Sunday, November 22, 2009
I urge you to try it yourself. It really is not that hard. And who couldn't use a little extra family-bonding time? Ms. Nguyen also has a very nice blog, Asian Dumpling Tips. It has quite a lot of recipes, if you're curious, but don't want to invest in the book just yet.
If it sounds good, but you know that you'll just never do it, stop by our house on a Saturday night. We may put you to work, but we'll feed you well!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I discovered the farm in late October, well after the bounty of the harvest. I am really looking forward to next summer and all of the vegetables. They have a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture. You purchase a share in the farm, in exchange for a weekly box of produce throughout the season.) They even have a work-exchange program.
If you are interested in joining a CSA, or finding a farm co-op such as this one, please check out http://www.localharvest.org/ . Local Harvest is a national directory of farms, CSAs, farmers markets and other sources of local, natural foods. You would be surprised at the number of sources in every single state.
I know that I will not be eating 100% locally. Give up coffee? Olive oil? Not a chance. But feeding my family as much local and seasonal food as I can, makes me feel good on a variety of levels. Try it; I think you will like it too.
If you are interested in reading about a family that ate only locally produced food for a year, read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It's one of my favorite books of the past year.
As always, thanks for reading!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
If you're friends with me on Facebook, or if you're just friends with me, you know that I'm not a big fan of Halloween. A holiday based on giving children an enormous bag of candy has no redeeming value in my mind. Easter has a that reputation as well, but at least it has a religious story to it, and often a family meal involved. That being said, I am OK with the kid aspect of Halloween. I smile at little cuties trick-or-treating. Jack-o-lanterns are cool, and I love It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I limit candy, and grin and bear it; I don't want to be the mean Mom who forbids fun. I do have some other issues with Halloween though. When did it become an adult holiday? My parents never dressed up (if they did, the neighbors would have talked!) Why am I, at 44 years old, expected to? And when did it become a drunk-fest? It must rival New Years Eve for drunk-driving arrests these days. And my last question is, when, and why did costumes go from scary-cute things like ghosts, witches and black cats, to total gore - hatchets in heads, severed limbs etc? (I did find all the Sarah Palin costumes last year quite terrifying!)
But Halloween is the harbinger of good things to come. It's late fall here; skiing and the holidays are just around the corner. As a matter of fact, I went for my first cross-country ski this morning. I followed it up with a cool weather brunch for my family: cheddar and apple soup with sausage cornbread and bloody marys. Soon I'll be working on holiday menus. I plan on getting my Thanksgiving turkey this year from my local farmer. With the rebounding economy, we'll be seeing the return of the tourists this winter, and they'll be drinking more wine. Good for my personal economy! So, if you haven't heard it yet, let me be the first to wish you....Happy Holidays!!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
We flew into Barcelona, and, as is always the case when I arrive in Europe, I felt like crap. It does not seem to matter whether I drink or not, sleep or not, my first goal in arriving in a foreign country is to not vomit on the customs agent. So I slept for most of the bus trip from the airport to our first destination, the D.O. Somontano and the Hotel Casa Peix. What a lovely treat this hotel was! Its decor reminded me of a restaurant you might find in a national park here in the US - 1970's decor, linoleum floors, nondescript-looking dining room. Here at home, in a place that looked like this, one would expect to be served a burger with soggy fries and a coke in a red plastic cup. Who knew this humble-looking joint was a one-star Michelin restaurant and the dinner we had there was to be one of the favorites of the week? The cold creamy garlic soup with mango puree was fabulous. Next course was noodles in a cream sauce with a mixture of wild mushrooms. The entree choices were suckling pig, roasted goat, or pig trotters (feet) stuffed with foie gras. I had never had goat before, so that's what I had. It was delicious. We drank La Mano Mencia, 2007, from Bierzo and Jardin de Luculo Garnacha, 2006, Navarra.
Monday, we visited Bodegas Otto Bestue in D.O. Somontano. The family has been growing grapes since 1640 near the village of Enate. When, about a decade ago, a large corporation attempted to buy their vineyards, the Bestue family decided to keep their vineyards and their grapes and start making their own wines. Good decision. That day, we learned that lunch in Spain is a three-hour affair. Our meal at Bodega del Somantano consisted of five courses paired with the wines of Otto Bestue. After a quick visit to the headquarters of Opus Dei (you Da Vinci Code fans know it), we were off to the city of Zaragoza. We ate late, casual tapas, and finished the night in an Irish Pub. (It seems that whatever county I visit, I end up in an Irish pub!)
Tuesday, we visited the Carinena D.O. In the morning we visited vineyards and tasted through the Abrazo wines. Then we were treated to a visit to a 300-year-old wine cellar! Out of its one, still functioning barrel, we tasted a 60-ish year-old solera-style Viura. How cool! Next stop was Bodegas Anadas. We arrived around noon, lunchtime in our American minds. The Spaniards prefer lunch at around 3:00 PM, so they served us the traditional Spanish snack of tortilla, a type of potato omelet, with the CARE Rose 2008, in the vineyard. After the tour and tasting we sat down at 3 PM, for our second three-hour lunch. We were learning by this time, that every meal (including breakfast) starts with jamon serrano, a Spanish cured ham, resembling proscuitto. Here, we were served serrano made from the tenderloin - yum! I think the highlight of this meal was the foie on toast served with wild mushroom ice-cream!
Wednesday turned out to be one of my favorite days, which was a surprise, since jet lag had hit me hard and I think I only slept about three hours on Tuesday night. We left Zaragoza and headed to the D.O. and town of Calatayud. First, we headed for the vineyards, through the winding, narrow, steep (San Francisco has nothing on this town!) streets of the ancient town. And I am not exaggerating when I say ancient. I did not find out how old this town was, exactly, but I would guess it to be easily 1,000 years old. In some spots, one could not distinguish the eroding hillside from the crumbling walls of a building. And then, suddenly, we were at the top of the hill and popped out of the town, into the vineyards. As we moved higher through the vineyards, we came to a pine forest, which is home to one of the wildest vineyards I have ever seen. The vines are ancient and gnarly, and surrounded by grass, wild rose bushes and trees. If you were to stumble upon this vineyard, you might think it abandoned. But it produces deep and rich Garnachas, for Bodegas Virgen de la Sierra and other members of the Co-op. The wine producers of Calatayud own their vineyards co-operatively. We lunched at Meson de la Dolores,
a 16th century restaurant/hotel. We drank Cruz de Piedre wines and the highlight of this meal was the lamb chops. They were so tiny, that each diner got about a dozen. If you are not a fan of the gamey-ness of lamb, you would not have enjoyed these, as they were probably the gamiest I have ever had. Luckily, I am; they were great. After lunch, we left for Rioja, with a stop at Bodegas Pagps del Moncayo, in D.O. Campo de Borja. This is a tiny, state-of-the-art winery, producing intense Garnachas and Syrahs. That evening, we dined at Marixa Restaurante in the town of Laguardia in Rioja. Another great meal; the highlight for me, was the starter. Roasted piquillo peppers (a local, red, very slightly spicy pepper), with salt and olive oil. My chef husband always says that the key to fine cooking is perfecting the use of salt. This dish convinced me of that. It was so simple, but perfect. Paired with the Vallobera Blanco, 2008 white Rioja (100% Viura), I could have just had three more dishes of the same and been completely content!
On Thursday, we toured Bodegas Vallobera's vineyards and winery and then spent a few hours in the medieval town of Laguardia, a walled city, which, to this day, has never allowed any automobiles to enter. We visited the Portico de Santa Maria, a preserved, 14th century church portico carved out of stone. (Please check out the link; my description does not come close to doing it justice!) We had lunch in the old town at El Bodegon. We started with a seafood salad, welcome, I think, to all of us, after the red-meat extravaganza we'd been on. Then came my favorite part of this meal, shredded, deep fried artichoke. This, I am going to try to duplicate at home!
Friday was our final day of wine touring. We visited Bodega Finca el Carpio winery in D.O Ribera del Duero and had a tasting of the Zumaya wines (Tempranillo). Then we travelled to D.O. Rueda for a visit to Bodegas Avelino Vegas and a tasting of the Esperanza white wines (Verdejo, Verdejo-Viura and Sauvignon Blanc). Our last long lunch was at a tiny place that may have been called El Molino, although, it had no sign. We drove down a sandy, dirt road and parked in what resembled a US state park; picnic tables, grass, not much else. We walked down a path and came to a cement building that resembled what might be a changing room or restroom in a park. But, as surprises never seemed to cease in Spain, it was a little restaurant that served traditional paella!
Saturday was our last day, a free day in Madrid, where we did touristy things like visit the Palacio Real and drink Sangria in the Plaza Mayor.
What a trip! Thank you Louis & David!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I hope you have had time to read a few books and see a couple of interesting movies this summer. I would like to mention one of each, both relevant to lovers of wine and food.
When I picked up The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace, I was skeptical of the story's ability to hold my attention. It is the story of the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, and the circumstances surrounding the sale. It just did not seem to me that there was enough story here to make a book. I am happy to report that I was wrong. It is an interesting, fast read involving history, mystery, crime and the clash of personalities. It reads like a novel, in the same way books like The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air do. The characters, many of whom will be familiar to wine lovers (Michael Broadbent, Marvin Shanken, Jancis Robinson), are well-developed and engaging. The reader will get a look into how wine appreciation came to be viewed as a pretentious endeavor. The exorbitant, over-the-top, competitiveness of both the collectors and sellers of wine will make the average wine lover's head spin. One does not have to be a wine aficionado to enjoy the book. It's a good, well-written story.
Last night I watched The Future of Food, a documentary by Deborah Koons Garcia, widow of Jerry Garcia, of the Grateful Dead. The film discusses the history, legality and science of genetically modified foods. It gives a highly critical look at the agribusiness giant, Monsanto and the government agencies that are supposed to be regulating it. (Monsanto is a bio-tech company that has created and patented genetically modified organisms. For more info visit Monsanto's web site and the Organic Consumers' Association's site Millions Against Monsanto and form your own opinion.) The film also brings up the legal issues surrounding patenting living organisms and labelling of foods containing GMOs. It is not an unbiased look at these practices; in fact, no one from Monsanto, or any pro-GMO scientists are interviewed. The intent of the movie is to expose and bash GMOs; it does that well. Whether you agree or disagree with Garcia (I happen to agree), it is a thought-provoking movie that should move you to research the subject more.
Next week's post will be from Spain - if I have time!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Since the summers here are amazing, yet unbearably short, I have spent every possible moment outside and taken a break from writing, both my blog and my book. If only I could see my computer screen outside! School is about to start, and it's time to get back to writing.
If you'll forgive me, I'm going to start out with a bit of a rant. And it's on a subject, about which, you probably have strong feelings, or maybe you are just sick of hearing about it. It's health care reform. Am I the only one who thinks that both the left and the right are missing a very major point? Why is nobody even suggesting putting more resources into preventative health care? Wouldn't we save money, in the long run, if fewer people got sick in the first place? If we educated people about eating healthfully, exercising and managing stress? Why do we wait until someone is ill, before we think about health care? Wouldn't it be a good idea to take care of our health while we have it?
What if, at our annual physical exams, we were given nutrition and exercise counseling? What if we got rid of soda machines in schools? (The question should be, how did soda machines ever get into schools in the first place!) What if school lunches were chosen for nutritional value, rather than cost-effectiveness? What if schools made recess mandatory, instead of eliminating it? What if physical education and health classes consisted of more than dodge ball and condoms?
What if employers, instead of being forced to carry unaffordable health insurance policies for their employees, were encouraged to give stress-management exercises or gym memberships? What if we stood up to the giant agri-business lobbies and demanded real food? What if nutrition and cooking classes were offered to low-income households as part of social services?
I can hear some of the arguments against my proposals. Too expensive. Well, if we weren't (publicly and privately) putting billions into treating preventable diseases like hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, there would be a lot more money to put into these programs.
Another argument I've heard is, "people don't want to be told what to do." Well, I've got news for anybody touting that line ---YOU ALREADY ARE BEING TOLD WHAT TO DO, YOU JUST DON'T REALIZE IT! The big agribusiness companies have some of the strongest lobbies in the nation. They control both the producers and the consumers. They mislead us with their labeling, making us believe that unhealthy, fake foods are good for us; they market to children; they even manage to control the government agencies that are supposed to be regulating them, by putting their board members on the regulating committees! For more detailed information, please read Marion Nestle's Food Politics and Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation.
Of course, there are a few doctors making these points, Drs. Andrew Weil, Mhmet Oz, and Deepak Chopra, to name just a few. But they are on the fringe. Movements such as Slow Foods and Local Harvest are educating and encouraging people to eat locally produced, real food. Amazing people like Chef Alice Waters, and groups like Better School Food are working tirelessly to bring real, vital food into schools.
Please click on the many links in this post to learn more. If you are motivated, get involved. Please send me your thoughts and suggestions.
Life is too short to eat bad food or drink bad wine! Cheers!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I have been attending the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen every year for the past 11 years. Some would envy me, others would pity me. When I was with my former employer, the large wine distributor, the event was hellish for me, before during and after. The details of the stress would bore the average reader, but suffice to say, that I was put in a position where I had to please all the people, all the time, and as we all know, "you can't." This year was very different for me. Working for a small distributor, with only a few wines at the event gave me the chance to experience the event the way it was meant to be enjoyed. I tasted some great wines, sampled some delicious food, chatted with lots of old friends, and of course people-watched. Allow me to recap the tasty, the funny and the downright absurd - Food & Wine 2009...
First the important things - the wines and the food. I tasted a lot of good wine last weekend. Some standouts include the new Benziger Signaterra line of wines, including the 2008 Shone Farm Sauvignon Blanc, the 2007 Bella Luna Pinot Noir, and the 2006 Three Blocks, a Bordeaux style blend. The Benzigers farm biodynamically, and the Signaterra lines symbolizes the link between the three forces of earth, nature and man. A nice bargain line is the Folie a Deux Winery's Menage a Trois line, which makes a white, a red and a rose' by blending unexpected grape varietals, such as Gewurtztraminer in the rose'. All retail for about $10. The Rolly Gassman wines from Alsace were new to me. I tasted the 2007 Pinot Blanc, the 2006 Riesling, and the 2004 Pinot Gris. All three were lovely, recognizably Alsatian wines, but with a bit more residual sugar than one would expect from this region. I did not find this to be a fault, on the contrary, it gave the wines a nice richness. They run in the $30 - $40 range. Rolly Gassman wines are also produced biodynamically.
I found the food in the tent to be less over-the-top than in previous years. Not as much foie gras or caviar as in the past. The food seemed slightly more down-to-earth. No less delicious, just not so excessive. A reflection on the state of the economy? A desire to change our ways from past excesses? Either way, I didn't mind. The American Lamb council served up yummy lamb tostadas, cheeses from all over the world abounded and the lobster meatballs were perfect with the Patron Tequila Bloody Marias for breakfast. Lots of sushi too, which you will never hear me complain about. Which brings me to my next point - Sake' is the new...sake'! I don't know much about sake'; if anyone knows of a good book or course on it, please let me know. But I do know that I am hooked! This is not your grandmother's bag-in-the-box hot sake'. I'm talking about the small-batch, artisan-produced, expensive, sake's that are served cold or at room-temperature. My favorites were the Wandering Poet and the Divine Droplets. I can't tell you any more about either, because all the writing on the bottles is in Japanese!
On to some of the sillier parts of the event. The cell phone hug is huge here. Not familiar with it? Follow these simple instructions: Walk along while talking on your cell phone; see an aquaintance you have not seen in ages; smile,hug with one arm while continuing to talk on your phone; continue walking. It's all the rage. Then of course, there's the people-watching. Aspen is always a great place for this activity, but during Food & Wine, it's at it's best, with all the industry celebrities out and about. For foodies and wine geeks, running into Giada De Laurentiis is as good as seeing Angelina Jolie in person. Mario Batali might as well be Ben Affleck. My best friend, I'll call her Treena, is obsessed with Bobby Flay. So Bobby-stalking is always part of the event for us. Treena, at first dismayed at not being able to track him down in the first few days, was overjoyed to find out the reason for his absence - he had been called away at the last minute to cook for the Obamas! Check out this video of the Commander and Chef.
Reporting from Aspen, Colorado, this is Alexa Bond, signing off...
Coming soon....look for big changes to this blog. A new name, new content, still lots of fun.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I got a suggestion from one of my readers (Thanks, Dad), that I do a blog on summer wine drinks. While considering such a post, I was asked if there were any summer wine drinks besides Sangria. A quick Google search came up with hundreds, with names such as Cockney Champagne, Arctic Kiss and Lady Madonna. I'm going to stick to the more basic ones, and my favorite recipes for each.
Sangria is made with red wine and a variety of fruit and served over ice. This traditional Spanish wine punch should, naturally be made with a Spanish wine. The Tempranillo grape is traditional, but, a Garnacha would do just as well. For a lighter twist, try it with a dry Rose'.
1 750 ml. bottle of red wine
2 cups sliced fruit (oranges, lemons, nectarines, peaches, mango - your choice)
4 Tbs sweetener (sugar or honey) more or less to taste
4 oz Cointreau liqueur or fruit flavored brandy
8 oz club soda
Serve in individual glasses over ice.
Bellini. This Champagne cocktail would be perfect for a summer brunch. It is one of a handful of cocktails that can trace its origin to a specific time and place. it is said to have been invented in the 1930s at Harry's Bar in Venice. These days it is made with a multitude of different sparkling wines, most often Champagne, but I like it with Prosecco, a dry Italian sparkler. Some recipes call for peach schnapps. Personally, I would rather put a corkscrew in my eye than drink anything made with peach schnapps. I like it simple.
4 oz cold Prosecco
2 oz peach nectar or fresh pureed peaches
Serve in a Champagne flute without ice.
Kir. This drink brings me back to the summer I spent in Europe with my grandparents as a teenager. (Yes, they let me drink, quite a bit, for that matter! But, we'll save that for another post.) It's simply white wine, with a splash of Creme de Cassis, a black currant liqueur, and served with a lemon twist. The Kir Royale is made with sparkling wine. Some make the Royale with Chambord, a raspberry liqueur, but I find that too sweet and stick with the Cassis. Don't use your best white wine, but stick with something drinkable. My rule is, if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it, or mix with it.
5 oz still or sparkling white wine
splash of Creme de Cassis
Serve in a wine glass without ice.
Andito. This is a twist on the rum-based Mojito, invented by my friend Andy (or so he claims!) For this refreshing cocktail, the rum is replaced with white Port, and the mint replaced with basil.
4 fresh basil leaves, muddled in a rocks glass with
1 Tbs simple syrup (sugar dissolved in water)
Fill glass with ice, then add
5 oz white Port
1-2 oz fresh lime juice
splash of club soda
Shake & pour back into rocks glass.
I hope the weather is hot where you are, so you can enjoy one of these summer drinks today!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Hot Cross Buns,
One a Penny,
Hot Cross Buns
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Have you gotten one, or maybe several e-mails asking you to sign a petition to stop HR 875, the "Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009"? If you read foodie or political blogs, you've probably read about the controversy surrounding this bill. When I first heard about the bill, it sounded good to me. It would create a Food Safety Administration, which would take on the food safety issues now under the jurisdiction of the Food & Drug Administration, allowing the FDA to concentrate solely on drug safety, a big enough job by its self. This new agency would have authority to order recalls of tainted food, which, surprisingly, the FDA does not have. It can only suggest recalls. The bill includes new safety regulations for food production facilities, requires more safety inspections and requires such facilities to register with the agency and comply with inspections (there is no charge for registering.) Check out http://foodandwaterwatch.org/food/foodsafety/background-on-h-r-875/?searchterm=875
for a recap of what HR 875 actually does and does not do.
Then along comes an e-mail from http://LeaveMyFoodAlone.org telling me that this bill will essentially regulate small farmers right out of business! Telling me to imagine life without farmers' markets & roadside farm stands! Stating "Americans would be forced to eat only corporately manufactured, chemically treated, hermetically sealed irradiated fruits and vegetables." Would I sign a petition against it? Where's my pen? Then, being the good lawyer's daughter that I am, I remembered that I am never to sign anything without researching it fully.
I started with Marion Nestle's blog, www.foodpolitics.com. She is the author of several books on the food industry, including Food Politics and What to Eat. I think she's brilliant and recommend that everyone read her work. She gives a few links, and I also did some google-ing to get some more information. My research, by no means exhaustive, found nothing that backs up the claims stated on the anti-HR 875 petition. So, I'm baffled by why this petition exists, since its claims appear to be unfounded. What is the real reason that some people don't want this bill to pass? Certainly they are not for contaminated food? Pro-Salmonella? I'm not being sarcastic, (well, maybe a little); I really would like someone to give me the real reasons why some people are so against this bill that they'll say anything to stop it. Maybe if I knew these reasons, I'd agree with them.
Monday, March 23, 2009
I had an Italian wine epiphany last week. I was dining at Barolo Grill, in Denver, with my co-workers (whose company I enjoy immensely), and our Italian wine importer. We started with the Ca' Rugate Monte Fiorentine Soave Classico, 2007, a single vineyard wine that has received the Tre Bicchieri award, the most prestigious Italian wine award, for the past four vintages. If you think Bolla when you hear Soave, well, as my Italian relatives would say, "Fugghetaboutit!" This wine has intensity, body, depth and was delightful with my Hamachi Crudo con Calamari appetizer. We tasted several reds from regions as diverse as Abruzzo, Campania and Piedmonte, all wonderful. My epiphany began to really kick in with the Moroder Rosso Conero 2006, a wine made from the Montepulciano grape from a small region in Marche. Maybe it was because I had it in my glass as the entrees were served. It paired perfectly with my Gnocchi Verde con Agnello, spinach gnocchi with braised lamb shank and broccoli rabe. The wine was dark and complex; it made every bite of food taste better and the meal made ever sip of the wine taste better. That, my friends, is what food & wine pairing is all about! Then, we moved on to the Barolo. Barolo, I think I can safely say, is the Italian wine that probably hands out the most epiphanies. When you talk to Italian wine fanatics, you find that almost without exception, they are in love with Barolo. It had been coming all night, but while drinking the Andrea Oberto Barolo 2004 at the end of my meal, once again, I got it. Oh yeah, I got it.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I've been asked by several people to do a blog recommending wines that are good values. Not surprising, with the economy such as it is. I certainly don't mind recommending specific wines, but what I'd like to do today is go with the old Chinese proverb, "If you give a man a fish....," and suggest some easy ways for you to find your own values. With a few simple guidelines and the courage to leave your comfort zone, you can drink delicious wine every night, without spending more than $15 a bottle. Ready?
- Stay away from California. In the world of wines, California wines, especially good ones, tend to be pricey. While there are plenty of cheap wines from the Golden State, you may have to drink a lot of mediocre ones before finding a great value.
- Read shelf-talkers. Those little pieces of paper hanging from the shelves under the bottles can give you a wealth of information on wines. One thing to watch for: make sure the vintage described on the shelf-talker matches the vintage on the bottle. Occasionally it doesn't; if a previous vintage got a better review than the current one, the shelf talker matching the better review sometimes mysteriously stays up. Whether this is deliberate deception or simple laziness on the retailer's part is up for debate.
- Get to know your wine merchant. Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations. A knowledgeable retailer can help you find just what you are looking for.
- SPAIN - SPAIN - SPAIN. Shall I say it again? Spain. Spanish wines, are, in my opinion, the best bang-for-your-buck wines available. Try a Verdejo from Rueda if you're a Sauvignon Blanc drinker, a Garnacha from Calatayud if you like Syrah, or a Tempranillo from Carinena for an all-around red. Have a Garnacha Rosado on a hot summer day for a yummy porch-pounder. Look for the little-known Mencia from Bierzo in fine wine shops.
- Try Argentina, and table wines from Portugal. Lots of great values come from these countries as well.
- Be cautious when shopping Australia. While oceans of inexpensive wines come from down-under, many are mediocre or worse. Remember, no matter how cheap something is, it is not a value if it's just plain bad. You can get great values from Australia, as long as you do your homework.
- Buy wines rated 85 - 89 points. Getting a score of 90 or above is license to jack up a wine's price by at least 20%. You can find great values just under that mark.
- Be a little bit wine-geeky. Really, it's OK. Take notes when you taste, write down ones you like, ask your friends what they like.
Now, get to your local wine shop!!
P.S. If you're not familiar with the aforementioned Chinese proverb, it is, "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime." Now, you are ready to find wine values for a lifetime!