Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Thanksgiving, pt. 3

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I am really looking foward to the Holiday season this year. Even with the economic downturn I’m in good spirits. Things started off well with a uneventful Halloween spent with my children, a epic November 4th, and better days ahead: from Thanksgiving through MLK weekend and culminating with Inauguration Day. I’m even excited about the President’s Holiday. Flag Day even has a new meaning. I’m proud to be an African-American during these historic times and I am hopeful for the future. And President-elect Obama, if you need someone to run the White House wine cabinet (cellar), I’m available and thirsty.

…pt. 3 is a link to a story written in last years San Francisco Chronicle. It is an article written by a staff writer for the Food section about our families un-traditional Thanksgiving.

click here to read the story 

Cheers! And here is to New Traditions and Better Days Ahead!

Thanksgiving 2008, pt. 2

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Thanks for the feedback on the Thanksgiving video. I’ll keep my day job for now. This is a follow-up article to focus on the wines I’ve mentioned in the video. Some are very reasonable and easy to find like the Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay ($21 @ Costco!) or Le Cigar Volant. Others, like the DuMOL Viognier, are difficult to find and more expensive, so look for similar wines of the same varietal.

For some wines Chateanuf du Pape (CDP), you have to plan well ahead for. Stock up and cellar the very good 2006 vintage to enjoy in 2009. The 2007 vintage of CDP looks outstanding. You can still find reasonably priced 2004 CDP around, or better yet check out Le Cigar Volant.

Basically, look for food friendly wines: balance, low alcohol, high acidity. I strongly suggest French rose. I usually buy a mixed case easy drinking French rose when they are released early in the summer. The prices range from $7-15/bottle. I enjoy the case over the summer and keep an extra bottle or two around specifically for Thanksgiving dinner. American rose is refreshing, but usually more expensive and has a higher alcohol content. Often, it’s difficult to appreciate a highly acidic wine, but they pair extremely well with food. Rieslings (but not the late harvest desert wine) are also a good choice for the same reason. More on rose later.

 

the “line-up”

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Start here. A good non-vintage sparkling wine. I prefer Piper. Gloria Ferrer is a good, and more reasonable alternative. (more…)

Thanksgiving 2008

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

It has been a difficult year…for almost everyone, but there is a lot to be thankful for, especially with the results of the last election.  I never believed there would be an African-American, or person of color, in the White House.  I wonder, what kind of wine President-elect Obama would enjoy?

I’m ready for Thanksgiving; I am looking forward to the Holidays.  Here is a video to my suggestions for pairing Thanksgiving dinner with wine.

I am anxious about this video post, it’s raw video, and I appreciate any feedback.

Reg

Black Dragon – True Sake

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Although the focus of Vinoyo is to become wine network for people who love wine, occasionally I will include post on my other liquid passion: sake.  I would like to introduce more African-Americans, and people of color, to the Joy of Sake.

Below is a article I wrote for the feature “sake spotlight” I wrote for the True Sake monthly newsletter earlier this year.  I’ve mentioned True Sake, and the proprietor Beau Timken, in a previous post (Osaka – Stranger In A Strange Land). www.truesake.com

 

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Association of African American Vintners – Juneteenth 2008 – COPIA

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

AAVA Copia 003     

On Saturday, June 14, the annual event celebrating the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV) was held at COPIA in Napa, CA.  I was my first time attending this event which included panel discussions followed by wine tasting.   This was a fantastic event:  well attended,  enthusiatic panel discussions; good, food, music and people.  Even the weather was nice.  The annual AAAV event is an excellent opportunity to learn and enjoy wines produced by African-American vintners.  I highly encourage you to attend next years event.  I’ll be there.

Later that evening, my wife and I, enjoyed dinner at 1300 Fillmore on Fillmore St. in San Francisco.  1300 features a menu of noveau-soul food by Chef David Lawrence.   I recommend the “shrimp ‘n’ grits.”  Many of the wineries featured at the AAAV event are featured on the wine list.  Highly recommended. 

AAVA Copia 001

Panel 2 – left to right: Pam Moore (moderator), Dr. Ernest Bates (Black Coyote Wines), Stephen Sterling (Esterlina Vineyards & Winery), Daniel J. Bryant (Running Tiger Wines), Vance Sharp III (Sharp Cellars), Stover Oaks Winery (Louis Garcia), Vision Cellars (Mac McDonald)

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One of the world’s premier sommeliers, Mr. Andre Mack, and his proud mother

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Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars with a glass of his supurb ’07 Rose

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Mrs. and Mr. Daniel Bryant (Running Tiger Wines)…their outstanding Syrah was a big suprise

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Juneteenth featured wines

Some of the wineries featured.

Reg

Osaka – Stranger In A Strange Land

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

In early December ’07, I returned from a two week trip to Japan. It was my fourth trip to Japan in the past 6 years. I went to Osaka to visit my in-laws and to spend some time in, what is now, one of my favorite palces to travel. On this trip, I primarily stayed in Okasa, but made excursions to Koyasan and Kyoto.

This was my fouth trip to Japan in 6 years. Over the course of these excursions, I have traveled from Fukuoka to Tyoko, and many points in between. I never thought that I would enjoy Japan, but I now love being there. As a matter of fact, I previously had no interest in re-visiting Asia. I have done my share of globetrotting, mostly in Europe and Africa. My only trip to Asia was a week long journey to Singapore and Maylasia about 15 years ago, and although I had a good time, I was not impressed enough to return to Asia. Through the fateful, and fortunate, accident of marriage, Japan has become my favorite place to journey.

Kyoto 2007

I particularly love to visit Japan in the Fall…

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When it’s cool outside

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

 When the weather turns to this wintery, below 60 degrees,  there are a few specific wines that I think about! Along with that, a few season specific foods that come to mind. In my kitchen, this is the time to indulge in hearty foods, hearty vegetables,  carrots, turnips, squash/ pumpkins and of course MUSHROOMS!!!!!!!  Pastas, especially stuffed pastas ( ravioli, tortellini, etc) risottos and ragouts, cassoulets which implies beans, sausages and confits of meat ie: duck, pork, quail, squab and I could go on for a while still.  I get very excited to link food and wine.

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Thanksgiving (“you won’t want pumpkin again”)

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday.  It’s all about fellowship, food, family and friends.  It has nothing to do with religion or gifts.  I like the idea that all across America, people are sitting down and pretty much having the same thing for dinner.  Even those less fortunate are often able to have turkey for dinner.  Unity for your fellow Americans…Let’s Eat! (more…)

Anthem

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

 Food and wine paring.  What about food and music paring?  I’m serious.  When I have a glass of wine, often think of what food would compliment the wine.   When I listen to music, I occasionally think of what wine would compliment the music.

I am a jazz fan.  Straight ahead jazz.  Recently I’ve been listening to Christian Scott’s lastest album, Anthem.  I really dig this Cat.  Mr. Scott is a trumpet player orginally from New Orleans.  I like his style.  It’s hard to describe his sound.  Not Bebop,  kind-of-a Funkybop.  Reminds me of Miles album Tutu.  Check it out, especially the last cut on the album featuring Brother J of X-clan.

Anyway, Anthem has been in heavy rotation at the household for the past two weeks and I’ve been thinking of what wine would compliment this album.  Anthem is hard, but smooth.  It has an edge, but the more I listen to the album the more layers are uncovered.  It’s complex.  I am thinking a Bordeaux would go well with this CD.  But this is vibrant, New World music so I tried a Napa Cab.   Brown Estate’s 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  Perfect synergy…

Brown CS 2002

 Brown Estate is located in Chiles Valley District of Napa Valley and they are known for their zinfandels.  I found Brown by tracing the vine from another Napa vintner know for zins, Green and Red.  It’s an African American owned winery.  They previously sold their zinfandel grapes to local wine makers but started producing their own wine in 1998 (?).  Their first Cab came out in 2001 and they have recently added a chardonnay.  Brown Estate features my favorite label.  It’s a simple label, but strong and features a scarab.  My second favorite label is Calon-Segur (Bordeaux).  I like simple wine labels that have meaning.

 I know Brown’s zins but I was skeptical in regard to their Cabs, but the 2002 Cab is excellent.  The colour of this wine is amazing.  A beautiful deep ruby colour suggesting extensive skin contact during extraction.  Strong expression of the grape varietal.  Nice acidity and crisp tannins.  Good balance.  Exceptional finish.  This wine also has legs…if properly stored I think will hold for another decade.  I’m impressed by this wine.  I am very impressed with the 2002 Napa Cabs.

Like the CD, Christian Scott’s Anthem, this wine builds.  Meaning, after letting the wine breathe for two hours the flavor of the wine has really come into it’s own.  Complex…Syngery.

Cheers to Christian Scott and Brown Estate.  I’m ready for Monday.

For dinner?  I paired this wine and music combo with steak.  A Kobe (Wangu) flank steak, pan cooked medium well.  Seasoned with a garlic infused soy sauce I bought back from Miya-jima (Japan).

My favorite album title?  Winelight, by the late-great Grover Washington Jr.  I’ll have to listen to this this album again, it’s been awhile.  I think I’ll pair it with an Italian barbera…

Reg

Harvest For The World

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Grace Family Vineyards harvest 07 005 

On Sunday morning, September 30th, I had the fortune of participating in the annual Grace Family Vineyards Harvest in Napa Valley.  I was invited by Mack and his wife.

We left San Francisco at 6am, started harvesting around 8am and finished by noon.  There were approximately 150 invited guests from around the world.  As a group we harvested slightly more than 8 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon from three sites.  The Grace Family provided lunch (serious homemade tacos)

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I met a lot of good people.  Spent some time talking with Dick Grace (in photo, between Mack and I) about faith and politics.

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  It was a beautiful day in Napa.  A Harvest For The World. 

Love to the Grace Family.

Reg