Saturday, August 23, 2014

2010 Renieri Invetro

Sometimes, I pick up a bottle of wine for a completely random reason. Like tonight. I bought this IGT Super Tuscan at Total Wine for one reason only, because it had a glass stopper instead of a regular cork. Oh, yeah, and it cost $14.

The Vino-Lok system uses glass instead of cork and has been around for several years now, but until recently I had never seen one. When I found this bottle had the glass stopper curiosity got the better of me. And I will say, it was pretty fun to open the bottle and have the novelty top.

But corks and toppers aside, what's really important is what is inside the bottle, and I have to say, the Invetro delivered, especially at the price point. Balanced with dark berries, ripe cherries, earth,  spice,  moderate tannin and pleasant acidity. Not as big and complex as the greats, but a delicious bottle, especially with food.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's Always Sunny

I was eating at the Ravenous Pig last weekend and had the most delicious cocktail. It was barrel aged and they called it "It's Always Sunny."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Macarons: You CAN use store-bought egg whites!

How to use store-bought egg whites for macarons

I've been toying with this recipe for almost a year now. At first, it was general annoyance at having to wait days, aging egg whites and trying to use up leftover yolks. But after failed attempts, near misses, and almost successes, I became obsessed. There had to be a way to wake up in the morning and just make macarons. It shouldn't be weather dependent, aging egg-whites dependent, or anything else - just grab your ingredients, use solid techniques, and go.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Manhattan Cocktail

Until a few months ago, I didn't believe I liked Manhattans. Give me a good Old Fashioned any day of the week, but Manhattans were out of my league.

2008 Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur Vosne-Romanee

When it comes to my most beloved wines, red Burgundy is very high on the list. Nowhere else in the world does Pinot Noir achieve the magical, ethereal quality that it does in this part of France. All that magic though, comes at a price. The reputation of certain villages, vineyards and producers has driven up the costs of all the wine from the region, even though the quality level across the board varies greatly. I never feel certain when buying an unknown bottle of red wine from Burgundy, that I'm going to get what I've paid a premium for, and no other wine region has so often disappointed me. So when I saw this bottle at Costco in the $60 range, I was intrigued. Would I be in love, or bitterly heartbroken?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stone Barns in Westchester County

Just 40 minutes north of New York City lies Stone Barns. I had heard of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the super famous farm-to-table restaurant of celebrity chef Dan Barber, but had never eaten there. It's on my list, but the timing has never worked out.  This summer, I decided I'd take a trip to the farm and spend the afternoon exploring.

Monday, August 11, 2014

2009 Domaine Diochon Moulin-a-Vent

Why don't people drink more Beaujolais? Every time I open a bottle, I ask myself that very question. For roughly $25 you can get a great (not just good, not just tasty, but really damn nice) bottle of wine and tonight's Moulin-a-Vent (one of the 10 Beaujolais crus) proves my point exactly.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Faux Negroni

For the past few months, I've been drinking Cheeky Negronis. Gin, Aperol and Lillet combine to make a light, refreshing drink that pays homage to the classic.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Boozy Bourbon Pecan Bars

I've always liked pecan pie. My problem with most recipes though is that there is too much filling, making them overly sweet and overly rich. These pecan bars have a thin pastry crust with a thin layer of nuts and bourbon caramel. Perfect.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Dominique Ansel Bakery

I've never had a real cronut. I've been visiting Dominique Ansel's bakery for more than a year, but I've never been willing to get up early and wait in a crazy long line to try them. Nevertheless, there are so many reasons to love Dominique Ansel Bakery that I plan to keep coming back, not really caring if I get a cronut at all.