Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ooh la la

wine tasting
My friends Scott and Jen took me to my first wine-tasting for a belated birthday present.
Scott is quite the connoisseur, and I get delightful perks when I go over to their house for dinner.
He's always bringing out a couple of reds--last time we even started with a sparkling wine in a beautiful apricot shade.
Jen is an amazing cook--she can decipher every nuance of a dish ("I taste white pepper").
She took a sip and detected raspberry and oak.
I'm not there yet.

I asked Scott if he would be so kind as to start teaching me about wine.
It's such a huge, complicated subject.
I started reading Educating Peter (sort-of a Wine 101) but wine is something one really needs to see, smell, and taste.

They took me to lunch at the WineSeller & Brasserie--a good choice for my first experience in that it was informal.
I didn't have to worry about swirling and sniffing correctly, if you know what I mean.
Wouldn't want to make a fool of myself.

Lunch was lovely.
We started out with asparagus soup with wild mushrooms and chantilly creme, big hunks of rustic bread, and an appetizer plate with roasted eggplant, green olive tapenade, and a marinated goat cheese.
Scott had beef (was it the rib eye? I'm not sure. I'm not much of a beef eater).
Jen chose Duck Confit, and I had the ravioli with ricotta, truffle, and artichokes.
We split the sampler of three desserts--carmelized banana cannoli, Vahlrona hazelnut torte, and creme brulee.
Scott also ordered a flourless chocolate cake with Grand Marnier that we shared.
French Press all around.
Ah, it's so nice being treated to the good life on occasion.

Along with our meal, we each were given six tastings of various Syrah.
We got a sheet of descriptions, and tried to match the glass to the descriptions.
Descriptions were wild adjectives--scent of blueberry pie, cherry cola....hint of chocolate.
Um, I didn't really get that.
I got every match wrong.
That's okay.
Nothing quite like quality time spent with good friends.
That's always the right thing.

Speaking of, that same week three other friends treated me to a Parisian-style bistro.
Coffee and about three hours conversation--it doesn't get much better than that.
Well, it does when chocolate is involved

My friend Tracie gave me a gift card in a unique package--a pig-shaped container made from a water bottle!
pig container
Who said crafts are for kids?

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Blogger Pattie - Chicagoland, IL said...

Happy Birthday! Looks like you have some terrific friends to help you celebrate your special day. Lots of luck to you this coming year.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Happy belated birthday Barb!!! Wow, I'm drooling on my keyboard reading about all that amazing food. Friends are so important.It's nice to know your loved, isn't it?

I just noticed a new wine tasting bar in the Liberty Station area. It's next to Starbucks near Harbor Dr. FYI

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barb, what I love about wine-tasting here in NorCal is the people you meet. Beyond the few pretentious "I know wine and you need to know that" types are the genuine vinophiles who can lead you into greater appreciation of both wine and conversation. Why do you think wine and good talk always seem to link together? Thanks for your blog. I've lurked for awhile, but I had to throw my two cents on this one.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Cindy Is Crafty said...

Happy B-day Barb. What a cool birthday. And the present in the piggie. Your friend knows what you like $25 for Ebay! Woohoo!

5:50 PM  
Blogger kt said...

Happy Birthday, Barb! Looks like it was lots of tasty fun. Glad there are people to spoil you there.

9:59 PM  

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