10 reasons why I hated “Vertical”, the follow up to “Sideways” (which I loved)

Before I begin my list, I’ll say a few things.

First, I didn’t even know “Vertical” had come out in 2011.  I’ve later read that it was essentially self-published, rather than released by a major publisher.  Which is fine, but I think I’m somewhat in-tune with the wine world, and “Sideways” was kind of a big deal, especially here in Pinot country, the Willamette Valley (where a major part of “Vertical” takes place).

So once I heard that the book was out, I was very excited to read it.  I was knee-deep in the “Dragon Tattoo” series, and had to finish those first.  As soon as I finished the series, I downloaded “Vertical” to my e-reader, and started in.  As I’m sure you’ve deduced by the title of this post, I was less than thrilled by what I found.  Here’s why:

1.  Suddenly, the unlikeable, but somehow still lovable Miles and Jack became truly unlikeable.

In “Sideways”, the main characters Miles (the first person) and his best friend Jack, were more like lovable losers.  While they each had characteristics that were detestable, I could at least associate with them, and on some level, like the fact that they were pathetic and unlikeable.

Unfortunately, in “Vertical”, they became just plain awful.  Miles, whose character wrote a huge hit of a book which became a hit movie called “Shameless” (which is essentially Sideways), is now uber-famous, and he’s just become horrible.  And Jack is still Jack, but without all the goof-ball ego that he had in Sideways.

2.  Jack and Miles switched roles, and not in a good way

In Sideways, Miles was the pathetic writer who was a hopeless romantic with no money, no self-esteem and a grim future.  Jack was the cash-flush director who couldn’t keep his pants on, no matter who came along.  In Vertical, Jack had thrown his career and marriage away, and was suddenly begging the newly successful Miles for cash.  Miles become a slut.  Flaunting his “fame”, sleeping with everyone he can, but still trying to hang on to the “romantic” who is looking for true love.  It all ended up feeling very contrived and thoroughly unbelievable.

3.  Who is Miles, anyway???

In Sideways, which was followed by the movie, I really felt the casting of Paul Giamatti was spot-on.  A lovable loser who didn’t have “looks” going for him, but had some intelligent things to say to those who wanted to listen.  I could believe that he could be a hopeless romantic…kind of a sad-sack of a guy.
Then, suddenly, he became “famous” in Vertical.  At one point, the author described Miles as 6’1, in pretty decent shape, and decent looking.  It was as if he completely disregarded Miles from the first book, and especially the movie version, and he suddenly became a charming, handsome chick-magnet.  I get that “famous” men can attract women out of their “league”, but at no point in the book could I actually visualize Paul Giamatti playing the role of Miles in Vertical.

4.  Product placement

Honestly, if Riedel didn’t pay $10,000 or more for all the name-dropping in this book, than Rex Pickett is an IDIOT.  For the first 75% of the book, Riedel was mentioned on at least 1 out of every 3 pages.  In the afterword of the book, Pickett expressly says that the wineries did not influence him in any way to use their wines/locations.  But he didn’t mention Riedel.  I’m sorry, bit I’ve drank plenty of Pinot Noir, even sold plenty of it, and while Riedel is a fine company, they certainly aren’t the PREFERRED glassware in all of Oregon, by ALL wineries everywhere, as the book would lead you to believe.  So, here’s hoping Pickett cashed a HUGE check for all the bogus product placement.

5.  Vertical = Sideways rehashed, and not in a good way

I’ve not seen “The Hangover II”.  But everything I’ve read says that it’s basically the same movie but in a new location.  That’s how I felt about Vertical.  A contrived excuse to get Miles and Jack on another road trip.  Add a couple extra characters, a new location, and…Voila!  A new book.  But…if all the goofy, extreme circumstances in Sideways were fun, they were just too hard to believe in Vertical.  All the sex-capades (Jack taking 300mg of Viagra) and drama (Jack’s wheelchair-bound mom careening down a gulch while Miles is fornicating in the vineyard) just come off as trying-too-hard.

6.  Forward is by Gary Vaynerchuk

If he LOVES the book…I should have known better.  Consider yourself warned.

7.  Miles seems to be who Rex Pickett wishes he was after writing Sideways

It’s no secret that Picket struggled mightily to get Sideways published.  In fact, the movie was picked up before the book ever even saw the light of day.  Pickett made very little (relatively) money from the book and screenplay of Sideways.  However, his alter-ego Miles who wrote “Shameless” in the book, became a wealthy, successful, sought-after, uber-celebrity.  Women literally threw themselves at him at book signings.  I get the feeling that, while Pickett had great notoriety after Sideways, especially in the wine-world, that he WISHES he was Miles.

8.  Lazy writing

I don’t know who, if anyone, edited this book, or advised Pickett on some of the decisions he made in the writing style.  I’ve never read a book that had more exclamation points (!!!), for one thing.  He also (can you believe it???) used a ton (who would have guessed) of () to inject needless fluff.  It added nothing to the book, and I found myself very irritated each time.

There was also one time when Jack used a line that had been used a dozen times by Miles’ mom.  I have no issue with mom using the line multiple times…it was kind of a signature line.  But when Jack used it, it wasn’t in a way that was to honor Miles’ mom, it was just dropped in.  It seemed very careless and lazy.

9.  Completely unbelievable scenarios

Some have been mentioned earlier in this list.  Others I will not specify so that I don’t give away the ending.  But there were MANY that seemed just over the top in an unbelievable way.  Which made the characters even more un-relatable than they already were.  In Sideways, there were some crazy antics.  But they were somehow able to feel real, as if, in some alternate life, it could be me.  But in Vertical, I think Pickett ran out of ideas, so just threw the craziest things that he could think of into the book, and told us to believe that they were believable.  Didn’t work for me.

10.  I have trouble believing that any 1-hit-wonder writer in his 40′s parties like he’s Lindsay Lohan

I’ve known a lot of people who party beyond their years.  I’ve seen and done plenty in my life.  I know not everyone slows down at 30, and on occasion, even 40.  But having Jack & Miles drinking, partying, and having obscene sex like they were in their early 20′s…I didn’t buy it.  Maybe 1 of the 3, or even 2.  But all 3…seemed more like “Animal House” than a Pinot Noir festival.

Well, there it is.  The fact that I disliked it so much made me sad.  I hated the ending.  I didn’t believe or relate to any part of the story.  I really disliked Miles.  If they make a movie based on the book, I can’t imagine that it’ll be anywhere nearly as acclaimed or successful as Sideways.  The whole thing is a bummer.   Bummer!

Published in: on 2.17.2009 at 6:28 am  Comments (1)  
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Reviewing Roots Brewing’s 2005 Epic Ale

(Author’s note: Some of you may remember that my posts used to come regularly…reviewing wines, sharing food pairings, and other assorted wine-related thoughts. Over the last couple years, a lot has been going on that has limited my “spare” time…I won’t get into the reasons here. Alas, I am hoping to get back into sharing in this space again. I hope you enjoy!)

Now, onto the review of of Roots Brewing’s 2005 Epic Ale!

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One doesn’t just come across a 3 liter bottle of 6 year-old beer. There’s a story here, naturally.
In early 2005, Lara and I moved to Portland from NY, and upon arriving back into Lara’s house, which had been rented, we discovered a new brewery around the corner. Roots Brewing had just opened. We quickly became very fond of their brews…the IPA was like no other, the Red, their signature beer, was the best Red I’ve ever had. And the Porter? Fuggidabouddit. Chocolaty, silky smooth, and somewhere around 9% ABV, so you’d be tilted without even feeling like you were drinking!
A few months later, Craig Nichols, Roots’ founder & brewmaster, started promoting the release of the Epic Ale, a version of a beer he’d been making as a hobby for years. It was to be released on the Winter Solstice 2005. In addition to the release, they were going to be selling the jumbo bottles, each signed and numbed. To get a bottle, you entered a lottery, and the numbered bottles were sold in order of the names drawn. Once your name was pulled, you still had to pony up $80 for the bottle!
My name was called on number 12. On my walk up to the front to get my beer, I found $40 on the floor, which helped justify the purchase, especially since I’d just started at PSU, and the college debt had begun.
Over the months, Lara and I had befriended Craig. He made me swear I wouldn’t open it for at least 5 years. By then, he said, the beer would age nicely, and the ABV, which was brewed at 14.5%, would be somewhere in the 17-19% range. In truth, the beer was more like a barley wine. But it tasted more like a beer.
So we waited. And waited. We moved twice, and had 2 daughters. Last year, year 5, I could barely contain myself…but we had a 6 month old nursing baby…so Lara wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it too. So we waited some more. This year, I could wait no longer. Our family Christmas happened to be on Dec 22…the Winter Solstice. So 6 years to the day later, the beer was opened.
I can’t lie…I was nervous. I had stored the beer pretty well, mostly in cool dark places, but never refrigerated. I know about wine storage, but not beer. And, sadly, Roots closed its doors 18 months ago…on my birthday, so couldn’t even ask Craig about it.
When everyone had arrived, I unwrapped the wire, and popped the lever, releasing the synthetic cork. There was a release of air, followed by wisps of mist, which were both reliefs. I poured myself the first sample (had to make sure it wasn’t toxic), and quickly confirmed that it was in fine condition to drink.
So how was it? In a word: spectacular. Worth the wait. Wish I had more.
There’s no way to know what the ABV was, but it was quite strong. There wasn’t an overwhelming spike of alcohol, but unlike drinking beer, you could taste the subtle kick of alcohol. And the effects could be felt halfway through the first glass.
The beer itself was very malty. Copper in color, there was also a very subtle copper taste. The overwhelming flavor was caramel, with hints of chocolate, vanilla, and molasses. The carbonation was very soft after 6 years in limbo, so the beer went down very easily. Light and rich at the same time, it was great with enchiladas and even better with dessert.
Before we knew it, the bottle was empty. It was a special beer, and fittingly it was christmastime when we opened it, because I felt like a kid again with all the anticipation. I hope Craig resurfaces again…he’s a superb brewer, and the world is just better with his beers available to the public.

Published in: on 2.17.2009 at 11:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lavender “infused” Banana Bread w/lavender vodka drizzle

I love banana Bread, and have been playing with my recipe for years.  Last night, I decided to add lavender to the mix!  If you don’t have any dried lavender buds, you should be able to find some in specialty herb/spice stores, or places like New Seasons.  Or you can wait until June when the lavender is in bloom, cut some stocks off, let them dry on paper for a week, and shuck the buds off.  I love lavender in baking, Creme Brulee, etc.  Hope you enjoy the bread!

For the Bread (makes 2 loaves)

Whisk together:

2 2/3 Cups all Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

Beat on high:

1 cube Butter (soft or melted)

1 1/3 cup lavender Sugar (see instructions below)

Mix the above together until crumbly (consistency of Brown Sugar).

Gradually beat in:

4 eggs, slightly beaten

Fold in:

4 ripe bananas

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional…I don’t use them)

Put batter into 2 buttered bread pans

Topping:

Slice less ripe bananas into 1/4 inch slices

Place slices evenly over batter.

Mix together:

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 oz Lavender-infused vodka (see recipe below) or Brandy

When smooth, drizzle evenly over top of un-baked loaves & bananas.

Bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out dry.

Lavender Sugar:

1 1/3 cups Granulated Sugar

3 tsp lavender buds, dried

Put into food processor until buds are dispersed evenly.

*Also tastes great in teas, etc*

Lavender-infused Vodka

750 ML vodka

1/4 cup lavender buds, dried

Add lavender to vodka.  Let stand 5-7 days, mixing gently once daily.  Strain buds out.  Enjoy over ice or in a martini, or as a mixer.

While we’re talking about lavender…try lavender simple syrup!

Boil:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/8 cup dried lavender buds

When sugar is dissolved, strain buds out.

Use in Mojitos, or anywhere where simple syrup is used!

Big announcement from Purple Cow leads to a SALE!

I’m sharing the email sent out to the Purple Cow Vineyard’s mailing list yesterday.  At the bottom are some special prices on 2 of their wonderful wines.  If you’d like to get some of these wines, head to the winery this weekend, OR EMAIL ME and I’ll get them to you!  Without further ado:

It’s a pleasure to announce the next phase in our winery construction project. We at Purple Cow have gathered the designs and information needed to submit for permits to construct an incredible gathering space for us all. The new facility will not only improve our ability to provide great service and beautiful vistas, it will allow us to increase the breadth of our product line with additional hand-crafted small-production wines. The next steps require much courage and energy, a journey Purple Cow hopes to make with your help.

We have progressed funding the designs, engineering, and information gathering from the success you have given us.  For the next large step in our future, and with today’s lending atmosphere, we must have permits approved before we receive any funding from our bank. This next step in submitting requires substantial application fees for land use and building permits.

With this said, Jon is making an offer to you, our friends and family, to help us forge forward in obtaining success in this next phase of our future. Jon has put together a rewarding opportunity for you to obtain our wonderful wines at generous pricing, hoping you all will invest in the future of your gathering space and your personal cellar.

Was Is Case Price Case Price Savings
2005 Elena Tempranillo $32 $29 $250 $76
2007 Sophie Pinot Noir $24 $20 $180 $45

If you don’t live close but wish to take advantage of the offer, please email as the web the web ordering system doesn’t handle special pricing offers.

We will open 11-5 both days this weekend to make this offer as accessible as possible.

We will also have design documents on display this weekend for your perusal. Many thanks in advance for your interest and participation.

My Choices for WORST songs on the 1990′s

I finally did it.  I had to get it out of my system…I hate these songs.  They are terrible.  Truly awful.

I based this list on a few main criteria:

  • Popularity at the time they were released
  • Staying power; are they still played today on the radio, Muzak, etc
  • I tried to avoid awful groups/bands, like The Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, and Nirvana (sorry grungers), because it would be impossible to list that many.  However, there are some lucky people who made it on the list twice.
  • General awful-ness

Of course, these opinions are my own…feel free to agree or disagree!

And naturally, I’ve included links to the songs, in case you need a reminder of how BAD they truly are!

And now, in no particular order, my bottom 30 songs of the 1990’s…my ears are already bleeding.

Ricky Martin: La Vida Loca

Limp Bizkit: Nookie

Shawn Colvin: Sunny Came Home

Jewel: Hands

Waterfalls: TLC

Sugar Ray: Someday (barely edging their own “Fly”)

J-Lo: Waiting for Tonight

Prodigy: Firestarter

Savage Garden: Truly Madly Deeply

Sinead O’Conner: Nothing Compares to You

Sister Hazel: All for You

Vanessa Williams: Saved the Best for Last

Del Ametri: Roll to Me

Sheryl Crow: If it Makes You Happy

Santana Ft: Rob Thomas: Smooth

Lady Marmalade: Christina Agualara & Friends

Californiacation: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Blurry: Puddle of Mudd (I was once making fun of this band with a co-worker, not realizing that they were sitting 2 seats down at the bar!)

It’s Been a While: Stained

Pretty Fly for a White Guy: The Offspring

Lullaby: Shawn Mullins

Barely Breathing: Duncan Shiek

And with 2 each on my list:

Where Have all the Cowboy’s Gone?

I Don’t Wanna Wait

By Paula Cole

Higher

Arms Wide Open

By Creed

Kiss from a Rose

Fly Like an Eagle

By Seal

And a special 1-hit-wonder of terrible category:

Eiffel 65: Blue

Aqua: Barbie Girl

Los Del Rio: Macerena

Lou Vega: Mambo # 5

Marcy Playground: Sex and Candy

Jimmy Ray: Are You Jimmy Ray?

OMC: How Bizarre?

Chumbawamba: Tubthumping

Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen): Baz Luhrmann

Published in: on 2.17.2009 at 6:27 pm  Comments (2)  
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Sneak Peek!! Purple Cow’s Durif (Petite Syrah) not yet released!

I was lucky enough to find my way into a very early bottle of the newest (upcoming) release from Purple Cow, their 2007 Durif, or Petite Syrah.  So early was I, in fact, that it had been bottled only minutes before the handoff!

So I waited as long as I could to open it (1 week, thank you very much).  You may remember that I tasted this wine at the Wine Club Barrel Tasting late 2009.  See that review HERE.  Petite Syrah is a favorite of mine, so I was excited to try the final product, and it did not disappoint!

Rich black-purple color flowed from the bottle, and I knew I was in for a big, full wine.  The nose had rich, heavy plum and over-ripe blackberry.  Interestingly there was also a heavy note of currant/raisin, similar to a Port.   The Durif had incredible complexity.  Big and bold up front, tasting of heavy, jammy fruit, followed by big, but even spice, and distinct full tannin.  The spice, more than brown baking spice, almost paprika, lingered nicely, much longer than the tannin.  Just a hint of the raisin/Port taste came through in the wine, but enough to not miss.  And just a touch of Oak from its time in the barrel, though not too much oak as to take away from any other flavor.

I drank this with a pork shoulder that I’d had in the crock pot all day, cooking in soy sauce & vinegar, seasoned with paprika (which paired soooo well with the wine), sea salt, bay leaves, and plenty of Garlic, plus onion, carrot and potato.  The pairing was wonderful, and the wine exceptional!  There is ONLY 25 cases of this wine produced!  It won’t be released for a few months, and then only to wine club members.  If you’re not a Purple Cow Wine Club member (shame on you), join today!  Visit their site HERE or email me at winewithgraham@hotmail.com to join!

Moving, and all the fun that goes with it

When the Wine Gal (my wife) and I made the decision to put our house on the market, our intent was to make a move to Oregon’s wine country, either Dundee or Newberg.  We were looking for a home that either had a daylight basement or a 2nd residence that we could rent out to people visiting Wine Country for a holiday.  It would be the first step to our new wine country lifestyle.  Sadly, the perfect place slipped out of our fingers and we couldn’t find another place that suited our wants.  Rather than settle on a place, we opted to look for a good deal that could (hopefully) build some equity over the next few years and give us some additional leverage to make the leap when the time comes again.  And we did find a great place that we are very excited about, and are confident that it will take us to where we ultimately want to go.

Over the last week as we packed up, neither of us had any regrets.  The new home is a better layout for having a toddler, and for the way we live.  But, as some of you know, I spent over a year finishing out our 950 square foot basement, finishing it about a year and a half ago.  The basement had some great space, and it took a lot of work, both from myself, and with the help of many friends and family members.  That became the hardest part of the move…so many people helped create this great space and we only got to enjoy it for a short time.  The hardest thing for me to leave behind was my wine cellar, designed and built by my older brother.  It was an amazing room, with the coolest cellar door you’d ever see..

The night before we moved out, I had my older brother over to enjoy a nice bottle of wine in the cellar he built.  We opened a 2002 Truchard Vineyards Zinfandel, which proved to be a perfect way to close the room.  The Wine Gal made Parmesan chicken with pesto noodled, which paired great!  We just enjoyed the wine and food, and the room.  When we moved in, I owned 24 bottles of wine…all “special” bottles.  On the way out, I have a collection of over 300 bottles, and now, no cellar to put them into!  I know that there will be another great wine cellar in my future, even if it isn’t for a few years.  In the meantime, I left with a bit of a heavy heart.

Published in: on 2.17.2009 at 5:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Wine Club Barrel Tasting at Purple Cow Vineyards

Yesterday was the Fall/Winter Wine Club release at Purple Cow Vineyards in Forest Grove, OR.  Purple Cow 2009 Barrel Tasting

If you’ve ever read this blog before, you know I’m a big fan of Purple Cow.  I stumbled upon them (quite literally) at the Seafood & Wine Festival in Portland about a year ago, and was so impressed with their 2006 Pinot Noir, and their wonderful, chewy, bold Tempranillos, that I left the event with a case of wine and a wine club membership!

In September, you may remember that I helped out at 2009 Harvest at their Vineyards.  Just tasting a few grapes from the vine was enough to get me excited about the final product.  Last night, Jon Armstrong (Owner, winemaker) and the P.C. crew cleared out the shop for the release party.  There was a great spread of food, a bonfire, and they brought out a couple barrels of future releases to try!

Matt doing his thing

First was the 2008 Pinot Noir.  The nose was like roses and bright fruit: Pomegranate, huckleberry, cranberry.  It tasted of soft, slightly under-ripe raspberries, rose petals, and soft, evenly balanced tannin.

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Then came the one I was really excited about, the 2007 Petite Syrah.  With juice from California, this Petite Syrah had been in the barrel for a while.  It poured the color of squid ink…a spectacular black purple.  I could tell it was one of the darker wines I’d seen in a while, even in the low, flickering firelight.  purple cow 009

It had a rich, blackberry jam nose, but the taste was heavy raisin & currant.  It initially had  a strong Port quality…thick & rich, heavy raisin, big, spicy fruit.

purple cow 002A few sips later, the raisin had softened, revealing big black fruit first, followed by soft, spicy currant.  I can not wait until it is released!  Purple Cow only has 1 barrel, so about 125 cases…just enough for the wine club and a few leftovers!  I recommend joining the wine club today!

Thank you to the entire Purple Cow family for a tasty, fun afternoon! Cheers!

Published in: on 2.17.2009 at 5:20 am  Comments (1)  

Cioppino Recipe & Wine Pairing

My favorite seafood dish, by far, is Cioppino.  I got turned on to it while working as a cook in Seattle in 2001, and now, anytime it’s on a menu, I order it.  Sadly, it’s not on very many menus.  I decided to make the dish last night.  If you’ve never had or heard of Cioppino, it’s an old Italian/San Francisco Wharf seafood stew.  They would take all the scraps from the days catch, throw it into a boil with tomatoes, etc, and eat it.  It’s been refined, naturally, and is just wonderful!  I make my Cioppino a bit spicy, and served with crusty bread and a mustard aoili.  But, since it’s a bit spicy, needed a wine to stand up to it.  Last time I made Cioppino, someone else chose the wine, a Dolcetto, which just got crushed by the meal.  I grabbed a bottle that I knew could stand up to it: Gabriela:  a 2007 blend from Purple Cow Vineyards in the Willamette Valley, Oregon.  Purple Cow is a small but growing Vineyard who grows Pinot Noit, Temprinillo, and Muscat grapes on the estate, and sources their others from the best regions of Oregon, Washington, and California.

This wine is a blend of 4 grapes:  Malbec (61%), Mourvedre (30%), Tempranillo (5%) and Pinot Noir (4%).  And only $24/bottle!

While the Malbec is prodiment on both the nose and the first taste, it is quickly overtaken by the Tannin and spice of the Mourvedre, which really give this wine a backbone.  Big bold fruit jump out of the glass with perfect rich spice, and enough Tannin to battle the acidity of the tomato based Cioppino.

Now, if you are interested, my Cioppino with Mustard Aoili recipe (and yes, this is MY recipe)

Cioppino

Cioppino (serves 3-4)

Seafood: 1lb large shrimp; 1 lb white fish (Tilapia, cod), 1/2 lb bay Scallops (Optional. when available: Mussels, Crab Legs, Salmon, Calamari)

1 Large onion, diced

1 Clove Garlic, crushed

4 Large Tomatoes, seeds removed, diced

2 Cans stewed or diced tomatoes

2 cups dry white wine

2 cups seafood stock (I used the broth from boiling the shrimp)

Optional, if desired: 1 Large Bell Pepper, diced

Seasoning: 2 bay leaves, Saffron, Red pepper flakes, Paprika, salt & pepper

Sautee onion & garlic in pan heavily coated in olive oil until opaque, add 1 cup white wine, reduce until 3/4 gone.

Add all tomatoes & bell pepper, stock, wine, bring to a boil.

While bringing to boil, add 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 pinches Saffron (this makes the dish in my opinion), 1/2 tsp Paprika, bay leaves, S&P

When boiling, add UNCOOKED seafood (I pre-cook the shrimp to have easy de-shelling, and to create broth).  Simmer for 10-15 minutes until seafood is cooked.  Reduce to lowest heat until ready to serve.

Aoili:

4 TBSP Dijon Mustard

2 TBSP Mayonnaise

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 egg yolk

pinch of saffron

salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients into bowl, whisk until blended.  Drizzle over baked crisp french baugette slices

TO SERVE: Place 2-3 pieces of bread with aoili in bottom of serving bowl.  Scoop Cioppino over bread.  Garnish with 2-3 more bread pieces.  Drink with rich, bold red wine. Enjoy!

Harvest 2009: Purple Cow Vineyards

I spent the day on Sunday (Sept 27) with the great people of Purple Cow Vineyards, helping them harvest their crop for the ’09 crush.  Here’s a little photo tour of the day…To learn more about my favorite Oregon Winery, visit their tasting room, or buy online: www.purplecowvineyards.com

Work starts at 9am, and yes, most of the crew had been up late the night before drinking!

Work starts at 9am, and yes, most of the crew had been up late the night before drinking!

The perfect rows of Pinot Noir grapes, ready for picking!

The perfect rows of Pinot Noir grapes, ready for picking!

These beauties speak for themselves.

These beauties speak for themselves.

In 4-5 years, this is going to be one great glass of Pinot!

In 4-5 years, this is going to be one great glass of Pinot!

Just yummmmmy!

Just yummmmmy!

I Heart Wine

I Heart Wine

BUSTED!!!

BUSTED!!!

Don't just do something, stand there!

Don't just do something, stand there!

There's more grapes to be picked, people!

There's more grapes to be picked, people!

The Tempranillo grapes were MUCH easier to pick...looser clusters, hanging farther from the vine.  The Temp went very quick!

The Tempranillo grapes were MUCH easier to pick...looser clusters, hanging farther from the vine. The Temp went very quick!

Before...

Before...

After!

After!

Is it safe to say that even the Almighty likes Purple Cow's Pinot Noir?

Is it safe to say that even the Almighty likes Purple Cow's Pinot Noir?

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