My Future Wine Appreciation Tour: Quincy, France

Quincy France wine bottleThis blog has suddenly become more wine oriented. I just saw this tweet and learned that Domaine de Villalin is wine from Quincy. Quincy in France that is.

The French Quincy is part of the Loire Valley and known for their Sauvignon Blanc grapes and dry wine. While that is not my current favorite type of wine, I am intrigued.

There should be some sort of exchange program between the two Quincys. I could be the Quincy Massachusetts Food Blogger Goodwill Ambassador and visit France on a wine appreciation tour. Maybe learn to like dry wines. It could happen right?

While I contemplate my future tour on this very cold winter day, I hope you are staying warm and have a great weekend!

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Photo Credit: Christian Holthausen

On Falling Snow + Drinking Wine

wine bottleWith virtually no snow up until now, all of us in the Boston area were just waiting for the other snow shoe to drop. And drop it did. I wonder if people will stop talking about the Blizzard of ’78 after this?

The Blizzard of 2015 will go down in the history books.  And we’re supposed to be getting two more instances of snow in the next few days. *sigh*

My street is still not plowed down to the pavement and snow banks are so high that it’s hard to see around them. It’s the worst part of the winter. When you have to hope for the best as you cross the street while walking or making a turn while driving.

Luckily, there is a certain coziness during winter storms. As long as the power stays on and the fridge is fully stocked. Yesterday I did some cooking and baking.

Also, G and I had some wine. I bought it months ago, but we never drank it. The storm seemed like a good excuse and we drank it while watching Netflix. It was our first time trying Liebfraumilch, which is a blended German wine that apparently is hated by many serious wine drinkers.

I am no wine snob; there are many wines that I like. I usually will choose a sweet cocktail over wine though. So you can judge my recommendation of this wine based on that. But I liked it. Not too sweet, but sweet enough. It felt smooth. We both found it enjoyable. And the price was right.

According to a tweet by Only in Boston, each household in this area would be opening between 12 -15 bottles of wine during the storm. I guess we drink way less than our neighbors. But that’s okay.

I’m curious. What were you eating and drinking during the storm?

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Photo Credit: Schmitt Söhne Liebfraumilch

Recently Read: Eminent Crimes

Eminent Crimes book coverWhen life is throwing you curve balls all over the place, there’s nothing like a good book to take you away. So I especially enjoyed losing myself in Eminent Crimes: A Legal Thriller by Adelene Ellenberg. You might like it too.

First, full disclosure. My mother knows the writer and was in a writing group with her. My mom heard about the book launch party and unfortunately was not able to attend, but that’s how she learned about the book. When my mom told me about it, I thought it sounded really interesting. A friend of hers lent her the book and then I read it too. I’m so glad that I did!

The writer, Adelene Ellenberg, lives in Massachusetts and is an attorney. Below is a synopsis of the book from her website.

When Robert Jaston, A Massachusetts dairy farmer, learns that the three-person board who governs the town has voted to take his land by eminent domain, making way for a gambling casino, he says, “Over my dead body!”

He hires the only attorney who will take his case, a young woman also at odds with the town establishment. She wages war in the courtroom, while he battles the underhanded maneuvers of those who hold all the cards.

In law school, I had two co-ops where I worked on land use cases. I really enjoyed the work and my 1st year property class as well. So for me especially, the eminent domain issue was quite interesting.

The Supreme Court case referenced in the book, Kelo v. City of New London, is real. You can read about Susette Kelo and the taking of her little pink house on the Institute for Justice website.

While researching this post, I found that Korchula Productions is working on a movie about the Kelo case called Little Pink House to be released later this year. Little Pink House is already a 2015 Athena List finalist.

The Athena List was created by the Athena Film Festival, which is a list of “between 3-5 screenplays with female leaders or strong female protagonists that have yet to be made into films.”

But back to the book. The worst thing that I can say about it is that the font wasn’t wonderful. If that’s the worst thing, then obviously I think the book is pretty great.

The characters grabbed me from the beginning. The plot moves forward quickly. You want to keep reading. You will love some characters and despise others. There are some interesting twists and turns that I definitely did not expect. I would never have predicted the ending. Ellenberg is a bold writer and did not hold back.

Plus, since there is a local element to the book, it was interesting seeing where she may have been inspired by certain people, places and events in her writing.

If you’re looking for a quick fun read, Eminent Crimes is the book for you! Plus, you might learn about local politics and some property law too.

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Photo Credit: Adelene Ellenberg’ Facebook Page

5th Annual Taste of Chocolate Festival in Harvard Square!

Harvard SquareIs the cold winter increasing your craving for chocolate?

This weekend, starting today, you can find all things chocolate at the Taste of Chocolate Festival. It looks like a really good time and cheap, since many samples are free!

Saturday, January 24th

Harvard Square Chocolate Sampling Event

From 1pm – 2pm

Deguglielmo Plaza (27 Brattle Street) will play host to an array of chocolaty samples from restaurants and shops from across Harvard Square. Bloco  Afro – Brazil , a local favorite, will be combining traditional Brazilian grooves like Samba , Funk, Rock, Jazz and even Hip Hop beats to get the party started! Make sure to come early!  This event is very popular and attracts hundreds of sweet tooths!  Restaurants and businesses who will be generously giving out chocolate samples.

For more information, take a look at the website.

President Obama’s Plate – Dining in Massachusetts

President Obama Charlie's Sandwich ShoppeI’m pretty excited to watch the State of the Union address tonight. Even though every president says it, no matter what the circumstances, somehow it always makes me feel good to hear that the State of the Union is strong.

Seeing gas prices dipping so low has definitely made me feel more optimistic. Since President Obama’s approval rating has been climbing recently, I’m apparently not the only one feeling that way.

While much of the country is eagerly waiting to hear what the president has to say tonight, TIME decided to examine something a bit different – The State of Obama’s Plate. The article looks at his dining destinations in each state. Take a look to see all four destinations in Massachusetts.

Since he vacations in Martha’s Vineyard, most of the restaurants are located there, but Boston did make the list too with his visit to Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe. While the landmark closed this past June, according to an article in The Boston Globe, it’s supposed to open again this year. We’ll see. Maybe President Obama will come back for the grand opening for some more dining in the Bay State!

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Photo Credit: TIME