Monthly Archives: March 2008

Red Wine With Fish, Revisited

    Normally, we answer questions from Vinesse wine club members or visitors to under the heading of “Wine FAQ.”

     But the very specific question sent in by Shirley Kmett motivated me to jot down a few thoughts of a bit more general nature.

     First, let’s answer Shirley’s question, which is:…


Posted in Editor's Journal

Holy Mole! Don't Forget the Wine!

    Mention Mole to most Americans, and they’ll recognize it as a Mexican sauce that includes a bit of chocolate flavor.

     That would be Mole Poblano, which often is served at festivals or other celebrations. The acclaimed Frontera Grill in Chicago, home of celebrity chef Rick Bayless, serves it atop chicken-filled enchiladas – its touch of sweetness serving to mellow the gentle kick of the dish.

     Poblano is not the only type of Mole, however. Others skip the chocolate and incorporate a wide range of ingredients, including chiles of assorted colors and hotness levels, sesame seeds, nuts, spices, garlic and…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

The Quintessa Approach to Biodynamics

    The Quintessa Estate in the northeast corner of Napa Valley’s Rutherford district has been farming biodynamically since 2000.

     In 2005, the entire 280-acre property was converted to 100 percent organic and biodynamic farming practices. At the fall equinox, the biodynamic preparation is made from cow manure and fermented in a cow horn buried in the soil until spring. At the spring equinox, it is removed and used as a soil spray to stimulate root growth and humus formation.

     Biodynamic compost is another fundamental component of the biodynamic method. After harvest, compost is spread across the vineyards, and…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Soup and Chardonnay to Warm the Soul

    Try this tasty recipe from Down Under, which makes 8 servings, with a glass of Chardonnay.



*  8 cups chicken broth
*  1 large butternut squash, cut into 1-in. cubes…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Zinfandel and Its California Personality

***image2***    For eons, everyone in the wine world considered Zinfandel to be a “California native.”

     (No, we’re not talking about some dude named Zinfandel with a dark tan, Moss Lipow sunglasses and a rad sports car; we’re referring to the winegrape known as Zinfandel.)

     Obviously, ampelographers knew the variety – a member of the vitus vinifera species – had to have originated in Europe. But with its heritage shrouded in mystery, Californians promoted the grape as an…

Posted in Wine in the Glass

Bordeaux Will Define Its Carbon Footprint

    A major study into the wine trade’s carbon emissions has been announced in Bordeaux, Decanter reports.

     The study, the Bilan Carbonne initiative, announced by the Conseil Interprofessionel des Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB), will be carried out over the next six months, with results expected by September.

     Climatologist consultant Jean Marc Jancovici, who has previously carried out carbon studies for both LVMH and the Champagne trade…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

In Pursuit of Bubbly Bliss

    The House of Salon began in the late 19th century when its founder, Eugene-Aime Salon, set out to realize his dream of making “the perfect Champagne.”

     At that time, Champagne was produced from a blend of 75 percent black grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and 25 percent white grapes (Chardonnay).

     Aime felt that black grapes added a cumbersome heaviness to Champagne, but were necessary according to conventional wisdom to…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction

The Great Oak Controversy of 2007

    One of the hot topics in the wine world last year involved the overuse of oak barrels by some vintners.

     How could oak barrels possibly be controversial? The short answer is that, by an increasing number of winemakers in a growing number of wine-producing countries, wine is being “manufactured” as opposed to “crafted.”

     What I mean by that is this: Instead of making a wine that is a direct reflection of the grapes and the climate, more and more vintners are blending grape varieties, selecting specific types of oak barrels and…

Posted in Editor's Journal

A Red Wine… a Hearty Stew… and Thou

  A fruity red wine is the perfect match for this hearty recipe, which serves 4 to 6.



– 1 T olive oil

– 2 carrots, chopped…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Wine Auction Benefits Good Causes


Classic Wine Auction at the


Convention Center raised $3 million for five local charities, the Portland Business Journal reports.

       The five charities are Metropolitan Family Service, New Avenues for Youth, Friends of the Children, Trillium Family Services and




       “This year’s auction went above and beyond our expectations,” said Heather Martin, executive director of the Auction. “The dynamic…

Posted in Wine Buzz
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