Archive for the ‘Food & Wine’ Category

Drink that oxidized white wine

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010


Oxidized wine. Photo: Arthur Z Przebinda

Oxidized wine. Photo: Arthur Z. Przebinda

Because I spent most of my childhood and a four-year block of my early adulthood in Eastern Europe, it is safe to say that I appreciate aromas and flavors that in the American context may be unconventional – at least to some. And so I tend to like oxidized white wines (not to the exclusion of fresh wines with pure, focused fruit characteristics).

I should explain, though, that I’m talking about the kind of oxidation that takes place slowly over time in an unopened bottle and not in an open one, overnight on the kitchen counter. There is also a gradation of oxidation and even my preference and tolerance have their limits. (more…)

Guigal & El Pollo Loco

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010


Necessity is the mother of compromise.

Necessity is the mother of compromise.

Funny how necessity and desire can come to a convergence sometimes. It makes for unexpected pairings and some food for thought.

The other night, I cleared the towering stack of work, the kids were done with homework and dinner time was nearing and I did not have time to cook. I decided to run out for some EPL: low effort, and most harmless (and least expensive) of all the take out options in the vicinity.

I NEEDED to eat because I’d skipped lunch. I WANTED a drink because after a day of work craziness, the kids’ squabbling was pushing me over the edge. (more…)

Food friendliness

Monday, March 8th, 2010


Food & Wine. From

Wine and Food

While wine can be a beautiful thing all by itself, the greatest joy of wine for me is discovering new an exciting food and wine pairings. Wine, to me, should be much more than something to slug back after a mouthful of food.

Nevertheless, pairing food and wine can be a challenge. It should not be hit-or-miss, though. There are as many rules and recommendations for pairing a dish with a wine as there are people who drink wine. Not everyone proposing different pairing recommendations looks at the process the same way, so not every approach is going to be successful. Of course, there are also different ways to approach wine and food pairing depending on personal preference. (more…)

Pink and sweet

Friday, June 12th, 2009


Two pink wines.

Two kinds of pink wine.

In celebration of the withdrawal of the proposal that would have broadened the allowed production methods for the production of pink wine in Europe (and thereby diminish the quality of rose wines – more here), I decided to try a couple pink wines with dinner on Monday night.

My wife made one of her tried-and-true salads: grilled chicken, Gorgonzola, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, shallots and balsamic vinaigrette on romaine lettuce and spinach.

I chilled a bottle of the 2008 Hartford Family Rose of Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast, $25, arrived recently in my wife’s club shipment) and the 2008 Red Cote Rose (Artisan Family of Wines, Suisun Valley, $12.99, cabernet sauvignon & petite sirah, courtesy of Jeff Miller). (more…)

Catfish and viognier.

Monday, April 27th, 2009



Pecan Coated Catfish.

When I was interviewing for a residency spot at Vanderbilt (waaaaay back in 1999), the senior resident took me out to a local joint for the traditional, off-campus lunch where you’re supposed to speak more openly and frankly about the training program and its faculty. We talked about the program and my personal career goals over a basket of battered and fried catfish chunks. (more…)

Strange Pairings: Gołąbki & Absinthe

Monday, October 20th, 2008




My homeland is famous for bread, sausage and vodka. But those do not make for a cuisine of world renown.

A signature Polish food is (or more correctly, “are“) Gołąbki (go-WOHMB-kee). It literally means “little pigeons”. A good synopsis of the history of these little cabbage rolls is found here.

This sturdy farm food is both satisfying and very tasty. The variations are mostly in the stuffing but consist of a grain (typically barley, but also rice) and a meat or mushrooms. The sauces are either tomato- or mushroom based. In either case, the cabbage is a prominent component in the dish. (more…)

Wine & Food Fridays – a proposal.

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008


Food & Wine. From

Wine and Food

Out of an exchange with Tyler Colman of comes an idea that may help us all gain a better understanding of food and wine pairings. The idea is simple: every third Friday of every month, a recipe will be offered for bloggers to try with a wine of their choice. The task for individual bloggers will be to describe how the wine of their choice pairs and interacts with the dish of the month.

I will propose a simple recipe and all willing bloggers will pick the wine they think will do best with the dish. Participants are welcome to try more than one wine with the dish. The only thing I ask is that participating bloggers think about the interaction of flavors, aromas and textures of the food and wine. The idea here is to seek out pairings that create great synergy. (more…)