Avocado Oil–why you should be using it

avocare avocado oilYou’ve probably heard the virtues of olive oil, coconut oil and possibly even grape seed oil. But what about the oil that comes from avocados? Turns out, avocado oil is one of your best choices for cooking as well as using straight as a drizzle on salads, sandwiches and to finish soups. Read more

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The Wine of the Week: 2014 Dutton-Goldfield, Dutton Ranch Chardonnay

Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch ChardonnayThe Wine of the Week: 2014 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay

by Annette Tomei

Some readers of a certain age may still drink by the ABC rule of “Anything But Chardonnay”. Others may worship at the throne of Big Oaky California Chards. Still more may find good California Chardonnays prohibitively expensive, preferring to cast their lots on lower priced imports. If you fall into any of these categories, please consider this as a public service announcement encouraging you to take the chance, make the splurge (albeit a small one, in this case) and give this wine a try! I’m happy I did.

There’s Something Special About Sonoma

Sonoma County is geographically and agriculturally diverse: Coastline, mountains, lakes, rivers; cool and warm climates, foggy and bright – Sonoma’s got it. And, this agricultural region is made up of farms of all sorts from heirloom apples to “happy cows” – so much more than just vineyards. This is not Napa – they are a mountain range and a whole world apart.

Dutton Ranch is situated, primarily, in the Green Valley AVA in the coolest part of the Russian River Valley. A cooler climate means the fruit has more time to ripen without sacrificing the acidity that provides the backbone for the flavor, or over-ripening the sugars that determine the wines alcohol content – it’s all about balance.

About This Wine

I confess to being one of those who often avoid California Chardonnay for fear of “oak bombs” (I can smell them from the first raise of the glass). So, from my guarded first approach, I was not just relieved but intrigued. The pale yellow color was the first hint that I was safe from aggressive use of oak. The initial aromas of tangy citrus and tropical fruit lured me in. As the wine opened in the glass, aromas of creamy apple, shiso, ginger, and a soy-like salinity took hold.

This is a complex and nuanced wine with toasty woody notes, mouthwatering acidity, flavors of pear, pineapple, lemon meringue pie, and gingersnap, a round, soft mouthfeel, and a clean minerally finish. Try pairing it with cracked Dungeness crab picked with your fingers, served with a good baguette and lots of lemon and melted butter; or on the East Coast, a traditional lobster bake! Also, this is worthy of a well-made classic risotto with or without seared scallops. Think rich seafood, savory creaminess, and simple preparations – or just that great baguette and sweet butter!

The Verdict

Dutton-Goldfield is a well-respected producer of some of the most sought-after and consistently high rated wines in Sonoma. So, quality, finesse, and deliciousness are all but assured – that I loved this wine is not a surprise. That this wine is available for only $35/bottle is! Do try this wine – do take the time to enjoy it thoroughly – do keep an open mind to all new taste experiences, even if it’s something you wrote off years ago, it could surprise you.
Note: It seems the 2014 vintage is nearing the end of availability, but I’m sure the 2015 will be equally enjoyable.

My new mission…

to taste things I’ve never tasted before – either because I’m a snob, I can’t afford it, or it’s just a little too weird. I’ll let you know what I thought, and then you can decide for yourself if you will make the splurge, or take the leap into the strange but potentially delicious unknown!

Annette is a food and beverage educator and consultant. She is also a professional chef who frequently contributes delicious recipes to EatSomethingSexy.com. She can be found at ChefAnnetteTomei.com.

Beach Plum Gin Liqueur from Greenhook Ginsmiths

beach plum gin liqueurYou may never have heard of beach plum before. And you might be wondering what it’s doing in gin! But we promise you, after one taste, you won’t be asking any questions except, “Can I have some more?!”

This beach plum gin liqueur is one of our new favorite elixirs. (The flavoring and deep, almost claret color come from beach plums. These tiny, maritime fruits are members of the plum family. They’re commonly found on the eastern seaboard of the United States, from Maine to Maryland.) Greenhook Ginsmiths have taken the essence of beach plum and used it as the vehicle for one of the most unique, most fun gins you’ll ever find. Read more

Adagio Teas Citrus Yerba Mate–a healing tonic with aphrodisiac possibilities

Citrus Yerba Mate--tea with aphrodisiac benefits! | EatSomethingSexyMate has a reputation as one of the most healing plants in the world. It’s loaded with antioxidants and is considered excellent for the immune system. It’s also a source of vitamins A and E as well as several B vitamins. It can freshen breath, alleviate headaches and, most importantly, it’s considered a potent aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, it’s flavor is strong, an “acquired taste,” you might say. That’s why we were thrilled to discover Adagio Teas Citrus Yerba Mate. Read more

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Chateau Frank Brut–a NY Sparkling Wine you need to know

The Wine of the Week: 2010 Chateau Frank Brut

by Annette Tomei

Why you should try Chateau Frank Brut | EatSomethingSexy.com2010 Dr Konstantin Frank, Chateau Frank Brut, Finger Lakes Sparkling Wine

I recently attended an event featuring some of the top beverage producers from the state of New York (TasteNY). In the coming months, you’ll probably see at least a couple of the delicious treats I had the pleasure of tasting at this event. I’m starting with the one that surprised me most – it’s not unusual to find fine ciders, beers, and spirits coming from the Empire State, but bubbles? This is a first for me! Read more