"The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge." ~ Bertrand Russell

Things I learned this week:

1. Storing your cheese in plastic wrap (guilty!) doesn’t allow it to breathe. Best to wrap it in parchment paper and then store it in a cool place, like your wine refrigerator (I have two of those!) or the crisper section of your fridge (source: Food and Wine, July 2008).

2. Coach Farm has been making artisanal goat cheese since 1983 – I had no idea! I buy their goat milk (soooo sweet) and their triple cream goat cheese (it tastes like grass in the freshest way you can imagine) from Fresh Direct, of all places (Source: Food and Wine, September 2008).

3. So I found out that “spangleferkel” is a type of German sausage. Where did I hear this fabbity-fab tidbit? Why, from Georgia Nicolson in Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers**, of course. So I wanted to look into what spangleferkel is, and I found this poetry blog from a teenager in Renton, Washington. I wonder if she got the word from the book? Also, in the midst of researching spangleferkel, I discovered Georgia Nicolson has her own Wikipedia page with everything you’d want to know about the series. Vair vair amusant.

4. If you pour a glass of wine and you see condensation on the bottle or your glass, it’s too cold. I’ve served whites this way, so good to know. If it’s too cold, it affects the nose of the wine and you’re not going to smell all the herbs and citrus. I also learned that the glass you drink out of truly matters, and that the word “reserve” on a wine label really means nothing. (Courtesy of Natalie MacLean)

5. I learned that reviewing children’s books for a journal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: you have to read a lot of crapola…and you can’t just close the book one-third of the way through and get your free time back. Nope. You not only have to finish the book, but then you have to find words to describe it…in an eloquent way that will hopefully get published. Better yet, this month I have a 3-book series…so triple the crap. I don’t want to read crap: I want to read Louise Rennison and my food and wine books!

Eat, drink, and learn something new each day

* Cheese photo courtesy of Wendell T. Weber and Food and Wine

** I discovered from Louise Rennison's site that my luuuurve match is Dave the Laugh. This is not a surprise in the least to me. In fact, I couldn't be any more predictable. Masimo and the original SG? Puh-leez. Give me someone who makes me laugh any day.


Anonymous said...

I have to take issue with that blanket statement of Natalie's.. True, in some places Reserve is just something fancy-sounding to put on the label. But if you know which countries regulate the use of the word, then you are a better shopper. In Spain and Italy, for instance, it means that the wine has seen more time on the barrel and has spent extra time aging in the bottle. If you're buying from a reputable producer this is a good indication of quality, since they won't just throw their slop onto new oak barrels. They also won't hold back their lesser quality wines to age in the bottle, they'll want to get them out the door and into the glass for drinking right away.

Ok thank you I feel better now.

Unknown said...

Oh, no, Amy, I assure the blanket statement was mine. In Red, White, and Drunk All Over Natalie states (p. 172-3) that this is a problem with New World wines: there isn't regulation or even a formal definition of the word "reserve." New World winemakers can slap it on any and every bottle, if they'd like. However, Natalie does make a distinction between New World and Old World wines here: "reserve" often indicates a higher quality level, and there are laws and definition to ensure this. When you see "reserve" on an Old World bottle, it actually can be an indication of quality.

So the fault was with my writing, not Natalie's research.

I'm curious, Amy (there's no info - I assume you're my sommelier friend, no?)...once upon a time, European wines had such a sense of place and locality: you went to a town and you drank what was local. In your class, are you discussing how much of this has changed in Europe? Also, you made a comment on MySpace about tempranillo...so is it possible to buy a decent tempranillo from El Dorado County?

Unknown said...

God, Laura, SLJ sent me a package yesterday with TWO sets of juvenile nonfiction on BOTANY. One series is 8 books long, and the other is 6.

That's on top of the 4-volume China series they sent last week. Jesus grinding Christ, how am I gonna get these books read? plus identify and read existing books on the same subjects?