Monday, June 27, 2011

Wine Review: J. LOHR 2010 "Gesture" Grenache Rose`

This wine is a deep pink or light cranberry color. The nose has aromas of strawberries and citrus (primarily notes of mandarin). The palate is filled with flavors of strawberries, pear, and citrus. This wine is fresh, crisp, and has nice acidity, along with a hint of citrus which lingers on the nice finish. 

Note: This wine was a sample provided by J. LOHR Vineyards & Wines SRP $18.00 and can be purchased online and in the tasting room only. 

 I paired this wine with Cypress Grove Dill Chevre on a cracker and Trois Petits Cochons Pate` with Mushrooms on a cracker.

These are both no-cook pairings that went so well with this wine. I would also pair this wine with grilled shrimp and salmon seasoned with Victoria Taylor's Ginger Citrus Seasoning. This seasoning has citrus notes and ginger that would really enhance the seafood dish and this rose` wine pairing. The website is 

I have used the Barefoot Contessa's method of roasting shrimp, and they come out great. You don't get the bland flavor of boiled shrimp. I use this shrimp roasting method, but I switch up the seasoning to pair with the flavor profiles of the wine that I am serving. Try this seasoning with the roasted shrimp cooking method and pair it with this rose` and let me know what you think!

I would use sea salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper along with the Ginger Citrus Seasoning and also use a different dipping sauce, or just add the shrimp to a salad.  Note:  Always use good olive oil like the Ecco Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Rutherford Ranch Winery

I just love this stuff! Note: This was a sample provided by Rutherford Ranch.



Saturday, June 25, 2011

Product Review: The Wine Glass Writer

Okay, I told a sales person at a wine shop about the pens, and she asked why would you need something like that? I told her wine charms are great, but if you have had a few too many glasses of wine or just one glass of wine, you will always know your name, therefore you can identify your glass. Who wants to drink from someone else's glass unless you are in a relationship or married! I have issues with drinking behind other people, so this pen works for me!  I followed the directions and the wine glass writer pens worked well. 

You have to lay the glasses on a kitchen towel (Note: that is what I did so I could have a handle on my handwriting, but if you are steady with your hands this step is not necessary),  and do your best handwriting and write your guest names on the glasses. If you are serving a chilled wine write the name above the pour line, and then wait for the amount of time that the pens tell you you to wait, 30 seconds or I would wait a little longer. But I believe in prepairing for a party, so I can have smooth sailing!

 I love the concept of the pen and the writing comes off easily, just soap and water. I drank from the side of the glass without the writing to ensure that my name stayed intact. You should follow the directions on the back of the package for the best results. When drinking chilled wines you write "above the chill/pour line."

I also used it on some of my cheese markers from Pottery Barn and the markers worked well; but you have to write like a regular person, not like me; I write "big." So, I had to go back and write like a regular person and the pen worked well. You can also be creative and draw on the glasses, as well as write the brand name, vintage and varietal of the wine which was poured in the glass. Note: These  pens were a sample provided by the Wine Glass Writer.  SRP $6.95-$8.95 and there are two pens in the package, one green and one deep pink. Try them and let me know what you think!



Friday, June 24, 2011

Wine Review: J. LOHR 2009 Carol's Vineyard Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

This wine has a light straw color. The nose has aromas of grapefruit and floral grassy notes which we call "herbaceous" in the world of wine. The palate has flavors of grapefruit, lemon and a bit of that herbaceousness that is a signature flavor note in most sauvignon blancs. The wine is well balanced, crisp and has nice acidity. The finish has a nice length and you get all those flavors of grapefruit, lemon, herbaceousness and a hint of mineral notes that linger on the palate.  I paired this wine with Cypress Grove Chevre's Dill Chevre on a cracker. The fresh dill goat cheese and the wine worked so well together. This wine would also pair well with seafood, goat cheese, salads topped with fried goat cheese coated in Kikkoman Panko Japanese Style bread crumbs (Note: make sure that you put the rounds of goat cheese in the freezer for a while before coating them in an egg white and coating them with the panko crumbs prior to frying in canola oil), and salads topped with grilled shrimp or crab meat. Note:  This wine was a sample provided by J. LOHR Vineyards& Wines. SRP $24.00

I thought that the information noted below was important to mention in this review. Most women including myself has lost a family member or friend to breast cancer. So, think about that when you read this review and know that you will enjoy a bottle of wine and help make this world a healthier place and possibly help save a woman's life. Thank you for listening!



Jerry Lohr’s late wife, Carol Waldorf Lohr, passed away in 2008 due to complications from breast cancer.
Please join J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines in our effort to provide 500 mammograms to women in need, through our partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Research indicates that early detection and treatment are essential to combating breast cancer, and annual mammograms are an essential first step toward confronting this disease. J. Lohr will donate $2 for every bottle of 2009 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc purchased to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Join us in reaching our goal of funding 500 mammograms for women who would otherwise be unable to afford them.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wine Review: Kunde Magnolia Lane 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

This wine has a light straw color. The nose has aromas of tropical fruit, citrus (grapefruit) and a slight herbal note. The palate has flavors of grapefruit, tangerine zest, a hint of peach with a herbal note on the finish. The wine has great acidity, and is nice and crisp. It was paired with Cypress Grove Dill Chevre and crackers, the flavors of the goat cheese and dill pair so well with this wine.  This wine would also pair well with seafood, especially fish, shrimp, crab, and oysters. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Kunde Winery  SRP $15.00

News From The Hess Collection Winery

The Wine Purse

I saw this wine purse at our local Dillard's Department Store in Little Rock, AR and just loved it! I really liked the Safari Giraffe pattern. This just brings transporting wine to a whole new level of elegance. It actually has a handle and metal feet so it sits like a handbag, and a strap to hold the bottle in place along with a corkscrew.  This would be great to transport wine to a party or to add a bottle of wine inside and give as a hostess gift. What wine would you put in your purse? Check out my wine reviews on this blog for some great suggestions.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wine Review: Cline 2010 Mourvedre Rose`

Let me first say that on the website they refer to this wine as a "quintessential breakfast wine." Well, I had it at dinner with a salmon cake, which easily could be served as a brunch pairing. I paired it with store bought biscuits with a spreading of Tabasco Brand Pepper Jelly This is a wonderful pairing for a quick and satisfying  brunch or dinner.

Okay, let's talk about the wine; for starters the color is beautiful! It is a light pink that most would call a light salmon color, but to me it looks like the light pink roses that you see on vintage fabric, the ones with the light green leaves. I love the color and the flavor of this Rose`. This wine is made from the Mourvedre grape and it has lovely fruit aromas. The wine has flavors of dark fruit like plums, cherries and pomegranate and a slight herbal note. It is a wine that's perfect for summer and would be great paired with Cypress Grove Chevre "Purple Haze" goat cheese due to the herbal notes of the wine and the lavender and fennel pollen coating of Purple Haze. Other parings would be salmon, chicken, ham, turkey burgers and pork skewers glazed with a cranberry sauce glaze. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Cline Cellars http://www.clinecellars.comSRP $12.00

Try this recipe for brunch paired with the Cline 2010 Mourvedre Rose` and let me know what you think, and don't forget the pepper jelly!

Lorrie's Salmon Cakes (yields 6 small salmon cakes)


(1) 14.75 ounce can of Pink Salmon (skin and bones removed)
(1) large egg
3 tablespoons of Italian Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped seasoning*( sweet onion, celery and Italian parsley)
1/2 teaspoon of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning  
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 cup of flour (for dusting of the salmon cakes)
Canola oil for frying

In a bowl place salmon and remove all bones and skin. Add the egg, bread crumbs,chopped seasoning, creole seasoning, and ginger.  Mix well and divide into 6 equal portions in the bowl. Make a salmon pattie and gently dust each one with flour. If you have time refrigerate for about fifteen minutes for them to firm up. Add enough canola oil to a skillet to fry the salmon cakes, (about 3 tablespoons or so) and set temperature to a medium high flame. Brown the salmon cakes on each side and place them on a paper towel lined plate or platter. Serve warm with pepper jelly and biscuits ( I like the Pillsbury Grand flaky biscuits).  * Note: I cut 1 sweet onion, 2 stalks of celery and about a third of a bunch of Italian parsley leaves and put them in a food processor and process until the mixture is very finely chopped. I put the chopped seasoning mixture in a container and use it as needed.  This is so handy when cooking; it saves so much time!

Wine Pairing Suggestion:  Cline 2010 Mourvedre


Friday, June 17, 2011

Wine Review: Cline 2010 Pinot Gris

This wine has a beautiful straw color. The nose has aromas of apple, pear and a hint of peach. The palate has flavors of apple, pear and slight herbal notes on the mid palate with a nice round mouth feel. The wine is crisp, with nice acidity making it a great wine to pair with food. I would pair this wine with a roasted chicken or grilled chicken with a thyme compound butter placed under the skin before roasting or grilling. Another pairing would be my Spinach Artichoke Pinwheels. This wine would be a great wine for those wine lovers who are in the "ABC" (Anything But Chardonnay) mode. The mouth feel of this wine makes it an elegant and balanced wine.  Note: This wine was a sample provided by Cline Cellars.   SRP $12.00

Spinach and Artichoke Pinwheels


1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (17.3 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with a tablespoon of water)
  • Dash of Sea salt

*Parchment paper for baking


Preheat the oven at 400 degrees

Drain spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels

Stir together spinach, artichoke hearts and next 5 ingredients

Thaw puff pastry at room temperature for 30 minutes

Unfold pastry and place on a lightly floured place or on heavy plastic wrap

Spread one half spinach mixture over pastry sheet, leaving an 1/2 inch border

Roll up pastry, jelly-roll fashion, pressing to seal seam, wrapping in heavy duty plastic

Repeat procedure with remaining mixture and pastry

Freeze 30 minutes, cut into ½ inch thick slices

These can be frozen up to 3 months

Brush with egg wash before baking. Place pinwheels on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown

Yield 4 dozen
Try this wine and food pairing and let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cookbook Review: the comfort table by Katie Lee Joel

Okay, why such a large image; I love the cover, and she is having a glass of wine! I just got this cookbook last week, and I read the entire book. Katie Lee Joel seems like a young woman I would love to meet. I could see us cooking together and having a glass of wine. The book is "soulful" in the way she describes her past and how it shaped her into the person and cook she is today. She conveys a sense of humility while still knowing her abilities and her status in life; she is the wife of the famous rock star Billy Joel. I suppose Katie Lee Joel can be an "Uptown Girl" when she needs to be all dressed up full of beauty, style and grace and just be a regular southern cook in the kitchen. Boy, she seems to have coined my style (smile).

The food has southern roots, so I feel a kinship to her in that way, being a woman born and raised in New Orleans. Katie Lee Joel also embraces her personal style while remaining true to her southern roots as it relates to her cooking style. "Relaxed elegance"  would be my coined phrase to describe the look of the finshed dishes that appear throughout the photographs in her book. Cooking and entertaing can sometimes go hand in hand. We can cook just for the immediate family, but when we entertain, dressing the part is so important, and she shares that with her readers through her photographs in the book. She refers to herself as a "hillbilly princess", and I just love that she is comfortable enough, within her own skin to be able to use that oxymoron rooted phrase to describe herself. On another note, not only is she beautiful, she can write; I guess that is where the phrase "beauty and brains" really says it all!

The recipes seem to be great; I have not had a chance to try any yet, but the ingredients and preparation lead to believe they will be great. Paula Deen likes her cooking and who can argue with the Food Network's queen of southern cooking (y'all spoken with Paula's southern drawl)?

One last thing that I noticed and loved was that she explained just what "the comfort table" was, what it really meant to her and how she really feels about the cooking lifestyle. I loved this book so much I sent a copy to my adult daughter Angelle. Angelle never wanted to learn how to cook when she was a kid growing up; she was and still is an academic. But the funny thing about that is, now as an adult, an English Instructor at my old university, she has become interested in cooking and loves it! As you can see I love my daughter and I am so pleased I could share something that we both love, a good cookbook!

What red wine do you all think is in Katie Lee Joel's wine glass on the book cover? These are two of my guesses:

2008 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine has a dark garnet color. The nose is filled with aromas of ripe dark fruit and a hint of chocolate. The palate has flavors of blackberries, dark plums and chocolate with very smooth tannins. This wine was lovely! I love a wine that is great to sip on its own and also be paired with meals, and this wine fits the bill. This wine would pair well with burgers, steaks or my super bruschetta. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Rodney Strong Vineyards. SRP $25.00

Honig 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Let me first say that I was lucky enough and honored to sample this wine prior to its release. Winemaker  Kristin Belair has crafted a wine that is so "honest",  with the fruit being the star, and the oak being the supporting actor. This wine is a blend of 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4.5% Petit Verdot. I found this wine to be intoxicating and lush; just like the" perfect woman" one would see on the silver screen, playing the role of the seductress. I usually don't write flowery reviews, but I needed to provide this bit of imagery for the reader to fully understand my tasting experience.

The wine was a dark garnet color. The nose has aromas of ripe dark fruit integrated with lovely exotic spices. The palate mimicked the nose showcasing flavors of blueberries, dark cherries, hints of blackberries along with faint hints of coffee and coconut along with sweet vanilla oak finish. The oak was not overpowering, but played the role of creating balance and structure in the wine. The wine is rich and lush and  has a long finish.  The wine was paired with a rib eye steak pan seared in olive oil with a few sprigs of  rosemary, which infused the meat with a lovely earthy flavor that pairs so well with Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is wonderful to sip alone or pair with aged cheddar or Cahill Porter Cheese. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Honig Vineyard & Winery SRP $40.00



A Look At Chef Anne Burrell

Anne Burrell

I must admit that when I first saw Anne Burrell on television, her fast talking (i. e.  playful way of talking to her food) and flying hair was a bit too high gear for me; but after watching her cook, I was converted. She is a great chef and has a lot of passion for food. In addition, she is also one of the Food Network stars that will sip a glass of wine with her completed dishes and note if it was a great pairing.

She really cooks foods that a home cook can cook, but the food has that "restaurant look". Her show is properly named "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef." Her love of herbs, marinades and mixing flavors and textures make her a joy to watch. I also like that she tastes her food as she cooks and calls it " quality control", which is very important to me when I am cooking. She cooks real food that has a somewhat added sophistication in the finished product that would make any home cook proud. 

Below is a link with more information on Anne Burrell. The second link is a recipe that I want to try, minus the salad, because I want to serve it as an appetizer and pair it with wine. Check out the link and try to guess which varietal I will pair it with; I'll give you a hint, the wine is a great pick for spring and summer.



Monday, June 6, 2011

What Would Elizabeth Taylor Drink?

Elizabeth Taylor
February 27, 1932 - March 23, 2011

I have noted in a previous post that I am usually not an avid admirer of movie stars, but Liz Taylor and I never met, but I feel we have a kinship in so many ways. She was and always will be in my opinion one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her work with AIDS and other charities only enhanced her beauty in my eyes. Liz like me believes in marriage, even if you have to try a few times to get it right. The love of diamonds and luxury is another thing we share. I can only dream of how it felt to live like her and own some of the most precious gems in the world; but I'm okay with my little luxuries.

I read an article off the Internet about her being interviewed in London at a restaurant along with her beloved husband "times two" Richard Burton. The article says the interviewer and Liz had champagne and her hubby had  Perrier, he was as they call it "on the wagon." Liz wanted him to the "best" Richard Burton" he could be in the husband department, as the article stated, but not as nicely as I have put it. Richard Burton was a talented actor and a man who really could buy a girl great diamonds!

I also love champagne and sparkling wine, diamonds, great food, helping others and of course men to love and adore me, (what girl would not want that); Liz and I had so much in common.

Could you imagine being all "dolled up" wearing the "Hope Diamond Necklace" with a glass of champagne and a man looking at you like he saw a mirage? All I can do is dream!

Taylor-Burton Necklace with the Hope Diamond

Champagne and sparkling wine can make any woman feel special. You don't have to be a movie star to drink like one. Maybe Liz drank Dom Perignon, or as the rich lovingly call it "Dom." 

I was given two bottles of "Dom" a few years ago by a friend; that was my only opportunity to sample one of the most celebrated champagnes of the world. My sparkling wines are usually from California these days. In my youth, I had a few admirers who would bring my favorite, at that time,  Moet & Chandon White Star when they "came to court." I love and support my California wineries that create sparkling wines that can "wow" you when poured in a flute!

I wonder if Liz drank her champagne in a Baccarat Messena Flute, or was it poured in a "coupe" or saucer? Maybe it was poured in a classic, simple crystal flute by Waterford, Riedel or Lenox

Baccarat Massena Flute

I just felt compelled to write an entry about the fabulous Elizabeth Taylor. We both are women born under the zodiac sign of Pisces, maybe that's why we love to love, give, feel deeply, and enjoy some of the beautiful things in life. In every interview I've ever seen with Liz Taylor she always expressed humility and never felt the need to apologize for her love of diamonds. Liz, I just wished we could have had a few appetizers and a few glasses of champagne, because we really could have had a great time!

Check out some of these wonderful California sparkling wines!



Friday, June 3, 2011

The Three Little Pigs and Wine: What a Wonderful Story

I really like this article that I wrote some time ago. You don't have to cook to have a great party; just have great store bought products and great wine!



Wine Review: 2010 J "California" Pinot Gris

2010 J "California" Pinot Gris

This wine is a light straw color. The nose is filled with notes of citrus, primarily orange and tangerine zest. The palate has those citrus flavors of orange, tangerine, and lemon zest. The wine is crisp with great acidity, a hint of honey to heighten the fruit flavors and a bit of minerality on the finish. If you are a lover of Sauvignon Blancs with nice fruit, than this Pinot Gris would be a great wine to try and add to your cellar or fridge. I think this wine is great to sip alone or to pair with fish, shellfish, especially shrimp, light salads and goat cheeses.

Also, there is a "QR Code" on the back label of this 2010 vintage that can be used with your mobile device. Go to or check out my entry on News From J Vineyards and Winery to learn more about this feature.  Note:  This wine was a sample provided by J Wine. This wine has a SRP of $16.00.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

News From J Vineyards and Winery



For Immediate Release
Contact:  George Rose
(707) 431-5233


HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA — (May 2011) —  Speaking directly to consumers through Social Media communication platforms is a priority for businesses all across the country, and Sonoma County’s wineries are no exception.

When it comes to mobile communication, there’s an app for just about everything.  Whether you tweet, blog, or watch videos, “going mobile” is clearly winning the hearts and minds of wine lovers everywhere.

J Vineyards & Winery, celebrating its 25th year as a business in Sonoma County, has integrated an informational QR code on two of its upcoming wine releases — the 2010 J California Pinot Gris varietal wine and a celebratory J Cuvée 20 “Anniversary” sparkling wine.

By scanning the QR code with your mobile device, you are instantly transported to a one-minute educational video on that particular wine.  In these “quick hit” videos, J Founder and President Judy Jordan shares wine and food pairing tips.

In addition to wine back labels, the QR code can also be found on technical wine sheets, the J website, and within this press release. A QR code reader for your mobile smart phone can be easily downloaded from your favorite app store.

“This is a quick, easy, and fun way for wine lovers to track what’s new with our wines,” says the effervescent Jordan.


J Vineyards & Winery is located at
11447 Old Redwood Highway south
of Healdsburg.  The winery focuses on Brut and Brut Rosé sparkling wines, as well as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris Estate varietal wines, produced from grapes farmed primarily within Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley appellation.

Founded by Judy Jordan in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery is an independently owned Sonoma County winery.  The winery is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year.  To learn more, or to join the J Wine Club, go to