The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, also known as the "Judgement of Paris," really changed the wine world's perception of California wine. Recently we embarked with some friends on a "passport" tasting that was offered from five of the California wineries represented at the Judgement of Paris. I typically don't do these type of events but I found myself relaxing in the environs and getting to know these wineries' offerings better. In the end, it was great to experience the wines on premises and in their environment. Here are my thoughts on the wines from each of the wineries we visited:
So here are my overall rankings......
For the last six months we have found ourselves down in Los Angeles many times and finally discovering the good food that can be found down in LA-LA land. LA is much different culinarily speaking then I remember from many years back (or maybe we just never found what was good).
Top three things great about food in LA:
We are looking forward to enjoying more great eats in LA. If you have a favorite AND has a great wine selections let me know.
Super Bowl is a day for gathering and watching a good matchup, laughing at new commercials and of course... it is all about the food and wine. This year a good friend dropped by to see us for the day's festivities. Of course, it helped that he is a chef and he wanted to show my hubby how to make sausage. And so we did!!
Wine is not the only thing I am passionate about… STAR WARS!!! Do you have your tickets already? My overactive mind worked up these pairings of the characters & type of wine. What are your thoughts?
* Special note: Thank you David Netzer for the excellent call on the R2-D2 pairing. Much better than my French Viognier.
I am in two book clubs but yet still read many more books than that in a month. How you ask with a busy schedule? The secret is audiobooks. Everytime I exercise I am listening to a book. Three of my recent reads would be fantastic for a book club for they not only have great content to discuss but lend themselves to some terrific entertaining themes.
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
This is by far the best book I have read this year. If you loved “The Paris Wife” then you will love this book. In an NPR interview she said, “It is my fate to illuminate the lives of these one-of-a-kind notable women that have been somehow forgotten by history.” Inspiration is coming from safaris and Champagne!
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, translated by Simon Pare
A charming book with heartfelt sentiment all with the backdrop of Paris and Southern France. Monsieur Perdu doles out books like a doctor to a patient. The books are medicine for what ails a particular person. I feel the same way about wine. When I consult people for wine choices I not only ask what food is being served I ask about what mood they are trying to establish.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
I am almost finished reading this book and find it highly entertaining and reflective of today’s food obsessed lifestyles. I burst out laughing at a few points. If you are into food and wine this is a must read.
At Christmas my hubby came through with my 2nd favorite present (Favorite present of all times was a DVD of Babette’s Feast) of all times… a sous-vide immersion circulator. I had been wanting one for a few years but the price was ridiculous. But now that the price had come down a good friend led Joe straight to the path of success.
I posted a few pics on my personal FB page and when I ran into people everyone asked, “What is sous-vide? What is that contraption?”. Of course, one of my witty friends Scott thought it was some sort of marital aid and wondered what Joe was doing with his spare time but that is the farthest thing any truth there is. Sous-vide is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags and then submerged in a temperature-controlled water bath.
The are a myriad of reasons why you should embrace this cooking:
The slide show I have attached is how you go about the process. Below are the links if you want to buy a setup. Trust me… you will not regret it. Just invite me over for dinner!
The immersion circulator: http://anovaculinary.com/products/anova
Vacuum Sealer: http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-GameSaver-Deluxe-Vacuum-Sealing/dp/B0018...
App (so you know how long to cook things): https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/sousvide-toolbox-iphone.php
There are a ton of recipes online that will help you get the hang of it.
We were so blessed to have a fantastic holiday season socializing with our loved ones, but it continued into the new year as there simply wasn’t enough time to get ALL the partying in. I offered to host (cleaning, location, and cooking only) a wine dinner with my friends and wine colleagues who ship my wines to you all year long. I thought, “Let’s go out with a bang!” And that's just what we did.
6 courses, 54 wineglasses, 14 bottles, 9 people, 6 loads for the dishwasher.
In the end, it was a glorious evening with some beautiful human beings! Ok… now it is time to start the diet.
When we sit down for our Christmas dinner we always start with a prayer and blessing our loved ones who are with us and who have passed and blessing baby Jesus (not in a Will Ferrel way either). Then we toast. This year I failed miserably at being prepared. Some people might overlook the toast and think it not important but I love the pomp and circumstance of it all. It invites people in no matter what faith you might practice to start the meal… a special meal… as special as the people that are at your table. It is one childhood memory that I love for I was able to drink a little sparkling cider or wine out of an “adult” glass. With a little research here are a few I might offer:
Yes I am grateful for many things but let’s focus on Wine -Thanksgiving.
1) Thankful for the fact that many Americans fear Riesling. As a purveyor of fine wines this has been frustrating but at Thanksgiving I relish it for it means great deals for me. Rieslings can be the perfect pairing to many thanksgiving dishes. Its clean flavors and piercing acidity can cut through the weight of many t-day dishes.
2) Thankful for the many small winemakers around the world for being the true artisans they are. No way to fake it to make it in this arena.
3) Thankful for the awareness and education of wine to the populace. I remember back in 1997 nobody had really heard of a sommelier or knew what body or acid meant when it came to wine. Today, almost everyone I come in contact with has a base level of knowledge or wants to learn. I no longer speak a foreign language!
4) Thankful for having Wine Unleashed for 10 years and The Wine Wheel for 17 years and sold almost 3/4 of a million of those wheels. And VERY thankful for my partners in business to get to this point.
5) Thankful for the people I meet through wine. Of course I love meeting winemakers and people in the biz but I love meeting people through what type of wine the like to drink.
I am truly thankful for all that I have been blessed with but this is wine blog after all!
Angela Camacho, a certified sommelier and author of a best selling wine tool, The Wine Wheel®, shares her obsession with wine and food.