Jul 14

Quick Sips: Abecela Reserve Tempranillo “South East Block” 2009

The Back Story: This is one of 10 wines that found its way to me so that I could become better acquainted with Oregon Wines thanks to Trellis Growing Partners. It is produced by Earl & Hilda Jones in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. This couple has a a passion for bringing spanish varietals to America. I am 90% sure that I met Earl a few years ago when I was tasting wines for Eno Wine Room in the Intercontinental in Chicago, and he was showing his Alberino at the time… I remember loving it, so naturally I was excited to taste and share my thoughts on their Tempranillo for you.

THE FACTS: Abacela Temp

Winery: Abacela abacela.com

Wine: Reserve Tempranillo “South East Block”

Grape: Tempranillo

Region: Umpqua Valley AVA, Southern Oregon

Vintage: 2009

Harvest Date:  October 6,  2009

Bottling Date: August 11,  2011

Release Date: October 1, 2013

Cooperage: French (100%); 17% New, 79% 2-­yr old, 4% neutral oak

Alcohol: 13.9%


Sight: Clear/ Transparent/ Shiny/ Rich Color Saturation/ Granite Core to Pink Rim/ No Gas or Sediment

Nose: No Faults/ Leads with: Dark Chocolate/ Black Cherry/ Dried Strawberry Followed by: Vanilla/Cinnamon/Leather/ Hibiscus Jam

Palate:  Medium Plus Body/ Medium Tannin/ Medium Acid/ Medium Plus Alcohol/Medium Plus Complexity/ High Quality Leads with: Jammy Cherries/ Strawberry Fruit Rollup/ Chocolate Powder Followed by: Gauloises Tobacco/ Saddle Leather/ Vanilla/ Hazelnut

Final Thoughts: This wine was truly a tasty treat that I feel is worth every penny of its suggested retail price of $50. I do think however right now it is young and gushingly fruit forward and it will only benefit from bottle aging another 5-10 years, at that point I think it can surely hold it’s own next to its Spanish Brethren. I enjoyed this wine with some spicy black bean and veggie chili, and it made my palate smile, I could also see it as a perfect match for aged gouda and dark chocolate, or seared pork belly.  This was a very exciting off the beaten path treat for Oregon, and I highly recommend sharing it with your most adventurous friends.


Sep 13

Spirit Lab: The Greenbar Distillery

Me & Melkon Green BarI first experienced GreenBar Spirits upon starting my new job as Beverage Director at The Muddy Leek  in Los Angeles. My 1st week was all about trying to figure out what my predecessor had left for me and where to go from there.  I noticed we were running low on our house rum, and before placing an order to restock I decided to try the stuff on our “reserve shelf”. I saw there was a rum called Carusoe. It caught my eye for three reasons: 1. It is organic, and so is our restaurant, 2. It is produced locally, and we are a farm to table concept, & 3. As an ex-Miami girl it reminded me of David Caruso from CSI Miami, and I am a lady that LOVES a bad crime show. And then I tasted it and I was blown away. As an ex-Floridian I pretty much grew up on rum, but this was so smooth, aromatic, and inviting!!!! I was hooked and had to know more about this Greenbar Distillery.

Recently  Dave and I had the privilege of touring the Greenbar Distillery in Downtown Los Angeles. We were guided by the Green Bar Pot Stillvery charismatic Melkon Khosrovian, Co-Owner of this Willy Wonka Factory for Adults. Upon arriving I was hit with the most amazing waft of citrus, only to later find out they had just been hand zesting tons of local organic oranges to be used in their Fruitlab Orange Liqueur. Melkon first took us to his stills. They have one classic Pot Still which up to this point has been churning out the bulk of their production, and they just acquired a Continuous Fractionating Column Still, which will allow them to have much more control over the finished product so that they can fully actualize the flavors they have steeping in their brains. The rest of this area is full of about twelve stainless steel, temperature controlled fermentation vats, similar to the ones that are used in wine production…. this is where all of the flavor magic happens. I felt like a kid in a candy store.

We chatted about how Greenbar came to be, and why he uses only local and organic fruits and botanicals. It turns out it all happened quite “organically”. There was not that Eureka moment where he and his wife woke up and said, today we are diving head first in to the spirits industry. It all started with a need for flavor. Basically he began infusing base spirits to create something that would satisfyColoum Still his wife’s discriminating palate. The couple soon became so good at creating tasty brews they could hardly keep up with the growing demand of their friends and family. And soon a company was born. The organic happened next and was also born purely out of a need for flavor. They had ordered a batch of celery and noticed that it was greener and more aromatic than the rest of the celery they had used. They were thrown for a loop. It totally changed their product. They went back to the farmer to inquire where this super celery came from, and he explained that in order to save their land they had gone organic. Suddenly a light bulb went on. They soon began using all organic produce, and sure enough their product was better and more consistent than it had ever been. This concept soon snowballed for them, and Greenbar was born. Now they are so green, that every time you have a cocktail made with Greenbar products you actually  reduce your carbon footprint by one day. So another great reason to stop by Muddy Leek, you can have one of my Greenbar based cocktails and feel better about yourself by saving the world the tastiest way possible. You may be trying to figure out this carbon footprint math so I will break it down for you. They work with all certified organic ingredients, which helps keep the farmland, the water and the consumers free of artificial fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, and GMOs. And as someone who just spend some time in the Rio Grande Valley of TX, where the water is so laden with pesticides it is undrinkable, I can not stress the importance of organic farming practices. They also use lightweight bottles, which uses less fuel to transport. They use 100% PCW recycled labels, and avoid using frosting or metallic paints which cause pollution. And my favorite thing is they plant one tree in Central American rain forests for every bottle sold. This is not only to replenish the forests, but also to provide shade for coffee and cocoa farmers to grow better products, and support their family.  So the equation is One person makes 121 lbs of CO2 daily + Greenbar cocktail is -137 lbs CO2= -16 lbs CO2. So when you drink GreenBar products, we all win!

Melkon then brought us to the tasting room, which is my favorite part! He first mixed up a delightful Ixa tequila, lime, and barkeepbitters_lavenderspice_Thumbpoppy tequila concoction. (Ixa is the only product not made on premises. It has to be made in Mexico, because it is much less green to uproot the Agave and truck it CA, and there is a good chance it would rot on the way, so Melkon makes an annual trip to Mexico to whip up this tasty Tequila.) We chatted about how when thinking of new products he is constantly chatting with bartenders and mixologists to come up with things that make the industry better and easier for us. He also explained his Bar Keep bitters program, where he actually holds an annual competition for bartenders across the country to submit their own bitters recipes, and whichever one wins gets added to the line, with the bartender getting a cut of each bottle sold — He may be seeing a Sara Kay submission next year 😉 So far there are: Apple, from Marshall Altier in New York, NY; Chinese, from Josh Loving in Austen TX; Fennel, from Adam Stemmler & Dustin Haarstad in San Diego, CA; and Lavender, from Tobin Eliis  & John Hogan in Las Vegas NV & Baltimore MD.

We then got down to the business of tasting the full line, and some specialty projects, like his truffle vodka that Melkon made for a truorganic_vodka_Thumbspirits dinner early on in his journey. That is one expensive shot for a discriminating palate ;). We tasted through the entire line of TRU vodkas: Straight, Lemon, Garden, and Vanilla. I appreciated that the infusions where not heavy-handed and did not taste synthetic, because they are not.There are tons of tasty cocktails that can be borne of these, and they were also highly enjoyable on their own, especially the garden, it reminded me of a less aggressive gin.

Speaking of Gin, our next stop was Tru Gin which has a honeyed color because they choose to make it in the fashion of the 16th century by macerating the botanicals in alcohol. They refer to it as Renaissance Gin, and it definitely offers a depth of flavor and is richer than most modern gins on the market. Their chosen botanical bunch is: Juniper, lemon, lavender, angelica, orris, coriander, vanilla, cardamom, clove, fennel, cinnamon, allspice, chamomile, & star anise…. and love.

We tasted  the IXÁ Organic Tequila on its own, and it erased all feelings of tequila I had stored up from a miss-sipped Green Bar Collective - Ixa Tequilayouth. And by miss-sipped I mean shots of rot gut te-kill-ya. This tequila is made with 100% organic blue heartland agave. This is a creamy tequila, with notes of thyme and clay. It is a fantastic sipper, and would be a great base for herbal cocktails. Melkon explained this was such a smooth sipper because they start with organic mature agave, which is sweeter and more flavorful. They quarter and steam the cactii in clay ovens for three days to caramelize the sugars, and then press the cooked agave and ferment the juice with a high ratio of agave fiber, and white wine yeast for a fuller flavor.  They then double distill it in an alembic pot still to taste, in super small batches. This deviates from the te-kill-ya production in that most large modern producers harvest young agave, then pressure cook it in stainless steel, they also only ferment the agave juice so you are not getting the richness from the fibers, and then they distill to maximum output.

We moved on to Slow Hand Organic Whiskey which is a white whiskey. It will confuse your average whiskey sipper, as it slowhand_whiskey_Thumbin not aged in charred oak, and glowing with hints of amber, and sweet nuttiness. Most aged whiskeys are made to highlight the distillers use of oak and blending, this one on the other hand is meant to highlight the grains (organic oats, barley, & spelt) to be exact), and that it does. It smells like cream and oats, and the barley gives it a nice nuttiness in the mid pallet. This is a great sipping whiskey, and would also be fun in a whiskey flight as a starter.

Crusoe Organic Rum (both silver and spiced) were up to bat next. I am familiar with the silver as it is the base of my cocktail the Celia at the Muddy Leek. I was originally drawn to this rum because it has more body and layers then most silver rums and is not overly sweet.  It turns out this line was inspired by Robinson Crusoe, and they combine Caribbean-style molasses, with California style fermentation.  For both rums they ferment molasses in temperature controlled tanks, with white wine yeast. Extended fermentation, and double distillation cursoerum_white_Thumb allows for fuller richer flavors. At this point their production varies a bit. For the Silver they use micro oxygenation, a technique common in the wine industry, they do this in place of oak aging the rum, which can strip it of some of its natural notes. For the Spiced they macerated whole cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, orange zest, Osmanthus flower, and molasses over a 3-4 week period, since they are dealing with whole ingredients, no two batches behave the same, so they taste each batch daily and add or subtract from the maceration until it reaches the desired symphony of flavors. Both of these rums make me think twice about dumping in a bunch of sugar and crushed mint.

We ended the evening exploring the Fruitlab Organic Liqueurs. I was already familiar with the Grand Poppy which is a California inspired take on classic European aperitives.  I used it as the mid-pallet note in my Celia cocktail, along with the Crusoe Silver Rum. It is bitter-sweet and honeyed. It is a blend of California poppy, orange, lemon, grapefruit, bearberry, California bay leaf, pink peppercorn, grandpoppy_btl_thumbdandelion, blessed thistle, burdock rue, artichoke, gentian, geranium, cherry bark, and cane sugar. And it shows. There is also Ginger, Hibiscus, Jasmine, & Orange. They are all amazing, and a mixologist’s friend, as they have a huge depth of flavor without being syrupy sweet.

It was such a treat to meet Melkon and taste his full portfolio. I know I will be proudly using GreenBar in any beverage programs I design, and I encourage all of you to as well… for your home bars. Not only are all of the products truly tasty, but they are all local, organic, & sustainable! And the more we as a market demand this, the more it will become available.

Cheers to GreenBar!

As a Parting tidbit I will share my Celia recipe.  I encourage you to try this at home!!! But if you are near Culver City then you can just stop in to The Muddy Leek (8631 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232) and I’ll mix one up for you.


The Celia Muddy Leek Logo

  • 2 oz Crusoe RumCelia
  • ½ Grand Poppy
  • 1 oz Lime
  • ½ Spicy cucumber syrup
  • ½ Simple syrup
  • 6 drops of Orange Blossom Water
  • Drop in a pickled sweet pepper, orange zest & mint in a Collins Glass with an Ice Spear
  • Shake & Strain Drink Mixture into The Collins Glass
  • Top with Club Soda

If you would like to contact GreenBar for more info,  or check out more tasty recipes here is how:


GreenBar Collective
2459 E 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 375-3668

Feb 13

Sara Kay’s Meatballs of Glory!

Queen Bean PotAbout: Meatballs are found in almost every culture, and can be dated back to 700 BC. They are, in essence, portable baby meatloafs. The purpose is to cut meat with other protein, starches, and veggies, to boost their nutrient value while stretching the meat. I have been a huge lover of meatballs forever — however, when my husband discovered his gluten allergy, I had to figure out how to adjust my recipe to accommodate.  This is my low carb, gluten-free version of a Southern Italian meatball.

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 30 min at 375 °

 Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 6 (4 balls each)

Calories per serving: 433

Carbs Per Serving: 2

Best Pairing: This really depends on what sauce you are serving the meatballs with… but assuming you are using a fresh tomato-based sauce, there is no better way to go than a rootie-tootie fresh and fruity red such as  Negroamaro from Puglia. The best part is that you can usually find one of  these at a wine store for that $10 sweet spot!

Tools Needed: Meatball Prep

  • Frying pan
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spatula
  • Bowl
  • Baking dish
  • Your hands
  • Latex gloves (Optional)

IngredientsMeatball bowl

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of shredded pecorino
  • 1 cup of shredded parmesan
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbl saltMeatball Kneeding
  • 1 tbl black pepper
  • 1 tbl extra virgin olive oil

How To: 

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375°
  2. Dice your onions and mince your garlic
  3. Heat frying pan on medium heat with 1/3 of your olive oil in it
  4. Add onions and cook til translucent, stirring often (about 3 min). Add your garlic for the last 30 secs to open up its aromatics
  5. Remove to bowlMeatball Balls of Joy
  6. Roughly chop your parsley and add to bowl
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients to bowl
  8. Put on gloves (if you wish), I find with gloves it helps keep the meat from sticking to my hands, helping me form the perfect ball.
  9. Knead all of the goods with your hands until fully integrated
  10. Use the rest of your olive oil to coat your baking dish
  11. Form the meat mixture into 1″ balls and place with a bit of space between them in the dish
  12. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 min (until tops are browned)
  13. Serve with your favorite greens, & sauce.
    • For a great recipe for fresh sauce check out The Puglian Cookbook by Viktorija Todorovaska http://www.facebook.com/ThePuglianCookbook
    • Tip: If you do not eat all of these in one setting, you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week. I sometimes like them for lunch with a little spicy ketchup.

Meatballs finished I hope this dish hits the Spot!

As always, feel free to share, or ask me any questions you may have.



Jan 13

The Veneto: 101

Veneto 2013We have been exploring the Tre Venezie on Wine Soaked starting with Trentino- Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Guilia, and today we are going to explore the most well know of this trio of wine regions that surround the city of Venice, that is The Veneto. Some people love this region’s wine for its complexity and some people see it as one of Italy’s major bulk wine  producers, and both of these sentiments are on the mark. We will see why as we explore the history, geography, grapes, wine-making techniques and wine regions of this very multi-faceted area.

The History of Wine Production in The Veneto

The Veneto, and Venice for that matter, take their name from a tribe that settled in the area around 1000 BC. It was one of theFlag leading trading ports and commercial empires in Medieval times, and it was the link between the Byzantine Empire and the Northern country of Europe. Wine was a major trading commodity, and this laid the groundwork for the Veneto to be a great wine growing region, with many influences of grape and vinicultural style from around the world.

It has had many high points and low points as far as quality goes through the ages, but one thing that has always been true of the Veneto is that it is capable of producing A LOT of wine. In fact, this was particularly exploited in the 1960s and 1970s when the main goal was to make as much “ok” wine as possible. This is the point when Valpolicella, Soave, and even Prosseco stopped being looked at as quality wines worth study and reverence, and instead became that passable wine on supermarket shelves for under ten dollars. That is not to say that there are not amazing producers of all of these wines, it is just to say that those producers are not the ones responsible for the Veneto producing the most wine in all of Northern Italy. One wine, however, that has always demanded respect from the region is Amarone, which we will talk about a bit later. There is has lately been a resurgence of lower yields and more quality as the demand for high-quality mid-priced wine has been rising on the international market.

The Geography of it All

veneto hillsOn the most basic level, The Veneto is in Northeastern Italy (The bottom of the ruffle on the garter).  The vast fertile alluvial plains of the Veneto (capable of producing a sea of bulk wine) stretch from Venice and the Adriatic Coast to the foothills of the Alps, and the border of Trentino-Alto Adige. This is where the magic happens! In the foothills there is less fertile soil, which makes for much more complex wine.

The best growing area is on the hills, on well-drained volcanic soil sprinkled with sand, clay, and gravel. The climate in the North and West can be quite cool and mountainous, where the further south and the closer to the Adriatic Sea you get it becomes warmer and more Maritime. There is also Lake Garda, and the Adige and Po rivers, that have a moderating effect on certain sub-zones.

The Grapes of Note


  • Garganega– Leading white grape. Probably of Greek origin, but it has been a key player in the Veneto since the Renaissance.  It is the key grape in the Soave & Gambellara regions.
  • Pinot Grigio– This is the key volume player. It is also used as a blending grape in Prosecco. It is light and easy-going, but its quality here pales in comparison to the neighboring regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia & Trentino-Alto Adage.
  • Trebbiano- Leading blending grape for Soave & Bianco di Custanza.
  • Prosecco aka Glera- Most likely native to Friuli-Venezia Giulia, but it is now almost exclusively grown in the Veneto as the leading grape in Prosecco Spumante, and Frizzante.
  • Tocai Friulano- Not as popular in the Veneto as in Friuli, but it is super unique and fun and does pop up in some high quality blends.
  • Vespaiola- This native grape is the base for some interesting dry whites and more notably some sweet wines.
  • Pinot Bianco- It is a minor grape as far as production goes, and is often used as a blending grape in Prosecco.
  • Chardonnay- It can make some easy access New World-style wines, but mostly it just falls into that “make a fast buck” wine-lake of the Veneto.


  • Corvina- This is the superstar red grape of the region. It is the star player in the blends of Amerone, Valpolicella, & Bardolino.
  • Rodinella- This is the second most important red grape. It is the supporting player in Amerone, Valpolicella, & Bardolino.
  • Molinara- This is the third runner up as far as red grapes go in the Veneto. It also usually is blended into Amerone, Valpolicella, & Bardolino.
  • Negrara- This is a background or accent grape that is only sometimes blended in Amerone, Valpolicella, & Bardolino.
  • Raboso- An indigenous red grape that makes easy fruit-forward reds in the regions of Raboso del Piave & Raboso Veronese.
  • Wildbacher- This is a black grape mostly used as a blending grape. Also found in Western Styria in Austria.
  • Merlot- Mostly it just falls in to that “make a fast buck” wine-lake of the Veneto, although it can also be used in a few interesting blends.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon- Always falls into the “make a fast buck” wine-lake… and is usually thin and unremarkable.
  • Cabernet Franc- Mostly DOC wine worth searching out, often barrique-aged.

Most Famous Wine Styles & Wine Making Techniques:

  • Amarone-  The name means “The bigger better one”. It is made in the Valpolicella region of the Veneto. It is even theDrying lofts same blend as Valpolicella — mostly Corvina with a backup blend of Rodinella, Molinara & Negrara.  The major difference is that these grapes are left on the vine for a longer period of time to achieve extra ripeness. Next, whole bunches are harvested, and left to dry on bamboo shelving or mats in cool drying lofts for two to three months. This causes the grapes to shrivel, further concentrating their flavor and sugars. When the grapes are finally crushed and pressed it produces an intense full bodied wine that is usually 15-16% in Alcohol.
  • Prosecco- This is a Spumante wine (Sparkling Wine) made primarily from the Prosecco grape. Instead of employing the Traditional Method, this sparkler is made in the Charmat Method, which means that the second fermentation occurs in pressurized tanks, instead of in individual bottles. In Venice it is considered an ombrette, or pick-me-up!Prosecco-037
  • Soave-Traditionally this white is a blend of Garganega & Trebbiano. It is best described as light, fresh, and smooth. Due to the cash-grab wine industry expansion in this region in the 1970s, you are often better off seeking out Soave Classico (which comes from the original foothills of the region), or better yet Soave Classico Superiore, which must be aged for Eight  months before release. There is also a tiny amount made in the recioto method  — this is the the drying method also employed in Amarone & recioto della Valpolicella. However, here the fermentation is halted before all of the sugar is converted to alcohol, leaving stunningly complex, sweet white wine.
  • Valpolicella – Like Amerone, Valpolicella is made from Corvina blended with Rondnella, Molinara, and a few other Garganega-drying-2008-006permitted surprises. After that, the similarity splits off. Valpolicella is now split into five distinct styles.
    1. Basic– Lightweight grapey wine which is not usually aged and can come from anywhere in the Valpolicella region. (This is a product of that aforementioned 1970s greed rush.) I will not say that all of these are bad, but they’re not likely to be life-changing wines.
    2. Valpolicella Classico- This refers to wines that come from the original Valpolicella zone pre-70s greed.
    3. Valpolicella Superiore- This wine comes from the Classico zone and must be aged a year.
    4. Valpolicella Ripasso- This is made by taking newly fermented Valpolicella and adding Amarone pomace (That is what is left post the pressing of Amarone grapes). The pomace is left in for a few weeks so that the Valpolicella may extract all of the extra color, tannin, flavor & structure.
    5. recioto della Valpolicella- Like Amarone this wine is made from the ripest grapes possible, that are put into special drying rooms allowing the grapes to raisinate, to concentrate their sugar. The difference between Amarone and this wine is that fermentation is halted to preserve some sugar, like that of its Soave sister.

DOCG’s and all that Jazz!

There are 14 distinct DOCG’s in the Veneto that are worth remembering  and tons more DOC’s if you have the time. Today I will delve into the wine laws of these 14 DOCG’s:

Veneto Map

List Of DOCG’s:

  1. Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
  2. Bardolino Superiore DOCG
  3. Colli Aspolani (Asolo Prosecco) DOCG
  4. Colli di Conegliano DOCG
  5. Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio DOCG
  6. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG
  7. Friularo di Bagnoli (Bagnoli Friularo) DOCG
  8. Lison DOCG
  9. Montello Rosso/Montello DOCG
  10. Piave Malanotte/ Malanotte del Piave DOCG
  11. Recioto di Gambellara DOCG
  12. Recioto di Soave DOCG
  13. Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG
  14. Soave Superiore DOCG

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG (Est 2010)

  • Region– Veneto
  • Province-Verona
  • Number of Communes– 19
  • Four Levels of Note- Amarone della Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena, &  Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva
  • Grapes- 45- 95% Corvina, 5-30% Rodinella  and a max of 25% “other” red grapes, with no single other grape comprising more than 10%
  • Min Alch- 14%
  • Max Residual Sugar- 12 g/l
  • Aging requirements- Amarone della Valpolicella- Min of 2 years from the 1st January  of the year following harvest. Riserva- Min of 4 years from the 1st November fallowing harvest.
  • Other Restrictions- Grapes may not be vinified before December 1st of the harvest year. No more then 65% of a producers total maximum yield may be used to make Amarone.
  • Min Planting Density-  3,300 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yeilds- 12 tons per hectare

Bardolino Superiore DOCG (Est 2011)

  • Region- Veneto
  • Province- Verona
  • Number of Communes- 15
  • Levels of Bardolino Superiore- Bardolino Superiore, & Bardolino Superiore Classico
  • Grapes- 35-65% Corvina Veronese, 10-40% Rodinella  & Max 20%  “other” red grapes, with no single other grape comprising more than 10%
  • Min Alch- 12%
  • Max Residual Sugar- 6 g/l
  • Aging Requirements-  Min one year from November 1st of the harvest year.
  • Min Planting Density- 3,300 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yields- 9 tons per hectare

Colli Asolani (Asolo Prosecco) DOCG (Est 2009)

  • Region- Veneto
  • Province- Treviso
  • Number of Communes- 17
  • Types of Colli Asolani DOCG- Colli Asolani (Tranquillo), Frizzante, Spumante, & Spumante Superiore
  • Grapes- Min 85% Prosecco (Glera), Max 15% blend of Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, & Glera Lunga, Max 15% Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, & Chardonnay
  • Min Alch- Basic: 10.5%, Spumante Superiore: 11%
  • Sweetness Levels- Frizzante- Secco to Amabile, & Spumante Superiore: Extra Brut to Dolce
  • Other Restrictions- Frizzante wines may undergo a second fermentation in the bottle, and when done they must be labeled, “rifermentazione in bottiglia”
  • Min Planting Density- 3,000 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yields- 12 tons per hectare

Colli di Conegliano DOGC (Est 2011) 

  • Region- Veneto
  • Province- Treviso
  • Number of Communes- 20
  • Types of Colli di Conegliano DOGC- Bianco, Rosso, Rosso Riserva, Refrontolo (Roso), Refrontolo Passito (Rosso), & Torchiato di Fregona (Bianco Passito)
  • Grapes- 
    • Bianco- Min 30% Manzoni Bianco & Min Combined 30% Chardonnay & Pinot Bianco, Max 10% combined Sauvignon & Riesling
    • Rosso- Min 10% Cabernet Sauvignon  Min 10% Cab Franc, Min 10% Marzemino, 10-40% Merlot & Max combined 20% Incrocio Manzoni & Refosc
  • Min Alch- Bianco: 12%, Rosso: 12.5%, & Rosso Riserva 13%
  • Aging Requierments-
    • Bianco: Min 4 months from  November 1st of the harvest year
    • Rosso: Min 24 months from November 1st of the harvest year, including at least 12 months in oak
    • Rosso Riserva: Min 36 months from November 1st of the harvest year, including at least 12 months in oak
  • Min Planting Density- 3,000 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yields- None

Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio DOCG (Est 2010)

  • Region- Veneto
  • Province- Padua
  • Number of Communes:17
  • Types of Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio DOCG- Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio Tranquillo (Secco, or Dolce), Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio Spumante, & Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio Passito
  • Grapes- Min 95% Moscato Giallo, Max 5% other aromatic veriatels
  • Min Alch- Tranquillo: 10.5% (4.5% for Dolce), Spumante 10.5%, Passito: 15.5%
  • Min Residual Sugar-  Dolce: 50 g/l, Spumante: 50 g/l, & Passito 50 g/l
  • Aging Requirements- Passito Min one year from November 1st of the harvest year
  • Min Planting Density- 4,000 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yields- 12 tons per hectare

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG (Est 2009)

  • Region- Veneto
  • Province- Treviso
  • Number of Communes- 15
  • Subzone- Cartizze
  • Types of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG- Prosecco (Tranquillo), Frizzante, Spumante Superiore, Spumante Superiore w/ notation of “Rive” vineyard, & Spumante Superiore di Cartizze
  • Grapes- Min 85% Prosseco (Glera), Max combined 15% Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, & Glera Lunga, & Max combined 15% Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio ( Spumante wines only)
  • Min Alch-Basic- 10.5%, Spumante Superiore 11%, Spumante di Cartizze 11.5%
  • Sweetness Levels- Frizzante: Secco to Amabile, & Spumante Superiore: Brut-Dolce
  • Aging Requirements- None
  • Other Requirements-
    • Wines labeled “Rive” must be handharvested, indicate a vintage & list one of the 43 vineyards from this hillside on the label.
    • Frizzante wines may undergo a second fermentation in the bottle, and when done they must be labeled, “rifermentazione in bottiglia”
  • Min Planting Density- 2,500 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yields- 12-13 tons per hectare

Friularo di Bagnoli (Bagnolu Friularo) DOCG (Est. 2011)

  • Region- Veneto
  • Province- Padova
  • Number of Communes- 13 & Classico Zone: 1
  • Types of Friularo di Bagnoli DOCG- Basic, Riserva, Vendemmia Tardiva (Dry), Passito, & Classico (Can also be Riserva, Vendemmia Tardiva, or Passito)
  • Grapes- Min 90% Raboso Piave, Max 10% any other red grapes of the region.
  • Min Alch-Basic & VT- 11.5%, Riserva 12.5%, Passito 15.5%
  • Ageing Requirements- 
    • Basic: Min 12 months from Novermber 1st of the harvest year
    • Riserva: Min 24 months from November 1st of the harvest year including at least 12 months in oak
    • Passito: Min 24 months in oak from November 1st of the harvest year
  • Other Requirements-
    • Passito: Grapes must be dried until at least December 8th following the harvest
    • VT: At least 60% must be harvested & vinified after November 11th
  • Min Planting Density- 2,500 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yields: 11-12 tons per hectare

Lison DOCG (Est 2010)

  • Region- Veneto & Friluli
  • Province- Venice, Treviso (Veneto), &  Pordenone (Friuli)
  • Number of Communes-19
  • Types of Lison DOCG-
    • Lison
    • Lison Classico
  • Grapes- Min 85% Tai (Friulano), & Max 15% non-aromatic whites of the region
  • Min Alch-Basic 12%, Classico 12.5%
  • Aging Requirements- Wines may not be released before March 1st of the year following harvest.
  • Min Planting Density- 3,000 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yields- 10-11 tons per hectare

Montello Rosso/ Montello DOCG (Est 2011)

  • Region- Veneto
  • Province- Treviso
  • Number of Communes- 18
  • Types of Montello Rosso DOCG- Rosso, & Rosso Superiore
  • Grapes- 40-70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30-60% combined Merlot, Cabernet Franc, & Carmenere, Max 15% any other red grapes of the region
  • Min Alch-Basic 12.5%, Classico 13%
  • Aging Requirements- 
    • Basic: Min 18 months from November 1st of the harvest year, including 9 months in oak, & 6 months in bottle
    • Superiore: Min 24 months from November 1st of the harvest year, including at least 12 months in oak, & 6 months in bottle
  • Min Planting Density- 3,500 vines per hectare (2.47 Acres)
  • Max Yields- 10 tons per hectare

Piave Malanotte/ Malanotte del Piave DOCG (Est 2010)

  • Region- Veneto
  • Province- Verona/ Treviso
  • Type of Piave Malanotte DOCG- Rosso
  • Grapes- Min 70% Raboso Piave, Max 30% Raboso Veronese, Max 5% other grapes from these regions (15-30% of the grapes must be dried until at least December 8th of the harvest year)
  • Min Alch-12.5%
  • Max Residual Sugar- 8 g/l
  • Aging Requirements- Min 3 years from November 1st of the harvest year, including at least 12 months in oak & 4 months in bottle.
  • Min Planting Density- 
    • Bellussi (“Raggi”) Training 1.250 vines per hectare
    • Other methods 2500 vines per hectar
  • Max Yields- 12 tons per hectare

Recioto di Gambellara DOCG (Est 2008)

  • Region-Veneto
  • Province- Vicenza
  • Number of Communes- 4
  • Types of Recioto di Gambellara DOCG- Classico, & Classico Spumante
  • Grapes-100% Garganega
  • Min Alch-Classico 11.5% & Spumante 11%
  • Aging Requirements- May not be released until September 1st of the year following harvest
  • Min Planting Density- 3,300 vines per hectare
  • Max Yields- 6.25 tons per hectare

Recioto di Soave DOCG (Est 1998)

  • Region-Veneto
  • Province- Verona
  • Number of Communes- Basic: 12, & Classico: 3
  • Types of Recioto di Soave DOCG- Basic, Classico, & Spumante
  • Grapes- Min 70% Garganega, Max combined 30% Trebbiano di Soave, Chardonnay & Pinot Bianco
  • Min Alch-16%
  • Min Residual Sugar- 70 g/l
  • Aging Requirements- May not be released until September 1st of the year following harvest
  • Min Planting Density- 3,300 vines per hectare
  • Max Yields- 9 tons per hectare

Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG (Est 2010)

  • Region-Veneto
  • Province- Verona
  • Number of Communes- Basic: 19, & Classico: 5
  • Types of della Valpolicella DOCG- Basic, Classico, Spumante, Valpantena, & Valpantena Spumante
  • Grapes- Min 45-95% Corvina, 5-30% Rondinella, Max 25% other red grapes of the region (10% of which have to be native)
  • Min Alch-14%
  • Aging Requirements- Grapes may not be vinified before December 1st of the harvest year
  • Min Planting Density- 3,300 vines per hectare
  • Max Yields- 12 tons per hectare

Soave Superiore DOCG (Est 2002)

  • Region-Veneto
  • Province- Verona
  • Number of Communes- Basic:12, & Classico: 2
  • Types of Soave Superiore DOCG- Basic, Superiore, & Superiore Riserva
  • Grapes- Min 70% Garganega, Max 30% combined Trebbiano di Soave, Chardonnay & Pinot Bianco
  • Min Alch-Superiore: 12%, & Riserva: 12.5%
  • Max Residual Sugar- 6 g/l
  • Aging Requirements- 
    • Superiore: May not be released until September 1st the year after harvest, including 3 months bottle aging
    • Riserva: Min 2 years from November 1st of the harvest year, inclusing at least 3 months of bottle aging
  • Min Planting Density-4,000 vines per hectare
  • Max Yields- 10 tons per hectare

I hope this was a great starting point into your study of the Veneto!

Check out my Veneto Show, where I taste through 3 classic wines from the region http://winesoaked.com/2013/the-veneto-wine-show-2013/

As always I welcome thoughts and comments, and feel free to share any additional info you may have on this region.

Cheers until next time, when we will explore Asti!

Dec 12

Top 10 Hiring Tips

One of the most important processes for any management team to master is the art of strategic hiring.  Your human resources are your best assets and can also be your demise. Here are ten tips on how to pick the best possible candidate:

  1. Assess your current team-  A work team is like a small community. When thinking about adding another element to that community make sure to take stock of what you already have. Make sure that you know what assets you already have, and make sure that you are utilizing them to their full potential. Once you do this it should be clearer what you are in need of.  No community needs five comedy clubs and no hospitals, or vice-versa.  If you create a team of individuals that complement each other, instead of having to compete with each other for a living, then they can each place all of their focus can on providing great service and growing the business.
  2. Assess your HR policies- If you are in a company that has to use an HR department for hiring, make sure that their standards and your standards match up, and that they are tapping all relevant industry resources to find you the best person. Even if sometimes you and HR butt heads, everyone can agree the most damaging thing to a business is an unqualified or ineffective employee. Yet it is usually much MUCH harder to fire someone than to hire them.
  3. Do not hire a best friend!- Some people believe that you should hire someone you would like to have a beer with… I advise against that. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t like who you hire. I’m just saying that if you are trying to hire someone to make a friend, you will have difficulty managing them objectively, and that leads to major problems.
  4. Be honest about room to grow- Do not tell people there is room for advancement if there is not. Be completely clear about the chain of command within your organization  A new job is an important life choice, and it is better to have all parties start out with a clean and clear slate. This will lead to much less ill will down the road.
  5. Make your position desirable for more than just money-  An attractive starting salary is great in the beginning, but after the first six months it becomes the new normal… and sights start to be set higher. Any great employee you find will likely be upwardly mobile. This means they will strive hard for your success and their own, and make sure you are offering other benefits, such as training, networking, community outreach, and promotion opportunities.
  6. Be honest about your time requirements/restrictions-If you are looking for only part time be clear about that. And if you are looking for someone that you need over 60 hrs a week be clear about that. There is no benefit to hiring someone that can not meet your needs. There is always someone out there who can!
  7. Do a background check (I mean the references)- I am not suggesting doing financial background checks, or even criminal for that matter. I am suggesting that you take the time to fully check out your applicants’ references. It is true that people are not supposed to tell you if someone has been fired (which I find absurd) , but you can gain a lot of info by tone and pauses. And also if someone has listed all friends and no former bosses. If something feels wonky follow that instinct. It will save you loads of headaches later on.
  8. Never hire a band-aid- Make sure you are always hiring the best qualified person, even if that leaves you short staffed for a few more weeks than you would like. The wrong hire could hurt your business much worse than a smaller crew of solid employees.
  9. Make sure they are compatible with your clientele- You should know the core clientele of your business, and make sure your new hire is compatible with them. Some people look great on paper, but do not translate well into the actual work environment.  This is also what your 90 days are for. If someone just is not the right fit, cut your losses before this time is up.
  10. Create a questionnaire that includes scenarios of your business’ biggest challenges- Make sure you create some questions that are specific to your business and its unique challenges, and really listen to the answers you are getting. If these scenarios seem out of the person’s grasp, they may not be the best fit. However, if they come up with creative solutions that you may not have considered, that may be your best possible fit.

Dec 12

Leverage takes on Wine Fraud: An interview with actor Aldis Hodge

I have been a long time lover of TNT’s show Leverage. For those of you who have not had the privilege it is an action-packed show about vigilante con-men, with a super talented cast of character actors. They are now in the show’s fifth season, which took a major foodie bent after the crew relocated their headquarters to Oregon, and opened a brew pub. It stars Timothy Hutton as Nate Ford, Gina Bellman as Sophie Devereaux, Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison, Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer, and Beth Riesgraf as Parker. It is easy to draw the comparison between this show and the A Team, except that this show is much more modern, with strong female leads, and I feel like it tackles much more important issues.

I have recently been made aware that they are finally running a wine con. On Tuesday December 11th, the team will con a corrupt winery out of a priceless bottle of their own wine in an episode called “The Corkscrew Job” (10PM/9 CST.)

You can look up more info at http://www.tntdrama.com/series/leverage/

I am always excited when my favorite shows collide with my favorite beverage, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Aldis Hodge about this show, and wine:

What is your favorite wine and why?

AH: I have three favorites. Rambaure’s Reisling, Hawksview Cellar’s La Baliene, and Anam Cara’s Gewurztraminer- and simply because they all have a great taste.

Who decided to do a show on wine fraud? 

AH: Our writer for the episode Jenny Kao.

I know from time to time each of you get to highlight some of your special talents, like your wonderful violin playing. Will we get to see any new layers of Aldis in this episode?

AH: Hardison does get to tussle a bit in this episode. Though it’s not exactly how I was brought up fighting (haha) it’s close enough.

Did you guys hire consultants from the wine industry to help you with this episode?

AH: Living in Portland, OR is all the consultation you need. The place is a mecca for wine knowledge.

Is this show loosely based on any true stories?

AH: Not certain, but if I was a betting man I would say that certain elements of it are.

This season is especially foodie-centric, what is the driving force behind that?

AH: Just being in Portland. It has an amazing food culture and you know what they say? When in Rome…

Which cast member is the biggest wine enthusiast?

AH: Probably Hutton. He currently owns a restaurant so I think from that experience he’s built a sound foundation of wine knowledge.

There has been a through-line of a turbulent relationship with alcohol from the beginning… why is that? 

AH: That’s a question for the creators Rogers and Downey… haha. I personally think that it’s Nate’s kryptonite because he hasn’t resolved past issues. It’ s also proof that the mastermind is human and has flaws.

Are you really a tech genius, or do you just play one on TV? 

AH: I merely play one on TV. If I was a tech genius I’s sure I’d be a billionaire living in Greece spending the fortune I just made off of reinventing the internet and finding a solution to harnessing reusable clean energy from an infinite source.

What is your favorite moment of this episode and why? 

AH: A moment towards the end between Hardison and Parker. I can’t give details, but let’s just say that Hardison proves his merit by fighting for what he wants.

Well I can say that I am super excited to watch this episode.  I look at wine as the fine art of the food and beverage world, and for most people on every level of the industry it is a labor of love, so it drives me crazy when people try and scam on that. I am happy that Leverage is shedding some light on this issue. Not that, with any wine related show or movie I will not be watching with a critical eye, and wincing if people are holding their wine glasses by the bulb  or saying things like “this Pinot Noir from Bordeaux is mind blowing,” but I have faith this team will do a great job. I hope that one day Mr. Hodge gets to be a Grecian billionaire, and as to the Parker and Hardison moment coming at the end of the episode, I am hoping Hardison puts a ring on it!

I would love it if you all would share your thoughts on this show.

You can fallow Aldis at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aldis-Hodge/131506073422

I will be tweeting my thoughts – follow me at @SaraKayGodot


Oct 12

Drinking Inside The Box

I am aware that boxed wine has a stigma, and based on some examples that are out there it is with good cause. However, I would like to help tip the scales in the other direction, as the technology is great!!! And the value is amazing… especially if you use wine when you cook.

I have been aware that box wine was breaking into the fine wine market for a few years now. Two Christmases ago in Chicago, there were many distributors pushing wooden boxes as a fun gift alternative. Among some of the more successful offerings were Domaine Le Garrigon, Cotes du Rhone, Ch du Chatelard Bourgeon Blanc, & Ch Les Maines Bordeaux Blanc. These were all offerings from WineBerry Imports. The packaging was stylish and the whites even had a wooded slat that would slide up so that you could place an ice pack inside for picnics, parties and the like. As a wine drinker I was impressed, but as a professional wine buyer at the time, I was not on board as the stigma of boxed wines was huge, and these offering were usually $40 or more, which is a deal for 3000 mL, however still a costly and a hard sell to a wine buying community that still scoffed at screw caps.

Times have changed though. From 2009 to now I have seen tap systems go into many bars across the USA, which is basically a big pressurized box (or keg) of wine. And I have even seen and ordered boxed wine off of restaurant menus. In the summer and fall of 2010 Big Bowl in Chicago, a Lettuce Entertain You outlet, offered a boxed Rose produced by Yellow and Blue, an organic producer. It was a perfect pair for the spicy Asian dishes on the menu, and I am not ashamed to say that my fellow wine enthusiast friends and I put away more than one box… especially on ½ price bottle (box) Tuesday.  It is clear that the educated wine community is jumping on the Go Green initiative, and is more and more willing to look past the vessel to what is in side.

I believe that boxed wine has great potential for success. The trick is how to get the average consumer on board. And since my temporary relocation to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas I have been buying wine like an average consumer, so I believe I have sussed out how box wine is every man’s best friend. I have been living on Bota Box Chard since July due to the lack of drinkable wines available in my immediate surroundings.

Budget: There are now many decent boxed wines on the market for $15-$30 a box. A box fits the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine. That puts it at a $3.75- $7.50 per bottle, and most of these are highly drinkable table wines…. Much better than many $3-$10 bottles I have had in my life.

Freshness: Boxed wine stays as fresh as the day you tapped the nozzle for over a month. This is due to the double valve in the nozzle keeping oxygen from getting in. The bag is also protected from light as it is inside a box. This is great to ensure that you always have something to sip on, and it is perfect for cooking. Most chefs would agree that if you are cooking with wine it has to be good drinkable wine, and this is a handy and affordable way to make sure you always have a fresh supply on hand.

Low Carbon Foot Print: Aside from WineBerrys wooden boxes, boxed wines are usually in recycled cardboard boxes. The shipping and production of these vessels uses MUCH less energy and resources than heavy glass bottles.  Also many boxed wine makers are also utilizing organic or Bio-Dynamic wine practices.

Style- Ironic is the current hip thing, so you can kind of look at boxed wine as a much tastier version of Pabst Blue Ribbon, if you are marketing to the millennial’s (IE: Anyone with a handlebar mustache, or Sally Jessie Raphael glasses… under the age of 40.) If your clientele is of the more sophisticated persuasion you can choose one of the nice wooden boxes of WineBerry’s line, or even go couture with a new line of wine purses being launched by Vernissage. They are starting a project where they are pumping French table wine in to Swedish-designed “Hand Bag Boxes”.

I hope that this positive trend continues. That being said, I feel that currently whites and roses are the tastier option in the boxed wine world. I have yet to taste a higher quality red out of one of these fun little nozzles… But I am always open to being proved wrong.

Below are the sites to producers I have mentioned:





Happy Drinking!

Oct 12

Sara Kay’s White Beans & Bacon

About: This is my take on a tasty fall time Medieval English dish. It is great as a meal, or a side, and if you follow a low-carb diet is surprisingly healthy.

 Prep Time:10 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Difficulty : Easy

Serves: 2 meal/ 6 side

Best Pairings:

B&G Vouvray 2009 The silky pair and bruised golden apple notes are perfect companion to this heart warming dish, and the racing acidity helps cut the fat.

Game of Thrones!


  • Large Sauce Pan (I used at Le Cruset Cast Iron Pot)
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Tongs
  • Spatula


  • 4 pieces thick center cut bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (I used the bagged coleslaw mix w/ carrot shreds from the grocery store… it is a cheap tasty time saver)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups white beans/ rinsed (Cannellini, usually in the “ethnic” isle at the store)
  • Salt   (I always use Maldon Sea Salt!!)
  • Pepper



  • Cook bacon over medium to high heat in a large saucepan until crisp.(Tip: You know it is cooked when it starts to foam)
  •  Remove bacon from pan and set on paper towel to drain.
  • Add onion to drippings, and sauté till tender.
  • Add half the cabbage and cover pot, cooking until cabbage is wilted.
  • Add remaining cabbage and garlic, stir and cooked till endive is wilted.
  • Add beans and bacon, cooking until the beans are heated through, stirring often.
  •  Season with salt and pepper and serve.
 Let me know if this dish hits the spot!

Sep 12

Sara Kay’s Carnitas!

Sara Kay’s Carnitas!


Pulled Pork Base!

Prep Time:10 min Cook Time: 3-3 ½ Hrs Difficulty : Easy, but time consuming.



Tools Needed:

  • Cheese Cloth
  • Cooking Twine
  • Large Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Bowl
  • Tongs
  • Big Spoon


  • 3 Sprigs of Marjoram
  • 3 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 Tbs of Coriander Seed
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 3 Smashed Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Med Yellow Onion
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 Tbs of Maldon Sea Salt (This stuff is the best… if you have trouble finding it I will help you)
  • 1 Tbs of Cracked Blk Pepper
  • 3 Lbs of Boneless Pork Shoulder (Sometimes the package will actually say Pork Roast for Carnitas. Make sure it is not marinated or brined)


  • Cut Onion into quarters, leave the core on but peal skins of.
  • Cut aprox a 1ft square of Cheese Cloth, & a 1 ½ ft of twine.
  • Doubled over the cloth so that coriander seeds do not fall out.
  • Put coriander seeds, marjoram, thyme, garlic, & Bay leafs in cloth, gather cloth up around them and tie off top with twine so that it looks like an herbal tea bag.
  • Spray pot w/ cooking spray then arrange onions around the edge of the pot and your herb pouch in the center (Make sure to leave the excess string draped over the side of the pot so that you can retrieve it later)
  • Heat Pot on medium.
  • Cut Pork in to 1 ½ to 2 in cubes (Leave the fat on!!!)
  • Arrange the pork cubes evenly around the bottom of the pot.
  • Cover with water (about a liter should do)


  • Let simmer for 2 ½ Hrs, flipping meat with tangs ever ½ hr
  • Skim the foam that rise to the top with the big spoon (This is what the spoon and bowl are for)
  • At the 2 ½ mark the meat should start to separate, when this happens, fish out the herb pouch and onions
  • Turn up heat slightly and stir occasionally until all of the liquid is absorbed into the meat and it is completely shredded, tender, and juicy


Best served as:

  • Taco Filling
  • On its own with some lime wedges
  • Next day with some BBQ Sauce

Best Wine Pairing:

A full bodied Rose!

I enjoyed mine with Dm du Grand Bouqueteau, Chinon Rose 2005, which surprisingly still had a fair bit of life in it!

I am finding all sorts of hidden gems in back rooms of dusty liquor stores down here in the RGV.

If you try this recipe please let me know how it turned out!

Happy Eating!

Jul 09

Donate Here To Help Send Sara Kay To Wine School

As you know, Sara Kay recently completed her Level 2 Sommelier Certification! Now we’re raising funds to help send her on to the next level of wine training. Please donate whatever you can to help pay for the costs of diploma-level sommelier certification!