Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Today I'm holding a charity Swirl Events wine tasting event for Sakhi, a fantastic organization that provides resources for South Asian women who are victims of domestic abuse. Organizing and running a fundraiser wine tasting for Sakhi was my initial inspiration for Swirl. But this post isn't about that. It's about how a lot of people (including myself very briefly) have the impression that starting and running a wine company is all glamour and fun. They think it's about waking up late, lounging and working in PJs, then spending the rest of the day sipping fine wine with winemakers. Admittedly, some of those things are true (namely working in my PJs). But glamorous--not so much.
This morning starts with washing 65 glasses. By hand. Then drying each of them. By hand. Then it's a quick zip over to a doctor's appointment. But on the way, I have to stop at Pour wine shop to say hello to the owner and drop off some Swirl postcards for potential clients. Next, I (try to) purchase the chocolates I'm pairing with the General Bilimoria Tempranillo. The chocolates aren't there. Or at my back-up spot. So, it's crazy creative time. But it works out. Now the website's down and may not be up till Monday. Blasphemy! Then it's a stop to pick up Drano for the shower. Did I mention the glamorous part yet? (and no, it's not the Drano.)
Well, the "glamorous" part thankfully comes now: I'm writing this while sipping on Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne. Huh?? Well, Carrie Bradshaw smoked cigarettes while writing her column, so me myself and I un-guiltily sip wine and nibble on a plate of Brillat Savarin, a decadent and sensuously creamy cow's milk cheese. And why--you ask--Champagne? I'm not one for saving Champagne for celebrations, but I did wait to open this gorgeous, zippy bottle for a true celebration--my very first bit of glamor.
Yesterday, I was a guest on the Martha Stewart Living Radio show. I spoke about weddings and wine for their Weddings Week. It was live and they give you zero prep. Thankfully, I knew I wouldn't throw up since my nerves prohibited me eating anything all day.
The craziest live listener question I got was whether running wine in a blender would aerate it faster. Hmmm...always something new in wine. But, as it happens, I love being on the radio and there's nothing that feels more natural. So, what's next? Bring me on the show, Martha! Or Oprah, or Rachael, or Meredith. (I don't discriminate when it comes to dealing with influential and powerful women.) I promise to put down the glass and get out of my PJs.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Orin Swift Cellar’s “The Prisoner” remains one of my favorite wines and will always be a George Clooney “smooth, suave and surprisingly complex.” And since the men disagreed with me, I give you the option of the Salma Hayek – lush and full-bodied.
To these I add the all-time favorite description for the Thabani 2003 Merlot –the Brittany Spears – starts off great but ends in disaster.
How to Pick a Summer Wine: The Gentler, Lighter Side of Wine
Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain, “Exceptional with Everything” Oh Really?
Mercat means “market” in Catalan, the language of the northern Spanish region where owner, Jaime Reixach, is from and where the restaurant’s menu draws its inspiration. The albariños we’ll be drinking also originate from the northern region, and so we’re already anticipating more perfect wine pairings than tragic mismatches.
It’s a beautiful warm Thursday night—and we are tasting two Albariño wines: Alba Rosa from Martinez Serrantes and Pazo San Mauro, both 2006 vintages. We take our time with each wine—assessing them alone and then side by side. At the end, we agree that both are delightful: the Alba Rosa is sparkling with surprising depth while the Pazo San Mauro would bring life to our springtime picnic. Further, we imagine that if each wine were to be personified, they might just be these two ladies, described as such:
No surprise, our lovely wines get along splendidly with their classic and traditional partners: we have raves for the nicely seasoned patatas bravas—not too spicy, not too garlicky—and the padrones/blistered shishito peppers, the char and oil offset by the tartness of the wines. One of us goes wild for the Canelons de Verdura/eggplant wrapped spring vegetables, manchego, and cranberry reduction. And then Chef Lowder sends over Trencat d’Ous/mushroom with salsa verde topped with a fried egg, which again, goes splendidly with our wines. Even the suckling pig/Cochinillo, which we think will surely clash, in fact becomes the surprise of the evening. Like the beauty and the beast, our wines and the pig make an unlikely but harmonious pair.
We ask ourselves for the last time: Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain: Exceptional with Everything?
If not for being the gluttonous bottomless pits that we are, we would certainly have answered YES with an exclamation point. But since we order those two desserts—Torrades Sta. Teresa/fried bread with lemon yogurt and Pa Amb Oli Xocolata/bread, olive oil, and chocolate, our answer must be: Almost. These two desserts with our two Albariños — are disastrous.
Rías Baixas Albariño from Spain: Exceptional with almost Everything.
--Anu Karwa and Marie Estrada
Visit http://www.riasbaixaswines.com for more info on Rías Baixas Albariños from Spain