European Trip 2012

Well - it really was a great trip. We traveled first to Ireland, arriving at dawn to be met by a taxi driver who, in normal circumstances would be retired. The economy and a tough housing market keep him behind the wheel. His only good news during our cab ride: great grandkids.
Meals were good and Guinness changed its taste from place to place. The best Guinness, interestingly enough, was not at the Storehouse. The scenery is beautiful in the Irish countryside, but we found our guides, drivers and train hosts constantly complaining about the state of the economy in their country.

The Butterfly Effect

During the latter part of winter this year, Karen and I were fortunate enough to attend The Butterfly Ball, one of the fund raising events benefiting AVOW Hospice. Our auction bidding gave us a Bentley for the weekend, and a generous restaurant gift certificate from a true gem.

To celebrate a special anniversary, we spent the weekend, touring the town in a beautiful Bentley and last night took advantage of our gift certificate from Citrus, a refreshing small restaurant on the cross of Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street in Naples.

Paris in the fall. . .Ahh. . .I can smell it!

After a full month of planning, our forthcoming trip to Europe is well researched, booked and three weeks away. Or has it already begun? When the plans are made, you are already being drawn into the wonderful sights and sounds of Paris.
Just two full days exploring the Left Bank of Paris. Only three questions:
1. What do we see?
2. Where do we visit?
3. Where do we eat?

Summer Wines

I always look for fresh, fruity and bright wines for summer drinking.

They should appear light, with a light edge or change of color on the rim when tilting the glass. If you look at the top of the glass the viscosity or thickness should be light.

The bouquet/aroma should be light, fresh, a little fruity, and in my view aromatic.

There are good wines available for under $6. Look for the Pinot Grigios in Trader Joes, the Chardonnays in Publix in Florida and the Sauvignon Blanc in your favorite wine store.

An Evening In A Steakhouse

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most sought after grape variety in today’s market. Cabernet’s fruit forward, light tannic, and moderate weight works well with steak house style meats. Flavors of the cabernet grape include blackcurrant, chocolate, cedar, and well brewed tea. Best sauces to pair with a good cab are demi- glace, mustard and pepper based, and of course, all red wine liaisons. Best vegetables for pairing are mushrooms, squash, quality tomatoes, and Lyonnais potatoes.

Cabernet is difficult to pair with light meats and fish, and citrus based sauces.

Game Day: Kansas versus Kentucky. Beer versus Bourbon. Barbeque versus Ham Biscuit.

Somewhat of a surprise to see the Jayhawks beat the Buckeyes by two points and now face Kentucky. Will the Bluegrass State beat the Show Me’s. Will it go into extra time?
Beer is the traditional ballgame beverage, and there are many from which to choose. Why not look at the popular Kansas City brewery, Boulevard Brewery, which is distributed in twenty States to pair with your barbeque? Try the light fruity styled unfiltered wheat beer, available locally in Kegs and in bottles.

Passover Seder With Beef Brisket

There are many wines that can be selected for beef brisket. In my view, the traditional wines for beef are Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. To make things different, I would consider a Sangiovese or Syrah. The most important thing to bear in mind is the aqe of the wine being used. The best at a fair price are between 4 and 7 years of age and a 5 year old would be perfect to be able to cut through the fat and still pick up the flavor of beef. For those wanting to have a traditional meal, go to a really good site: KosherWine.com.

Vintages

Look for the best:

07 in most of California.

08 in most of Oregon.

Barrie

Starting another Wine Course

Over the years, and over the World, I have lectured on many subjects, now is the time to start another series.

The first subject will be Sparling Wines, the second will be an introduction to wine, and for those who think that introducing wine would be a better approach, here is my answer.

Sparkling wine is made all over the world, you make wine, then you after that the sparkles. MOST FOLK ENJOY SPARKLING WINE, it can accompany most foods. Some do not like white, some do not like red, some do not like sweet, others do not like dry, it is a good opener to a course.

All in day's work.

It is a well known fact that for the last six weeks I have been working in the Wine department at COSTCO, Linwood road, Kansas City. The choice of products sold are well documented, high end wines often less expensive than other retailers.

What caught my eye was the amazing selection of white wines. Chardonnays from three continents, unoaked, unfiltered, unfined and single vineyards. Viogniers from three different states, and another two countries.
Fume Blancs from California, hide between thier counter part the Sauvignon blanc.