Saturday, May 17, 2008

Three Latest and Best

Hey, kids, I ran a half marathon today! Where were you?! (I hurt, but I finished.)

Best of...Quiche: After the protein-filled day I had yesterday judging Best of...Quiche for Indianapolis dine magazine, I'm feeling pretty healthy -- even though we did try nearly 30! There were some good ones (and, let's be frank, some pretty awful ones -- blind bake your crusts, people!) so look for the results in an upcoming issue. As usual, it was a great time and we were joined by pastry chef extraordinaire Joseph Allford. (For those of you who've asked, Joseph is teaching at the International Culinary School for Chef Marc Aguilara and loving it as well as making wedding cakes a few days a week at Rene's Bakery.)

Wines from CG di Arie: Thanks to David Davis of World of Wines for the invitation to meet the folks from CG di Arie in California's foothills. Sure, the owner invented Cap'n Crunch and pourable Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, but don't let that deter you. They're making huge wines with finesse from grapes you don't see much of in Northern California. My favorites? The soft, but yet robust Amador County Barbera, a polished and elegant Primitivo (Block 4 Estate, Shenandoah Valley), a Rose with some balls (Estate Grown , Shenandoah Valley), and a range of Zins and Syrahs from the elegant and technical to the flamboyant and delicious. Look for these wines at finer wine shops in the next few weeks.

Pear Cider, Ahh, Memories: We all know the power smell and taste has to bring back memories. Foraging at Marsh, the other day, I picked up Woodchuck Pear Cider -- and I was transported. It brought back the ramshackle Bay View Boat Club (down by The Ramp in South San Francisco for you know the area) where we used to spend hot afternoons after boat racing with sweet, cold pear cider on tap. Ahh, Summer.

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