writing a New Chapter in Napa’s Rebirth “What’s a town gotta do to gain some cachet? The city of Napa has new homes, new hotels, new shops and new restaurants. The once-neglected river that runs through town has been reclaimed, historic buildings have been restored, and developers have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into downtown. Even though it’s not nestled amid vineyards and the main street into downtown is lined with shopping centers and car dealerships, a year ago the valley’s namesake city (long considered the poor stepsister to Yountville and St. Helena) was being touted as a destination in its own right.”

2. – The NY Times What to do about the leftovers? “We think of leftovers with special frequency during a recession because they represent our efforts to be economical. Frugality may be a virtue, but there is no denying that when it comes to leftovers, people get a little nutty. That some foods, but not all foods, are more flavorsome the day after they’re made doesn’t seem to simplify matters. As Ms. Abu-Jaber put it: “Lots of dishes improve with time, and leftovers can be the sweetest sort of offering. They imply that you share a home-style friendship, that you aren’t company, but family. But sometimes leftovers are just that — the stuff no one wanted to eat the first time around.””

1. – The Washington Post A Chef’s Roots, In Every Jar “The first thing Stefano Frigerio does when he makes jam, before he even starts to cook, is taste. He takes a bite of a strawberry, deems it on the tart side and knows what he will do: Increase the sugar. The same goes for the apricots, the figs, the peaches. The only way he can be sure to get the right balance of sweetness and fruit in a jam is to trust his palate.”

comic from The NY Times

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Filed under Books, dessert, Food, How To, News, Outside DC, wine

In Print: Clips from Food Sections


5. – The Chicago Tribune Meatloaf Making Tricks “Which brings us to that other perfect meatloaf. It can be found on Nantucket, where it is lost on the summer residents and overlooked by tourists who jam the cobblestone streets from June to Labor Day. But among locals it is legend, and can be found at a shack called Claudette’s on the east rim of the island. It also is a fine example of how meatloaf need not be for winter.”

4. – The Boston Globe Foods we obsess over “A food obsession can revolve around something luxurious – like French bubbly or grass-fed steaks. But we think it’s more likely that whatever strikes your fancy is considerably more ordinary. We know people obsessed with certain jams and the perfect kind of toast to spread them on, with melons at a particular point of ripeness, with a blend of coffee, or a cake to go with it. From time to time, we’ll feature an obsession and after some tinkering in the kitchen, perhaps a recipe too.”

3. – The LA Times Wine Decanting: Give wines some air “Air is one of the most talked about but most misunderstood elements in wine. We say a wine needs to “breathe” as if it just needs a few minutes to freshen itself up, releasing its seductive perfume. In fact, most wines have been waiting years just to cast off a little gas.”

2. – The NY Times Freeze that Thought “I know: you do. In that messy box you have some ice cubes, some stuff you bought frozen — a pizza? Lean Gourmet? peas? — and maybe, if you cook a lot, some stock or hastily stored leftovers. You also have a load of things you’ve already forgotten about and will eventually toss, even though you would have been guilt-struck if you had discarded them when they were fresh.”

1. – The Washington Post If Big Mama Could See Me Now “Girl, I’ll probably take some heat for this, but I’m going to say it anyway: Far too many of us view cooking as subservient. We — and I can say that because I was once one of you — proudly tell prospective husbands that we don’t do cooking.”

photo from The LA Times

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Filed under alcohol, Food, From the Refrigerator, News, Outside DC, wine

Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia

You might not feel too much like looking at alcohol right now after a week of imbibing, but I couldn’t resist sharing the cool new products out from Francis Ford Coppola.  They’ve come up with this great new “encyclopedia” bottle along with a plethora of educational information on They sent people off to various regions for 30 days to learn about the wines and document their adventures in text, pics, and videos – how cool is that?!  Here’s their new bottle, along with the logic behind it…


and here’s a cool chart naming the different sized vessels for wine…


If you want to find out more ~ go experience the Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia site yourself!

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For the Wine Lover…

417f0qnnm9l_aa280_To continue the gift giving guide, today I bring you one of my favorite gifts for wine lovers!  The Vacu Vin Elegant Wine Cooler allows you to chill your wine instantly – without ice! The Cooler holds a re-usable “Rapid Ice” cooling element that can chill a bottle in minutes and keep it cool for hours. With the Elegant Cooler, there is no ice, no water, no mess and no wet label to fall off!  Perfect, huh?

You can purchase it from Amazon for less than $30, click here.

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Cheers to Beaujolais Nouveau!

beaujolais1Just in time to grace Thanksgiving tables, the third Thursday in November marks the unveiling of the new bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau and last night at midnight the corks were a popping!

According to the AP, “… Beaujolais Nouveau is not expensive, you can buy a bottle for four to six euros ($5-7.50). It’s profitable in times of crisis,” said Daniel Bulliat, a vintner and president of Beaujolais-Beaujolais Village winemakers association.

“The annual arrival of the young, fruity and heavily marketed wine is generally a cause for parties from Beijing to Las Vegas. Connoisseurs, though, say it is too light to be considered a serious wine.” – I say, if you like it, I’ll toast to that!

Here’s where you can toast tonight in DC..

The Washington Club

Midtown Lounge

Alliance Francaise

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Filed under Bars, Beverage, Events, Restaurants, wine

Turkey Day Countdown: Wine Time

wine-glassespreviewNow is a good time to get out to your local bottle shop and pick up the libations for your Thanksgiving dinner.  Every year the food and wine magazines have a hay-day debating which is the best wine to serve for this holiday so centered around the delicious meal and every year I find it so interesting as they recommend wines from albarino to zinfandel as the perfect “turkey” wine.

What I think is more important in selecting your wines is thinking about what you’re serving with the turkey.  From the oyster stuffing to brussel spouts with bacon to cranberry relish to the other 15 necessary dishes, the flavors of the sides served on Thanksgiving really set the tone for your pallete. This means a wine that not only tastes delicious, but has a perfect balance.  It needs the zest to cut through the cream-infused mashed potatoes, the complexity to enhance the subtle seasonings in the stuffing and the umph to stand up to the smorgasbord of all the flavors of the table combined.

I’ll be taking a cue from some my favorite wine writers…

Ray Isle’s picks at Food & Wine

Laurie Woolever’s picks for whites at Wine Spectator

Dave McIntyre’s picks at The Washington Post

Eric Asimov’s picks for bottles under $25 in The NY Times

So, think about what you’ll be serving and remember, it’s supposed to be enjoyable!

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Filed under Beverage, entertaining, holiday, Uncategorized, wine

Merlot-to-Go at Proof

The DC City Council has passed legislation to allow diners to leave restaurants with their unfinished bottle of wine from dinner!

In celebration, Proof restaurant is offering its guests free doggy bags to ensure the safe and legal transport of their wine. In accordance with the Council’s legislation, Proof will reseal the bottle, attach a dated receipt and package the bottle in one of its wine doggy bags that have been outfitted with special adhesive seals.

The wine doggy bags are good news for patrons at this Penn Quarter wine-centric establishment who have come to enjoy Proof’s selection of over 1,100 different bottles.  While the law restricts customers to one partially consumed bottle of wine per person, it thus ensures that guests wishing to splurge on a special bottle of wine will be free to do so without pressure to finish off their purchase at dinner.  Know of other restaurants in the area also equipped and ready to send guests on their way with a wine doggy bag?  Let us know!

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Filed under Food, News, Restaurants, wine