I had the lovely experience of sipping a glorious Dry Rosé in January 2020 at the Libertè Lounge in the Sofitel Hotel in downtown Philadelphia. What was the occasion? Well, the reason for my visit on this cold, blustery night in the City of Brotherly Love was to conclude my WSET Level 3 studies upstairs on the 3rd floor with a three-hour tasting and theory exam, which was going to be beyond stressful and intense. I sat there at a high-top table with cushy pillows surrounding me on a plush leather half booth contemplating what to have for dinner.
October 10th marks "International Pinotage Day". In celebrating this unique and misunderstood grape, I offer a glimpse into it's history and factoids. The name Pinotage is a little bit misleading because it sounds so much like Pinot Noir. It is easy to assume they taste alike. Not true. In fact, the South African grape looks and tastes more like Shiraz even though Pinotage is technically related to Pinot Noir. So why haven’t we heard more about this deliciously dark grape? If you love a bold barbecue-friendly wine, Pinotage wine is worth checking out.
The grapes that make a particular wine dictate the general structure of that wine and how it will respond to everything the winemaker and viticulturist does to it. If a wine is white, odds are that it came from white grapes; if it is red or pink, that’s because the wine came from red/black grapes. How did it smell? Herbal, Floral, Fruity, Earthy? Whichever, those aromas come mainly from the grapes.
Since we are approaching the romantic season of Valentine's, why not celebrate with some classic cocktails for "her" and "him". Both cocktails featured in this post are appropriate all-year long, but hold a special significance for this day and weekend because they are celebratory in nature and yummy. But first, let's talk a little history of these cocktails, then we will get to the recipes. They are easy to make at home, relatively inexpensive, and just require some shopping and prep work in the kitchen.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and to honor what it stands for I am offering up truly "green", farm-fresh, organic ingredients and cocktails for spring. As an added bonus, I list the best fruits, veggies, herbs, spices, and florals to be used in cocktails, infused spirits, syrups, purees, and juices for the season, best way to prepare them, and what base spirits pair best with them. Thank you to Nicole Friend and my friends from over at Sauza Tequila for contributing.
International G & T Day (April 9th) has come and gone, but why not celebrate this classic elixir the whole month of April as we transition from spring to summer. Even though the G & T has lost some of it's luster over the past decade, it still remains iconic, especially for traditionalists. New age bars and bartenders have begun to modernize it by serving it many different ways without losing the distinct G & T taste. The classic G & T is experiencing a renaissance.
Dry-Cured, Aged Ham
Thinly-sliced, bold flavored hams with a chewy texture and typically higher salt content.
A classic example of this style of ham, that nearly all of us know, is the Italian favorite, Prosciutto. You’ll find ham in this style typically served in micro-thin sheets as a melt-in-your mouth appetizer.
- Bayonne Ham
- Serrano Ham
- Jamón Ibérico