10 Feb 2014, 11:00am
Food & Wine Romance & Relationships Shopping:
Comments Off on Fifty Shades of Grey Wine

Fifty Shades of Grey Wine

Fifty Shades of Grey Red Silk

Fifty Shades of Grey Red Satin

“If you spill the wine, I will punish you, Miss Steele.”  —Christian Grey

Mon dieu. Not only might you not want to be punished (or perhaps you do), but you don’t want to lose a drop of Fifty Shades of Grey Wine from acclaimed novelist E.L. James. Who doesn’t love white silk and red satin, especially when it comes in the form of wine?

Floral aromatics of lychee, honey and pear lead off Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk, a primarily Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc blend. Aged in stainless steel, it’s both delicate and rich in character.

Fifty Shades of Grey Red Satin, a decadent blend of primarily Petite Sirah and Syrah, fills your mouth with a full-bodied deliciousness of black cherry, cocoa, caramel and vanilla. Hmmm, and you thought Christian was yummy.

No date for Valentine’s? How about spending a titillating evening with yourself and the Fifty Shades of Grey book and wine in hand? Or, spice it up with your hunny and surprise him or her with a Fifty Shades of Grey excerpt, accompanied by one of these smooth wines.

The combination of love and wine has never been so bold.

18 Dec 2013, 9:14am
Food & Wine Podcasts Writing & Books:
Comments Off on Selective Sipping: Mark Spivak and His Iconic Spirits

Selective Sipping: Mark Spivak and His Iconic Spirits

Mark's Book:  A Delicious Holiday Gift Idea

Mark’s Book: A Delicious Holiday Gift Idea

I’ve always felt that you can appreciate something more when you know the story behind it. This is the premise behind my books The Riches of France:  A Shopping and Touring Guide to the French Provinces and The Riches of Paris:  A Shopping and Touring Guide. There’s always a lot of imbibing during the holiday season, so why not know the history behind some of the world’s most beloved elixirs?

I chatted with Mark Spivak, author of Iconic Spirits:  An Intoxicating History, during a Travel Fun interview which you can listen to below. He tells some fascinating tales behind the twelve spirits featured in his book. You can learn all about Chambord, gin and tequila, to name a few. He talks about Campari, a bitter concoction formulated by an Italian around 1860, considered to be one of the sexiest beverages on earth as well as the connection between Nascar and moonshine, a surprising association which has remained hidden from the general public over the years. “Most of the early (Nascar) drivers were all bootleggers…Then in 1947 they all got together and formed Nascar,” Mark explains.

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10 Dec 2013, 3:25pm
Food & Wine Writing & Books:
Comments Off on Sweet and Savory Holiday Baking with Holly Herrick

Sweet and Savory Holiday Baking with Holly Herrick

Holiday Baking à la Holly Herrick

Holiday Baking à la Holly Herrick

Looking to take your holiday baking up a notch? Pick up a copy of Holly Herrick‘s new book, The French Cook:  Cream Puffs & Eclairs, and whip up some sweet and savory creations that will leave you and your guests swooning. This cookbook, second in the series, showcases luscious-looking delights in glossy images that you’d never believe are so easy to make. But according to Holly, they are. And they’re also economical.

With choux as the foundation for most everything in The French Cook:  Cream Puffs & Eclairs, you learn about this fun and messy pastry dough that becomes light and airy once baked. You can make these floaty confections weeks ahead and keep them in your freezer and take them out as you need them. I see this as a wonderful holiday baking project either by yourself or say between mother and daughter. “It’s always my goal to get people really exciting about cooking. It’s important that it’s fun and delicious,” says this renowned food writer and author of six cookbooks.

“Happily (choux) is one of the easiest pastries to make:  bring a little water and butter to a simmer in a saucepan, dump in flour, beat over heat to thicken it, and whip in a few eggs. That’s all there is to it…”

—Julia Child, The Way to Cook, 1989

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26 Nov 2013, 10:14am
Colorado Food & Wine Hotels & Lodging Shopping The Rockies:
Comments Off on Perfectly Palisade: Colorado’s Wine Country

Perfectly Palisade: Colorado’s Wine Country

The View from Canyon Wind

The View from Canyon Wind Cellars

What a wintery time it has been here in Colorado! It even snowed on the western slope in Palisade/Grand Junction, an area known as the bread basket/banana belt of the state where it’s typically twenty degrees warmer than in the mountains. I did a getaway there with a friend over the weekend and reveled in exploring Colorado’s wine country; I loved seeing the vines beneath a frosty blanket of white. Vineyards the world over are picturesque, however, I find the contrast of the rows and rows of vines backdropped by the dramatic, buff-colored rock towers and cliffs here—known as the Book Cliffs—especially striking.

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Marla Meridith Talks About Family Fresh Cooking and More

Marla's Maple Cranberry Bourbon Martini

Marla’s Maple Cranberry Bourbon Martini

Ever wonder who’s behind those wildly successful food blogs? You know the ones that leave you salivating over every dish and make you yearn to recreate the same in your own home? Well, click on the play button below to hear what Telluride local Marla Meridith says about her blog, Family Fresh Cooking, a popular website/blog that enjoys a large following on virtually every platform of social media.

“I work hard to make it very visually appealing,” Marla told me during a recent Travel Fun interview when talking about how she became a food stylist/professional photographer/blogger practically overnight. “A lot of the food bloggers are self taught and workshop driven,” Marla continues when talking about her blog that features mostly original recipes and all her own photos. Indeed, Marla takes whole foods and makes them shine. In our interview she chats about two seasonal favorites: her Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake and Maple Cranberry Bourbon Martini, recipes you’ll want to prepare for the holidays.

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15 Nov 2013, 4:41pm
Food & Wine France French Life Paris Podcasts Travel Writing & Books:
Comments Off on Susan Herrmann Loomis: On Rue Tatin in Normandy

Susan Herrmann Loomis: On Rue Tatin in Normandy

Susan Herrmann Loomis with a Tarte Tatin, Her Signature Dessert

Susan Herrmann Loomis with a Tarte Tatin, Her Signature Dessert

L'Heure de l'Apéritif at Susan's Cooking School

L’Heure de l’Apéritif at Susan’s Cooking School

“Apples are a huge part of the cooking here in Normandy,” says cookbook author Susan Herrmann Loomis on the phone from France during a Travel Fun interview with me.

And to most of us they’re such a big part of fall and Thanksgiving, so tune into the our chat below if you’d like to add a French twist to your holiday feasting. I met Susan briefly some twenty-five years (yes—a quarter of a century) in Paris at an American women’s function when I first moved to the French capital. At that time she was working as an assistant to Patricia Wells on The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris, one of my all-time favorite books.

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French Village Diaries: Books, Cakes, French Life and More

Jacqui Brown

With ski season behind me, I suddenly have a voracious appetite for reading. I always want to read and to me, it’s one of the most relaxing and enjoyable activities in the world. But during ski season I’m exhausted in the evenings and tend to just zone out in front of the TV and then head to bed before there’s time for a leisurely read. (Also,  I often stay up late when engrossed in a good book and that certainly doesn’t gel with a ski instructor’s need for a long, fat sleep.)

Being the Francophile that I am, I love reading books set in France. Whether it’s Paris or the provinces, if the writing is rich, I relish being instantly transported to my beloved land. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered Jaqui Brown’s charming website/blog, French Village Diaries. There you may delve into an abundance of book reviews on books relating to France and then shop in her online bookstore which features titles she has reviewed and more. Jacqui, a Brit that moved to France in 2004 with her British husband, scours the internet for the most interesting reads on her adopted country. That’s how she found my book, A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, and then wrote it up at French Village Diaries.

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Love, Ladies and Wine

Juicy Details Sweet Rosé Wine

Hello all Valentines! What a great way to celebrate love, ladies and wine, three very vital components of life—wouldn’t you agree?  And I say let’s celebrate all three all year round—or at least throughout the weekend.

I’ve been teaching Women’s Week here in Telluride all week, so I’m pretty hyped up on girl power and, of course, wine has been a big part of our après ski program. I wanted to take a couple of minutes to share with you, however, two of my most recent wine discovers:  Big House and Juicy Details Wines.

Actually I’ve known about Big House for a while and have been a fan of these delicious and most reasonably priced wines since the beginning. It recently came to my attention, however, that the winemaker behind this Monterey County brand—just a short escape from a state correctional facility—is the lovely Georgetta Dane. Who would have guessed it? Wouldn’t you have imagined some burly guy? It’s no wonder these wines embody such a noteworthy blend of New World winemaking style and Old World finesse. Georgetta and I became friends on Facebook and I was instantly impressed to find such a lady behind such a heavy-hitting wine. (Note the recurring prison theme emblazoned on all The Big House labels.) You go, girl! And I hope next year you’ll make it out to ski with all of us unchained zinners.

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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