Cocoa & Lavender

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Meanwhile, in the Eastern Mediterranean…

For a more-than-slight change of pace this month, I “traveled” eastward in the Mediterranean to Macedonia, the largest region of Greece. Nestled in the Imathia Valley, near the city of Naoussa, is Domaine Karydas, where Kostantinos and Petros Karydas (father and son) produce a wonderful Xinomavro (ksee-NOH-mah-vro).

How did this wine choice come about? Susan and I were doing a virtual wine and food pairing event with a shop north of Boston called The Cork Stop. Frank Stamos, the shop’s wine director, created the Urban Wine Club, a venue for their customer base to explore and enjoy wines with little hassle and great prices. The club hosts a variety of events online and in-person (?), including the one we did, which was a benefit for PANDAS education and... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

As you know from Susan’s recent articles (“A Perfect Storm” and “Fear and Angst”), the Southern Rhône Valley has had a really tough time of it lately. Long, drawn out freezes have severely affected the vines, which will affect CDR wines for years to come. Today, to show support of vintners from that region, I am pairing my meal with a... [...]

Save the Date: Sharing Wine and Food at the Table to Benefit The Alex Manfull Memorial Fund

Sharing Wine & Food at the Table Thursday, April 1st 7:00 p.m. (ET)

Zhuzh up your cheese and charcuterie board to pair with Château Barbebelle Cuvée Madeleine Rouge and benefit The Alex Manfull Memorial Fund Supporting Research, Education, and Treatment of PANDAS.

Please join Susan and William “Towny” Manfull, founders of The Alex Manfull Memorial Fund, and David Scott Allen, editor of Cocoa & Lavender, at the Urban Wine Club for a fun and informative webinar about an excellent ... [...]

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... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Alex’s Wine

Tacos and wine aren’t your average pairing. But Alex wasn’t your average young woman.

This month, my pairing is dedicated to the memory of Susan and Towny’s daughter, Alex, who died from complications from PANDAS (Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections). October is PANDAS Awareness... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Nobody’s Perfect

You might think that I like any wine that comes my way. I can see why you might think that, because mostly what you see here in this column are positive reviews and pairings.

But it’s not true. For one thing, when creating a pairing, I try to choose carefully so that I have something good to offer you. I certainly have control... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Quelle Surprise!

This post is going to be full of surprises! The first surprise is that the wine is not from Provence. It’s not from France. In fact, it’s not even from Europe. It is a wine made in the Santa Ynez Valley in California by Tara Gomez, the winemaker at Kitá winery. Tara is a member of the Santa Ynez... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Big Boy

I recently had a comment regarding the high alcohol percentage (14.5%) of a white wine, and how the reader felt that more and more wines were being produced with increased alcohol content. My response was that, for me, it was all about balance. That particular wine was beautifully balanced and I never once was aware of... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Chilling With Friends

It was the eve of a minor surgical procedure that was to keep me off my feet for four to six weeks. What was I to do? Naturally, I invited friends over for meal-worthy charcuterie board to chill, try out some wine ... and to keep my mind off the knife. What would you have done?

While there is no one “recipe” for putting together a charcuterie board, I invite... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Clubbing

I’m not one to join country clubs. And I definitely don’t frequent night clubs. However, when wine is concerned, joining clubs has its benefits, especially when one (me, for example) lives in a bit of a wine desert.

Yes, Arizona has all the national... [...]
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