Wine

ON THIS NEW YEAR’S EVE, I LET THE WINE TRANSPORT ME TO ANOTHER TIME AND PLACE

If ever I wanted a wine to transport me, as a good wine can do, it was this past New Year’s Eve.  By the time 2021 was mercifully drawing to a close – amidst sky-rocketing COVID rates, fires burning more than 500 homes in Boulder, Colorado, record snowfall in California, record heat in parts of France, unprecedented threats to democracy in the US, and more deaths in our family – we were downright desperate for a New Year.

Never having been drawn to big fêtes on New Year’s Eve, I thought our self-imposed (pandemic-related) confinement would let us would ring in the New Year just fine.  A quiet dinner at home would give us plenty of time to reflect on the past year and contemplate the coming one. But, as we sat down to our dinner, I realized I was too exhausted by the last year to reflect on it and, in my personal life, I found myself utterly without imagination to envision the... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

He Said, She Said

There are two sides to every story, and today’s wine-and-food pairing is no different. Except that it is very different. As I begin the eighth year of writing this column, this month is the first time in which the vintner, the editor for Provence WineZine, and I have all been in the same room for the tasting and pairing. And let it be known that we had a wonderful time!

In early December, Susan and Towny flew from Portsmouth New Hampshire, Mark and I flew from Tucson Arizona and, together, we descended on Sue and Rodney in Lodi California at Acquiesce Winery. It was a whirlwind weekend, and it started Friday night after we had arrived. In my classic way, I took over Sue and Rodney’s kitchen and made Provençal Feta and Sardines, and Sue and Susan chose two wines to pair, both from Acquiesce Winery: their 2020 Grenache Rosé and their 2020 Picpoul Blanc... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

1958: It Was a Very Good Year

It’s not often that I’m able to consider bottles from a “big box” wine store for this column. With the exception of a few quality rosés I have gotten (and written about) from such stores, their selection of rosé wines is generally geared towards the Carries and Mirandas. Pretty bottles/labels, intense pink colors, low price points, high sugar content, and a devil-may-care... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Le Pique-Nique

It’s the end of the summer — the warmth of the sun is waning, the leaves on the trees are crisping at their edges, and you want to get in every possible outdoor experience before the winds pick up, the temperatures plunge, and the snow starts flying. Yes, a picnic seems like just the thing... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Tucked Away

When I was trying to decide what wine and food to pair this month, I did my usual perusal of the wine rack, though I didn’t find anything that seemed right for summer. I came across a few reds to consider, but my heart was holding out for a rosé. Nothing at the wine store did anything for me, either — there was nothing from Provence that I hadn’t... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Revisiting an Old Friend

This week’s pairing is pretty unusual… but trust me, in the end, it makes perfect sense. The anchovy sauce used in my recipe for Roasted Chicken with Colatura di Alici is Italian; it is a descendant of the ancient Roman garum. Coincidentally, garum was produced by the Gauls and exported from the southernmost tip of France... [...]
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