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Jun 30

Guest Post: Giacomo Fascio’s Rosso Cervo Cocktail

While Kevin & I are in Alaska, we've asked some friends and
colleagues to post on their wine loves, wine experiences and more. For
this post we welcome Jay Erisman, our favorite instructor from The Party Source EQ Center and quite the wine and spirits expert. He tries to put a positive spin on our dislike of the new Jim Beam Red Stag.
Thanks Jay!

Bourbon drinkers have offered mixed reviews of the latest from Jim Beam: Red Stag Black Cherry Infused Bourbon. I tend to lean to the thumb-down end of that spectrum. (Although Red Stag is rather subtler than I expected, and not quite the Robitussin swill some have described. And it is clearly aimed at the Beam-and-Coke crowd, who may like it just fine.) But the appearance of the drink led me to wonder: how good could cherry and Bourbon be?

For help, I asked my first-call cherry masters, the Luxardo family of Torreglia, Italy. The Luxardos are responsible for the great maraschino cherry liqueur–a requisite ingredient in any bar–as well as a host of other cherry products, including whole amarena cherries and a syrup made of real maraschino cherry juice (that's "mara-skeeno," and marks the true and original cherry of that name, not the little artificial radioactive-red fruits endemic to American liquor cabinets). A cocktail of good, strong Beam Bourbon, layered with amarena syrup and the extra bitter Punt y Mes vermouth leads to a cherryish but quite complex cocktail, with a nice thickness that could even work as an after-dinner sip. Serving it on the rocks with a splash of soda cuts the richness if you like.

Giacomo Fascio's Rosso Cervo Cocktail

45 ml (1.5 oz) Jim Beam Baker's Bourbon
15 ml (.5 oz) Luxardo Amarena syrup
15 ml (.5 oz) Punt y Mes

Combine in a shaker with ice and stir for 20 seconds. Serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with three Luxardo Amarena cherries, and pour a floater of Sazerac Rye on top.

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Posted by Michelle at 8:30 am in Cocktails, Guest Writers, Recipes | Permalink | Comments ()
Jun 29

Posts and Polls: Enter the Guests

Kevin and I get on a plane tomorrow morning, headed to the wilds of Alaska. Okay, not really the wilds. We're visiting one of my girlfriends in Anchorage then meeting up with Kevin's extended family for a 7-day Alaskan cruise. There will be much walking, hiking, and eating. We're finishing up the trip with a couple of days in Vancouver then heading home.

We're back for about a week and a half. After that, I head to BlogHer, where I'm speaking on a panel about food and wine blogging. That same few days, Kevin will be heading to Sonoma for the 2nd Annual Wine Bloggers Conference, and luckily he'll be live blogging from some of it. 

So first up, a poll. While in Alaska, I'll be in a place where the Internet can't always find
me. However, I'll try to post occasionally. Verizon Wireless has kindly provided me with a complimentary MiFi for the trip – where ever there is Verizon, there will be Internet. But I'm not sure that even Verizon can reach the Icy Straits or the glaciers. I will be recording events as I can for our oft-neglected
family blog. If you want me to post all about Alaska here as well, let me know in the poll below.

July? What July? We're gone for most of it. But I've got it under control! So that you still get information on a regular basis (when my MiFi isn't accessing a network that is), I've lined up a group of guest bloggers. They've already given me their posts (so that I don't have any surprises) and they are scheduled and ready to go. For the times Kevin and I are gone, you'll be hearing from our friends and colleagues, both locally and in other exciting cities.

I hope you enjoy their insight! They'll be bringing you different perspectives based on their locations, jobs, and interests.

You'll be hearing from

Thanks, and "see" you in about two weeks!

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Posted by Michelle at 8:30 am in Guest Writers, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1)
Jun 26

All’s well that ends well

My huge thanks to those of you that stepped forward, either by voting or endorsing me or both, as I tried to land the Really Goode Job.

Alas, the dream job in Sonoma, creating social media for a winery, remains just that: a dream job.
I did not make the Top 50. And while I really am truly crushed about this, I wish those who succeeded well.

In fact, I think it's really cool that 50 folks did make it and I can't wait to find out who gets the Really Goode Job. So a huge congrats to all of you!

Meanwhile, I head to Alaska on Tuesday next week for a long and well-deserved vacation.
And while I still hope that someone looks at me, sees my skills, and realizes I should be marketing for a winery somewhere, I also still love being here in Cincinnati.

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Posted by Michelle at 8:33 am in Life | Permalink | Comments (3)
Jun 25

How to Host a Beer Tasting

A few days back, Michelle and I hosted a beer tasting for a few friends and I learned a few tips. The full review of the beers tasted along with recipes will follow later, but here's a quick list of what I learned.

  1. When hosting a tasting try and pick foods that pair with multiple selections.
    The beer we served had different flavor profiles and I found a few items that matched with multiple beers. A few examples were a selection of stinky cheeses from Cork and Bottle, a nice salty prochuttio, mini quiches and a lean meat like buffalo or lamb. The stinky cheeses were able to hold up to a few of the hoppier beers and the lean meat (buffalo) worked with a few of the more herbal beers. However, having multiple different flavors of food allowed people to try different flavors along side the beer to how food changed what they were drinking.
  2. Try to prepare food that can sit in a crock pot or warming plate.
    This is something I have learned for all parties. The worst feeling is having to stay in the kitchen waiting for food to finish cooking and missing the socialization that was the reason for the gathering in the first place. Most of the food I listed above was able to sit out the entire time everyone was here. I planned for the last dish to finish about 5 minutes after the party was supposed to start which seems to work well for when most of our friends arrive.

  3. All sizes of beer can be shared.
    Most of the bottles I had were 750 ml bottles shared across 5 beer drinkers and 1 person who was just sampling. The origonal plan was for a total of 8 people and each of those bottles had enough with lighter pours that we could have easily served 10 or so. Later in the evening, I broke out a few 12 oz bottles that I had and those were also easily shared with the entire group. I was surprised as I thought that the smaller bottles would not have enough to share, but everyone poured enough to taste and there was still plenty to share.
  4. Remember to relax and enjoy the evening.
    As a know beer lover and someone who tries to make sure that there is something for everyone, this is one of the tougher things to remember. If a pairing does not work like it should, treat that as an excuse to discuss why you picked the flavors and figure out what may have worked better. This time, I made the mini quiches with a Kahill's Irish cheese with Guinness. My thought was the stout in the cheese would complement a few of the darker beers that we tried. It was a less than perfect pairing as the dark beers were porter styled and the quiche worked better with a few of the lighter IPA styles instead. I did not expect that, but the egg mixture offset the cheese more than I expected. It was not what I intended, but I learned something from the experience and had a great time discussing why something worked and figuring out why it did not.

Overall, the evening was a great success and I am working on getting notes and recipes put together for a future post. Any other suggestions on how to host a beer pairing party? Tips or tricks that I don't know about?

 – Kevin

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Posted by Kevin at 7:38 am in Beer, Beer-Guy.net, Recipes | Permalink | Comments (3)
Jun 25

That Last Push … I Need Your Vote

Hey everyone! Sorry for the shortage of posts. I'm in DC all week on business and my fill-in posts didn't arrive as expected this past week. I can't believe it's Thursday already. I actually need more days in the week this week.

Next week I head to Alaska, but I think you'll like what we have in store for you while we're gone. Unlike this week, you'll never even know we're gone, we'll keep you so busy!

Today is the last day of Round 1 of the voting for the Murphy-Goode Really Goode job contest. I could really use your support. This is your last day to do what you've been thinking about doing for the last two weeks – vote! 

Go to http://bit.ly/reallygoodejob. Enter your email address and, unless you want information from Murphy-Goode, do not click the checkbox.

Next, go to your email. There will be an email from the Murphy-Goode webmaster asking you to confirm your vote. Click the link and voila! You're done!  You won't receive spam or anything from Murphy-Goode, I promise.

Tomorrow they announce the Top 50 (I have my fingers crossed) and immediately thereafter, Round 2 begins. And yes, the voting starts all over again.

You can vote once per email address. Since I'm out of town, I haven't
been able to get out the vote as much as I would like to this week. So
let's really show support now!


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Posted by Michelle at 12:00 am in Life | Permalink | Comments ()

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