Becker Estate Pinot Noir

A nicely balanced, food-friendly wine that comes from the Pfalz region of Germany (near Alsace). Definitely the flavors of a cool weather pinot noir, restrained, balanced, not an overabundance of fruit. Nor does it have the barnyard, brooding mushrooms or depth we like in red burgundy.  It holds a middle position. And that’s OK with…

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CicLAvia pix

Some photos from yesterday’s second CicLAvia. We had a great time. Weather was perfect for this, mid to upper 60s and sunny. Click the thumbnails for larger images. This slideshow is a little eccentric. To exit the slideshow, click on the image itself.

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A happy mistake

This Pascal Bellier 2009 Cheverny was supposed to be a white. I’d picked it up at Silverlake Wine  and didn’t really look at it too hard until i was stowing it at home. Reds from Cheverny in the Loire valley are predominately Gamay. Not cab franc, which is prominent to the west. So, think cru beaujolais…

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Cherasuolo di Vittoria

Last night, we used these strawberry tomatoes from the Hollywood Farmers Market to make one of our favorite pasta dishes. The orecchiette turned out very well, although it took a little longer in the oven to get the tomatoes to break down to a mushable mash. We’d opened up the Planeta the night before. This…

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Chermoula

An all-time favorite fish preparation from Roger Hayot’s Authentic Cafe Cookbook (see sidebar). No idea how authentic this recipe is, but we really love it. The chermoula is a sauce that’s pretty quick to make and quite pungent. Since that book is no longer in print, I’m going to type out the ingredient list with…

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A visit with an old friend

It’s been a couple years since we last bought and drank a Passopisciaro. And I know why. But it has nothing to do with the taste. It’s a fantastic, versatile wine that’s good with lighter pastas, a spicy pizza, mushroom risotto or even a roasted chicken. Shiny, transparent rubies, it’s very pretty in the glass.…

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Bordeaux

Just arrived in Bordeaux, having driven up from Carcassonne via Agen (no relation, I’m afraid). Enjoying my glass of Margaux while G’s Graves is a little tannic to her tastes. Pretty two-story merry-go-round in the square.

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Le Pic-Nic

By lunch today, we had left Auberge Veyret in Bardenat, seen the Saturday market in Sarlat-Le-Caneda (huge) to pick up some bread, cheese, sanglier (wild boar) sausage, some plastic cups and a cheap knife. We were lucky enough (great!) to be allowed to check in at the Hotel Pontet (just OK) in Beynac just off…

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L’etape Gourmande

Drive just outside the town of Villandry, famous for its fantastic chateau & even more spectacular ornamental gardens and jardin potager is a farm and restaurant called L’Etape Gourmet. After reading a little, we opted toward here when we were staying in Chinon. However, many people lunch here when traveling from Amboise to Chinon or…

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