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Adventures in Eating: Mexican Chicken Tortilla Casserole

I love throwing parties, and the bigger, the better. I always start with a theme of some kind, and then go from there. With summer here, I’ll be entertaining a lot, and more important than anything, I need to be organized. I am a list-maker. The first thing I do when I decide to host… read more »

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Import Selection: Tempranillo, 1988. Juame Serra

In the year 1647, on top of a hill that slopes down to the Medi­terranean, in what is now the prov­ince of Cataluna (Catalonia) in Spain, someone constructed a farmhouse in the likeness of a mediaeval fortress. Two hundred years later, this imposing property became a winery, Las Cavas Jaume Serra. Surrounding the cavas (caves… read more »

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Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1990. Mount Palomar

In 1969 radio station KBIG founder, John Poole, sold the sta­tion in pursuit of a more relaxed life style: farming. He acquired a 173 acre property and planted 100 acres of grape vines. Mount Palo­mar was one of the very first vine­yards to be established in the now burgeoning Temecula wine grow­ing district of Southern… read more »

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Member Inquiry: Vineyard Flooding

Paul, I recently saw on the news that Temecula suffered considera­ble flood damage during the heavy rains. Were the vineyards affected? What other natural foes threaten the vine?    – L.L., Woodland Hills Luckily, for the wineries, the damage was confined mostly to “Old Town” Temecula and a few roads which were washed out. The… read more »

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Adventures in Eating: Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Glaze

May is one of my favorite months. My wedding anniversary is in May, my daughter’s birthday and Mother’s Day (a new favorite holiday of mine). For many years Mother’s Day meant flowers picked from the next door neighbor’s garden, tied together with a battered hair ribbon and tenderly given to my very ap­preciative mother. As… read more »

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Import Selection: Verdillac White Bordeaux, 1990. A. Roux

The story of Verdillac is really the story of the French “negociant” firm, Maison Armand Roux. This highly reputable company dates back to 1842. Its founder, Ar­mand Roux, traveled extensively to Belgium and Holland, where he developed a clientele of well-to-do wine lovers. Visiting each of them once a year, he would conduct two simple… read more »

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Domestic Selection: Cabernet Sauvignon, 1988. Lone Oak

In 1974, the Smith horse ranch and the Hook cattle ranch were converted into vineyards. A good 250 acres of vines were planted there, split between Cabernet Sau­vignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Thus was the Smith and Hook Estate created as a Cabernet Sauvignon “chateau”. Our selection comes from the Lone Oak Estate, a separate… read more »

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This Matter of Uncorking Champagne

For some reason, the chore of uncorking a bottle of sparkling wine intimidates some people. They sort of quietly pass on the re­sponsibility to another in the group! (and thus never learn how to do it well). Then… there are those who tackle it head on, and sort of think that popping it is the… read more »

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Import Selection: Chianti, 1990. Melini Borghi D’Elsa

Founded in 1705, the Melini winery owns 225 acres of vine­yards in Tuscany, home to many of Italy’s finest red wines. Melini stands as one of the top four pro­ducers in the renowned Chianti re­gion there. This wine gets its name for the villages (borghi) along the River Elsa and comes from their modern facility… read more »

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Adventures in Eating: Pecan Coffee Cake

Spring is here! I love this time of year so much. Everything seems so fresh and alive. The gar­den is full of tulips and daffodils, summer is just around the corner, and “love” is in the air! With Eas­ter and Passover just around the corner, too, cooks are busy plan­ning their holiday menus. Brunch seems… read more »

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