Be a Home Superstar Chef (Part 2 – Shallots)

The first installment in this series discussed the importance of having a few high quality pans. Admittedly, despite being a necessity for the home chef, high quality pans are a big investment. Happily, the star of this article is much less expensive. Shallots look, taste, and smell like a cross between onions and garlic, but are neither. They are actually classified as different species from either one. Shallots grow in bunches of separate bulbs. The […]

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Villa Martina Cabernet Franc 2004

Cabernet Franc is one of the primary grapes of Bordeaux. While it usually takes a back seat when blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this wine lets it shine through. The color ranges from garnet in the middle to much lighter around the edges. On the nose it has mint, tobacco, raspberry, strawberry, white pepper and a bit of lavender. The flavors are much lighter than its big brother, Cabernet Sauvignon. The first tastes that […]

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October Surprise – Michel-Schlumberger Vineyard Walk

Our self-selected vineyard tour during the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) came with unexpected surprises. Originally, Joe chose a 4-mile tour — probably thinking that with all the promised wine and food, he’d need an extra workout during the conference. Since I’d signed up late, I simply selected the same walk. However, because very few registrants had specified a particular walk, the specifics changed to a “first-come, first served” basis. Looking over the walk descriptions, I […]

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The final days of the Wine Blogger Conference

Although the temptation was great, I somehow resisted the call straight from the heart of darkness, and did not go all Kirtz in California. While hiding deep in the jungle of Sonoma, surrounded by half naked tribes of grape stomping natives who view me as their god did indeed sound like an attractive option, I have grudgingly returned to Houston. It seems that the previous weekend has rendered me impervious to the effects of alcohol, […]

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Thoughts about or inspired by the Wine Bloggers Conference

The organizers have done a spectacular job. It is hard to believe that this is the first one of these ever held. I am quite impressed. Many places like to claim the title “God’s Country.” Sonoma County actually is. There seems to be quite a brouhaha about ethics among wine bloggers. A lot of folks on both sides of the issues make good points, but no one should be trying to decide for anyone else […]

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Palate Shock

Yesterday at the Wine Bloggers Conference was a blast. I met a lot of great folks and tasted a lot of fantastic wines. The conference is a wonderful thing, and I hope that I can attend every year. However, as I posted yesterday, tasting like this is not easy. When I wrote about my palate being shot after the Live Blogging session, this is what I faced right after. This was just one of three […]

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Who said that drinking wine is easy?

Anyone that tells you that drinking wine is easy should be summarily shot before having their ass kicked.I have easily spit and poured out more wine today than most of you will consume in a month. Even with all of the spitting, I have ‘accidentally” swallowed quite a bit, much of it excellent. My palate is quite shot and I am exhausted. I still have 2 more tastings and a wine dinner to attend today, […]

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Breakfast at the Blogger Conference

The Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa begins today, but we got here yesterday. Last night we went to the hotel lounge for a glass of wine or three. I asked the bartender for a recommendation for breakfast. He suggested a place called Hank’s Creekside which is right across from the resort where the conference is being held. It was a great suggestion. I had a spinach and cheese omelet covered in hollandaise, with sides […]

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