Posts from March 2011

Bonal, St Germain, Tariquet, Dolin, French Spirits Soiree, April 14, New York

I could not fit in my headline all the spirits that will come out of the bottles at French Spirits Soiree on April 14, 2011 in New York.

Besides Bonal, St Germain, Tariquet Armagnac, Dolin Vermouth, you will get a taste from Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal, Cointreau, Benedictine, Pastis Ricard, June Liqueur, G'Vine Gin, Nolly Prat, Pernod Absinthe and Lillet.

Thankfully with all these libations, cheeses and charcuterie courtesy of Murray's Cheese and artisan bread by SCRATCHbread will be served.

Music by The Hot Sardines swimming all the way from Marseille...


Event presented by The Dizzy Fizz in partnership with Thrillist Rewards.

Time and Location: Astor Center on April 14, 2011 from 6:30 to 10:00 PM.

Tickets: $55 for VIP entry at 6:30 p.m.; $40 for general entry from 7:30 to 10 p.m. (Tickets sold exclusively through Thrillist Rewards)

I shall be there

(* This is not a sponsored post, details landed in my mailbox and I thought I should share)

Full of Life, Generous, Domaine Brazilier, Coteaux du Vendomois Rouge 09

Call it a lingering post, story, thought.

A couple months ago, I received some wines to sample.

One of them came from an appellation I was not familiar with, AOC Coteaux du Vendomois.

It is a relatively new Loire Wines AOC, recognized only in 2000.

What I know is as soon as I opened the bottle I was conquered by its aromas.

First sip confirmed my first impressions.


This Rouge 2009 Tradition from Domaine Brazilier is generous.

This blend of Pineau d'Aunis, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir is fruit forward, full of life yet balanced.

Winemaker suggests cheese or grilled tuna as perfect pairings.

Buy 2 if you can find it.

(* Domaine Brazilier site is in French only)

Pickles and Prep, Streetside View of Balaboosta Kitchen, Mulberry Street, NY

On my leisurely walk around downtown New York (Tuesday), Southpark inspired Masterpieces were not the only thing that caught my eye.

At the intersection of Mulberry and Spring Street i noticed Balaboosta Kitchen 'coat of arms' and a second later, the jars of pickles lining the window.

Getting closer, i caught a glimpse of kitchen prep action.


I snapped this streetside view.

Life in the big apple around 6 pm on March 29...

Lufthansa News Flash on Introducing Green Sugarcane Food Trays, News or Not?

Like many others, I get my daily dose of Twitter Updates from @Luftansa_USA

Today they shared news that their unit Sky Chefs was (I quote) 'developing tableware made from 100% biodegradable sugar cane'.

Details were offered in On-Route to a Greener Flight

I am sensitive to these issues of packaging and waste yet I am no expert in the field so I went looking for bits of information on Sugarcane based food packaging and serving solutions.

I learned that these types of product have been on the market for 2 or 3 years.

Pros and cons of one line (by a company named GeoTegrity) of Sugarcane based Bowls and Trays are listed by Greener Package, a 'knowledge exchange for sustainable packaging'.


These green goods are made from sugarcane fiber and then molded, they are renewable, compostable, can be customized...made in China.

Not sure is there are any US or European makers of such products.

Even if they are not first users, i give credit to Sky Chefs for looking at ways to be greener.

Next time you and I purchase take-out food, prepared meals, meats, let's ask the restaurant or store if their packaging is compostable. If not we can nudge them to change.

(* Image above, GeoTegrity line)

Greco di Tufo Double Vertical Tasting by Calafe, My Miss at Vinitaly 2011

I don't know about you, in my case it's usually more fun to receive invitations for things you would like to attend and be able to.


In the case of Greco di Tufo Double Vertical Tasting by Calafe at Vinitaly 2011 (April 7-11) in Verona, it will be my miss since I will not be attending. Calafe will offer vintages from 2006 through 2010.

There is aways next year if I start planning now.

South Park Inspired Masterpieces, Cartman Kaiju Death, Opera Gallery, New York

It rarely happens to me, yesterday between an afternoon New Zealand Wine Tasting and an early evening Rum by the Dozen event presented by at , I had an hour plus to kill.

So I took a leisurely walk with some stops and a few snapshots taken along the way.

Seeing a South Park inspired Art Exhibit at Opera Gallery piqued my interest.

I walked in, took it all in, did not ask for prices, wondering all along where these pieces will land, museums, private homes?

With all the bleak news coming from Japan, the Japan tinged Cartman Kaiju Death by Trustocorp (a New York duo I was told) felt like one to share even with its sarcastic humor which I guess appealed to the Frenchman in me.

The piece is quite large so I could not capture it all.


Eric from the gallery staff told me the 'South Park' inspired exhibit opened on March 27, 2011.

Not sure when it ends!

Pop in if you are in the neighborhood.

Low Country Shrimp and Goat Cheese Grits Recipe, Tupelo Honey Cafe, the Book

We are traveling back to Asheville (North Carolina) after a recent stop at newcomers Curate opened by El Bulli alumni Katie Button.

Today you get southern fare as served at Tupelo Honey Cafe, a staple of the local food scene after a decade.

In Tupelo Honey Cafe (Andrews McMeel), farm-to-fork veteran Chef Brian Sonoskus teamed up with writer Elizabeth Sims to share 125 of his recipes.

You can now recreate their downhome flavors in comfort of your kitchen starting with seafood grits dish below.

Shrimp and Goat Cheese Grits with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Shrimp and grits is iconic fare in the Carolina Low Country, where it’s been a favorite on-the-boat breakfast for shrimpers for years. The dish was famously brought to the nation’s attention when New York Times legendary food writer Craig Claiborne, a Mississippi native, had dinner with Chef Bill Neal at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. With that prescient and sacred heritage right in our backyard, we take our shrimp and grits very, very seriously. The goat cheese grits is Tupelo Honey’s own signature twist.

2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons olive oil

1 pound large uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed

1 tablespoon minced garlic

½ cup thinly sliced roasted red bell pepper

2 tablespoons Creole Spice (recipe follows)

¼ cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)

3 tablespoons unsalted cold butter


Goat Cheese Basil Grits  (recipe follows)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add the shrimp and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the shrimp begins to turn a little pink. Add the bell peppers and Creole spice and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the peppers are heated through. Add the wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the shrimp turns pink. Remove from the heat and add the butter, swirling the pan to combine all the liquids. Serve the shrimp over the grits and top with the warm sauce left in the skillet.

Makes 4 servings


Creole Spice:

1 tablespoon sugar
2½ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper

Combine the ingredients and enjoy!

Makes ¼ cup


Goat Cheese Basil Grits:

3 cups water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1¼ cups quick-cooking grits

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons cream

4 ounces goat cheese

2 tablespoons chopped basil, for garnish

In a heavy saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil over high heat. Stir in the grits and butter and bring back to a boil. Add the cream and decrease the heat to low, simmering for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is creamy and thick. Remove the pan from the stove and whisk in the goat cheese until melted. Garnish with the basil.

Makes 4 servings

(* Photo and recipe from Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus/ copyright Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011)

Adam and Eve in Garden of Wine by Remy Bousquet

In the city of Montauban, Remy Bousquet ads a splash of humor to our days with his drawings.

Some of them are wine related like Adam and Eve in Garden of Wine (below).


You don't need to speak French to get the message.

One more reason to chose it.

Tuesday morning lite before heading to New Zealand New Releases Wine Tasting in New York.

Stand Up for 2011, International Year of Forests

Fresh news on Nature Capitale 2011 to be staged in Lyon made me aware that 2011 has been named International Year of Forests by United Nations.

Trees give us shade, construction materials, are turned into boats, prevent mudslides, clean the air, produce fruits to mention a few things that came to mind.


Other facts I learned from the official site:

-Forests are home to 300 million people

-Forests cover 31% of land area

-Forests are home to 80% of our earth biodiversity

To make all these elements come alive an International Forest Film Festival was set in collaboration with Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival...

Into the woods for Green Day # 170

Previously: With Corn Ear Shaped Bio Bottle Brita Claims Pole Position, In France?

(* Illustration is photo of "Corydalis cava (+ Robinia pseudoacacia) - mixed forest (48°09' N 16°57' E)" taken by HermannFalkner on March 20, 2011 and shared via Sokol stream on Flickr)

Hand on Heart, Count Michael of Manincor, A Favorite at Alto Adige Tasting

There were many good and better wines at Alto Adige Grand Tasting in New York on March 7.

Some producers made more of an impression on me than others not because of a specific wine rather because I liked their overall portfolio.

One of them was Manincor represented by Count Michael Goess-Enzenberg.

The count welcome lived up to the meaninng of Manincor, 'hand on heart'.


Vineyards at Manincor benefit from the sun beaming on slopes where they are situated and the coolling effects of lake Kaltern below.

All 125 acres are byodinamicalled farmed.

Amongst the 6 wines I tasted, i especially liked Terlano Bianco Reserva Della Contessa (2009) for its rich yet subtle character. I also enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc (2009), clean fresh taste, elegant.

In the reds, while the Pinot Nero Mason (2008) was good. I preferred the Lagrein Rubatsch (2008), 100% Lagrein, deep red robe and matching aromas...It called for hearty fare.

(* At time of the tasting, Manincor wines were not distributed in the US)