Gift Guide: For the Wine Lover and Cocktail Enthusiast

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Since I am a wine lover and cocktail enthusiast myself, I thought it would only be appropriate to have a separate gift guide for those who love…wine and cocktails!  I do have a knack for collecting stemware (can’t have too many) and gift barware items to my husband all the time (he’s the resident bartender at home) so creating this list was super fun for me.  These are truly gifts that keep on giving.  Without further ado…

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Food & Wine’s 2013 Wine Guide (I own this book and refer to it quite often!)

Iittala stemware

Chic and modern stemware from Iittala

william_sonoma_iceKing Cube silicone ice cube trays (perfectly chills your drink while melting slowly)

amazon_bitters_setFee Brothers cocktail bitters set

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How about a monthly subscription to a favorite winery?

electric wine opener

Electric wine opener (cordless and re-chargeable)

wine saver

Vacuum wine saver

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Blind tasting stemware

Wine Bar Wednesday

Last night I attended my first formal ‘Intro to Wine’ class at the SF Wine Center in San Francisco.  Let me just say that it was a great class. Finally, the class I’ve been waiting for where I really learn how to taste wine.  Taught by Mary Burnham, freelance food and wine writer at Food & Wine and the author of the 2011 & 2012 Food & Wine Magazine Guide to Wine, the class was fun and educational, all packaged in one 1.5 hr class. I highly recommend this class and cannot wait to take some others at the SF Wine Center!

Here is the Cliff’s notes version of how to taste wine:

1. Start with color or hue: how light or dark is the wine color? Intensity? Rim variation?

2. Swirl the wine and take a deep whiff: what do you smell?  How complex and intense are these smells?

3. Take a sip and observe how the wine feels around the mouth: sweet/dry? what is the weight of the wine? (heavy or light) Is it acidic? Are there tannins?

4. Notice the length of the wine’s finish.

5. Other factors to describe the wine: balance, consistency, vintage, climate where the grapes were grown and harvested, old or new world, etc.

I leave you with a fun quote:

“I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.” — W. C. Fields

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100 days of Summer Salads

It’s been pretty hot lately in the South Bay and all I want to eat are salads for lunch…and dinner. A hearty and colorful salad is not only a great way to get your vitamins, but also your daily H2O.  These delicious and beautiful salads from Food & Wine caught my eye and I can’t wait to make them this week!

ImageImageImage          Kale salad with chicken, Smoked fish with pickled beans and egg, Peanut noodle with cucumber and roast pork

YUM!