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.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Getting BUSY at XMAS
Okay, so my neighbor Sonya is a NUT about Xmas decorating, festooning her domicile w/ all manner of whites, reds, candy canes and faux trees to create a spectacular display.
Evidently she placed third in a Grand Prairie Lights or Nottingham Neighbors Lights (our little slice of heaven in N. Texas) and she was hooked. Now illuminating our street at a feverish pace, she was gunning for the gold. While I personally have no idea whether this effort required massive caloric intake ala Michael Phelps, it does seem to require a Scotty-like devotion to the physical plant. We often see her out at all hours of day and night, attaching new accessories or repairing the grid.
It is an amazing effort, which makes our humble decoration look, um, humblish.
But, in comparison to Richard Holdman, she's a piker 1st class, and there's no mean intent or envy attached to that statement. Really. Honest.
We present exhibit #1
See, what we mean? This guy gets it in terms of what it takes to create a truly innovative and beautiful display. Not too far afield from what we at SaucyJoes do for a good fire, glass of wine or smoke-ringed brisket.
Now whether or not it is a truly great use of time, consider that his efforts do raise money for Make-A-Wish so he's got that going for him.
If you are considering ramping up a similar effort, be mindful that there are critics out there who rate and evaluate the holiday display and advocate handing out citations to those who would violate lighting etiquette. Now if we do a comparison of Holdman vs Perlow on good use of time we're siding w/ Holdman. We noted Mr. Perlow was willing to critique but had no displays of his own to offer up for comparison. Hmmm.
To quote a noted philosopher and cinema buff:
"I know you are but what am I?"
Saturday, December 13, 2008
All I want for Christmas is a great wine tasting!
I love to read and write about wine, but not as much as just tasting it. Over many years of wine tasting and wine appreciation with friends and families I have learned a lot. It’s a great learning process. But there are “so many wines, and so little time” as they say. With thousands of wines from all over the world, more availability now than ever, you can keep quite busy this season. Tasting wines from all over the world with friends and family? Santa, bring that for me this holiday season!
The basic elements of wine appreciation seem pretty easy on one level – pour, tilt glass and taste. Repeat as needed. And that is certainly fine if that’s all you require to enjoy wine. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, and you don’t need the sometimes perplexing language of many wine tasters. But if you want to look at wine more discriminately, to explore the nuances and underlying qualities of wine…well, then there are several tools of the trade to look at.
The “tools of the trade” are actually pretty easy to acquire; we come equipped with them if at different levels and abilities. Can’t tell Coke from Pepsi? Well, just remember that improving your taste is just like preparing for that big presentation at work, or working-out hard get ready for that 10-K. You need to do the work. Again: there’s no requirement to “dig deeper” when you enjoy a good glass of wine but if you want to take a step closer, some groundwork first, give yourself a good start. Get a wine that is different, maybe a varietal you haven’t tasted. Then provide the proper environment for your tasting, invite friends over, have some snacks and make it casual. With a comfortable setting, your crew of tasters will feel relaxed and the sharing of wine and friendship flows.
A good hint: if you have friends at different experience levels and abilities in wine: do a blind taste testing. It can show that wine tasting is not a competition, and that you don’t need to challenge other people’s levels of ability and experience. There is no better way to create a level field and bring people together than a blind wine tasting. You will be surprised at the range of taster’s impressions of wines when they can’t see the label or bottle shape. So you end up concentrating on challenging your taste, not your knowledge of the wine.
The great thing about tasting wine is: the more you taste, the more experience you gain; and the more experience that you gain, the more you bring to your next tasting. Then you may want to move on to a horizontal tasting comparing certain varietals from the same vintage, or a vertical tasting, with different years of a wine from the same producer. It’s just like learning to read and write. You start with the alphabet and then you advance as you learn more. Maybe you had a favorite book, one you found full of drama and nuanced relationships. You shared it is with a friend, who reads it and returns it, “Sure, that was a great story”. They liked it, but didn’t see, or were not impressed, with those elements of style that you appreciated. It’s OK - wine also has levels of appreciation and understanding. Sometimes you dig a little deeper, sometimes you don’t.
You have some work to do this Holiday season. Check out some new wines; enjoy time with friends and family, and TASTE. ‘Tiss the season, and hopefully Santa will be good to you this year! I’ve already sent in my letter.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
After reading a fun wine blog, complete with a quiz on American wines NOT from the U.S., I was directed to the representative site for several Australian wineries called Old Bridge Cellars.
Here's their "about us" description:
In this age of 'big company' buyouts, increasing consolidation and mass production, Old Bridge Cellars brings you a group of Australian winemakers who retain their belief in artisan winemaking. Respecting the land and with minimal intervention in the winery, their wines remain true to the soils from which they come.
They share a fierce commitment to quality and a determination to preserve their independence and regional heritage. Many are the second, third and even fourth generations of their family to work the vineyards. It's their intuitive understanding, quiet confidence and desire to produce only the best they can from each vintage that has made them Australian benchmarks, universally acclaimed by wine critics across the globe.
Founded in 1990, Old Bridge Cellars embraces the intense passion of these winemakers and remains one of only a few US importers dedicated solely to the best of regional Australia. Our knowledge of Australian wine runs deep and has been recognized in such publications as The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine and Spirits, International Wine Cellar and Wine Enthusiast. Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate has gone so far as to say, "thanks in large part to the work of such talented importers as Old Bridge Cellars et al… American consumers have never had such an enormous selection of Australia's finest as well as rarest wines."
We see as our mission the promotion of Australia's 'real wines, ' championing those winemakers who give everything in their pursuit of truly distinctive, regionally defined styles that sit comfortably with the world's best. And who believe they can do it even better again next vintage!
It's an enlightening, exhilarating journey. Welcome aboard.
To see the complete Old Bridge Cellars site, click here.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Actually this is serious fun from Crushpad, one of those make-your-own wine establishments that found a cool gimmick and had the wherewithal to execute the idea.
From their site, an explanation, and then their feature video.
Here's how it works:
You buy bottles of the "2007 Bailout Napa Valley Cabernet" on this website for $39/bottle. Comparable wines go for $75 and up, so you've already won in a sense.
We record the closing value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average the day you buy the bottles.
Then for every 100 points the Dow drops from your starting point, you get $2 off each bottle.
We will bottle the wine on August 14, 2009 and use the Dow closing level to determine your final price. For example, if you buy the wine when the Dow is 8,800 and then it closes at 7,300 when we bottle, then your final price is $9/bottle and we'll cut you an economic stimulus check of $30/bottle in September. If we're lucky enough to find the Dow at or above the level it was when you bought the wine, then you've already paid your $39/bottle – it will never go above that.
Found this on TwitPic from Twitter author @lawduarte.
Remember album art? It was a great escape and made the LP all the better when done right. Line notes, deep meanings and a chance to really take the album over the top.
Pink Floyd was always at the vanguard (I even bought several limited editions of the DSOTM) and this photo is a great chance to relive those wonderful works of art.
Of course if the original albums had come in this packaging...
-- oh stop it --
Monday, December 08, 2008
Just listened to author Katherine Bateman on Bob Edwards' show re: her new book Kentucky Clay.
Hearing her stories, and listening to her accounts of family doings through the years sounds a great deal like the Sullivan history in Kentucky. She goes back 11 generations in the book, detailing the Clays and the Cecils through early American history.
Especially amusing was the "whip and a gun" story of the matriarchs of two clans enforcing fidelity w/ strong language and the threat of violence -- all while wearing their gloves and comporting themselves as the ladies they were.
I am planning a comfy-chair-by-the-fire-bourbon-in-hand literary adventure when the book arrives later this week.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
A Saturday might pleasure
Friday, December 05, 2008
We all learned at a very young age what the oldest cleanser on earth is. Though I'm not sure if it's still being used as much since there's a slew of new cleansers on the market. Come on, you know what it is! Dig deep into that dark area of your mind you keep hidden and think about that smudge you had on your face right before you went into church. Fast as Mom saw the smudge, a tissue would come out of nowhere, dab it on her tongue and skillfully swipe the smudge away. If a tissue wasn't available, a lick of the thumb would be substituted. It could take off anything though some dirt took multiple applications and vigorous rubbing. There may not be much skin left, but the dirt was gone!!
Well now that I've brought back fond memories of smudges past, I wanted to introduce a product that will either make you laugh or go eewww! Momspit! I laughed so loud at discovering this product as we were just talking about Mom's quick clean abilities at a party last weekend. I wish I would have known about this product then. So now you have a conversation piece to add to your next party!! I love the description of the product: Eliminate milk moustaches, chocolate faces, sticky fingers, grease, dried food, latte foam, gas-pump grunge and mystery dirt. Just MomSpit on it. It's that mystery dirt that always took the longest to clean off. We know microderm abrasion ... we lived it!!