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February 6, 2021 2

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

The Understudy

Somehow, almost every time I’ve attended a Broadway show, I ended up seeing an understudy in a major role. My disappointment prior to the show was generally palpable. Yet, once into the first act of these shows, I completely forgot I was watching the second string and always enjoyed the production thoroughly. Now that I think about it, of course the understudy is good... would they actually put in a less-than-stellar actor? No. And I wouldn’t do that for wine, either.

My “Broadway show” this week was Chicken with Truffles and Mushrooms (you can get the recipe on Cocoa & Lavender this week). One of the leading characters of the show was the truffle from Les Pastras in Provence, and the other a 2016 Domaine Les Hauts de Mercurol Crozes Hermitage. What a show that was to be; what a duet. Until the Crozes Hermitage came down with a serious case of cork taint. But, as they say in the business, “the show must go on.” Call in the... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

January 2, 2021 1

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Happy New Year!

Superstition (call it tradition if you wish) suggests that we start the New Year on the right foot. What they actually mean by “right foot” is the correct foot. And, anyone who has marched (marching band, military parade, or — heck — the Macy’s Parade) knows that you start on the left foot. So let’s make sure we enter 2021... [...]

Off the Via Domitia

Tara Gomez
March 8, 2020 8


By the time Tara Gomez graduated from high school in 1991, she knew she wanted to be a winemaker.  In many ways, she had been preparing for that role her whole life.  But, she probably never imagined she would be making wine for her tribe, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in the American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Santa Barbara, California, or that she would also co-own a nearby winery, Camins 2 Dreams, with her wife Mireia Taribó, a winemaker, that specializes in natural wines. Dreams do... [...]

Wine Snoops

January 3, 2021 2

Two Female Winemakers Light Up Our New Year with Their Rhône-Varietal Sparkling Wines

Does drinking good bubbly on New Year’s Day foretell a good year? I tend to think so; but to be sure, we popped open two bottles, two super good bottles of sparkling wine exquisitely crafted by female winemakers in California. 

One winemaker is in the Santa Ynez Valley, near Santa Barbara in the Central Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the other is in the northern part of the Central Valley, due east of San Francisco Bay in the Lodi AVA. Both are outstanding winemakers... [...]

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