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Jul 19

A Quick Plea for Donations


I interrupt our standard coverage for a public service announcement. Sort of. I’m walking in the AIDS Walk San Francisco this weekend. It’s 6.2 miles through Golden Gate Park.

I don’t often do things like this but I believe that AIDS is something that has touched all of us, whether you’re familiar with celebrities, remember reading about Ryan White, or know someone personally affected with the disease. Hell, even if you’ve seen Rent, you’re aware of the toll this disease can take on someone and their families.

Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised nearly $80 million for San Francisco AIDS Foundation and other HIV/AIDS organizations in the six Bay Area counties.  Your support will help the Foundation prevent new HIV infections and promote health among those living with HIV.

Donate now!

My thanks …

 – Michelle

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 2:44 pm in Charity Benefits | Permalink | Comments ()
Jun 08

Suggestions for a Wine Refrigerator

by Michelle

When I lived in Kentucky, there were 4 wine refrigerators in the house. The two smaller ones kicked the bucket pretty early. However, the two larger ones (40-50 bottles) are still running.
During some recent change-ups, I lost custody of the wine refrigerators. So now I’m in the market for a new one.

I’ve been researching, of course, and there are a lot of recommendations out there. I know that my main requirement is storage for 40-50 bottles. Following that, I’d like a quiet appliance and tinted glass. Less important is the need for a reversible door or dual temperature control. I’ll have to be particular about what goes into the new fridge, as I’m in a San Francisco apartment and well, space is at a premium. Gone are the days of 4 wine coolers in one room …

What brand do you have? Is it reliable? Have you had it for longer than 3 or 4 years? I’d love to hear your experiences as I shop for a wine cooler – on my own – for the first time.


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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 12:19 am in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (2)
May 29

Hawaiian Sunrise

by Michelle

Hawaiian Sunrise

I was having brunch on Saturday and the mimosa menu included the Hawaiian Sunrise. After finding out the ingredients, I ordered it. I absolutely loved it. Next time you have brunch, mix it up a little from the traditional mimosa and order a Hawaiian Sunrise instead.

  • Pineapple Juice
  • Sparkling Wine
  • A splash of Grenadine



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Posted by Michelle at 4:30 pm in Cocktails, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments ()
May 24

Mad Men Cocktail Catch-Up: Episode 6: Elderflower

by Michelle

There wasn’t much happening drink-wise in Episode 5. That was fine. There was a lot of heavy history happening in that episode – I’ll forgive them a lack of cocktails. That brings us to episode 6, where Roger starts picking up clients in airport lounges.

The orders start with Roger drinking (ewww) water with an onion and ordering a Jim Beam, double, for his friend. I was all set to tell you all about the history of Jim Beam, but then something interesting happened. Bert ordered a spirits of elderflower. Let’s talk about that.

Elderflower liqueur is one of my favorites. I love to ask a craft bartender to create a drink for me – whatever they want – using elderflower. I’ve also used it in sugar cookies and it’s quite tasty. The brand you’ll see on the shelf most often these days is St-Germain. If you’re familiar with Paris, you’re probably already recognizing the name of the famous street, St Germain, where Hemingway wrote and Picasso painted. The St-Germain web site describes its signature liqueur as follows:

“It has been said that Paris is a mélange curieux, a curious mixture of flavors, styles and influences. So it is with St-Germain.” 

Technically, the liqueur is made from elderberries, but you’ll taste everything from flowers to peaches to grapefruits in the liqueur. Honestly,  I enjoy drinking it on its own. It’s also quite wonderful mixed with champagne or sparkling wine. Here’s the classic St Germain cocktail, straight from their web site.

St Germain Classic Cocktail

I was so tickled by their “variation” that I grabbed the thing as an image instead of retyping. Have a laugh … and have a cocktail.



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Posted by Michelle at 7:31 am in Cocktails, Mad Men Monday | Permalink | Comments ()
May 23

Mad Men Cocktail Catchup! Episode 4: Old Spanish

by Michelle

Oh yes. This week Ted (Peggy’s boss) ordered a non-existent cocktail.



from AMC TV

Yep – non-existent. In fact, this cocktail was invented on 30 Rock and sounds, well, awful. Technically, it’s a mix of  red wine, tonic water, and olives. Ewww. That said, I still went looking to see what was out there of if anyone had tried it. Happily, I discovered that Kindred Cocktails has actually tried to make this drinkable:

In the last season of 30 Rock, Cooter Burger introduces Jack Donaghy to the Old Spanish, a cocktail of his own invention composed of red wine, tonic water, and olives. Later, Mad Men paid tribute by having unctuous ad man Ted Chaough order an Old Spanish and receive a drink matching that description. We’ve decided to imagine what that drink might have looked like if it were a true old style Spanish aperitivo rather than a clumsy disaster; a craft Old Spanish, if you like. Thus: sherry for wine and brine, Cynar for bitter, Cava for bubbles, cassis to round it all off.

The Old Spanish as reimagined by Kindred Cocktail:

1 1/2 oz Sherry
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Cassis
1 splash Cava (sparkling Spanish wine)
2 olives used on the rim, as garnish
1 twist lemon peel, expressed and discarded

Stir with ice, strain, coupe.
Splash Cava. Twist, and garnish with olives on the rim.
Up the sherry to 2oz for a less bitter cocktail. For a stiffer drink, add .5 oz Spanish brandy.




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Posted by Michelle at 7:29 am in Cocktails, Mad Men Monday | Permalink | Comments ()

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