Archive for the 'Chardonnay' Category


Game day done easy…

Question: I’m hosting a small NFL playoff game party Saturday afternoon (GO CARDS!), and do not want to serve the tired old Nachos/boring veggie plate/cardboard pretzel fare that so often pop up at Phoenix parties. (I guess they figure it you swill enough Pabst, you won’t notice how horrid the food is..) Do you have a trio of easy, but delectable recipes with which I can wow my friends. And perhaps a sassy wine recommendation for each?
Love, AJ

Fellow Foodie - Rob Lee

Answer: Let me start by saying that a part of my mission with food, wine and living well, is collaboration. So, in the spirit of collaboration, I sought the help of a foodie friend – Rob Lee. Rob is a college professor in St Louis by day, and a fellow food fancier by night! I thought of him, because he’s a serious football lover, and knows what it takes to please a game-day crowd. He’s also starting a monthly dinner club. He has committed to planning, cooking and serving a dinner party once a month for a group of friends. Each party will be themed, and will focus on his passion for beautiful food done simply, with a focus on what’s fresh and in season. Who knows, maybe some day you’ll see us both working together on the food network… he certainly has the charms and good looks – and the ladies love him!!! So after some back and forth IMing between California and Missouri, we’ve come up with the following menu that should be fun, unique, easy, inexpensive and impressive!!! Hope you consider trying all or parts of it, and make sure to take pictures that I can post on the blog afterwords!

Continue reading ‘Game day done easy…’


Mailbag Tuesday – tannins and tummy-aches

Question: Does oaking result in tannins? Is that why oaked chardonnays sometimes hurt my tummy, as do oaked reds, like cabernet? Kevin, WA

Answer: Yes, tannins are found in Oak. Generally wine gets tannins in two ways – the skin, seeds and stems from the grapes (fruit) and oak. Chardonnay, and to a lesser degree Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Simillion, make up the white wine family that will often have some oak tannins, however, no white wines are fermented with their skins, seeds and stems, so they never get tannins from these sources. All red wines, sans roses, spend some time on oak, therefore they have tannins as a result of the fruit and the wood. One thing to remember – the softer tannins come from the wood and the harsher tannins come from the fruit. Cabernet is one of the more tannic of the red wines. Pinot Noirs tend to be less tannic.

Regarding Stomach Upset: Caffeine and tannin can cause stomach upset by stimulating the production of gastric acid. Lots more can be said about tannins, and they are found in teas, coffees, fruits, nuts, and many other foods. They are also the reason red wines are good for the heart, since (put very simply) the acid structure in them helps minimize plaque build up in the arteries.


Got legs?

Weeping wine!

Let me start by saying, I consider myself more of a wine geek than a wine snob. As someone who’s vocation is wine, I meet people all the time who love to share their favorite wines, favorite labels, and demonstrate their considerable knowledge about wine. I suck at remembering labels, or the name of a given iconic wine maker, or wine, but I digress; In my humble opinion (so says the narcissist!) there is one dead give-away that nails a bona fide wine snob. Legs… yes I said legs.

Continue reading ‘Got legs?’


Hump Wednesday for $24!

Pan Seared Talapia with Black Bean and Corn Salad

If you ask me what my most dreaded domestic question is, I’d have to say “what’s for dinner?” It seems that since I’ve been the dominant cook in my home for as long as I can remember, this question can become very daunting. Often it provokes a snippy response – something like “Can’t you at least ask me how I am, or how my day was before WHAT’S FOR DINNER?”

So, if you’ve experienced the same quandary-question, and want nothing more than to default to the quick frozen meal, top ramen, or box of mac and cheese – I’m here to offer a suggestion. I’m gonna call this weekly post – Hump Wednesday. Each week, I’m going to take a stab at coming up with a beautiful, simple meal that you can prepare quickly, and on a budget. Hopefully one that you’ll enjoy making.

Continue reading ‘Hump Wednesday for $24!’



Q: Why do Chardonnays tend to be categorized as oaky and non-oaky, when other wines don’t? – Diego, Palm Springs, CA

A: Good question Diego! The Chardonnay grape is considered to be the chameleon of white wine grapes! It tends to be a very versatile and expressive grape. Many different regions of the world have their own way of making this wine. California pioneered the oaky style you’re referring to. It is also, often associated with the YUPPIE culture that dominated the 1980s.

Today, Chardonnay is made in two distinct ways – oaked and un-oaked. Typically, the New World styles (US, Australia, SA, NZ, S.Africa) tend to offer more oaked styles, and Old World styles (Europe) tend to use less, or no oak in their Chardonnays. Oaked Chardonnays are best enjoyed on their own merits – think the 1980s backyard Yuppie patio party, and unoaked Chardonnays are more harmonious with foods. Most other white wines (New World Sauvignon Blancs sometimes being the exception) are not aged in oak.

Patrick Bartlett

A conversation about food, wine, and the art of living well!


May 2018
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