Monday, July 23, 2012

Wines that "Rock", and Wines To "Roll"

While researching wines for a TOTI Media piece on famous winemakers, I was told to check out Wines That Rock. Inspired by rock legends such as Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones, the winemakers also obtained the rights to use artwork from the albums, on the labels.

Being in the radio business I thought the whole idea of these wines was very cool and  found two of the five varieties to try; The Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet and Grateful Dead Red Wine Blend. As cool as they looked on the outside, it didn't translate to the inside for me. They were tight and I just didn't find a lot of depth to them. But for under $20 I would still give them to my rock-n-roll lovin' friends as gifts. 

Rock star wine that I would recommend comes from Dave Mathews. He teamed up with winemaker Steve Reeder and formed Dreaming Tree. The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay smells a lot thicker than it tastes. It was full of citrus and apricot with balanced acidity. The Dreaming Tree Cabernet is herbal and tannic with lots of blackberry and cherry. Also under $20 each, they are good bargains.

Check out more on famous winemakers in my latest wine column for TOTI Media. You can find it on the news-stands now (July/August).

As for Mathews, he is currently on tour and just passed through Florida.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sippin' the Saint

I'm having wine country withdrawals after sipping on a bottle of this delicious Sauvignon Blanc and reliving my trip to St. Supery, in Napa Valley. I was fortunate to be part of a small group, treated to a special tour of the winery's Dollarhide Ranch; to see firsthand where the grapes come from.

The property was beautiful, the weather perfect and it was one of those amazing moments in time; a place to go back to when my soul needs some rest. I also gained a new appreciation for the wine, sipping it under the shade of  lush trees, while looking out over the rolling vineyards. Just a little bit of heaven. I decided that seeing is believing for this blog. My first video edition is here:  

If you visit Napa, you need to visit St Supery! You can often find fun events on the lawn outside of the tasting room, the staff is warm and friendly and the wines are a wonderful treat.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Deal Of The Day

A nice fallout from the recent economic downturn has been the deals and gimmicks many businesses have developed to keep clients coming through the doors; restaurants specifically. 

Some offer half price bottles (wine) on certain days of the week. I went into a Bonefish Grill not too long ago and couldn't find a seat, it was Bang Bang Wednesday.; $5 Bang Bang Shrimp.

I've got another Wednesday deal for you, $3 O-Ring's at Square 1 Burgers. The burger chain now has five locations on Florida's west coast, it's newest in Fort Myers. This huge pile of hand-cut, double dipped, fried onions costs $7.99 every other day of the week. The batter is crisp and the homemade Sooner sauce on the side has a tangy kick.

I did a hit and run at Square 1, unable to stay for more goodness but I'm looking forward to trying one of their juicy burgers. The selection is quite impressive with everything from Kobe and Buffalo, to Lamb and Veggie, with dozens of combinations of toppings. Let me know which is your fav!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Brunch of Champions

One year ago today I was on an AirGreenland flight from Copenhagen, Denmark to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland for one of the most significant adventures of my life. I love the Danes. Shortly after take-off we were given a Tuborg and smoked nuts. The flight attendant laughed when we added Airborne to the mix; one last boost for the immune system before hitting the ground. Quite the combination.

You never know what kind of food you're going to get on planes these days, especially European airlines. Yes, we actually got food and good food at that. Our brunch was a lovely tray of dense, dark, delicious brown bread, cheese, cured meat, eggs, veggies, a meat patty, a decadent chocolate brownie and bite sized Tuberlones!

Once on the ground at Greenland's busiest airport in Kangerlussuaq, we set out to explore the meager offerings of  the small village. The chance we took on a bottle of Shiraz at the grocery store didn't turn out so well, it would've made a nice vinegar though. Good thing we also bought some Greenland Pale Ale as a back-up, it was quite tasty.

The small pizzeria,  across from the airport, had limited space, even more limited hours but numerous selections. We had a lot of fun chatting up the owners and a couple from Switzerland before taking another chance, Musk Ox Pizza. This one paid off big great story here.

When the grocery store, museum and pizza shop closes there isn't too much else to do but hike. It was 10:00 but that wasn't a problem since the summer sun doesn't set in Greenland. While finishing our dinner, we picked a mountain and set out for a "short" trek. The views of the country side were stunning. If you look closely at the following two photos you can just see Russel Glaciers. Our first glimpse of the "big ice" was exhilarating. I was filled with anticipation knowing that in the morning I would not only venture to see the great ice-caps up close and personal, but sleep at their base for the next six days. I dream of many things but I had never dreamed about plane food, until then. While the meals in camp were great (more on that later), I found myself thinking back to that last plane meal more than once. One of many firsts for me on this amazing trip.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

You Want Me To Cook WHAT???

On the phone with my Mom and Dad last night, I heard their door bell ring. Then this:

M: Oh geez, who is that? George you better go and see.

D: (SFX: grumbling, rustling, door opening) Hey, oh thanks. Has it been frozen?

M: I bet it's more fish. (pauses to hear the door close) Was it the neighbors? What she give you, more fish.

D: No, turtle.

M: What?

D: Turtle, turtle.

M: TURTLE? What I'm suppose to do with turtle?

D: Yes Judy turtle, you COOK IT!

M: I'm not cooking turtle, I'm not eating it, you must be crazy, how do you even cook turtle? etc etc

They continue talking to each other over the phone, even though they are only a room apart. I can just see my Mom walking into the living room with her hand on her, hip still talking to him in the phone. I decided to join in by suggesting turtle soup? That set off another round. OK, I suggested, maybe fry them up as turtle-nuggets? Well you can imagine the rest of the discussion.

All joking aside, it is an interesting question. Turtle was obviously not something on the menu in my house growing up, but it is considered to be gourmet food in many countries; camp cuisine in the south.

The first thing I wondered was what wine would go well with turtle? Of course it depends on how you cook it. But I thought it would be fun to find a brand with "turtle" on the label and send it to them. After a quick search, none looked even slightly appealing.

So I turn to you for help. Recipe and/or wine suggestions?

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