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Month: December 2018

Bubbles 101 – Prepping for New Year’s Eve

5 minute read A Bubbles Primer It is almost New Year’s Eve, the evening we drink an estimated 360 million glasses of Champagne and sparkling wine in the USA. That is a lot of bubbles. Notice that I said Champagne and sparkling wine. Are they not the same thing? Well, it’s complicated. First, all Champagne is sparkling wine, but most sparkling wines are NOT Champagne. Stay tuned, I will explain below. Second, all Champagnes and sparkling wines have additional carbon dioxide dissolved into the wine that creates the bubbles once you open the bottle. After that, is when it gets…

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Bordeaux-Style Red Blends and Variations

As the weather has gotten cooler, I have slowly gravitated from rosé to red wine, and for the first time in years, I am drawn to the Bordeaux varietals and Bordeaux-style red blends. There is something about their boldness and their power that can warm the cockles of your heart. Chill, be gone! What is Bordeaux-Style Red Blends? I say Bordeaux-style because Bordeaux is a wine region in France known for growing specific grape varietals. Thus Bordeaux-style wines use the same varieties of those produced in Bordeaux. A Bordeaux red blend usually combines two or more of these classic varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc,…

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Appetizer Platters – Dress Them Up !

Appetizer Platter, Cheese Board, Antipasto, Cheese & Charcuterie Platter… there are many names, but they all mean the same thing. Meats and cheeses mingled with pickled veggies, fresh fruits and veggies, dried fruits, nuts, sauces, condiments and just about anything your heart desires. At this time of year, these appetizer platters are made for holiday parties all around the world. I love making these platters, but I also know it is easy to get it in a rut putting out the same items time after time. So on Sunday, my neighbor Natalie along with her kids and her parents came…

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Caramelized Tomato-Fennel Butter

The origin and creation of my Caramelized Tomato-Fennel Butter came from a childhood memory that I have never been able to forget. Decades have passed since I lived in Hilliard and this flavor always stuck with me. A few months ago when making dinner, I got a bit of tomato paste on my finger, and I licked it off. Out of nowhere, this memory of Luigi’s sub sandwich came flooding into my head, and I solved a mystery that I have wondered about my entire adult life. The Childhood Memory When I was a kid growing up in Hilliard, Ohio we would order pizza…

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