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Jan 10

Wine Book Club: Book 1

There is a LOT to learn about wine. Sometimes I freak out about it and wonder if I can ever learn enough, and at the speed I need to learn it. (I feel the same about technology at times as well.)

I’m not the only one a little overwhelmed by the glut of wine information though. A group of wine bloggers, led by Dr. Debs, has gotten together and created the Wine Book Club (WBC). WBC is based on the Wine Blogging Wednesday model. Every other month, a book will be assigned (for a total of 6 books per year). At the end of the 2 month period, those who read the book will discuss and comment online.

There isn’t yet an official WBC site, although we do have a presence on Shelfari. I suspect the site will be done sometime soon though. Once we have a site, we’ll be able to host our discussions in one location.

On the off months, we’re having "Spin the Bottle" books. These are books that a blogger reads and reviews, but no official discussion is held.

The first book for the WBC has been announced: Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy, by Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch. The book is being hosted by David McDuff of McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail. Due date: February 26, 2008.

There are a several ways to participate (and I stole this directly from David’s post):

  • If
    you’re already a blogger, simply post your review on or before February
    26 and send David an email (davidmcduff at verizon dot net) with a link to
    your posting.
  • If you’re not a blogger but would like to
    participate, you’re more than encouraged to join in. As the WBC site is not quite up and ready, this time around you’re
    welcome to post your review in the comments section of the “due date”
    article David will post on the 2/26 or to send him an email with the full
    review which he’ll include in the summary posting a few days after
    our deadline.

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Posted by Michelle at 2:47 pm in Wine Book Club (WBC) | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jan 10

Galloping into the Sunset: The Iron Horse Inn

We’ve had a rash of closings lately. We suddenly lost the Encore Bistros in early December. I recently discovered that Vinyl has since closed and that Jardin barely took a breath before closing its doors as well. At the end of December, One Restaurant in Mason sadly closed. Now, we lose the Iron Horse Inn in Glendale.

In every Cincinnati Events post I’ve made, you can find the Iron Horse Inn. They’re known for excellent wine dinners (at least according to my friend Drew), although I never made it to one. I’ve had Easter brunch there several years in a row, as well as random Sunday brunches, as the restaurant is not that far from my mother’s home. I’m sad to see the Iron Horse go.

I just made a phone call but their voice mail box is completely full. They still have an active web site that has no mention of the closing, but the state of the voice mail box and the blogosphere tell me otherwise. Thanks to Julie for the tip – I’d otherwise have found out the hard way when one of my readers showed up at a non-existent restaurant for an equally non-existent wine dinner.

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Posted by Michelle at 1:52 pm in Restaurants | Permalink | Comments (3)
Jan 08

Bouquet Wine Bar & Restaurant, Covington

Saturday afternoon was one of those dreary, overcast, misty days. So we took in a matinee movie (Sweeney Todd, in case you’re curious) to beat the doldrums. We found ourselves rather hungry around 5 pm, so we headed over to Mainstrasse in Covington, figuring it would be easy to find something there.

Right at the bottom of Main, and sharing a block with Dee Felice, Otto’s, and Chez Nora, is a new wine bar and restaurant called Bouquet. Bouquet officially opened on December 1. They have a classy, but limited, menu and an approachable wine list. Chef and owner Stephen Williams is the former sous chef from next-door neighbor Otto’s.

We popped in a little too early – Bouquet doesn’t open until 5:30. (Had we read the sign, we would have known that.) So we had some burgers down at Zola’s and then headed back to Bouquet. I was determined to have wine and cheese for dessert. We were the first folks to walk into the restaurant on Saturday night, but the prime location right near the free parking lot on Mainstrasse encourages walk-ins. Several parties arrived after us, as well as several calls for reservations.

The decor is understated and classy. I particularly loved the miniature Tiffany shades hanging from the ceiling. But Kevin & I are bar people, so we picked two seats at the end of the 10-seat bar and got comfortable. I want to mention that although Bouquet is in tobacco-filled Kentucky, it is 100% non-smoking. I’m of the opinion that all wine bars should be non-smoking.

The wine list might look a bit overwhelming at first, but if you study it, you’ll realize it’s a friendly and eclectic selection of wines. Several of our wine picks were recommended by Jacy, the General
Manager, who happened to be behind the bar on our visit. It looked like
around 16 or so wines were available by the glass, but Jacy also seemed
willing to open almost anything, which was nice. …

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Posted by Michelle at 10:23 am in Cincinnati, Restaurants, Tastings | Permalink | Comments (3)
Jan 07

Bloggies Awards

It’s like the Oscars for blogs, and the certificates are handed out at the remarkable SxSW Festival in Austin in March.  I don’t believe I have a chance in hell, but go ahead and nominate me if you feel so inclined. I know that I could stand a nomination in any (or all) of the following categories: Best Kept Secret, Best Food Blog, and Best Topical Blog.


The blogs with the most nominations get submitted to several panels of judges who then select their favorites. Once those are narrowed down to 5 per category, then open voting begins again to select each category winner.

While you’re nominating, don’t forget to nominate some of your other favorite blogs as well. For instance, for Best Written Blog, I didn’t hesitate to nominate Alder of Vinography. Cincinnati needs some great representation in there too, so don’t forget all our local bloggers of all topics.


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Posted by Michelle at 2:31 pm in Wine Blogs | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jan 07


All sorts of happenings in the next two weeks!

Tomorrow I hope to get you a post on Bouquet, a new wine bar in Covington. Next week, I hope to get you information on 20 Brix, which is a new wine bar in Milford. I’m excited about both locations. Sometime in there, I still owe you information on our Arizona winery visits, as well as next Wednesday’s Wine Blogging Wednesday tasting.

UPDATE: View our post on Bouquet Wine Bar & Restaurant.

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Posted by Michelle at 9:01 am in Wine Blogs | Permalink | Comments ()

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