Archive for September, 2009
Friday, September 25th, 2009 | wine educator | No Comments
It’s imperative that I continue to remain educated when it comes to my passion of wine. Whether it’s reading up on the latest and greatest wines, needing to understand the differences between Rioja and Riebera del Duero, unable to pronounce ‘Txacoli’ or just need a bit of wine humor to get me through the rough spots, I turn towards my favorite wine books.
Here’s a good sampling for the inquiring minds who want to know…
- ‘Red, White And Drunk All Over - A Wine Soaked Journey From Grape to Glass‘ by Natalie MacLean
Natalie has a solid wine background and comes from the north country of Canada, ay (and no, i didn’t just pick this book because she holds a fantastic name as my own) . She’s a wonderful writer, sommelier and expert of off-beat food & wine pairings. She covers the gamut of regions, history, wines, anecdotal humor and covers ‘people to know’ in the wine business in her book. She’s light, bubbly, sociable, a motivated learner and she passes on her knowledge and passion through her writing. Oh, and you can sign up for her very own free newsletter, Nat Decants at www.nataliemaclean.com. It’s part of my email inbox…what are YOU waiting for?
- ‘The Grail - A year rambling & shambling through an Oregon vineyard in pursuit of the best pinot noir wine in the whole wild world‘ by Brian Doyle
I am in love with Oregon. I’ve never been there, I’ve never known anyone who lived there nor had I ever sipped on a wine from there until about 3 years ago. I am madly in love and his name is Willamette Valley! Specifically, Dundee Hills. Doyle runs around with Jesse Lange from Lange Vineyards for a full season to get a real taste of what life if like working, producing and selling wine on what is essentially ‘just a farm’. A farm?? Such humble words. I felt like I was reading poetry. Doyle does a fantastic job of relaying not only the chaos that takes place on most vineyards, but the history of the land and, more importantly, the seductiveness of making wine. This is THE book that put my love of Oregon Pinots on the Wino Tasting map!
- ‘Great Wine Made Simple’ by Andrea Immer
This was the FIRST book I ever read that helped me hone in on my wine selling skills back in the day of Barcelona Restaurant. It is a superb, concise and informative read on the major wine basics. Just don’t ask me about Italy… I still get stumped to this day. HAHA! But if you just want a good, overall summary of wine, the major grapes, regions, tasting notes and how to read labels, this is the book for you! I highly recommend it to ANYONE just getting their feet wet and don’t know where to start. You can read my other experiences with this book here.
- ‘The Wine Bible’ by Karen MacNeil
I received this fantastic book as a birthday gift and what a wonderful reference book it makes! I even utilized it to understand some of the history of Spanish wines during my Wine Educator’s course back in July! This is a MUST as part of your collection. It’s a nice thick book too, so it doubles nicely as a coffee table book / wine glass coaster!
Other Publications to keep you in the ‘know’:
- Email: Snooth.com newsletter
Next in my reading queue:
- The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It
- At Home in the Vineyard: Cultivating a Winery, an Industry, and a Life
- The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass
Do you have a favorite wine-related book you’d like to share? I’m open to suggestions!
Friday, September 4th, 2009 | Favorite Wine Destinations, wine events | 3 Comments
Ok, long weekend coming up! So, what’s a wino to do with her/himself? Here are some ideas for you! Don’t complicate it, just grab a bottle of your favorite wine, some cheese and crackers and stay local.
Some fun wine-related outtings to keep you enjoying the weather, to keep it local and to help you discover new places.
Fairfield, CT: Get yourself out to Cafe Lola! This is a wonderfully shabby-chic, French bistro restaurant that always brings a smile to my face. The ambiance, the food, the staff, the music all make my heart sing. Bring a friend, a relative, a date, your significant other; they are sure to be delighted! Read my full review here.
Some recent food finds here are the Escargot, perfectly succulent little guys soaked in butter, garlic, fresh herbs with a melt-ability factor of 10 when they hit your tongue.
The Steak Tartar is an absolute MUST if it’s on the menu! This was done a tad differently than I’ve had it before. It was richer, tastier, great use of capers and the bread went fantastic to spread or dip with!
And make sure you get the FRIES! Whoa…. won’t say anything more here… just try them! Desserts were simple and very tasty. The Tarte Au Pommes Provençale (Apple Tart) I shared with my friend was surprisingly light, but FAR from disappointing. Pair up with some Madame Pigalles (Champagne, St. Germaine Liquor & Abolut Pears) for a wonderful finish.
Start Time: Monday, September 14, 2009 at 5:00pm
End Time: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 10:00pm
Location: 98 Washington St
City/Town: South Norwalk, CT
Milford, CT: Bistro Basque is toting a beautiful outdoor patio and it’s going to be a superb weekend for outdoor eats and wine! Romantic, but busy and close quarters.
My food recommendations if you go: Txiperones, Gambas al Ajillo, Pequillo Peppers, The House Fish Special and Duck Confit (falls right off the bone). Great wine selection by the glass and bottle, or you can have the owner, David, choose for you. The man has a wonderful palate!
Wineries to Visit:
Hopkins Vineyard (Warren, CT)- Bring a small picnic and sample their tasty wines. Sit out back on one of the picnic benches, or go down by Lake Waramaug for a stroll! Very bike and kid-friendly here! The Lady Rose wine is out and will make a wonderful accompaniment to most lunch-time eats and picnic fare.
McLaughlin Vineyards (Sandy Hook, CT) - LIVE Music on Sunday, 1-4pm, some hot Brazilian Jazz!
Pretty stoked about this one. they have a great wide lawn to bring a blanket to snuggle up on to listen to great tunes and share some fabulous wine. You can only get McLaughlin wines at the winery, so try to make it up there! It does cost money for the music scene ($15 online / $18 pp at the door). But a few clams will be worth it. Plus, hiking, winery tours available.
Jonathan Edwards (North Stonington, CT) -http://www.jedwardswinery.com/
Gouveia (Wallingford, CT) - LIVE Entertainment from 4-7pm, Sat, Sept 5th! Don Pierson will be playing. Bring your friends, family, book club, whatever and enjoy your own food with some great wine! Check out the sunset view!!
Sunset Meadows (Goshen, CT) - September 5, 6, & 7th: Sunset Meadow Vineyards will be at the Goshen Fair selling glasses of their award-winning wines. Stop by their booth and enjoy a glass! The tasting room will be open normal weekend hours, including 11 -5 on Labor Day.
Make sure to try their Cayuga white and also their Red blend. I enjoyed all their wines and one of owners, Judy, is just a delight. Do say hello!
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING FOR YOUR LONG WEEKEND? LEAVE A NOTE AND IDEAS!
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 | Favorite Wine Destinations, Hopkins, vineyard | 2 Comments
Cold, snow, leaves changing color, New York City, Martha’s Vineyard….most of you out there might think there’s just a lot of preppy talk going on up here in New England. What many people don’t know is that Connecticut, despite it’s continually changing weather, beaches along the Sound and clam bakes, we’re toting almost 40 different vineyards, 26 which are active wineries!
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