Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Wineries for Passport to Oregon

Every day I preach the virtues of Oregon. Now it's time for Memphis to experience it themselves. Joe's Wines Passport to Oregon will be the best wine tasting event to hit the city. Guaranteed. I've fallen in love with the wines of Oregon because of their heart, soul, passion, uniqueness, sensuality & overall deliciousness.
I just found out that both Cornerstone Cellars (pouring their Willamette Valley pinot noir of course) & Domaine Drouhin Oregon have signed on to participate! Domaine Drouhin!
You can purchase your tickets at
Joe's Wines & Liquors
1681 Poplar
Memphis, TN 38104

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Joe's Wines' Passport to Oregon

Oregon is one of my favorite wine regions....if not my very favorite. I'm so elated to be a part of this event. Joe’s Wines & Liquors is bringing Oregon wine country to Memphis on Thursday February 23rd. “Joe’s Passport To Oregon” wine tasting will showcase the best wineries in the hallowed Willamette Valley wine growing region. Owners & winemakers from Bethel Heights, Adelsheim, Elk Cove, Argyle, King Estate, A to Z, Anne Amie, Torii Mor, Domaine Serene, Rex Hill, Cliff Creek, Benton Lane, Le Cadeau, Lachini, Carlton Cellars just to name a few. Before it’s all said & done we expect nearly 20 wineries to be in attendance. Collectively, these wineries produce some of the most highly sought after wines in America. We present to you a rare opportunity to not only taste some of each winery’s best but interact with someone directly from that winery. In addition to wines from nearly 20 different Oregon producers we will serve “Pacific Northwest” style appetizers to pair alongside. On top of the selections being offered for tasting each winery will also have a special “rare” wine for purchase. Some are bringing large formats, library wines, small production or “winery only” selections. We will be offering special discounts on purchases made that day. Purchase your tickets at Joe’s Wines & Liquors, 1681 Poplar for $40/person. “Joe’s Passport To Oregon” will be held at the University Club on Thursday February 23rd.

Monday, December 12, 2011

2 Pinots. One Vineyard.

I absolutely adore Oregon wines & there is one vineyard in particular that always sings to me: Ana Vineyard. Kelly & I had our friends Tiffany & Mark & Elizabeth & Steve over for dinner the other night. Since it's the end of the year I thought the theme should be celebratory decadence. It all began with lobster. I kept thinking about these crustaceans. Then I thought risotto. Lobster risotto. This could be really delicious. I got my beautiful live lobsters from Viet Hoa. I texted my friend Chef Kelly & he told me to kill the lobsters first then prepare them. That was the first time I had to do that but it really wasn't that difficult. The difficult part is getting the meat out of the shells. I stripped all the meat out & reserved the shells which I sauteed with garlic, onions, celery thyme & parsley. After I got a bit of color on the shells I added a bottle of chardonnay & half a bottle of pinot grigio & about 2 cups of chicken stock. I let that cook down for quite sometime to concentrate the liquid into a nice rich stock. Meanwhile, I got the risotto going so it could cook slowly & the rice could release its creamy starch.
When our lovely guests arrived we popped open a bottle of J Lasalle Brut Preference Non Vintage. This gorgeous Champagne is 60% pinot meunier which immediately excited me. It's toasty, yeasty, with orange marmalade notes, brioche & it was so sensually textured.
Once we sat down I started everyone off with scallops that I seared off & served with a meyer lemon basil white wine butter sauce. It paired perfectly with Robert Sinskey Abraxas.
Next up was my lovely risotto. I folded in butter poached lobster meat, topped it with claw meat & drizzled a lobster-saffron sauce over it that I made with the reduced lobster stock. So rich, so briny, so delicious. Tiffany & Mark brought a Lachini Family Winery Ana Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006. When I saw that I freaked out. To drink side by side with that I popped open a Patricia Green Cellars 2006 Ana Vineyard Pinot Noir. The Lachini was masculine while the Patricia Green started off a bit more feminine. However, as the bottle opened up the Patty Green become more earthy & hauntingly sensual. Both wines were so beautiful & expressive. Yet again it showcased how much I love this vineyard.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Birthday Pig-stravaganza

I know it's been quite some time since my birthday back in September but forgive because time has gotten away from me. For my birthday dinner my wonderful husband got with one of the best chefs in the biz, Kelly English, & devised a plan for a dinner that would elate a porkaholic such as me. Chef English apparently wanted to go whole hog & present a suckling pig. However, my Kelly put the brakes on that one & said he "didn't want to stare at a pig face all night." No matter, this dinner was truly exceptional. Course #1 Pig Ear Carbonara Rich truffled pig ear "noodles". So creamy with a beautiful crunch to the cartilage but tenderness to the remainder of the ear. Course # 2 Rare Pig Heart with Cumin Spiced Eggplant Rare grilled pig heart that was so toothsome & earthy. There is something about heart that provides such a unique wine pairing. There is literally no flavor combo like the iron-copper rich flavor in heart paired up with gorgeously earthy red wine.
Course #3 Tongue in Cheek Succulent braised pig tongue over housemade noodles & tender pieces of pork cheek. So savory, tender & brought me back to childhood. My family used to cook tongue when I was a kid & I used to hoover it up.
Course #4 Pork Belly There is little that needs to be said about a perfectly cooked piece of pork belly. Sinking my teeth into the sweet meat & creamy fat is total bliss. Anyone that has been to Restaurant Iris knows that Kelly English knows how to work a piece of pig. However, this entire experience was something entirely more than I've ever had before. Of course the food was spectacular but the fact that my husband set this up for me for my birthday dinner really made it truly special. Thank you to both Kelly's for the best most porktastic birthday ever!