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

New England Dessert Showcase + Gift Guide

Dessert Showcase cakeToday is a special day on this blog. It’s three full months that I’ve been blogging here!

In my opinion, anniversaries always warrant cake. Although to be perfectly honest, I believe that most everything good should include cake. So it seems like a good day to catch up on a post that is long overdue, which includes cake. By the way, the cake pictured above was amazing!

So back in October, my friend Karen, aka Fussy Eater and I went to the New England Dessert Showcase. When you get invited to eat dessert all day, it’s kind of hard to resist.

So we made our way over to the Westin Boston Waterfront and got to work. Admiring, eating and learning about the variety of desserts and more being offered in the Boston area.

The New England Dessert Showcase unites exhibitors from the gourmet dining, pastry, ice cream, baking, chocolate, catering, and liquor industries. Each exhibitor has the opportunity to connect with target consumers and those consumers have a chance to sample the best creations and experience all things dessert like never before!

There was even a s’mores table with piles of chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows. People were gathered all around and were able to make their own s’mores!  Again, my pictures aren’t great, but take a look here and at some video that I took.

Below are some of my favorites from the Dessert Showcase. Since this is the season of parties and presents, any of these items would be nice to serve at a party or to give as a gift. Buying specialty foods is a great way to support local business and buy items that are Made in America.

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Cold Fusion Gelato

We spent a fair amount of time, though not enough time, sampling delicious flavors of gelato and sorbet from Cold Fusion Gelato.  There was a line and we had to keep it moving unfortunately. Cold Fusion Gelato is based in Walpole, Massachusetts and they have a seasonal shop in Newport, Rhode Island. The coconut gelato was my favorite! If you’re in Newport during the summer, I’d try to squeeze in some time to visit them.

 Plymouth Bay Winery

As we moved table to table for the samplings, some tables were a bit more unique, generating a great deal of interest. Plymouth Bay Winery was one of them. Their wines are “produced from locally grown, native grapes and berries” from Plymouth, Massachusetts.  They also sell wine dips. This table was busy and people were buying and tasting like crazy. I tried the wine dips and really enjoyed them too. Sadly my pictures didn’t turn out too well. Wine dips can be used to marinade meats and vegetables or use as a condiment on a sandwich or a piece of toast. A very versatile and tasty item! The flavors have fun and locally inspired names too like, Wicked Pissah and Crangasm.

Queen Cupcake Creations

Lisa Daniel is the owner of Queen Cupcake Creations. Hands down, she had the most amazing cake in the whole place. And there was a lot of cake. I must say that it was such a delight to find her, because besides the cake for the event shown above, some of the cakes and cupcakes by exhibitors looked great, but the taste was not wonderful and they were easy to resist. When we found her, the samples were small and exquisitely delicious. It was almost cruel; so we went back for more! The cake was almond flavored and so moist. If you’re looking to order some cakes for the holidays or a special event, let her know.

Charles River Bistro

As we were about to leave the showcase, the table that had the most hospitality and comfort was Charles River Bistro. It was a cold day outside and the Executive Chef was friendly and welcomed us with hot cider and a warm apple crisp. So good! Charles River Bistro is more of a seasonal place, so they are closed for the winter. However, they are located near the Esplanade and Hatch Shell, so in the warmer months, they are a great place to pick up some food for a picnic before or after an event. Or even if there isn’t an event. Something to look forward to as we dive deeper into the winter months. Spring 2015 will be here before we know it!

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Disclosure: Two tickets to the New England Dessert Showcase were provided compliments of The Anthem Group. Thank you!