Archive for February, 2011

Two pairings for 02-10-2011.On Sale at France 44 right now, 2010 Shepherd’s Cottage [$7.99] and your favorite Roasted Chicken.  This bottle defines value under $10.  It’s dry and full with tropical fruit and minerals.2008 Ercavio Tempranillo Roble [$10.99 at Wine Thief] and Jean Michael Basquiat: The Radiant Child on Netflix Instant Streaming.  Simple, fruity, budget Tempranillo – good stuff for the price. [“Cabeza” (1982) print from guyhepner.com

Read Full Post »

Wow, have I not posted here in like three weeks?  Where did January go all of a sudden?  Well, I can’t say I’m sad about it, seeing as my shoulders have curled up into a permanent shrug. It’s now February – the month that’s shorter than all the others because it’s historically despised, and by the looks of Chicago (I mean, if it’s still there) this one won’t be any different. Despite what certain weather-predicting rodents have to say, I’m not holding out hope for an early spring.

Tonight, nothing sounded better for dinner than some super-cheesy, stick-to-your-ribs Mac. I add ground mustard and paprika to my roux (thanks, Alton Brown) when I’m building the cheese sauce for a little more nuanced kick to my childhood fave.

A fine accompaniment to the Mac was the 2008 ‘Eve’ Columbia Valley Chardonnay [$11.99 at The Wine Thief].  It’s a Charles Smith wine, you may be familiar with his Kung Fu Girl Riesling (which is a great value-priced Washington Riesling).  The Eve is a Jekyll & Hyde-like Chardonnay – on the nose you get that unmistakable vanilla smell from French oak aging.  But the sip does a complete 180 – it’s crisp and light, effervescent and acidic.  Lots of apples and a lean, dry finish.  It still has that rounded Chardonnay mouthfeel, but it’s no butter-bomb.  Good value and a good one for the Chard-shy.

I picked this up during my first visit to The Wine Thief.  It’s a great little shop for those who haven’t been. Each wine gets a personalized, often cheeky shelf-talker. Wines are organized by style, not region, and they are all good value wines (not many over $20). I didn’t stop in to the adjoining Ale Jail, but a quick glance at their selection looked pretty impressive.

Other Things Of Note:

Check out Simple, Good, & Tasty for a preview of the Sub-Rosa Dining Series, the latest venture from chef Nick Schneider (Cafe Brenda, among others). Myself and Kate Sommers (@ForkKnifeSpoon) will be covering this for Heavy Table. Great food, wine and classical music? Just about my three favorite things ever. I’ll have to fight the urge to write the snobbiest recap article in history. Mmm, yes, the nose on this Savennieres is as haunting and moody as the Sarabande of Bach’s sixth cello suite.

The new Starbucks ‘Trenta’ cup holds an entire bottle of wine.  So, yeah, there’s that.

For a serious insider’s look into cold climate wine, add Enology In Minnesota to your RSS.  Katie Cook, U of M Enologist, knows her stuff.  It’s detailed, both scientific and anecdotal. Check out her very interest post from January 27th on terroir in Minnesota.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Brahms and I have a bottle to finish.

Read Full Post »