Category Archives: food and Wine

Butternut Squash Parm?

I am in the mood for a new winter dish … and I may have just found it. Here is the promo. And here is the link for more, as well as the recipe.

February isn’t an easy month to be healthyish, even when it’s your job. I started January extremely ambitiously, but now I’m staring down the contents of my fridge, unable to contemplate another root-vegetable-centric meal. So it makes sense that, when this Butternut Squash Parmesan recipe emerged from the Test Kitchen a few weeks ago, I had a complete meltdown…a happy meltdown. “It’s SO goooooood,” I told freelance recipe developer Lauren Schaefer, who developed this riff on eggplant Parm for Healthyish. Then basically everyone else on staff got their hands on a piece, and they agreed. It’s everything we want in a Parm, with the ideal ratio of tomato sauce to cheese and squash that cuts like butter and melts in your mouth. Winter, touché.

It will come out looking like this

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Here is a variation — parm butternut squash fries

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Or how about a parm butternut squash pasty?

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I had no idea that butternut squash could be so much fun!

Go for it!


The Most Exciting Terroir in the World!

That might belong to Chateau Coutet in St. Emilion.

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The thing I like about Chateau Coutet is its eccentricity. The wines are not made the way they are supposed to be made — meaning according to current market trends. Instead, the family that runs the place makes their wines as they always did.

It is a family affair, and it is one that stretches back perhaps 20 generations.

Check out this Forbes overview of what goes on there! Better yet, pick up a bottle!


The World’s Most Successful Wine Festival Just Ended

What was it? The Naples Winter Wine Festival, in Florida.

The Festival is the world’s most successful, having raised $191 million since its 2001 inception. It also attracts the finest talents in wine and food, luminaries such as Chef Charlie Palmer and Vintner Olivier Krug come to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples each January to donate, collaborate and reconnect. Tim Mondavi, son of the late Robert Mondavi and Partner of Continuum Estate, has been attending the auction for years.

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Positive energy ! Sounds like fun!


Weinrieder Eiswein Is a Nice Wine!

Ice wine or as the Germans and Austrians would write it, Eiswein, is one of those pleasures of life that you need to experience to appreciate.

I can tell you what it is — wine made from grapes that are only harvested after they freeze on the vine — but that doesn’t tell you why it is special. Similarly, I could say that it is intense and sweet and nuanced, like nice Sauterne, but once again, that doesn’t get you there.

Perhaps if I told you that this evening, I opened a bottle of Weinrieder Eiswein 2014 just for a taste,  drank the whole bottle and had a delightful snooze?

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Here is some data from Lant Street Wines, Lonon


Kleinhadersdorf, Weinviertel, Austria

Weinrieder are incredible white wine specialists based in the centre of the Weinviertel region in Austria, in the village of Kleinhadersdorf. Owner and winemaker Freidrich Rieder and his family are intent on producing high quality, fruit-driven wines and Eisweins. As well as producing peppery Gruner Veltliners typical of the area, racy full-flavoured Riesling, fine Chardonnay, and rich, minerally Weissburgunder Rieder has a great reputation as an Eiswein specialist and the wines regularly achieve marks of 90+.

The estate comprises about 20 acres across the best south/southwest-facing sites, growing Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Weissburgunder, Chardonnay and the indigenous red grape St. Laurent, which is used to make a light pink eiswein. The single vineyards Birthal, Kugler, Schneiderberg, Hohenleiten, and Bockgärten are particularly renowned. The predominately loess and loam soils impart minerality to compliment the characteristic “pepper” spiciness found throughout the region. Early and consistent work in the vineyards, including an extremely rigorous green harvest, promotes thick skinned fruit able to withstand a long hang time. Production is relatively simple – the winery is full of spotless stainless steel tanks for long cool fermentations with extended lees contact. Rieder feels that, as so often in cool climate winemaking, preparation and the timing and careful execution of the harvest are his most important tools.

Brian Freedman’s Wines of the Week

Brian is a travel, wine and food writer based in my former home own, Philly. He writes his column for Forbes, and I really like i. His picks for this week.

Red .

Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Napa Valley

The rich yet detailed nose immediately indicates that this is a wine of immense pleasure and potential, with cassis and a touch of blueberry joined by plum, chocolate, grilled sage, and scorched earth: The balance between fruit and more savory aspects here is otherworldly. These lay the foundation for a palate of impressive generosity and structure, with a beautiful minty lift to flavors of black cherry and currant, sweet spice, and violets that ride through the long finish. It’s rare to find a wine with so many decades in front of it that is this memorable so early. Beyond stunning. SRP: $250

White –

Mirabeau en Provence “Étoile” Rosé 2017 Côtes de Provence

Aromas of red cherry and cranberry and undercut by hints of leather and dried oregano. The palate is remarkably savory, with cantaloupe, kumquat, cherry, and cranberry, and a briny edge to the tobacco and spice. It’s all carried on a concentrated texture with mouthwatering acidity. Don’t let the arrival of winter stop your rosé drinking! SRP: $30

Have You Tried Wines from Quincy?

Err … where is Quincy?  Off the top of my head, I would have drawn a blank to that question … but then I check ed out this article from Forbes. It is an appellation in the Loire Valley

France’s Loire Valley may be known for its fairy-tale-like architecture—French Gothic and Renaissance styled chateaus built as follies, fortifications, hunting lodges (or to appease mistresses)—but it’s also a historic region of wines. Originating from early Roman plantings and produced all through the Middle Ages, the wines have been blessed by religious orders, drunk by nobility and written about by scholars such as native son François Rabelais.

For non-wine fanatics, this is the idea

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And for winos? This!

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And Quicy?

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Quincy is on the right side of the map, just above the river. Sancerre is on he other bank.

“In Paris,” says Roumet, “when you order a glass of white wine, you have a Sancerre. When you order a bottle it’s from Quincy.” With its high-acid freshness, green edge and citrus spark (think more like grapefruit), it shares similarities with the Sauvignon Blancs produced in nearby Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, but those from Loire’s tiniest appellation offer a more approachable price point, most averaging $17.50 a bottle, while, a search of the 20 most popular wines on shows Sancerre averaging around $34 a bottle.

I will give this a try!