Currently Browsing: Food/Wine

Learning about Wine

As a long-time wine aficionado and wine instructor, I am all in favor of people learning as much as they can about wine.  This can be done in many ways: via public wine classes; reading (formerly only books and magazines, now online); attending walk-around wine events and sit-down wine dinners; at private wine tastings with friends or family; and my favorite method—traveling to wine regions and visiting the wineries first-hand. Grapevines Don’t be intimidated at the thought of visiting...

Celebrate Valentines Day Your Way

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, which this year falls on a Friday.  If, like me, you have celebrated this holiday several dozen times in various ways and with varying degrees of success, it is now time to rethink your approach to Valentine’s Day.  What should you avoid?  What must you embrace?  How can you celebrate Valentine’s Day YOUR way? Like most holidays, Valentine’s Day has its origins in a pagan festival that was celebrated by the Romans as a...

The Eternal Fruitcake

  FRUITCAKE IS ETERNAL. It never perishes, but continues to be passed down through generations.  It has, in fact been rumored that there is only one fruitcake that makes the rounds from house to house until it arrives back to its original owner.  The last person to receive a fruitcake is the one who is responsible for its upkeep.  Come January 1st, it is tucked away until the following year when it gets circulated again.  Once unwrapped, it’s as...

Breakfast Mascots of the Past

What’s for breakfast?  Commercials, of course.  Whether you grew up in the 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s, it’s likely that you can still hum or whistle at least three jingles from ads that ruled the airwaves when you were growing up.  Some of the most memorable characters of our youth were pitchmen—or what we now refer to as brand ambassadors—for breakfast products.  Remember Toucan Sam?  Tony the Tiger? Aunt Jemima?  We’re talking breakfast mascots who were seen as advertising royalty,...

My Years of Eating Dangerously from Childhood

OPINION – I grew up eating Betty Crocker’s buttermilk biscuits dripping jam.  I devoured Aunt Jemima’s pancakes with a vengeance.  Loaves of sourdough bread were ravaged with gluttonous abandon.  But that was before I strayed from the path of incredible edibles over to the dark side of the calorie-conscious bore who hasn’t tasted real food in years. I am that same person who, as a young girl, tripped from restaurant to restaurant accompanied by my parents—two people who worshipped...

Port Wine, Jewel of the Douro River

How much do you know about port wine?  Let’s start with its geography.  The Douro River of northern Portugal flows east to west from its origination point in north central Spain to the coastal city of Oporto, Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.  In Spain,  the river flows through the great wine region of Ribera del Duero.  When it crosses the border into Portugal,  its name changes from Duero to Douro. It’s here, on the Douro River’s...

The Art of Tea

  As a child, I perceived tea as being an alternative to coffee.  In my teens, tea was associated with staying home with the flu when sipping on hot tea was accompanied by a bland slice of toast.  During my waitressing years, the big joke in the restaurant industry was, “Did I SAY tea?” when coffee orders were being taken and someone always seemed to throw off the balance by asking for tea instead.  Throughout my thirties, while trying...

Wine: To Age or Not to Age

A common question posed by wine consumers is, “How long should I age this bottle of wine?”  The question implies that every bottle of wine will improve with age.  However, in most cases, the answer is, “Drink it now!” According to the Wine Institute, more than 26 billion liters of wine were produced worldwide in 2011.  Of that amount, less than 10% were destined for the cellar.  Most wine is meant to be consumed shortly after production, or perhaps...

Rosé Wines from Around the World

By Len Gulino— So much of today’s global wine culture can be attributed to the history of grape-growing and winemaking in France.  Kermit Lynch, U.S. wine importer, says, “France has been the reference point not only for its grape varieties but also for its viticulture and vinification techniques.  Even its oak barrels nurture young wines worldwide, and the universally-used French phrase goût de terroir refers to the character or style or personality a certain vineyard site gives to its...

The Golden Lamb Buttery

By Lisa Zhawred— Slip on those driving gloves, we are going on a ride to the quiet corner of Connecticut to check out what is cooking at The Golden Lamb Buttery in Brooklyn.  To be honest, I had never heard of Brooklyn, Connecticut until a few weeks ago.  Now it’s one of my favorite places in our lovely state.  Not only is the area breathtakingly beautiful, but it is where I partook in one of the most memorable dining...

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