Wine review: Cave Robert et Marcel 2016 Saumur Les Pouches

Robert et Marcel 2016 Saumur Les PouchesIt’s an impressive mouthful of a name with an equally impressive personality. Cave Robert et Marcel 2016 Saumur Les Pouches hails from the Saumur [SO mur] appellation in the Loire Valley region of France (read more about the Loire Valley), where the grape varietal Chenin Blanc reigns supreme. I visited this region last year and wallowed in the beauty of gorgeous, well-made Chenin Blanc, a wine which offers all the rich, full bodied-ness of Chardonnay and the minerally driven, acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s really been my favorite white grape for a while, pairing with a massive variety of food but also refreshing enough as a porch sipper. And I like to pour it for people who have no idea what wine they want to drink… my conversion rate is very high.

The Robert et Marcel story started in 1957, when 40 winegrowers got together to form a cooperative partnership to weather a financial storm. These Loire Valley vintners shared a dream of making wine that respected the land and tasted great. Fast forward 60 years, when the Robert et Marcel coop (Marcel and Robert are sadly gone) has 1800 hectares (that’s 4,400 acres to you and me) under vine and 300 vintners in the collective. They make wine from 12 different AOP wine regions in the Loire Valley.   Read more »

Wine review: Crowded House 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc

Every so often, you taste a wine that — to borrow a word from beer circles — is a “session” wine. You can drink it aaalllll day— in sessions by the pool, on the patio or on the couch. Sip after sip, it keeps on giving and never gets tedious. Occasionally, Sauvignon Blanc can hit this sweet spot but often these crisp grogs, especially those from the particularly chilly New Zealand wine region, taste way too tart to fall into the “session” category for me. Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc is a strong exception to this New Zealand rule.

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Diary of 72 Hours in Portland

We landed at noon on a Friday, ready to engulf ourselves in the culture of the liberal, hipster town of Portland. Home of beer, wine, a thriving food scene and plenty of outdoor activity. And we only had 72 hours in Portland. The weekend we landed in early May was the first sunshine-y day after many dreary, rainy weekends so everyone took to the streets and parks like a flash flood. The city was bumpin’.

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Six Paleo and AIP friendly recipes that I worship

Paleo friendly recipe for celeriac mash

On a specialized diet, any cook gets bored with making the same thing over and over and over again. Hell, sometimes it’s easier to go through the rote motions but then I get fed up with the monotony. In these dark times, I turn to the internet to refresh my palate. There is thankfully a massive community of Paleo and Auto Immune Protocol bloggers out there and we all feed off of each other’s creativity and published posts. My Pinterest boards are peppered with these six Paleo friendly recipes (and AIP!) that I turn to pretty frequently and wanted to give them some love. By the way, ALL of these are super, super easy to throw together.

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Wine review: Preston 2014 Barbera Dry Creek Valley

Preston 2014 Barbera

As someone who writes about wine and who also works for a winery, I have multitudinous bottles of wine at my house. It can get overwhelming, albeit in a very, very good way. But what this enviable “predicament” means is that I rarely buy wine. When I do, it’s a pretty epic bottle of juice. Like Preston Barbera.

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Mahi with lemon caper sauce recipe - Paleo friendly

Mahi with lemon caper sauce

Part of my food life journey is exploring all areas of the protein spectrum and, to be honest, fish was somewhat of a new frontier for me. I ordered it all the time in restaurants (and loved it) but it was an intimidating home meal. All that worrying about freshness, the higher cost and sometimes the smell didn’t exactly make it attractive. But after the past few years, I’m over all of that BS and often make a super easy fish recipe like Mahi with Lemon Caper Sauce. The secret? Buy frozen fillets and you don’t have to worry about freshness (or a fishy smell). This recipe was inspired by Cooking Light Magazine and refined through a few iterations until I made it perfect for me.

Read more: Super easy fish recipe: Mahi with lemon caper sauce (Paleo, AIP)

Wine review: Adegas Valminor 2015 Albariño Rias Baixas

Valminor 2015 Albarino

Of all the wine regions I’ve had the extreme pleasure to visit, Spain’s Rías Baixas DOC, the west coastal home of the white Albariño grape, was the most memorable. From the way they grow their grapes, to the seafood culture, to the wide open possibilities of this beautifully acidic and quite underrated grape, the region holds incredible promise. These memories flooded my brain when I tasted the Valminor 2015 Albariño.

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Curing allergies with food: 2 years later AIP diet redux

It’s been almost 2 years since my first round of the autoimmune protocol or AIP diet to cure my shellfish allergies with food. What a ride that has lasted a while but I’ve noticed a few things lately that are calling me back into the realms of another 60-day leaky gut reset, starting next month. Not sure if anyone else has these sorts of symptoms but I’ll list them here

Read more: Curing allergies with food: AIP diet redux 2 years later

Wine review: Alta Mora 2014 Rosso Mt. Etna Sicily

Alta Mura 2014 Rosso

On the wine geekiness scale, the Alta Mora 2014 Rosso ranks high. Made from a decidedly geeky, native grape called Nerello Mascalese and grown on the slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily, this robust, well-made red wine checks all the boxes for one-upmanship at a bring-your-own party. The Cusumano family owns this winery, two brothers with balls enough to plant a vineyard very near an active volcano. The largest active volcano in Europe. Yep — hope they’re insured.

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Recipe: Spicy sausage and garbanzo bean stew (weeknight meal)

sausage-and-garbanzo-stew

With a couple of fresh items and a list of pantry-clearing ingredients, this spicy sausage and garbanzo stew recipe comes together in about 30 minutes. You can substitute a bunch of things in this recipe — leftover roast chicken for the sausage (or mild sausage instead), cannelloni beans for the garbanzo beans, and add/sub other vegetables like zucchini or kale to veg it out a little more. It’s so forgiving, it’s kinda tough to mess up the flavors in this stew with additional vegetables. You can even remove the garbanzos if you’re following Paleo or Whole 30 diets, with minimal affect to this little recipe that could.

Read more: Spicy sausage and garbanzo bean stew recipe (weeknight meal)