PEOPLE! There is no such thing as “white chocolate.” (With apologies to my friend Phyllis.*) When you hear the word “chocolate,” what do you think of? If you’re reading a novel and it says: “Her eyes were pools of melting chocolate…” Do you picture someone with white eyes? NO! That’s just silly besides being downright spooky. Of course you think of rich, dark brown. BROWN! Chocolate is not white. Ever. The stuff that they market as “white chocolate” is made from whatever is left over after the good stuff is squeezed out of the cocoa bean. It’s basically vegetable fat with very little flavor and, as anyone can see, no chocolate. Not even a little bit. None. I suppose they call it white chocolate because if they called it “white leftover vegetable fat” nobody would buy it. With good reason. So they pretend it’s chocolate. Which it is not. So why am I ranting about… Read More »
Oh my gosh — Half a dozen bottles of decades old wine has been hiding in the back of my wine cabinet. Is it still good? Only one way to find out: Have a party and open those puppies up!
Really? A $40,000 bottle of wine?? And no, I wasn’t the one drinking it! A short time ago a few friends and I got together for a special dinner of home-made mushroom and wild rice soup that was to die for. We brought our favorite Zinfandels from 2007, 2008 and 2009. They were delicious. Some more fruity and some more spicy. Some drier and some smoother, but all rich and well-balanced, at the perfect age to be enjoyed. With each sip, someone was saying, “this is so GOOD!” A few days after that I saw a society bit in the paper talking about celebrity friends who had indulged in a $300,000 (yeah, that’s five zeroes) dinner. Alcohol had to be in there somewhere, ya think? Sure enough: “six bottles of Romanee-Conti France’s Burgundy region were purchased at $40,000 per bottle.” I’m told this retails for $13,000 a bottle, but of… Read More »
It was several years ago that a wine buyer for a market told me I could not go wrong with zinfandel if I stuck to the Three R’s: Ridge, Ravenswood and Rosenblum. I think there might be a 4th R and there are many excellent zinfandels that don’t start with R — but it was a handy, quick guide. I thought of that a couple of weeks ago at the wine tasting at Marche Bacchus. We were tasting wines from Hahn Winery in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Santa Lucia AVA is on the backside of the mountains that face Monterey Bay. I’ve been there several times and loved the Hahn tasting room and always ended up buying a couple of bottles. In fact, just the night before I had opened a Hahn Syrah with my friend Susan. So at Marche Bacchus, we were listening to the merits of the various wines when… Read More »
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU WON! The e-mail flashed on my screen. “Look, Paddy, my bid won!” I gave Paddy a squeeze. Paddy gave me a large yawn and dug his claws into my thigh. “Hey!” I yelled as I pushed him off my lap. He raised his tail to me saying “That’s what you get for waking me up.” This is the first time I’ve actually won a bid on the Public Radio auction. I’ve checked it out in years past but have always been put off by the fact that the set opening bid was not that much lower than the stated value. I mean, isn’t the thrill of an auction the hope that you’re going to get a steal? Of course, the purpose of this auction is to support public radio, so one isn’t supposed to care about getting something for next-to-nothing. I’m not one of those people. The thrill of the auction… Read More »