Wine for a Summer Cookout

Many years ago I hosted a cookout party for family and friends to celebrate my sister’s achievement of earning her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. I made, truly, the best pulled pork this side of the Mississippi and I thought to myself (as I often do): Rhône reds.  Turns out, I had a houseful…

Fresh American Wines for Brunch

When I was a young mom in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood (hands up if you are from Chicago) the place to be seen with your family was John’s Place for brunch on the weekends. It was a right of passage, you were now adult enough to be up before noon, but were young enough that…

15 Years, 5 Houses, 3 Kids and 1 Wine that’s seen it all…

My husband has a pair of jeans that he calls his painting jeans. He’s kept them around for painting projects, each one adding to the mess that makes them the perfect source of memories: here is the Ralph Lauren red from the upstairs hallway; here’s the Phillipsburg blue from the dining room; here’s the pink…

A Gigondas from the Cellar

During a visit to Gigondas last fall, I had lunch with Thierry Faravel, proprietor and winemaker at Domaine le Bouïssière. Thierry and his brother Gilles are second generation vignerons, tending vines planted by their father Antonin, who grew grapes for the co-op for 41 years (not uncommon in Southern France). The family vineyards are in Gigondas,…

Cooking at Home: Affordable Bordeaux & Homemade Pasta

“Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” ~Sophia Loren Something elemental happened in our kitchen recently. We began to make our pasta from scratch. For years I’d believed this was a practice we weren’t entitled to, not being Italian and having the oh-so-easy bounty of boxed (and even pre-made fresh) pasta available at our local…

The Wines of Red Mountain

The story of how I became familiar with the Wines of Red Mountain, an AVA in southeastern Washington state, is representative of how most of my wine connections are made: organically. Late November I received a note in my inbox from author Boo Walker. His third novel, Red Mountain, had recently been released and he…

Persimmons, Cab Franc & Other Harvest Delights

Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, asked us to honor the season with this theme: The Feast Nearby – Grateful for Local Vintners and Seasonal Foods. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W. T. Purkis I’ve been working on an ongoing project…

Evenings with Merlot

This article is all about Merlot, in conjunction with #MerlotMe and #WinePW, featuring two bottles from the Napa Valley. When I was a younger gal, an early wine drinker, my go-to wine was Merlot. I still remember walking into a Champagne bar and ordering a glass of Merlot instead of bubbly. Merlot proved, and still…

Go Ahead and Say It: Grüner Veltliner

This article encourages a glass of Grüner Veltliner, a food-friendly Austrian varietal, explored for Wine Paring Weekend #WinePW. I have a theory. People drink easy-to-say wines first. If they have to point to the wine list to order, they feel sheepish. No one wants to feel sheepish, so they order something they can pronounce. As an…

Cooking with Wine: Chipotle Pinot Noir Enchiladas

One of my husband’s favorite food memories of growing up in Chicago was the tamale lady. She was a neighborhood mother who made a huge batch of tamales on a certain day of the week. She’d sell them hot and ready to any family that opened their door in time to catch her. So when I…

Welcome Spring with Fresh Food & Le Ferme Du Mont Côtes du Rhône

“Do not search in a wine for the reflection of an exact science. The formulas of scientific oenology are only a thin competition which does not know how to respect the mysteries of eternal creation.”  ~The late Jacques Perrin, Château Beaucastel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Eternal creation. The mysteries of eternal creation… is there anything more beautiful? The…

Spring Meal Pairings for Southern Rhône Wines: #winePW

  {Spring Meal Pairings for Southern Rhône Wines} Saturday April 9, 2016 at 11 a.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Central Join in on twitter with #winePW The Rhône Valley of France is a diverse and fascinating wine region; for this #winePW, we’ll focus on the wines and winemakers of the Southern Rhône. As many parts of the…

Wines of Baux-de-Provence to Enjoy with Steak Frites

This month we celebrate Wine Pairing Weekend (#wineWP) with a declaration of our indulgence on Open That Bottle Night (#OTBN), an evening set aside to encourage wine lovers to pop open a bottle that’s been considered “too special” to drink on a regular night. The founders of Open That Bottle Night are Dorothy J. Gaiter…