A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘sparkling wine’

Thanksgiving Wines

In Drink on November 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Q: How do you please a Champagne addict, White Burgundy loyalist, Pinot Noir enthusiast, Riesling devotee and vodka drinker who are breaking bread together at the Thanksgiving table?

A: You don’t.

I’ve given up trying to please everyone with just one bottle because it’s futile. Plus, I don’t know about your Thanksgiving table, but at mine the wine disappears pretty quickly so it’s a safe bet that if a few different bottles are open someone will polish them off. And, after reading my friend Patrick Comiskey’s article on dividing and conquering with Thanksgiving wines over on Zesterdaily.com, I’m feeling emboldened. So this year, I’m uncorking a cornucopia, if you will, of wines and people can have at it as they will. The line-up will look something like this.

2007 Schramsberg Brut Rose ($35). This Napa Valley sparkling pink is one that everyone at the table agrees on. I love the bright cherry notes and it is a beautiful wine with turkey. And given that my family lives in the Napa Valley, it’s a little nod to home.

2008 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Riesling, $19. This is a great wine for the meal—crisp acidity to cut through all the richness of the food, and gorgeous mineral and peach flavors. And it won’t break the bank if you need a couple bottles.

Bouchard Père et Fils Meursault ($ You don’t want to know). Typically there is a bottle of White Burgundy designated for my father’s use and nobody is allowed to touch it. That’s okay, I’m usually hoarding my Riesling.

2008 Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir ($60). This one is my sister’s favorite, and I have to say I wouldn’t kick it out of my glass either. At all.

Sushi Roller Derby

In Drink, Food on April 11, 2010 at 9:24 pm

We had been planning for weeks to go to dinner at my sister’s fab new apartment in Santa Monica off Montana, but when the moment arrived we were totally unprepared for the CRAZY sushi spread she had prepared. I mean seriously. Gorgeous sushi-grade hamachi and ahi, fresh crab and salmon roe—all from Santa Monica Seafood. Claire had prepared sticky sushi rice and julienned cucumber and sliced up avocados. My husband was particularly excited about the spicy tuna Claire had made by mixing together mayo and Sriracha:

From there it was an all-out sushi derby as we raced to create our ultimate rolls. Here’s Mr Foodinista spreading rice onto a seaweed wrapper, while my sister cuts one of her expert rolls:

Yours truly is obsessed with salmon roe and so was particularly smitten with these ikuro avocado rolls, while Mr. Foodinista scarfed most of my sister’s spicy crab and cucumber creations:

And what did she serve with this spectacular spread? One of my all-time favorite bubblies, Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose ($20). It’s a sparkling rosé from the Alsace region, made from 100% Pinot Noir using the Champagne method but because it’s from a region outside of Champagne it can’t legally be called that. It is a perfect sushi wine. And thank you, Claire, for a PERFECT evening! xx

Top of the Pops…

In Drink on May 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm


My sister is in town from St. Helena, so we are chilling down a bottle of Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs—a rich golden hue—and are counting the moments till we pop the cork to commence the evening’s festivities. Hope your weekend is off to a bubbly start!

Dinner Party Envy

In Food on April 27, 2009 at 8:32 am

terrineSaturday night we went to what has to be one of the best dinner parties in memory at our friends Katie and Matt’s. Let’s just say that when one of your fellow guests shows up with vacuum-sealed terrines of pheasant pâté—made with pheasants he hunted on his father-in-law’s ranch in Oregon and topped with thinly shaved black truffles, which we enjoyed with a Louis Bouillot sparkling rosé—that the bar has been set pretty high. But yet rise to the occasion our hostess did. Yours truly did not wish to be rude by showing up with camera in hand, so I’ll simply describe the menu to you here. I’ll be cribbing parts of it this weekend when my sister is in town to visit Tiny G.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Porcini Mustard

Balsamic-Marinated Radicchio with Basil and Fresh Ricotta

Fennel Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Tuscan Beans in Summery Tomato Ragu

Served with 2006 Patz & Hall Chenowith Ranch Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley


Candied Fennel-Topped Lemon Cake

Served with 2005 La Tour Blnache Sauternes

Some of the boys got into the Talisker on the porch after dinner, but for once in my life I made the sensible decision to abstain. There’s a first time for everything.

One final note about those Tuscan beans. Katie used heirloom Peruvian Mayocoba beans from Rancho Gordo, and they were nothing short of exceptional. She had ordered a bunch, and “loaned” me a bag of Vaquero beans, which I experimented with yesterday and will post about later today. Finally, no matter how close I come to approximating the above menu, I will be missing two key elements—Katie and Matt’s gracious hosting and their incredible Craftsman home. House envy will be another post…

A Toast to Change

In Drink on January 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm












After Barack Obama is sworn into office on Tuesday, he will be sitting down to lunch with a couple of  delightful California wines. The official menu lists the first course wine as the 2007 Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, and the second course features a Pinot Noir from Duckhorn’s second label, Goldeneye in Anderson Valley. Duckhorn’s Sauvignon Blanc has long been a favorite—it’s a little spicy thanks to some time in oak, which you’ll either love or hate. I love. The Goldenye Pinot is pure California in style with extracted, black cherry fruit. Should be delish with the duck and cherry reduction.

But Korbell for dessert? For my money (a meager amount of which found its way to the Obama campaign), I would have liked to see this historic event marked by an equally historic sparkling wine: Schramsberg from Napa Valley. Not only is it my favorite domestic sparkler, but it has a rich political history. It was the first American wine to travel to China in 1972; it has since been served at state dinners at the White House for Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, President Fox of Mexico, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and Prime Minister Suzuki of Japan. So why not the Schramsberg Crémant Demi-Sec on Tuesday?  A lovely dessert bubbly, it’s creamy and slightly sweet, with a bit of spice and luscious apricot flavors. It’s the kind of wine that makes you proud to be an American. And come Tuesday, I can’t think of anything sweeter to have in my glass when I toast to President Obama!