Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Blog, wine, blog wine ... blog ... wine

Over the weekend the Wall Street Journal highlighted six wine blogs that I'll be sure and add to my daily surf. I browsed their sites briefly and was drawn in quickly. I could spend hours! Ugh!!

Well worth a look!

The Caveman's Wine Blog

Avenue Vine

Every Day Wine Pairings


Wine Sediments

The Wine Offensive

Special thanks to Beckey Bright at the Wall Street Journal Online for her efforts in finding these treasures.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Champagne Bubbles make my head hurt!

One of the favorite things in my life is a great bottle of Champagne shared with friends. There always seems to be a pause for reflection on our bubbly fare. How do these bubbles compare to bubbles past? I always look at the bubbles in the glass out of curiousity. Guess I've always felt that the more bubbles, the better.

I've recently read some articles on Champagne bubbles that just made my head spin. Some scientists out of France have been busy studying bubble generation, expansion, frequency and drag coefficient. The documentation was dizzying in its' calculations. I really don't want to get that scientific in my evaluation of Champagne. I just want to know ... why so many bubbles?

There's a certain amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) that each bottle contains due to the second fermentation process of yeast in the bottle. Pressure builds in there and we're all thankful for that thicker Champagne bottle. Can't imagine how many times that cork has ping-ponged through the kitchen as we underestimated the power of the force. Thus I'm still an apprentice.

Even if you have the Carbon Dioxide, you still need something else to help release it. Gas cavities. I won't go into the joke on that one, but one article talked about how the nucleation of bubbles in Champagne could be used as a model for bubble nucleation within the body. Still won't go there. OK ... Focus ... the report of gas cavities in a Champagne glass come from cellulose fibres coming from the surrounding air or remaining from the wiping process. Basically, you want more bubbles, wipe your glass with a cloth and store right side up.

I still have a lot of questions about Champagne bubbles, but don't have the energy right now to find out why my Spanish Cava has much less bubbles than my Charles Heidsieck. I could rub my glass in hopes of a genie popping out and I still won't get the same amount of bubbles in my Cava.

I'm sure the answer is out there somewhere. I see a quest emerging!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Road Breakfast

Had a road trip for the past four days to drive up to commemorate the life of my Aunt Allie. A great woman that many people held dear in their lives. We all love her and will miss her!

I managed in that short time period to have three big breakfasts at various diners in Akron, Colorado. Only excusable because we're on a roadtrip. If you were to ask anyone involved about Allie's Memorial, you'd get some sort of comment about the breakfast burrito at the Crestwood. Killer Green Chile sauce that made the top of Dr. Dave's head sweat. Quite an accomplishment.

Breakfast is something that most of us miss or skimp on and rarely do any of us go out daily for breakfast. I know that the lack of time is part of the reason, but I also believe we don't because it's usually unhealthy. Thus it becomes something to do on a weekend or in my case, a road trip. I need to find some healthy alternatives to fill in that bad breakfast desire.

I must say that I enjoyed the breakfast experience for all its' greasy glory, but it was the company made the experience worth while. The delirious breakfast after twelve hours of driving. The breakfast with my siblings that could've gone on for hours. The full table with Mom and the Cousins that gave our visit such a sweet conclusion.

My thanks to all those involved in three enjoyable road breakfasts. Keep that breakfast burrito on the menu, but think about some fresh fruit!!

Any healthy breakfast suggestions??

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jimmy's Magic Fridge

I had the pleasure of spending four plus days in the Madison area of Wisconsin recently for Half-Relays. A time for the families of the Relays gang to join up and do some laughin' and scratchin'. Our friend Jim Graham hosted this years festivities and he did an incredible job. He filled his fridge in the garage full of beer and just when you thought it may be running out ... poof, like magic, it was full again. My Wisconsin Cross Country cap off to Jimmy for keeping that fridge full of some great beers throughout the entire Half-Relays weekend. Quite a task with our group.

Happiness is getting stressed for having too may beer choices!! May we all have such stress in our lives. Cheers!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


This story must have hit a nerve across the nation as I found a lot of blogs posting some sort of comment about this tragedy. In what could soon be called a State of Emergency, please remain calm and control your urge to hoard all the good beer at the store. For my part, I think I had about 4 percent of my yearly beer consumption at Half-Relays in Wisconsin last weekend (posting soon), so I'll open a bottle of Pinot Noir and let the rest of you have my share of beer.

YAKIMA, Washington (AP) -- Federal investigators were set Tuesday to begin an investigation into a fire that ruined about 4 percent of America's yield of hops, used as flavoring in the brewing of beer and ale.

The fire started shortly before noon Monday in a 40,000-square-foot (3,600-square-meter) warehouse operated by S.S. Steiner Inc., one of the four largest hop buyers in the Yakima Valley of central Washington. By mid-afternoon flames engulfed most of the building, sending up plumes of smoke and a pungent aroma.

Municipal fire crews, aided by regional firefighters, ripped away metal siding to shoot water directly onto the hops.

Based on an industry official's estimate of the quantity of hops in the warehouse, the loss could amount to $3.5 million to $4 million. The impact on brewers and beer prices was unclear early Tuesday.

Company President Paul Signorotti would not comment.

The United States produces 24 percent of the world's hops, and about three-fourths of the U.S. crop comes from the Yakima Valley. Hops were a $77 million crop in Washington state in 2004. More than 40 families grow hops in the valley, which is dotted with orchards, vineyards and farms.

Fires have long been an expensive danger at hop warehouses, largely because of the potential for spontaneous combustion from heat buildup in bales of resin-loaded varieties.

"That's just a possibility that we'll look at," East Valley Deputy Chief Mike Riel told the Yakima Herald-Republic, "but it is very high on the list."

No one was in the warehouse when the fire started, Riel said.

With the fire under control Monday night, authorities told the newspaper an investigation into the cause would be led by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Steiner is part of the Steiner Group of Germany, one of the largest international hop growing, trading and processing companies in the world. The Yakima branch manages Steiner's North American buying and processing, according to the company Web site.

Besides being one of the largest growers in the valley, Steiner is one of three large merchants that buy from other growers in the area. The others are John I. Haas Inc., the grower-owned cooperative Yakima Chief and Hop Union, which specializes in sales to craft brewers.

The fire destroyed or ruined about 10,000 bales, each weighing about 200 pounds (90 kilograms) and likely worth $1.75 to $2 a pound, Ann George, administrator of the Washington Hops Commission in nearby Moxee, told the Herald-Republic.

Seventeen varieties of hops are grown in the United States, including aroma varieties which are added for flavor or fragrance and the bitter alpha varieties.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.