Over the River and Through the Woods…

To my house this year!

My folks generally handle the Thanksgiving festivities but this year due to work considerations opted to let me and my shiny new kitchen handle the majority of the cooking. Not to be outdone, my father did bring the turkey and the dressing…. because as we have learned from inestimable Alton Brown, stuffing is evil because it both dries out the meat and creates a bacterial time bomb in your oven.

That being said, we had reached the point in the preparations where is was now time to finally select those wines that we would consume with our fowl friend… These were the planned choices and really we stuck to them pretty closely. Although I think we were much more in a mood for red wine and ended up drinking 2004 Warm Lakes Estate Pinot Noir in addition to the Hilton Clay in lieu of the Flora Springs. Our friend, Richard would be horrified, but in the end we will enjoy that Chardonnay so I say no harm, no foul on that choice.

My folks enjoyed the Gruet Brut and initially thought that it was a French wine. They were stunned to find that it came from New Mexico and more pleased that I managed to find that particular bottle for about $13.00 at WDC. The pinot noirs, on the other hand we had found together when out on our adventures on the Escarpment. This was our opportunity to taste them side by side again and this time get my mother’s opinion (as she kindly took charge of the girls that day). Over all the 2004 was preferred to the Hilton Clay but we enjoyed both…

After dinner as we enjoyed the maple cream pie, we tasted a number of lovely wines… A Port from Niagara Landing which tasted of Concord grapes, a R.L. Buller Tawny Port and Lustau Solera Reserva Rare Cream Sherry .

Grapevine News

That is Billion with a “B”

According to the Canadian Press, wine sales are up almost 6 percent in Canada… our neighbors to the north consumed 387.7 million litres of wine. A third of that consumption came from Quebec and red wine was preferred overall, unless you live in the Maritime Provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Maybe because of their access to fresh seafood? Oh, and don’t worry about your association with Canada and beer… They still drink 2.2 BILLION liters.

Cocktails Anyone?

The Canadians are not the only people drinking beer. According to the consulting firm, Technomic, Inc., when out on the town, most of us are more likely to drink beer or cocktails. Unless we are out for business, romance or dining that is…

Wines of Mencia

The LA Times reports that the wines of Bierzo, Spain made with Mencia grapes are fast becoming the new darlings of the wine world. The wines tend to be high quality and affordable. The vines themselves were abandoned years ago after being originally brought to Spain in the 10th century by French monks. Notable winemakers include: La Fararona Mencía, El Dorado, Descendientes de J. Palacios Corullón, Dominio de Tares, Paixar, Pago de Valdoneje, Cuatro Pasos and Luna Beberide.

How Do I Get That Kind of Job?

The McClatchy Newspapers report that the Wine Institute received $4.5 million from the Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program to subsidize or outright pay for foreign journalists to travel to and enjoy California (mainly) wineries…

And She is Left-Handed Too!

For those of you that like skin… and not just the grape type, The National Post’s Shinan Govani, writes about his interview with Savanna Samson. Samson, a two time winner of Adult Video News Award for best actress is also a winemaker. Her wine, Songo Uno, received ratings of 90-91 from Robert Parker.

I wine about Martha

Like many women, I have a love/hate relationship with Martha Stewart. There are days when she inspires me be more creative in my approach to cooking or kid’s projects… and then there are other days when I feel demoralized by the Wonder that is Martha. She cooks better than I do… or at least making it appear more appetizing, she can sew and decorate and throw a party and clean (not that I give her much of a run for her money on that account) all with more style, panache and elan than I.

But at the end of the day, when I feel weary and beaten by Martha, I was always able to have a sip or three of wine and suddenly I felt like me again.

Until now.

Now she has invaded my wine too!

From this morning’s Modesto Bee:

Martha Stewart lifts glass to Gallo deal


The High Five are the five most-read stories, updated hourly.

When it comes to selling wine, could there be any name as recognizable as Gallo?

Sure there could. It’s Martha Stewart.

The doyenne of domestic arts announced Friday that she has joined with E.&J. Gallo Winery of Modesto to market three wines under her name.

The $15 bottles from Gallo’s Sonoma County operation will be sold in six

U.S. cities, none of them in California.

“We just wanted to produce a wine that she would be proud to put her name on,” Gallo spokeswoman Susan Hensley said.

The partnership has its roots in Stewart’s visit

to Modesto in 1990 to speak to the Omega Nu women’s group. Among the spectators was

Marie Gallo, daughter-in-law of winery co-founder Julio Gallo.

She and Stewart have remained friends. Stewart donated $10,000 in June to the soon-to-open Gallo Center for the Arts in downtown Modesto.

A 2000 installment of Stewart’s television show featured Gina Gallo, who is Marie Gallo’s daughter and oversees the Sonoma winemaking.

“There’s a long-standing relationship and a personal one between Martha Stewart and the Gallo family, and it’s based on their mutual love of food and wine and entertain- ing,” said Elizabeth Estroff, vice president of corporate communications for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.

The company, based in New York City, provides advice on cooking, decorating, gardening and other skills through books and magazines, and on TV, radio and the Internet. It remains a force in these areas despite the founder’s five-month prison term following a 2004 conviction in an insider-trading case.

The Martha Stewart wines are a 2005 chardonnay, a 2006 merlot and a 2005 cabernet sauvignon — 15,000 cases in all in the first release. They will be sold starting in January in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Denver, Phoenix and Portland, Ore.

“These cities are a good geographical representation of the country,” Hensley said. Sales in other cities are not in the works, she said, nor are partnerships with other celebrities.

In Friday’s news release on the Martha Stewart wines, Chief Executive Officer Joe Gallo said the winery is “pleased to help bring her vision of wine and everyday entertaining to life.”

Stewart said in the same release, “As a former caterer and a lifelong hostess, I understand the important role wine can play at a gathering. The wines were crafted with great care and attention to every detail.”