Saturday, July 30, 2011

A World-Class Red for 25 Bucks

We were in love with this block-buster well before the Wine Spectator listed it as one of its Top Ten Wines of the year.  CARM’s 2007 Douro Reserva is complex, elegant and powerful…and the finish will want to make you board the next plane for Lisbon.  Made in Portugal’s Douro Valley (home of Port), this red berry bomb is guaranteed to blow your mind for its quality-price ratio.  (An equally well-crafted wine from France or the U.S. would easily be at least triple or quadruple the price.) Buy every bottle you can find as this one will keep for several years to come.

NOTE:  the producer (Casa Agrícola Roboredo Madeira) also makes a CARM Quinta de Cao Reserva.  Also also outstanding, this is a different wine from the one referenced above.

Wine Spectator’s Top Wines of the Year:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A rosé for those lazy days of summer

It’s that time of year for some of our faves, rosé.  While we’ve been raving fans of dry French-style rosés for years, it’s thrilling to see that these wines have recently shed their persona non grata image in the USA.   American wine consumers in-the-know have finally discovered that a rosé is not a rosé, is not a rosé.
On our recent reconnaissance trip to Australia for the 2012 harvest tour, we found a very good quality/price ratio rosé made by one of Australia’s leading wineries, Yalumba.   This delicate fruit bomb from Sangiovese grapes delivers a mouthful of ripe strawberries and raspberries, with delicate hints of flowers and mineral nuances.  A decent finish seals the deal, all for the cost of less than $10. 
It may be hard to find (especially after Robert Parker’s recent favorable review), but worth the effort.  We ordered our case of Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rose 2010 at

Moroccan Cooking Classes without the Jet Lag!

Toby and I are just back from Morocco where we fell in love with their exotic Mediterranean cuisine. Moroccan cooking is rated among the best in the world (The New York Times recently identified Morocco as the "Culinary Destination of the Year"), and rightly so. There are few places where food is more carefully and artistically prepared, more delightfully served, and more enjoyed than in this country.
We have persuaded journalist and cookbook author Kitty Morse to conduct a Moroccan cooking class dinner.  Kitty, who was born and raised in Casablanca, is currently living in Southern California. Examples of her books include Cooking At the Kasbah, Couscous, The Vegetarian Table: North Africa, The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco, A Biblical Feast:  Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today's Table, and The California Farm Cookbook.

The first cooking class sold out in 90 minutes.  We added a second one and it sold out immediately.  We are in the midst of adding a third class, but between Kitty’s and our busy travel schedules, it looks like it won’t be until early 2012.  All of you on the wait list, stay tuned for the third class date.