Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wine Review: Honig 2010 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford


Well, let me first say that I love the label. The "bee" that helps bridge the "H" in Honig is a symbol of industry. The winemaker should feel proud of the fruits of her labor, and the winery should be proud as well. This wine is a straw color, with aromas of ripe fruit, like orange blossoms, pear, melon, citrus zest, a hint of apricot and a bit of spice. The palate mirrors the nose with juicy fruit, but with a bit of oak to give this wine some structure and complexity. The mouth feel is full, almost like some chardonnays. This is a wine that a "ABC" person (Anything But Chardonnay) would love! The wine has a a bit of minerality and the finish is long with those citrus flavors mingled with a bit of oak. This is a Sauvignon Blanc that has enough weight and structure to pair with Fall and Winter meals. I would pair this wine with grilled seafood, like fish, shrimp, scallops and crab. I would also pair this wine with roast chicken and chicken or pork with a orange infused glaze. I am in love with fresh goat cheese, so fresh goat cheese on a thin slice of baguette would pair nicely with this wine.  Note: This wine was a sample provided by Honig Vineyard & Winery SRP $25.00

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wine News and the Saucy Sisters


Chuck Whiting:

Whiting Publicity & Promotions

(615) 242-9857

Barbara Nowak: or

Beverly Pittman:

The Saucy Sisters

(615) 807-1743




Hundreds of Women Expected to Gather in Downtown Franklin on Nov. 4

To Help Set World Record during 'Wine Down Main Street' Festival

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 2011) -- Speakers and wine experts Barbara Nowak and Beverly Pittman (known as The Saucy Sisters) will celebrate the release of their latest book by attempting to set a wine-related world record -- all for charity.

            Up to 400 women are expected to gather in downtown Franklin, Tenn., at 5 p.m. Nov. 4 (Friday) to unscrew bottles of wine simultaneously.  The record-setting event, which will help kick off Franklin's annual "Wine Down Main Street" festival, will help provide much-needed funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Williamson County.

            Nowak and Pittman also will use the event to celebrate the release of their latest book, "The Saucy Sisters Guide to Wine - What Every Girl Should Know Before She Unscrews."  The Sisters will give signed copies of their book to all the women who participate in the “unscrewing” ceremony.

            “A few years ago, people thought only cheap wine came in screwtop bottles, but that’s all changed,” said Nowak.  “On November 4th we’ll be unscrewing two incredible wines from New Zealand, Lonely Cow Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, provided by Lipman Brothers.” 

            "Unscrewers" will assemble at 5 p.m. at the Red House, a vibrant event venue just one block from the square in downtown Franklin, to the live music of The Wineauxs.  At exactly 5:45 p.m., the Saucies will give the order to unscrew the caps.  Following a celebratory toast, the opened bottles of the official “record-setting wine” will be distributed and poured throughout the festival.

            “We’re inviting all wine-loving women to join us,” said Pittman.  “Reservations are required, but you don’t have to be attending the Wine Down Main Street Festival to participate. And our friends at Foxyware will be providing their rhinestone t-shirt transfers to everyone who signs up.”

The participation fee is $10 per person, with all proceeds going to the Williamson County Boys & Girls Club units.  Tickets to the Saucy Sisters' "unscrewing wine bottles simultaneously" event go on sale Sept. 26 at  Tickets to the Wine Down Main Street Festival are sold separately and must be purchased in advance.


saucy sisters to attempt to set world record -- 2

            "The Saucy Sisters' Guide to Wine - What Every Girl Should Know Before She Unscrews," which will retail for $13.95, will be available at and selected bookstores in October.  The book is a follow-up to the popular "The Saucy Sisters’ Guide to Wine - What Every Girl Should Know Before She Uncorks" (Penguin Group, 2004).  The wine entertainers also penned "The Everything Wine Book" (Adams Media, September 2005). 

            "Our latest guide will provide the basics of wine in unconventional ways," Pittman said.  "Women will learn how to judge a man by the wine he drinks, discover ways to fake the restaurant wine-tasting ritual, and uncover wine pairings for life passages and amorous escapades.  The information is serious... the delivery is not."

            Nowak noted that the book is especially written for "the girl who would rather sip than study, who's a little overwhelmed by restaurant wine lists, who feels like an outsider in a pack of wine snobs, but who welcomes a good laugh with her wine."

            Nowak and Pittman have contributed their opinions on food and wine to national and regional publications and, for five years, hosted "Sauced!" on Nashville radio stations WLAC-AM and WAMB-AM.  They have appeared on TV talk shows in more than 20 major markets, including Tennessee Mornings on Fox 17 and Talk of the Town on WTVF-TV Channel 5 (CBS) in their hometown of Nashville.

            Pittman is a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) who has worked for major U.S. corporations and government institutions, including Dow Chemical, ITT Corp., Pirelli Tire, Atlantic Envelope Co., and the Central Intelligence Agency.  She has trained employees at all levels -- from the hourly workforce to executives -- and has developed industry-proven meetings that are motivational and instructive.  She is a Green Belt in Six Sigma and, through her project leadership, has produced positive bottom-line results in manufacturing, sales, finance, customer service and operations.

            Nowak wrote the best-selling cooking reference book, "Cook It Right," and has served as a food and restaurant columnist for The Tennessean daily newspaper.  For four seasons, she hosted regular cooking segments on HGTV’s "Today at Home."

            The Red House, built in 1877, is traditional Southern charm on the outside with a modern twist of rock-n-roll memorabilia on the inside.  It is host to weddings, corporate meetings, fundraisers and special events of all kinds.  The Red House is located at 138 Third Avenue North in Franklin.

            Lonely Cow Wines of New Zealand are imported by R. S. Lipman, Inc. and distributed by Lipman Brothers.

            Foxyware is a primary supplier for many resellers and distributors of rhinestone transfers with over 20 years experience in the fashion, retail and promotional markets.  They create private label designs using the latest appliqu├ęs, including Swarovski, rhinestones, rhinestuds, nailheads, sequins, pearls and foils. 

            Members of the Wineauxs are veteran songwriter and wine retailer Joe Scutella; songwriter, performer and producer Paul Umbach; and musician, songwriter and U-Zoo frontman Brian Desveaux.

            The Boys & Girls Club of Williamson County enables young people, especially those most in need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.

            For more information about The Saucy Sisters or their new book, call (615) 807-1743, send an e-mail inquiry to, or visit

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wine Review: Jacuzzi 2009 Barbera

Let me first say that I love the label. I have a soft spot for vintage photos; you have to know your past to know your future. Therefore, as you read this review you will see this winery has a mighty bright future!  This wine is a very deep garnet color. The nose has aromas of red fruit like raspberries and cherries, and a hint of dust (dust in a good way). The palate mirrors the nose with an addition to a lush mouth feel, fruit forward flavor profile, and hints of tobacco. This wine was bold, but softened by the delicious fruit. I truly love this wine! I paired this wine with a panini filled with a garlic, crushed red pepper mayonnaise, beef pastrami, black olives, strips of roasted red pepper and provolone cheese. This was a wonderful pairing. I think this wine would be great with pepperoni pizza, burgers and ribs/pork off the grill. I can certainly see why this wine won the honor of BEST OF CLASS in the
2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine CompetitionNote: This wine was a sample provided by Jaccuzi Family Vineyards SRP $25.00

I am not fond of stemless wine glasses, but I could see this wine in this wine glass this filled with this wine sitting on my deck, while the burgers or pork skewers are grilling!

I do recommend washing them by hand. I have some acrylic wine glasses ( they survived Hurricane Katrina) with stems and the dishwasher can make them cloudy.

Try this wine with my suggested food pairings and let me know what you think; leave a comment!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wine Review: 2009 J Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

The wine has a deep cranberry color. The nose has aromas of blackberries, cherries, strawberries, earth, spice and a hint of cocoa. The palate is filled with those rich fruit flavors, but a bit of earthiness adds balance to this fruit and spice laden Pinot Noir. There are hints of oak finely integrated into the wine, to provide balance and structure. 

 I paired this wine with Chicken Sausage Gumbo; you know I'm from New Orleans, and just the thought of Fall had me making a pot of gumbo. The sausage in the gumbo just struck a chord in my mouth with each bite, and sip of this wine! I would also pair this wine with fried or roast chicken, grilled salmon, mushroom pate , grilled mushrooms and mushroom infused dishes, and Purple Haze goat cheese on a thin slice of baguette or cracker.  Note: This wine was a sample provided by J Vineyards & Winery SRP $35.00

 Check out the video from J Vineyards & Winery, they celebrated their 25th anniversary.



Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oakley fourWhites 2010 Cline

This wine is a light straw color. The nose has aromas of citrus (orange blossoms), stone fruit (peaches) and lemon zest. The palate mirrors the nose with those citrus and peach flavors with an addition of some juicy honeyed notes, that are derived from the four varietals that make up this white wine blend. The wine is a blend of Palomino, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia Bianca and Viognier. The finish is clean and crisp, and the wine has a nice level of acidity. I would pair this wine with crab cakes, grilled fish, grilled shrimp, light cheeses and appetizers. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Cline Cellars SRP $11.00 This wine is definitely a "bang for the buck wine!

I just love finding interesting wine glasses;  this Lyla wine glass by Crate & Barrel is such a lovely shade of green! And colored glasses are not really my thing, but they are great to entertain with and coordinate with your home decor;  but when I review wines, I must have a clear glass to check the color of the wine (smile)!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Updated 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, a *hint of honey (noted this in this updated review) 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 Crab Cakes. 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. This is a white wine that can be enjoyed into Fall and Winter due to the weight and roundness on the mouth feel or palate.  Note: This wine was a sample provided by Cline Cellars. SRP $12.00

 Lorrie’s Crab Cakes
1lb of jumbo crab meat (check for shells)
2 teaspoons of good Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon of New Orleans Seasoning
1 pinch of sea salt
½ of lemon
½ of a small red bell pepper (if bell pepper is large ¼ of red bell pepper)
2 tablespoon of mix seasonings (flat leaf parsley, celery, and sweet onions)
3 stalks of chopped green onions
3 tablespoons of olive oil *(1 tablespoon for the seasoning and 2 tablespoons to fry the crab cakes)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter *(divided in half, 1 tablespoon is for cooking the mixed seasoning, the other tablespoon is for frying the crab cakes))
¼ cup of mayonnaise (I use Blue Plate brand mayonnaise )
1 egg
1 ½ cup of Panko Bread crumbs (1/2 cup for the mixture and 1 cup to coat the crab cakes before frying)

Check crab meat for any shells. Saute` the mixed seasoning, red bell pepper, and green onions in a pat of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. Allow the seasoning mixture to cool. Mix, the crab meat, mixed seasoning, New Orleans seasoning, salt, lemon juice, egg, ½ cup of Panko crumbs, and mayonnaise. Form the mixture into 12 patties. Chill for at least 30 minutes; the longer the better. Note: Chilling helps the crab cakes stay together. Coat the crab cakes in Panko crumbs. Place a pat of butter and a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a frying pan on medium high heat and brown crab cakes on each side; repeat until all the crab cakes are browned. Place the crab cakes on paper towels to drain any excess oil. I like serving this as an appetizer or with angel hair pasta and a salad to make a meal.

Try this pairing and tell me what you think; leave a comment!

Wine Review: La Jaja de Jau 2010 Sauvignon (France)

Okay, I guess I'll start of with, "Ooh La La, which means surprised in French, it is a French slang." Also, "Jaja" is an old French slang word for a glass of wine, everyday wine, a thirst - quencher as noted on the back label of this wine (I'm not that smart)!

This French wine is a light straw color, with aromas of floral (grassy notes), grapefruit and lemon zest. The palate mirrors the nose with those citrus flavors and grassy notes with a hint of minerality. This wine is crisp and clean with a nice level of acidity. I would pair this wine with fresh goat cheese on a thin slice of baguette or crackers; or a fried goat cheese disc that has been coated with egg white, then with seasoned Panko Japanese style bread crumbs, than sat in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.  Then you lightly brown the coated goat cheese disc in extra virgin olive oil, perhaps Ecco Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Rutherford Ranch, then top the fried goat cheese on your favorite salad greens, that were lightly tossed in your favorite vinaigrette. I would also pair this wine with grilled fish drizzled with a lemon, butter, caper white wine sauce. Try this wine with my old faithful Sauvignon Blanc appetizer pairing that follows this review. Note:  This wine was a sample provided by Pasternak Wine Imports

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


Note:  Thaw puff pastry at room temperature for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven at 400 degrees

Drain spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels

Stir together spinach, artichoke hearts and next 5 ingredients

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, September 10, 2011

Wine Meets The World of Interior Design & Wine Review: Morro Bay Split Oak Estates 2009 California " Sur Lie" Sauvignon Blanc

Bernhardt Tuscan Villa Dining Room

I've always felt that world of interior design and wine are intertwined. For those of us who are oenophiles (wine lovers), to those who just like sipping sparkling cider out of a flute, just because it makes you feel part of the world of wine.  I like to keep a bottle or two of sparkling cider, for my guest who don't drink wine. My guest are always made to feel welcome in my home!

Interior design is not just pretty photos in home magazines, it is how you create spaces for you, your family and friends to actually live in, and enjoy. That concept can mean so many things for so many people. For me, it is all about comfort, and a bit of elegance. I call my style "relaxed elegance."  I like leather on sofas and chairs in public spaces, and on dining room chairs. If something spills, you can quickly wipe it off! That is why I love the chairs in the above photo, just wipe off spills or food debris. Leather can take daily living, and children quite well.

This is my Italian inspired china by Lenox.

 On leather sofas, you can add color, texture and a little sparkle by adding pillows. I got some pillows that have somewhat of a burlap texture with gold painted leaves, and some pillows with a golden shimmer at Target. So, a little shimmer can be had on a small budget!  I'm in love with Tuscan and French inspired home goods. There is something to be said about European design, they tend to blend elegance with practicality.

 A chip on something, only adds character. If it bothers you, then get a furniture pen and cover it up! I love spaces that are not "perfect." We, as human beings are also flawed; but our flaws, if they are not self destructive or a danger others, are what makes us who we are! So, my home does not look like a perfect picture from a magazine, but when it is all cleaned up, it looks like me; a lady from New Orleans.

 I have the Fleur de Lis symbols in objects de' art in my kitchen. The symbol is etched in a few of my white wine glasses,two small urn candle holders, two door stoppers, and dinnerware. So New Orleans is represented in my home.

Outdoor Wine Decor: The Jewelry for the Exterior of a Wine Lovers Home

This one looks similar to the one I have, but alas it is not available anymore!

I have a doorbell cover, that looks like a bunch of grapes. It has an aged bronze finish and I love it! I got it from Napa Style about three or four years ago from their catalog; but I have not seen it in a while. I really like some of the Tuscan inspired items and home accessories on their website. 

Check out my piece on At Home In Arkansas

Look at these beautiful Romanza glasses from Cobblestone & Vine

I could imagine them on the Tuscan Villa Dining Room table in my dining room, the all purpose wine glass, which is the second glass to your left would filled with Morro Bay Split Oak Estates 2009 California "Sur Lie" Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine Review

This wine wine is a light straw color. The nose has aromas of notes of grapefruit, citrus, and hints of grass. The palate mirrors the nose with those citrus notes, along with flavors of melon, gooseberry and a slight hint of apricot. There are notes of minerality on the palate, and this wine has a nice level of acidity. The finish has notes of lemon. I would pair this wine fresh goat cheese, seafood,chicken, and the bruschetta that I created, that the recipe or method of cooking is noted below. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Pasternak Wine Imports.

Lorrie's Fig Goat Cheese Prosciutto Bruschetta

Note: Forgive me, I usually do recipes in a recipe format, but I was a bit lazy today (flaws)!

I created a bruschetta with 10 slices of baguette, brushed with extra virgin olive oil. I put them on a cookie sheet, in a 350 degree pre-heated oven, and let them bake for about 5 minutes. Remove them from oven, but keep the oven on.  I then added a light spread of fig preserves on each slice of baguette, added fresh goat cheese to each piece , (*NoteReduce Balsamic Vinegar before you get started, so it will have had a chance to cool down) then I drizzled a bit of balsamic vinegar on each piece of bruschetta, that I reduced in a small pot for about 4 minutes to thicken it, then add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes to each  piece of bruschetta. The finishing touch is to cut two thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto into ten pieces, and top each piece of bruschetta with the prosciutto and brush each one with extra virgin olive oil, and return bruschetta to the oven for another 5 minutes or so until the prosciutto begins to slightly crisp.  This was a great pairing. Try it and let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Favorite Home Finds

Pierre Mirror

Okay, what does this mirror  have to do with food and wine? Well, picture this over a buffet in a dining room or in a breakfast area of a chic kitchen. I saw this at Z Gallerie's website. I would love to see this piece in person. I've been in the LA shop many years ago when I was on a work related trip.

"Heritage" Dining Room Set

This is just lovely; I would put it in my breakfast area if I needed a new breakfast set. I could see  flutes filled with mimosas and a delectable plate filled with brunch items.

Art Italica "Verto Gold" Drinkware
These beautiful Italian Glasses are beautiful! One day, I guess when I win the lottery, I will get some of these (smile)!

Crate & Barrel Wine Glasses

Verve Flute

This flute is like art mirroring sparkling wine or champagne's bubbles; just look at the stem/base! These flutes would be lovely filled with a sparkling rose, perhaps a sparkling rose` by Schramsberg or this French sparkling wine `!

Nat Wine Glass

This wine glass would be great in a transitional designed kitchen, dining room or Family Room when you entertain family and friends. Fill this glass with a Sauvignon Blanc from Honig, Bogle, Rutherford Ranch, Rodney Strong or J Pinot "California Pinot Gris and I promise you won't be dissappointed!

Edge 15 oz. Wine Glass

This would fit in a clean and contemporary kitchen, dining or entertaining space, like your Family Room.  Can't you just see this glass filled with a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. Check out my picks from my blog. I spy some Rodney Strong 2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Honig 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  in this wine glass.

 Vino Plates

I only got one set, four plates to a box, of these lovely plates. They were on sale at my local Pottery Barn. I hope when I have a little extra cash to splurge, I can get another set, if they have any left! They retailed for $35.00, but were on sale for $20.99. Money can sure be a wonderful thing! I had these appetizers on my plates.

Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Goat Cheese

These are to die for!

Well, these are just a few of my favorite home finds from the internet and my local retail stores in Little Rock.

For the Love of Wonton Wrappers

I just love cooking with wonton wrappers. They offer a "crunch" in every bite and make appetizers look so wonderful. I've made crab appetizers in wonton wrappers and  am in the process of creating more appetizers using wonton wrappers. You can add savory or sweet fillings in the wonton wrappers and pair them with so many different wines depending on the filling. Also, working with wonton wrappers creates a group activity for your family and guest. They can stuff and seal the wrapper's and you can fry them. Also, check out this older post with a Mexican inspired appetizer with a lovely Ceja Vineyards red wine.

Lorrie’s Crab Appetizers
  • 1 lb. of lump crab meat
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of mixed seasoning ( I use fresh Italian parsley, yellow onion, celery, 2 cloves of garlic and ¼ of a red bell pepper finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 2 or more pinches of Cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 16 oz. package of wonton wrappers
  • Enough canola oil to deep fry (about 2 inches or so of oil)
Melt butter on low heat in a skillet. Then add the chopped seasoning, then creole seasoning, and the cayenne pepper. Let mixture cook for about 5 minutes or so, on low flame until tender. Stir mixture. Then add crab meat and cream of mushroom soup. Stir mixture. If you feel that you need more cream of mushroom soup, add another tablespoon. Then add the Italian bread crumbs. Stir mixture. Remove mixture from heat. Take a wonton wrapper and a melon baller or small spoon and put a small amount of the crab mixture in the middle of the wonton wrapper. Moisten three edges of the wrapper with water and seal tightly. This very important to seal tightly! These instructions should be on the back of the wonton wrapper package. Heat oil in frying pan or deep fryer. Test by flicking a little water in the pan. If it pops, it is hot enough to begin frying. Cook wontons until lightly browned on both sides. Place on a platter with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. This is a good group activity, the friends can wrap and the cook can fry!
Check out an older post to get a suggested sparkling wine for this pairing