Cooking with wine

This was originally posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2008. Even though this blog had very few readers back then, it did generate a decent discussion. I thought it was worth reposting now that there are many more of you winos hanging around. The conventional wisdom is that you should always cook with wine that you would drink. I think that is complete nonsense. The aforementioned conventional wisdom probably sprang from the days when folks would […]

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Another Wine Byte 12: Wrap It Up, I’ll Take It

When it comes to wine, it’s not just the “thought” that counts. In fact, if you don’t know that much about wine, perhaps a wine-related gift, rather than a bottle of wine, would be a much better choice. But there are other considerations when giving wine. Should you take a bottle of wine when invited to dinner? Should a host or hostess be expected to open the wine? And what about “re-gifting” wine?

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Unconventional Wine Regions

If grapes can be grown somewhere, it seems that there is always someone who will proclaim it the new hot wine region. Climate change is wreaking havoc on some traditional growing regions, while it simultaneously creates new ones in unexpected places. Global warming, it seems, is the proverbial ill wind that blows some good for someone. Weather is not the only factor that goes into growing good grapes to make wine. The type of soil […]

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Restaurant Review: Pope’s Pairings Protect Plonk

The brainchild of Chef Monica Pope t’afia promises “coastal Mediterranean cuisine inspired by local ingredients.” Let me just summarize up front by saying the decor is trendy cafeteria-cool, our waiter was friendly, the food is good, but the place is very loud. Acoustics in t’afia are not conducive to quiet conversation. At least not when sitting on the long communal bench. I could hear the conversations from the tables behind me and beside me, but could not hear my dinner partner sitting across from me.

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Another Wine Byte 10: For the Love of Parker?

Let’s face it; Robert Parker does have influence — and it’s huge. Wineries and wine makers care about Robert Parker because he is King Maker. And all the traditional writers want to talk about the numbers. What number did Parker give the wine? Because if Parker doesn’t like your wine, and gives you a “bad number” the traditional writers aren’t going to suggest that people buy your wine. And that, my friends, is very bad for business. But, what about the consumers? Frankly, OMG I am about to commit a sacrilege here: some wine drinkers do not care what Robert Parker thinks. In fact, many a casual wine drinker does not even know who Robert Parker is!

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Break-Up Wine: Do You Own a Bottle of Spite?

On my first trip to Wine Country I knew next-to-nothing about wine. It was in the early 90s. And everyone I knew was drinking White Zinfandel. Some of the adventurous women were drinking Chardonnay. But when I met Joe later; in 1999, I still had this one spiteful little bottle of wine, I’d taken from the ex. It then traveled with me when I moved from Houston to Ohio to go to law school. And again from Toledo back to Houston. And somehow it ended up in the wine jail.

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Why do I hate Sandra Lee so much?

Truth be told, I do not really hate Sandra Lee. She has never done me, or anyone I love, harm. For all I know she may be a perfectly wonderful person, someone who spends her every off camera waking hour working to make the world a better place. I do, however, despise everything about her public persona and what it represents. Her culinary perspective is reprehensible and a total affront to my own. Her tablescapes […]

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