Tanti auguri alla mia dolce mammina. Happy birthday to you. Cento di questi giorni….While I often tell people that it is my father who gave me the wine bug because he made wine in the basement with a friend from Sicily, the real skinny is that it is my Mother who has passed on her love of wine to me. My Mother drinks many different types of wines and is often willing to experiment. She’s been known to bring home some great bottles as well as some clunkers. Mostly Mom loves wine and enjoys it the way one should, without pretense.
I could go on and on about how wonderful my Mother is but that would be a little silly. Suffice it to say she’s a wonderful, funny, smart and adventurous lady. Did I mention bright and an artist? Also a pianist. In fact, Mom studied the Etruscans in Graduate School while getting her PhD in Art History. I often tell people that that’s how I ended up in Italy. My Mom is magical. Happy birthday Maman.
Dad’s no slouch either….
I went on a pilgrimage of sorts this summer when I was in D.C. for the Society of Wine Educator’s Conference. I went to see Julia Child’s kitchen in the Smithsonian. Would I have gone if it hadn’t been for the movie, Julie & Julia? Who knows, maybe not. The scene at the museum was very funny. Packed with people of all ages, everyone was looking gleefully at pots and pans.
This appealed to me immensely. I am happy to see home cooking elevated to the level of art, something to be cherished and desired. I don’t claim to be a fabulous chef but I can certainly whip up a delicious home cooked meal and best of all, I enjoy it. I love having people over for dinner and sitting around the table. Growing up, the dinner table was a place of lively conversation, some arguments, lots of wine, jokes and laughter. Like many people, one of my favorite rooms in any house is the kitchen. This is why it made me so happy to see people waxing poetic about Julia’s kitchen.
Now that people are paying more attention to food and where it comes from, I think celebrating Julia Child is a must. Yes she used more butter in every dish of her food than I use in a year but that aside, she made people celebrate cooking and feel that they could cook well too.
The fact that she liked cats also made her all the more endearing.
I tried this Nine Barrels Merlot from Shinn Estate Vineyards on Long Island last week at Maslow 6. It was a delicious and quite a surprise for me. Old world in style with elegant subtle tannins and nice fruit without being overdone. Restrained or well knit as a blogger I was reading recently described a wine on Bigger Than Your Head. I like that expression and I think it is an apt description of this wine as well. Anthony Nappa, the winemaker at Shinn has really done wonders with the fruit and I look forward to trying the 2007 Vintage. I tried a 2006.
I haven’t visited the Shinn Estates Vineyard in Mattituck but it looks beautiful. They also have a Bed & Breakfast it seems so it could be a lovely weekend trip. I love that part of Long Island. For many years my family had a home on the North Fork but I only really discovered the South Fork in 2004. I like some of the wines from Long Island but I often find them thin and very pricey. This one was among the best that I have tried although I am also partial to many from Channing Daughters on the North Fork.
I’m in a New York state of mind this week of 9/11. I also had the good fortune to see Nadal at the US Open in the Finals. It was my first time at the Open and what a thrill. My next post may have to be about Spanish wines in his honor.
I tried to post this yesterday but couldn’t do it. I was in Italy during 9/11 and will never forget the outpouring of love and solidarity that I received on that day but all I wanted at that moment was to be home in my city.
I’ve been away a considerable period of time this Summer and certainly away from this blog. Every year when vacations end I suffer from the Sindrome da Rientro. I am not alone in this I know. Everyone comes back from vacation energized but sad to spend days indoors and be back in their routines.
I have started working in a new office and on new projects this Fall and I must say I am excited for the season and new challenges. I also look forward to the harvest, Fall fruits and vegetables and changes leaves. That said, a few more days of gorgeous weather such as today would suit me fine. As would more lobster rolls and more days on Cape Cod…More wine news in the coming days.