Friday, April 22, 2011

Rabbits and wine

Getting close to the day the Easter Bunny arrives. How is it that Easter eggs are delivered by a rabbit? Well, here is the tale I've heard told ...Easter often coincides with the 10 days of Passover, a Jewish holiday celebrating the passage of enslaved Jews from Egypt into Palestine, led by Moses who performed a miracle parting the Red Sea, allowing them to walk right across land where there once was water. A special dinner called a Seder is shared amongst family and congregants, with four glasses of kosher wine per adult swallowed quickly at different occasions during the feast, after raising the glass with a toast "La Chaim" = To Life!.
The first course consists of symbolic foodstuffs, Parsley, salt water, bitter fruits and nuts, a lamb shank bone, a honeyed mash of apples and hard-boiled eggs.
Years ago a congregation was making plans for the Seder. All invitees were to share in bringing something. Rabbi Thoshinski volunteered to bring the hard-boiled eggs. He left a note: "Rabbi T bringing the eggs."
As Christians evolved holiday rituals from Jewish as well as Pagan holiday celebrations, the message was interpreted as Rabbit bringing the eggs. To color the holiday as a spring celebration, Easter eggs were dyed lovely floral colors.
Now you know ...
Why there is a Leaping Lapin in front of a Bordeaux vineyard is perhaps just as a creative artistic creation as my colored pencil drawing of Rabbits making Wine.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


As I age, the more I appreciate acknowledgement of the oldest of anything.

I recently read that the oldest winery in North America is Casa Madero in the state of Coahuila in Mexico, founded in 1597. Mexican wineries have been winning medals in European competitions for at least a century. The one winery I have visited is Santo Tomas in Baja. One of the many winemakers at Santo Tomas was Dimitri Tchellichief, son of Dorothy and BV vintner Andrae. The present winemaker is Laura Zamora, who has been publishing food pairing suggestions on some of the labels. Always helpful for consumers trying a wine for the first time.

There are also wineries located in the states of Aquascalientes, Zacatecas and Queretaro.

A popular family Restaurante Nicos in Mexico City, Districto Federal, includes many wines of Mexico on their wine list. Chef Lugo is an advocate of pairing his culinary creations with wines of his nation as well as tequila and artisanal beers.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Wine Century Club

A couple of years ago I qualified for membership in the Wine Century Club by completing my application listing 100 wine grape varieties I had tasted. At the time,
this seemed like a lot and the idea of getting to 200 seemed unimaginable, so I just relaxed, framed my certificate and hung it on the wall in the wine cellar. I also purchased the DeLong Grape Varieties deluxe wall chart package. [~ $30]The chart resembles the periodic table of elements. We also purchased one for grandson, Chris and our friend, Cristi from the Buzz, who was studying to be a certified Sommelier. She has hers beautifully framed and hanging in the Buzz coffee/wine Café. There are now quite a number of regional century club tasting groups, meeting to widen the education of members and increase the number of varietals tasted. Here is a link to the Wine Century Club where you can apply for membership.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wine and Food Memberships

Geneology is slowing me down, so I decided to record my wine history as actively involved in world of Wine and Food for nearly 40 years:
San Francisco, California Friends of Wine, 1973 membership # 200 - it became the California Wine Institute.
Napa Valley Wine Library Association, Journeyman Diploma
1974 UC Davis various short workshop courses for winemakers
1975 - 1977 Basque Hotel Every Thursday Night Tasting Group San Francisco
1972-1979 Taster and contributing critic, Mark [Sante Fe Cafe] Miller's Marketbasket wine and food periodical
1975 Ravenswood Winery First Assistant to Joel E. Peterson, the Winemaker
1976 - 1979 Draper-Esquin tasting group
1972 - 1979 Women's Wine Group [organizer]
1979-1981 Wine and Health course for RN's - European Tour - Oxford, Champagne, Bordeaux
1981 J'faire les Vendage en Meursault,
1982 I made wine from friend's vineyard in PA - Marechal Foch and Seyval Blanc.

Since moving to Idaho, I have vinified dandelions, rose petals, huckleberries, cherries, elderberries, Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and a 'backyard bubbly' from unknown grape varietals in yard since buying this 1905 home in 1986.
Idaho Grapegrowers and Wine Producers Org. - attended meetings at St. Chapelle in 1984.
Idaho Chapter of Les Amis du Vin 1983 - 1990 Brooks Tisch, organizer.
Johnny Carino's Wine Club, 1998 - 99.
Treasure Valley Wine Society 2004 - present.
The Wine Century Club, 2007
Buzz Wine Club - monthly and quarterly wine tasting dinners since 2009.
Boise Wine Club monthly tasting meets newly formed 2010 - 2011

Various Winery Wine Clubs:
Joseph Swan, Ravenswood, Ridge, Indian Creek, Davis Creek, Cold Springs, Fraser, Bedrock, Brown-Haight, Hell's Canyon, Syringa and Vale.

Other related education and experience:
Cheeses of the World - certified in San Francisco 1977. Worked part time in a Cheese Store in Marin County, CA.
1978 Certification from Comite National Des Vins de France.

Wine Regions visited:
California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Virginia, Maryland, NY Fingerlakes, Missourri, Ohio, Mosel, Rhine, Necker, Nahe, Austria, Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Jura, Loire, Rhone, Provence, Frontenac, NE.Spain, N.Italy - Piedmont, Friuli, Tuscany, Sienna Wine Museum.

Wine and Food Festivals attended:
Heirloom Tomato Fest, Sun Valley Idaho Wine and Food Festival, Gilroy Garlic Festival.

 Interests: - ongoing Home Winemaker, Foodie, History of Wine and Food, Organic Chemistry, Home Brewer, Ida-Quaffers, Anthropology of Wine and Food, maintain with my husband a Foodie and a Wine Blog, Amateur Restaurant Critic list of reviewed restaurants on our WebPage - ... Ongoing research of regional wine and authentic food pairing for optimal balance and pleasure. Wine steward for judging- 2005, Judge for Idaho Wine Festival & Competition-2006, Past Chair of Judges for Idaho Wine Competition 2007, 2008, 2009. I had to write it all down before my memory leaves me and there are days I just wave!