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Jul 31

Restaurant: Boi Na Braza Scotch Dinner (Johnnie Walker)

Michelle and I have been looking for an opportunity to try the rodizio-style restaurant that opened downtown for a few years, but we never found the right time to go until this past week. Master of Whiskey Robert Sickler was hosting a pairing dinner at Boi Na Braza alongside 5 different blends of Johnnie Walker. Overall the chance to have an enormous amount of meat with the chance to taste different sipping whiskeys was too good to pass up.

   – Kevin

Our overall reviews:

Boi Na Braza

(We only had our cell phones as cameras. oops!)

Follow the jump for all the gory and gluttonous details.

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Jul 30

Restaurant: Lavo

I know I’m not a foodie blog, per se, but as I mentioned yesterday, we sort of had our own mini restaurant week last week. How could I not share?

We swung into Lavomatic on Friday night on our way to the Opera. It was sort of an impulse on our part, but I certainly don’t regret it. It’s the first time we’ve made it to Lavomatic, so we’re a bit behind a lot of our friends.

Lavomatic, in a refurbished laundromat, has a skinny but bright and lovely downstairs and a patio on the roof. Being in our Opera finest, we chose to eat in the downstairs area. We got lucky – our hostess put us right next to Tim from CheapWineRatings.com, which was a pleasant surprise. Us wine bloggers – we think alike. 😉 Lavomatic is a fun and casual restaurant, where you could certainly show up in jeans, but we didn’t feel out of place in our pre-Opera attire either.

I ordered the summer pasta, which was chock full of lemony goodness. Kevin swears there were a lot of vegetables in there too, but I’m choosing blissful ignorance on this. I paired it, on the recommendation of our server, with a glass of Noël St Laurent Côtes-du-Rhone white.


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Posted by Michelle at 7:30 am in Cincinnati, Dinner and Drinks, Restaurants | Permalink | Comments (2)
Jul 29

More Specific Information on Riesling Labels

According to this article in Decanter, the International Riesling Foundation has proposed that a "taste scale" appear on every bottle of Riesling. This is to help consumers identify whether the wine is sweet, off-dry, dry, and so forth.

CleanslateOf course, you can tell now – or at least get a general idea – by identifying whether a Riesling is a Kabinett, Spatlese, or Auslese (see my definitions in this post). There is a lot on a German wine label – type, regions, and percentages of residual sugar.

This is part of a move, I believe, to make German wine labels more approachable. Last year, we were quite taken with the inexpensive Clean Slate Riesling. It was the first German bottle I’d encountered with an approachable "graphic" label. It’s one of the reasons we bought it, as we gave several bottles to our non-wine-drinking friends.

This is also part of removing the common misconception that Riesling is just a sweet wine. By specifically calling out how sweet or dry the wine is, the Internal Riesling Foundation hopes to dispel that myth and help grow Riesling sales. (Riesling is currently the fastest growing market of white wines in the US.)

What do you think of the idea of a tasting scale added to bottles of Riesling?

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Posted by Michelle at 9:31 am in Marketing, News | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jul 29

Restaurant: Seny Tapas

Last week was crazy. We had our own mini Restaurant Week, eating at Seny, Lavomatic, and Boi Na Braza. In between, we met up with the Cincinnati area bloggers at the wonderful Mercantile Library. It was a great meet-up, and better described in other blogs than mine.

Tuesday night I met fellow blogger Julie at Seny, in East Walnut Hills. Years ago, I lived in East Walnut Hills. I was obviously ahead of my time; since then, the area has been turned on its ear and completely rehabbed. I was blown away. Seny is located right on deSales Corner, across from St. Francis deSales Church.

Seny (pronounced Sen) is a true tapas bar, with small portions. The trick in a tapas bar is to order several different dishes and split them. I’m a terribly picky eater (which is why, folks, I write about alcohol and not food for the most part), but I had no problems with the Seny menu.

For wine, I opted for atypical. It was a warm summer’s day and truly, I
just don’t always want wine. I started with a Portugese Broadbent vinho verde. If you haven’t had a vinho verde, run out to Liquor Direct and
pick up a bottle of Gazela for $5. It’s like drinking Sprite, but
lighter. In fact, I highly recommend it with a tiny bit of ice and a
lime. My second glass was a white sangria, loaded with apples and other
fruits. Both drinks were light and refreshing. Seny had a nice wine list, with some approachable Spanish wines. The markup was about standard for an upscale restaurant, with a bottle of Nora coming in at around $30 (retail $12-15).  The glaring omission from the wine list, in my opinion, were the wines from Valeta. But I’m a bit partial to those.

Julie and I ordered four dishes: a charcuterie plate, a cheese plate, potatas bravas, and pollo.


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Posted by Michelle at 8:59 am in Cincinnati, Restaurants | Permalink | Comments (5)
Jul 25

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events 7/25 – 7/31

Photo by Flickr user Jeff Kubina, licensed under Creative Commons

After two weeks of wine dinners, I haven’t found any special events for this coming week. Instead, it’s a good opportunity to remind you of the plethora of regular tastings happening every week in Cincinnati. This includes Fridays at the Wine Merchant, Wednesdays at The Party Source (plus their EQ classes), Fridays & Saturdays at Liquor Direct, Thurs – Sat at both Cork & Bottle locations, Sat & Sun at Party Town, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Our full calendar of events is always available, so don’t forget to check it regularly as it’s updated often.

And don’t forget, for information on what’s going on in Dayton, you can refer to Mark’s blog at Uncorked.

Tell the retailers we sent you, and have a great weekend!

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

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Posted by Michelle at 10:19 am in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments (1)

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