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Jun 19

A Dog-Gone Good Wine Label

Another place for you to vote, but this is much less intense (at least from my perspective). Mutt Lynch Winery is sponsoring a Dog Art contest. A bunch of talented artists have submitted potential label art for a bottle of Dry Creek Valley Meritage, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and
Merlot aged in 100% French oak for 18 months.  Only 500 bottles will be produced and proceeds from the wine will benefit the Healdsburg Animal Shelter.

I voted because I absolutely love dogs. One vote per day (or per IP address) I believe. It's fun to look through the art, even if I am getting a bit tired of the voting gimmick.  The contest ends tonite at midnight, PST.

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Posted by Michelle at 3:27 pm in Entertainment, Games | Permalink | Comments ()
Jun 19

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: June 20 – July 3

Events (or lack thereof)

Looking at the special events for the next two weeks, I can only assume everyone is on vacation. Next week is looking just as rough, which is why you get both weeks right now. I have added one event to the recurring events – Casual Fridays at Uncorked by the Art of Entertaining.
What a mouth-full! What used to be Chateau Pomije is now owned by
neighbor The Art of Entertaining. Casual Fridays are Friday evenings, 5:30-8:30, $15 pp, and include appetizers.

Now, a brief interlude for some business.

Why?

First of all, thank you to everyone who has voted. For those who haven't, for various reasons, I want to clear up some concerns I've heard.

On the small miracle I get this job, for which I'm actually uniquely qualified, I'm not abandoning Cincinnati. Heck, it's only 6 months! First off, Kevin will still be here a good part of the time, and he can cover various local events. Second, most of my local calendar information is pulled from my email and other online calendars – I can list your Cincinnati wine events from wherever I have easy Internet access. Third, I'll learn something, folks! I would learn so much if I had this job, and that will benefit you and the blog. Finally, I want this more than I originally admitted. But it's true – I really want it.

How?

I'm hanging in there between numbers 31 and 34. I honestly don't know how much weight is accorded the popular vote. I do know that voting continues through the end of next week and is going to get really competitive – and that's just round 1. If I'm selected (through some mysterious process by a mystery HR firm) to continue to round 2, then the slate is wiped clean and the voting commences all over again. If that goes well, I might make it to round 3, which is an actual job interview with the winery. No more of this silly voting stuff. 

YOU!

I feel like I'm fighting against a tide of California-supported folks, and I'm just me. I need your vote – both now and hopefully later. To vote, you need to enter your email address. Murphy-Goode will send you a confirmation email (check your spam). Only when you click the link in the confirmation email does your vote count. Why the extra email? To verify you're human and not a vote-bot. Then you'll never hear from Murphy-Goode again. You can vote vote once per email address.

So vote! http://bit.ly/reallygoodejob  Tell everyone you know!  Heck, if I win this, maybe I'll sponsor a contest for someone to come visit me in Healdsburg – the heart of wine country!

Now on to those two weeks of events. It's a top-loaded group with pretty much everything happening tomorrow. For information on what's going on in Dayton, you can refer to Mark's blog at Uncorked.

If I missed something – something
local to Cincinnati that is
- let me know! Enjoy! Remember, all the recurring events, those dependable weekly tastings, are displayed on our calendar.

Local Wine Tasting Event Calendar

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Image Credit: Michelle, June 2009

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Posted by Michelle at 8:00 am in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments ()
Jun 18

What are you doing for dinner tonite? How about a Palace Deal?

This was buried in my email and it almost slipped my mind. But then, no kidding, I dreamed of miniature cupcakes and remembered.

For those of you new to the blog, a few months ago the honorable old Palace Restaurant, in the Cincinnatian, started offering sporadic Thursday night deals. (You can read about our own recent experiences at the Palace.)

You see, the Palace has a new Chef, Jose Salazar, as well as my favorite Pastry Chef, Summer Genetti. The two of them are working pretty hard at breathing new life into an old establishment. They've made the food more friendly and approachable and the prices have been lowered a bit. In the midst of that, they've managed to keep the menu creative and at a high quality, using mostly locally sourced ingredients.

And then there are these random Thursday deals that really do qualify as a deal.

For $60 total (excluding tax & tip), you get a huge dinner for two plus a bottle of wine. You usually get to choose from between about 5 or 6 different bottles, all of decent or better than decent calibre. As for those courses, in my experience it's more like 3-courses with bonuses. You'll start the meal with a complimentary amuse bouche and finish the meal with a complimentary dessert. They say it's only the first 10 people who reserve that get free dessert, but they never actually tell you if you're in the first 10. So, no promises on that free dessert, but I bet you get it. There are also complimentary pastries with the check.  All in all, you're getting quite a lot for $60. And no, that's not $60 per person. It's per two-people.

The full menu for tonite is after the jump. Make sure you call ahead to reserve a table, 513.381.3000. Tell them "Wine Girl" sent you.  And folks, I know I promote the Palace pretty heavily. I get nothing out of it – I swear – except maybe a few tasty cupcakes here and there. Mostly I just want to see two young chefs succeed with some great ideas.

Update: I just read on the Palace Facebook page that this deal is now every THIRD Thursday. Hooray! Tonite, they add, Summer is offering 1/2 price desserts, so that dessert might not be tossed into your meal this time, but make sure to try some anyway. If you look through my Palace photos, you'll see that I just love her desserts. And I highly recommend the miniature cupcakes.

Related Posts:

Tonight's prix fixe selections include:

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Posted by Michelle at 9:41 am in Cincinnati, Food and Drink, Restaurants | Permalink | Comments ()
Jun 16

Make Your Own Sangria

Recently, a girlfriend asked me for a Sangria recipe. I gave her three. I think Sangria is a wonderfully yummy summer beverage. It doesn't require (should never use) expensive wine and it's fun to make. Not only that, but the soaked fruit is sort of a fun bonus that you can't get when you buy pre-made Sangria in a bottle.


Image Credit

Alternatively, I also recommend a Sangriatini – one of my favorite drinks that can easily be made by the glass instead of by the punch bowl.

But back to that punch bowl … here are three versions I like to make for summer parties: red, followed by pink and white after the jump. The red version – Sangria Rouge – is my favorite.

Oh, and Sangria goes great with Paella!

Sangria Rouge
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup OJ
1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate
1/3 cup lime juice from concentrate
2-750 ml bottles of medium-dry red wine, chilled (burgundy or 3 Thieves jug wines work well)
Fruit slices: Orange, peach, plum, other fruits
Ice

1. In pitcher or bowl, combine sugar and juices.
2. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Cover and chill.
4. Just before serving, add wine and fruit.
5. Serve over ice.

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Posted by Michelle at 12:00 am in Recipes | Permalink | Comments (2)
Jun 15

Jim Beam Red Stag: Black Cherry Infused Bourbon

Back in February we announced the news that Jim Beam was releasing a black cherry-infused bourbon. My thought at the time was that they were shooting for the same crowd that enjoys flavored vodka – sort of young, hip crowd. I'm obviously not young and hip. I prefer my vodka pure and please don't mess with my bourbon.

That said, I was willing to give Jim Beam's new venture a chance. I wasn't going to judge it sight unseen or untasted. (Kevin, on the other hand, is a bourbon purist. He went into this already disliking it.)

Two weeks ago we picked up a bottle of Red Stag at Party Town, who seemed to be the first in the area to carry it. The rep had, of course, told the staff amazing things but the staff hadn't all tried it. We were left on our own.

Again – I went into this with an open mind. I don't mind the Wild Turkey American Honey, but at least Wild Turkey bills that as a liqueur. This is still bourbon.

Kevin instantly hated it. Much to my surprise, so did I. The best comparison I've got is cherry Nyquil. Bleh. It looks like bourbon, but one whiff and you smell can already smell the cough syrup. There's an aftertaste of syrup and plastic that is fairly unpleasant. I know it's supposed to be infused with natural flavors, but it sure doesn't smell/taste that way.

In an effort to be fair, we thought we'd mix it. When I travel and want a mixed drink, I go with either Beam or Jack and Coke. In theory, this would be a cherry Coke, right? While a Coke definitely improves the flavor of the bourbon, there's still the plastic aftertaste. We also tried with Sprite, much to the same effect. There's a chance this might add an interesting flavor to Bourbon Slush. My Slush recipe uses peach tea bags, and this might add a little more oomph to that, but I still worry about the aftertaste. I'm not sure how it would work with a Manhattan, but I think I've given up trying.

I really did want to like this – I love bourbon and I enjoyed the idea of extending my options. I do believe that it should be billed as a liqueur and not a bourbon, which has a strict definition. Either way, we give it a firm .

__

Vote & Promote!  Help Michelle get her dream job at http://bit.ly/reallygoodejob then tell all your friends!

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Posted by Michelle at 9:00 am in Cocktails, Scotch & Whiskey, Spirits, Tastings | Permalink | Comments (5)

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