Surprises Hide in Nebraska

I had the opportunity to visit Todd’s hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, this weekend. I didn’t know what to expect, really, other than flatland and corn fields. I was half right. There’s a lot of corn up there, lining the roads almost as soon as you leave any metro areas, and wheat is plentiful, too! It blows around and gets to where it lines the streets, cornfields and even finds root in bushes planted at the cemetery (we were in town for the unfortunate reason of a funeral). But Lincoln didn’t seem all that flat to me. Apparently it’s in a
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Kitchen Fun!

During a manicure at the Nail Bar (literally a nail place that does your manicure at a wood-and-tile bar while you sip wine or cocktails) I offered to let a friend come over one Saturday and we’d spend the day in the kitchen, preparing awesome food and then have a small dinner party with our significant others. And lots of wine. After many reschedules, we finally had our kitchen day. Dinner is Served! The Menu Bacon-Wrapped Artichoke Hearts Individual Beef Wellingtons with Onion Marmalade and Goat Cheese Garlic Green Beans Oven-Roasted Red Potatoes Crullers with Vanilla Ice Cream Q arrived
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Green Eggs and Lamb, with Apologies to Dr. Seuss

Image by tombothetominator via Flickr I couldn’t resist that title. Yesterday I was invited to join some winos, er, I mean oenophiles for an Easter potluck dinner. It was fun to meet new people and fun to drink really good wine although I paced myself considerably. In my red wine haze, I can only remember one wine called Rocky (after a dog not Sylvester Stallone). Most, if not all, were paired well with the food at hand. It was potluck and we got lucky as the food was superbly delicious and the company outrageous. Almost everything was prepared on the
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Cuvee Wine Bar & Cellar – Bellbrook Ohio

Author’s note:  Since Circle Of Food has a national audience, I suggest that you not focus on the local aspect of this wine bar post but more so on the “concept” and “lifestyle” aspect of it.  Find something similar in your neck of the woods. Here is my LAFF group at our recent event at Cuvee Wine Bar.  That’s me, Mary Johnson, in the first row, second from the right.  Have you started your own LAFF group yet?  Hopefully, by my sharing our activities, you’ll get ideas on how to get together with your friends in a relaxed way that doesn’t add much
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Don’t buy this bottle of wine-plastic corks

My Thanksgiving dinner got pared down to three people…another friend plus her husband who recently came home from the hospital. I prepared some food which I brought to her house and while it was heating, two of us were going to have a glass of wine. Wrong! We could not open the damn wine bottle with the plastic cork. The first attempt broke her plastic rabbit ear corkscrew. I myself have broken several metal rabbit ear corkscrews trying to open plastic corkscrews.  For all I know this is a corkscrew conspiracy so people, chumps like me, will buy more corkscrews
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Meet the Reds: Pinot Noir

I saved my favorite for last. Yes, I’ve been on a serious Noir kick for the last few years and, once again, it has nothing to do with a certain wine movie I’ve yet to watch. Although, if that had anything to do with Pinot Noirs being easier to find, then, okay, maybe it has a little something to do with it. As a grape, Pinot is another farmed in the Burgundy region of France as well as Champagne–according to one source 75% of Champagne is produced by Pinot Noir grapes. It’s grown all over Europe, actually, as well as
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Sips & Shots: Meet the Reds: Malbec

Not exactly a new grape, Malbec is one of many grown in the Bordeaux region, usually as a mix-in to (once again) smooth out Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a very popular grape to plant, however, in South America and it’s the Argentina Malbecs that really are something worth looking into. They range in temperament from soft and fruity to bold and spicy. The latter is my favorite and what I had the pleasure of tasting at a local wine festival. The spice notes were slightly smoky and really developed into a nice finish, tingling in the back of my throat. An
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Beaujolais Nouveau 2009-wine marketing 101

Image by dalylab via Flickr By the time you read this message on Thursday, November 19, the Internet’s bandwidth will be plagued by hundreds of blurbs about Beaujolais Nouveau hitting the market just in time for Thanksgiving consumption. Those French, they certainly know how to market the hell out of a young grape wine like Beaujolais Nouveau and why not? Good for them. I have a love hate relationship with Beaujolais Nouveau, sometimes I love it (last year was good) but one year I hated it and poured the entire bottle down the drain. It was horrid. One year I
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Sips & Shots: Meet the Reds: Merlot

Oh, probably one of the better known reds and, in some circles, the most maligned. Just the word “Merlot” sounds like smoky back rooms and femme fatales making breathy requests of the sommelier. Or something like that. Of course, just as quickly I’m reminded of Selma Blair’s nose-in-the-air reminder to her guests to not forget to “bring your own Merlot” (in Legally Blonde). And I’m told there are some very negative sentiments towards this particular grape in a certain wine-centric movie that I haven’t gotten around to watching myself. (I know, for shame, one of these days…) The Merlot grape
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December Wine Specials at Giant Eagle

Originally uploaded by Firenzesca A Acacia ’07 Chardonnay $13.99 SAVE $3. $10.99 Bright and crisp, with apple and pear flavors make this California wine a real treat. Try this at our in-store demo on Saturday December 13th Sterling ‘06 Napa Valley Chardonnay $19.99 SAVE $4. $15.99 This Chardonnay is rich and creamy with toasty oak that adds to its lingering finish. Available to taste Sat. Dec 20th Chandon Brut Classic $21.99 SAVE $4. $17.99 This sparkling wine is crisp and refreshing on the palate…a perfect way to ring in the New Year! Mark West ’07 Pinot Noir $14.99 SAVE $3.
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