Grape Expectations: Metaphors and Correlations

It’s 81°f (27.22°c) in South Florida. With heat on the rise, my palate is definitely springing forward – grilling and chilling with a glass of rosé in my hand and swapping out carbs for arugula (my favorite leafy green), avocado and roasted or sautéed vegetables.

However, today it’s Sunday and after two consecutive, long runs, I’m ready to fall in the pot. It’s hot out though and having the oven on for three or four hours will kill the a/c bill. TG for YouTube that gives me a quick lesson on how to braise on a grill. My Weber has good temperature control and cast iron pot is the perfect size.

I’m now ankle deep into the CSW textbook (chapter 6 to be exact), testing myself each day using Quizlet lessons and flashcards and feeling a little more confident about the content. It’s not easy though and although I read and write every day for work, self-study at this level has been a struggle.

The Dish: Braised Beef Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta

Pappardelle is a word nerd/foodie plaything. Derived from the Tuscan dialect word ‘pappare’ which means to gobble up food, it’s like Italian onomatopoeia.  Just slurp up those tasty, wide egg noodles straight from the pot, p,p,p, pappare! Read more here.

There are many recipes for beef ragu to be found and most are similar. I chose this one. There’s something very relaxing about a slow cooked, Sunday meal.  During the week, the long prep time alone is unmanageable. However, I love taking the time to wash and chop knowing that the holy trinity of cooking, (also called mirepoix in French and soffritto in Italian) onions, carrots and celery 2:1:1, is the foundation of all things yummy. The greatest thing is that once everything is in the pot, you have at least three hours to read a book, watch a movie or take a nap!

The Wine: Gaja Sito Moresco Rosso Langhe 2014

Nebbiolo of Barbaresco — Creative Commons

Google Gaja (the family and winery name) and you’ll quickly find out that the wine I chose is on the cheaper side of the Gaja skew. And, if you’re a wine collecting aficionado, you may be turning your fine-tuned nose up at my choice. However, wine newbie me says this wine is great value wow! It’s a blend as opposed to a varietal (single named grape variety) and composed of Nebbiolo (the prized grape of the region, Piemonte), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Other years or vintages when referring to wine, seem to have a small percentage of one of the region’s other indigenous grapes, Barbera.

So, let’s discuss what’s up with the Nebbiolo fascination and what goes into the name?

There’s a plethora of information about the Nebbiolo grape and the most sought after wines of the Piemonte (aka Piedmont: the region), Barolo (an appellation) aka the king of wines and Barbaresco (another appellation). There’s scholarly articles, heated debates and even a movie: Barolo Boys.

Langhe

In my pursuit of wine knowledge, here’s what I found most interesting about this thin-skinned grape. Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon (red) or Chardonnay (white) that can be planted almost anywhere in the world and acquire new characteristics depending on where it has been planted, the Nebbiolo grape does best in not just its country of origin, but its specific area which is Northwest Italy. This gem loves its own soil and doesn’t develop anywhere near to as good, elsewhere.

I could go on and on, but it’s best that I leave Nebbiolo history and the wine facts to the experts. An enjoyable start can be seen in this video. Dig deeper and you’ll be amused by all of the old school and new school banter.

Creative Commons

As for the name, I’m learning that the winery is much more than a brand. Gaja has a long history and world-renowned reputation. Angelo Gaja was a bold, risk taker who broke away from the old traditions and tried seemingly blasphemous new approaches to winemaking. Angelo along with his wife and grown children manage everything together. I enjoyed reading this Wine Spectator article where he and his daughter Gaia discuss climate change and its impact on wine production.

I’m more of a #YOLO, drink-now and budget conscious wine newbie. However, if you have the means and patience to wait, certainly start your collection with one of their wines. Read more about the Sito Moresco here.

The Metaphor

Oh Canada!

My parents were immigrants. My mother at eighteen was ready to jump solo on a ship from England to Canada as part of a migration incentive program. Her Mom wasn’t so anxious and followed her, dragging two unwilling siblings on the long, Atlantic crossing. Mom never looked back. My Dad on the other hand, left his birthplace to find work opportunities in Canada. He spent his whole life wanting to return. On one of his annual visits back to his country, he died suddenly. Doing what he loved most, gardening, I have to believe that he passed happily.

I like many of you are transplants. We get cut from the vine of our birthplace and are grafted somewhere else. We thrive and survive as a different version of ourselves. Whereas we think we might not belong anywhere else, it is almost always possible.

The trilogy of grapes or vegetables in today’s dish demonstrates the beauty of blends. Each component brings color and character to the medley. We, like those components, do not lose our distinct flavor, but contribute to something richer.

Photo Credit

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ― Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

Until next time, swirl and breathe deeply into your glass. As the aroma rises, think fondly about the dirt to which the grape came from and where it will go.

#MyArtEscape @AllegoryPR

NOTE: This Blog post was inspired by Chapters 3 and 4 of the Certified Specialist of Wine Guide. Both wines mentioned are from the Langhe wine region in Piemonte. The wine I cooked the beef with was (Dolcetto) Domenico Clerico Langhe Dolcetto Visadi 2013. A very reasonable price for a good wine that I will definitely drink rather than cook with next time!

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Lavender, Leather and Lactic Acid

It’s been awhile since I blogged or spent time in my kitchen, apart from preparing something quick for the sake of sustenance and getting me through one work day and into the next.

I’ve missed cooking slow, reading for pleasure and writing without a deadline looming overhead.

Serrano Market at Yellow Green Farmers Market (Hollywood, FL)

Time for a brief, mental getaway where I’ll pack the car with a cooler, head over to Yellow Green Farmers Market early and then drive over to Hollywood North Beach for a run. In 45 minutes, I’m able to run a little over four miles, north to the Dania Beach pier and back down to the Hollywood Broadwalk. (Go ahead and call me slow poke, but I’m not running for time, and have found a great way to beat the deadline stress plus maintain the same dress size despite my “calories don’t matter” cooking adventures!)

Pierre et Vacances located in Cannes La Bocca. The apartment is small, but the view is big!

This weekend, my palate travels to Provence. Probably one of my most memorable holidays was spending two weeks in the French Riviera. Set southwest of Nice, Pierre et Vacances is a chain of short term rental apartments in Europe. In Cannes La Bocca, you can book a fair size apartment with a small kitchen and a large balcony that overlooks both the resort pool and crystal blue Mediterranean! Considering how close it is to fancy Cannes, it’s not that expensive. Check it out here. It’s also steps from the market where you can pick up a baguette, fresh vegetables, cheese and a rotisserie chicken.

There’s so much more to Provence than the Mediterranean and should I return, I’ll hop on a train and head northwest. There you’ll find me prancing through fields of lavender and sipping on Châteauneuf-du-Pape!

However, in the meantime I’ve found a way to bring a little Provence into my kitchen. – be forewarned that roast chicken will never be the same after you try this recipe.

Lavender from Herban Tapestry located at Yellow Green Farmers Market

A Little History of Lavender

It was impossible to find fresh lavender, but Herban Tapestry (located in Yellow Green Farmers Market) offered three options. The aroma of the less expensive one didn’t seem significant enough to add to the dish and the most expensive one seemed better for a soak in the tub. So, I chose the mid-priced offering which smelled fragrant enough to blend nicely with thyme and rosemary.

Creative Commons

The best time to find lavender in full bloom in Provence is early to mid-July, although travel forums recommend that you check closer to your trip since the season lasts only a few weeks. Jean Giono wrote: “Lavender is the soul of Provence.” It was the Romans, however, that were the first to discover how to extract the oil. Did you know that lavender derives from Latin lavare meaning to ‘wash?’

The Pairing Wine: 2015 Clos Saint Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Reservée

As you know, I am a wine newbie, so if you’re a wine expert and stumbled upon this blog post, pardon my simplicity. Clos Saint Michel is the name of the winery; Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the region (and translates to the Pope’s New Castle); and the term cuvée reserve refers to a higher quality wine and in this case, from vines more than fifty years old. This wine is made up of 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre. The winery is situated upon the former bed of the Rhône Valley, thus the terroir (or land) is pebbly and rocky.

DYK that 95% of all wines in the Rhône come from the Southern Rhône? More than 380 million bottles per year! If you care to learn more, click here.

Aroma and Flavor Notes: I’m still grappling with tasting notes and I know that’s because of my newbi~ness. Hopefully, it all will dissipate in a year when I’m self-predicted to be at the end of the CSW textbook. When reading about this wine, I noticed the word “leather” mentioned a couple of times. Now I didn’t smell or taste leather, nor do I know if I could, as I sit comfortably on my leather sofa staring at the back like a child tempted to lick a metal pole in winter (that’s a Canadianism, I know.)

So according to Vinfolio.com, “when a critic tastes leather in a wine, he is almost always talking about the tannins. This makes sense, since the same tannins in wine are also used to tan leather. In reality, leather smells like bold red wine, not the other way around.”

Lactic Acid

Speaking of the CSW, I’m through the second round of reading chapters 1 and 2 with twenty-one more to go!  Whereas I thought from the start that I’d be diving into regions, grapes and history, I’m here stuck in acids and compounds, flashcards and brain strain.

A punny thing is that until last week, lactic acid meant to me that annoying buildup in the legs that you roll out after a run. However, in wine:

Lactic Acid is one of six different acids found in wine and created by the winemaking process. A chemical compound usually found in dairy products, this mild acid is created when a wine undergoes Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) – the process that converts Malic Acid into Lactic Acid….Lactic Acid also appears naturally in grapes during the fermentation process when the yeast converts sugar to alcohol…

Have I lost you? Well, you’ve reached the end and thanks for supporting my acidic banter. The good news is that my Provençal roast chicken is done and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape uncorked for the hour that it took me to write this post.

Follow the recipe carefully and don’t forget to add salt & pepper to the cavity of the chicken and stuff it with lemon chunks and whole cloves of garlic.
Brush olive oil onto both sides of the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I’ll finish by saying that the marinade and a cavity filled with lemon chunks and whole garlic cloves produced a succulent and aromatic roast chicken. It is served with a side of roast vegetables.

Until next time, let scent transport you to another place and melt away your stress, and may indulgence be the reward for a routine of moderation.

#MyArtEscape @AllegoryPR

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Allegory PR Year in Review

 Many thanks to our Clients & Followers! It’s been a great year and we look forward to building upon our success in 2019.

Ask about our new service package: Social Media Advertising to Optimize Website Traffic; E-Commerce; and Website Development and SEO.

lisa@allegorypr.com

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My 2018 Art Basel Listicle: The A to Z of Where #MyArtEscape Will Be

If you’ve landed on my page and happen to be looking for Miami’s best Art Basel (Miami Art Week) parties, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’ve been writing about art fairs for the last four years and to me, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Why? Because for less than the price of an airfare, you have a chance to see art from all over the world, talk to the gallerists and sometimes meet the artists.

If you spend too much of that time attending parties, you won’t have the energy to survive the art trek mileage.

So here I go, jumping into the Google pool of listicles with an “A to Z” where I’ll be this year. Put on some comfortable shoes and join me on the trip!

Art Basel 2017

Art Basel

If you’ve never been to an art fair before, start with Art Basel  in Miami Beach. After all, Miami would not be the western hemisphere’s premier destination for art collectors that it is, if Art Basel had not debuted in 2002. Besides a chance to visit 268 leading galleries representing 35 countries, you’ll get to see the completed renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Rather than walk in and figure it out, I suggest you download the Art Basel app and mark the galleries that you wish to visit ahead of time. If there is a particular artist who you like, search by his/her name and it will show you which gallery represents that artist.

As a journalist, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the press conference and preview, but if you want to try to beat the crowds, attend one of the morning Conversations and then enter the fair. There will still be a line, but this quiet time sets the tone for an inspiring visit.

I was disappointed to know that there won’t be a Public sector (the outdoor art installation at the Bass Museum) this year, but you may want to check out the multidisciplinary installation, ‘Autorreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist…’ by Abraham Cruzvillegas. The project which is an Art Basel partnership with curator Phillipp Kaiser and The Kitchen, takes place in the Grand Ballroom and is free and open to the public: December 6 – 9 at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 6, 2018, 3pm to 8pm; Friday, December 7, 2018, 12noon to 8pm; Saturday, December 8, 2018, 12noon to 8pm; Sunday, December 9, 2018, 12noon to 6pm

Miami Beach Convention Center | Art Basel Website

Art Miami

Art Miami

This year, Art Miami and its sister fair CONTEXT Art Miami are presenting their 29th edition and the second year located at the site of the former Miami Herald building. It’s impressive to say the least, and there’s something about the infiltration of natural light and bay views that makes this new setting very relaxing. Now although Art Basel in Miami Beach did change Miami’s art world landscape, did you know that Art Miami is the original and longest-running contemporary art fair in Miami?

Expect to see significant artworks, projects and installations from over 160 galleries from almost 30 countries.

Although I have yet to visit CONTEXT, I have visited Aqua Art Miami located at the Aqua Hotel. If you’re not in the art collecting big leagues, here’s a great place to start your art collection. You’ll find works by young, emerging and mid-career artists.

Wednesday, Dec. 5 – Sat., Dec. 8, 11AM –8PM; Sunday, Dec. 9, 11AM – 6PM

One Herald Plaza @ NE 14th Street | Art Miami Website

Design Miami 2017

Design Miami

I love Design Miami  and if I had an unlimited interior design budget, here’s where I’d be home shopping! Focused on high-end design, areas are aesthetically pleasing and full of inspiration. If you’re lucky enough to afford it, whatever you buy will be collectible and often a one-of-a-kind investment. I know that nobody seems to like the term: “functional art,” but to me there’s nothing nicer than owning a piece of art that can be enjoyed in many ways and not just looked at.

This year, plan to visit the Curio exhibitions which are small-scale, immersive installations presented by brands, galleries, and designers alongside the gallery program. There will be eleven new presentations.

Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández, recipients of the 2018 Design Miami/Visionary Award will present a retrospective of their work that focus on design with a social dimension such as addressing social justice and peacemaking, as well as the emphasizing the importance of handcrafted products in a world where automation is replacing humans.

There will also be about thirty-two galleries from all over the world with booth exhibitions.

Wednesday, December 5, 12–8PM; Thursday, December 6, 10AM–8PM; Friday, December 7, 11AM–8PM; Saturday, December 8, 12–8PM; Sunday, December 9, 12–6PM

Meridian Ave. and 19th Street | Design Miami Website

NADA 2017

NADA

I visited NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) for the first time last year. I enjoyed the smaller venue (Ice Palace Studios) and the intimate feel. Although it’s been years since I visited New York, there is an urban vibe to NADA and it feels like walking through a gallery district on a warm, summer evening.

NADA will have 125 exhibitors representing 23 countries of which 37 are first time exhibitors, 64 are NADA Member galleries and 26 project spaces.

Here is another fair to begin your art collection or continue supporting emerging. The NADA Miami International Gallery Prize is awarded to galleries based outside of the US that often have not participated in a US art fair before. The award minimizes the gallery’s financial risk and encourages experimentation. This year’s recipients are, CARNE Gallery (Bogotá) and Galeria Dawid Radziszewski (Warsaw.)

Thursday, December 6, 2–7pm; Friday, December 7, 11am–7pm; Saturday, December 8, 11am–7pm; Sunday, December 9, 11am–5pm

Ice Palace Studios (1400 N Miami Ave) | NADA Website

PINTA Miami

I have yet to visit PINTA Miami and am looking forward to it! PINTA is in its 12th edition and in its main section, will include 60 galleries from Latin America, United States and Europe. PINTA Countries will have sections dedicated to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, and for the first time will include Spain.

Other areas to visit are: Project Section; Proyecto Visible; Collections Program; PINTA Platforms; and PINTA Editions.

Thursday, December 6, 12pm–8pm: Friday, December, 12pm–8pm; Saturday, December 8, 12pm–8pm; Sunday, December 9, 12pm–7pm

Mana Wynwood | PINTA Miami Website

PULSE Contemporary Art Fair

This will be my first visit to PULSE Contemporary Art Fair. I’ve tried in past years, but being set apart from the other fairs on Miami Beach and not contained like the mainland ones made visiting a challenge. However, that’s just me and no reason for you not to visit. The 14th edition of PULSE exclusively showcases contemporary art, from over 70 galleries from countries including: China, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Like Untitled and SCOPE art fairs, PULSE is situated right on the Miami Beach sand. Whereas the North Tent houses the galleries, the South Tent presents SOLO exhibitions and CONVERSATIONS which are dual artist shows that encourage galleries to explore conceptual dialogues between artists who they represent.

Friday, December 7, 10am – 7pm; Saturday, December 8, 10 am – 7pm; Sunday, December 9, 10am – 5pm

Indian Beach Park | PULSE Website

SCOPE, Miami 2017

SCOPE Miami Beach

I have been secretly admiring SCOPE Miami Beach for the past few years. As a marketer, SCOPE is at the top of their promo game and, this fair and the way it’s presented is just outright cool. Gallerists are approachable, people look engaged and you can find some really unique and gutsy art at affordable prices. If you’re looking for a rest stop, SCOPE should be one of your top choices for light bites, libations and stellar views.

Celebrating its 18th edition, expect to see a diverse range of over 130 contemporary exhibitors. There’s also a New Contemporary section; a 360° experience of VIP Programming; Special Projects; Panel Discussions; Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series; Superchief Gallery; and publication, HI-FRUCTOSE will transform the SCOPE tent with ambitious projects featuring artists Okuda, Hot Tea, and AJ Fosik.

Wed-Sun | Dec 5-9 | 11am- 8pm

801 Ocean Drive | SCOPE Website

Spectrum Miami/Red Dot Miami

Here’s another fair that does an outstanding job of marketing its event. Because of my job, I notice these things, but even if I didn’t, I believe, Spectrum Miami and Red Dot may be a great place for emerging and local artists to gain some exposure and hopefully, sell their art. Side by side, both fairs offer 100,000 square feet of exhibition space. Red Dot Miami is a curated gallery-only contemporary art show and Spectrum Miami features the work of more than 160 exhibiting artists and galleries from the Florida region, U.S. and around the globe. Here is the perfect opportunity to engage with the artists directly and “shop local.” I’m looking forward to my first visit!

Thursday, December 6th: 1:00PM – 9:00PM; Friday, December 7th: 1:00PM – 10:00PM; Saturday, December 8th: 1:00PM – 9:00PM; Sunday, December 9th: 12:00PM – 5:00PM

Mana Wynwood | Spectrum Website | Red Dot Website

Superfine!

Superfine! presents its fourth Miami edition presenting 38 solo artist booths and 11 galleries. If you find a work of art that you don’t want to live without, this fair helps to make it affordable offering tools like Art Money: zero interest loans and low monthly payments. 75% of the art ranges in price from $300 to $5000. In a press release, Superfine Director, Alex Mitow says, “Art should be about experiencing wonder and discovery, being enlightened and excited. Too many fairs and galleries get wrapped up in art world politics and forget their prime duty: to connect the work of talented artists with people who love and appreciate it. That’s the mindset we are seeking (and succeeding) to correct.” Don’t miss out on the Young Collectors; Ice Cream Social and other fun events.

Thursday December 6, 11am-10pm; Friday December 7, 11am – 10pm; Saturday, December 8, 11am – 10pm; Sunday, December 9, 11am – 8pm

1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139 | Superfine! Website

Untitled, Miami Beach 2017

Untitled, Miami Beach

It’s impossible to pick a favorite art fair because each one has its own character and of course, caters to different types of collectors. However, I love Untitled, Miami Beach! From the hot pink tent entrance and ocean view; to the vaulted (tent) ceilings and bright natural light; and beautiful and intellectually stimulating gallery presentations, it’s one fair that I could return to each day. This year is Untitled, Miami Beach’s 7th edition presenting 133 international exhibitors from 30 countries (46 exhibitors are new.)

I am particularly interested in seeing the artist-focused special projects which explore themes such as collectiveness, displacement, migration, and precarious presence, transpiring from the artists and artworks presented by exhibitors.

If you are a VIP member, be sure to check out the Podcast, Special Programs and Events. And, if you live close to Miami Beach, definitely take the mid-Miami Art Week Sunrise Yoga class break offered at the north end of the Untitled, Art tent.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 11am – 7pm; Thursday, Dec 6, 11am – 7pm; Friday, Dec 7, 11am – 7pm; Saturday, Dec 8, 11am – 7pm; Sunday, Dec 9, 11am – 5pm

Ocean Drive & 12th Street  Untitled Website

Thanks for making it to the end of the first #MyArtEscape listicle! I hope it was helpful.

Until the next time, enjoy the trip, look closely to engage with art, and maybe start or add to your collection.

@AllegoryPR #MyArtEscape on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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Holiday Home Design Wishes Come True at the Fort Lauderdale Home Show!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Lisa Morales, press@allegorypr.com; Images by Request

HGTV’s Linda Phan with special guest Annalee Belle . Photo Credit | HGTV

Fort Lauderdale, FL…November 5, 2018…Holiday home design wishes can come true at the the Home Design and Remodeling Show featuring TV personality, Linda Phan of HGTV’s Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House. The Fort Lauderdale Home Show takes place November 16-18, 2018 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center. Information and early bird online ticket savings can be found at www.homeshows.net.

From traditional to trendy, there are thousands of choices for the home, backyard and office: furniture; fine art and décor; landscaping items, patio furniture and grills; appliances; doors, cabinets and fixtures; flooring; home automation; wall and window treatments; home automation; hurricane protection, pergolas, awnings and much more. Plus, special savings exclusive to the Show.

Home Show Highlights

Celebrity DIY: TV’s Linda Phan will be joined onstage for DIY holiday crafts with her “sister from another brother”, Annalee Belle, partner to Phan’s brother-in-law, JD Scott (older brother of Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan.) Belle is a model and celebrity makeup artist based in Las Vegas. Members of the audience can participate and share family stories and anecdotes while receiving some “how to” lessons. Take away some holiday inspiration and try out each crafting “recipe” at home with loved ones.

Continue reading “Holiday Home Design Wishes Come True at the Fort Lauderdale Home Show!”

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Let’s Share a Fortune Corkie®: A Fantesca Wine Tasting

It’s not a typo, but a fascinating detail behind the story of Fantesca wine. I love wine stories! So, before we begin, take a sip of “Hope” (or one of the other four wines) and know that’s there’s a lot of history and some interesting tidbits that went into each drop. For me, that’s the journey from yummy to captivating.

DLynn Proctor, Director of Fantesca Estate & Winery and Stefano Campanini, Owner of Wine by the Bay (Miami)

Somm Kind of Wonderful

DLynn Proctor is the Director of Fantesca Estate & Winery in St. Helena (Napa Valley), California. You may know him as one of the protagonists in all three SOMM films. Among the many accolades, DLynn was named, ‘Best Sommelier in America’ by Wine and Spirits Magazine in 2008, a finalist in The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Société Mondiale du Vin ‘Best Sommelier in America Competition’ in 2008 and 2009, and named to the National RUDD Scholars of 2011.

DLynn has amazing style and finesse, but is approachable. He makes you feel like you’re his dearest friend and has an uncanny ability to remember people’s names and personal details.

I first met DLynn in 2014 while promoting an event for Wine by the Bay that was featured in the Miami Herald. Owner Stefano, his assistant Julieta and Corian of Unfiltered Unfined Wines and I had a chance to sit down and chat with him about his newest endeavor. Most importantly, we watched him pour while unveiling the story behind the wine in the most eloquent way.

Continue reading “Let’s Share a Fortune Corkie®: A Fantesca Wine Tasting”

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What a Kayak Trip and a Museum Visit Have In Common

Every writer needs a retreat. It’s impossible to keep filling up the mind with information, especially in the age of social media, without seeking empty space in order to continue being creative. When I need this space, I turn to art, nature, water and birds, or a trip in a kayak.

I am deeply affected by art: especially music, sculptures and film. A Chopin Nocturne can move me to tears, a sculpture enrapture me, and a film send me into a trance. Am I strange?

I can see a single work of art and be moved, but never has an artist’s solo exhibition touched me as much as Mira Lehr’s Tracing the Red Thread at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. In fact, I’ve written a review for Widewalls magazine and you can read it here.

However, I needed to write something more personal and that’s the beauty of blogging. I don’t have to be too careful about grammar and I can write as if I’m speaking to someone face to face. I just hope someone is listening.

The Museum Visit

Tracing the Red Thread is a museum-wide installation divided into four rooms. In the main area, mangrove sculptures rise up from the floor and majestically stretch up to the ceiling. Each tree is connected to another with mangrove-like arms, holding the other up while protecting life nestled between its branches. If you physically follow the red thread, you too will be embraced by Mother Mangrove.

Continue reading “What a Kayak Trip and a Museum Visit Have In Common”

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Catch Me If I Fall

Catch Me If I Fall

If you are fortunate to live somewhere in the tropics like me, it’s wrong to complain about the weather. However, we do and I’m going to right now. It’s October and the sun’s position says fall back, but it feels like July with no cool breeze to be felt.

I’m originally from the north, so at this time of the year my biological or more likely, my psychological clock says, store the cotton/linens and bring out the knits. My stomach says, stop grilling and eating salad and start slow cooking.

Or rather, Cook Slow

As a child I loved to go apple picking and have fond memories of tractor rides, ladders and picking apples off the ground. Yes, you don’t need a ladder to pick apples off the ground. My mother was a practical woman and she knew that windfalls were cheaper and could be stewed and the ones we could climb up the ladder to pick would be packed into lunches. Oh the smell, of stewed apples and cinnamon!

Here’s some more ways to not let windfalls go to waste.

Fall in the Pot

This evening’s recipeCider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions is a tribute to my apple picking memories. There are many versions to be found and plenty of video tutorials too. Choose the one you like best. I tried to find the origin of this recipe and although there are Italian, German and French versions, I’d like to conclude that my dinner is American and the hard cider that I chose is, Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.

True to my practical roots, I am choosing the cheapest cut, pork shoulder. You could do chops or tenderloin, but if you are cooking slow, there’s no need to spend a lot.

From just five simple ingredients, a sumptuous autumn aroma will permeate your house!

Au gratin potatoes; roast turnips; and apple cider braised pork.

Why Riesling and Why Not Red?

Once again, I gave into #TheWineTherapist’s recommendation. I’ve always preferred red over white, but according to Stefano, I’ve been cheating my taste buds by not choosing any good ones. The conclusion is, listen to your wine consultant!

On my door step with enough time to be chilled, was the 2009 Peter Jakob Kühn Quarzit Riesling Trocken. I took enough German in high school to pronounce it correctly (I hope), but not enough to understand the website, so finding information was a challenge. Here’s one review and some tasting notes on this 89 Point wine (Wine Advocate) can be found here.

Riesling is the 18th most planted varietal  in the world and 20% of all grapes are planted in Germany. The one that I’m drinking today is from the Rheingau region. Do you know what distinguishes Riesling from the Rheingau and Mosel regions apart from other areas in the world?  Hint: Slope, south, sun.

Catch Me If I Fall

This week I became a member of the Society of Wine Educators and am enrolled in the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) course. I have a year to get through a large textbook, participate in online tutorials, take notes and complete exercises in preparation for the certification exam that consists of 100 questions. Of course, theory must be supplemented with practice and I’ll be tasting my way through regions and vineyards from around the world!

I’m an art enthusiast and not a critic; love to cook, but not a chef; a wine enthusiast, but not a sommelier. When I write about art or wine, my goal is to be easily understood and, hopefully, enjoyed by many.

As I embark on this wine adventure, if my approach ever becomes unapproachable, “catch me if I fall” and send me your feedback.

We first taste to enjoy and the joy of tasting allows us to tap into our memories or create new ones.

Until next time, remember that seasons are a state of mind. While you may have to wait before wearing the sweater, nothing stops you from Fall-ing in the pot.

@AllegoryPR #MyArtEscape

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Cook Slow & Un-Wined

My life as PR and Marketer is one never-ending deadline. I can’t go 12 hours without checking emails unless I want to spend a whole day responding to a pile of unanswered requests. I use Hootsuite to keep up with clients’ social media accounts and stalk for Instagram followers all day long. I plow through headlines and the latest issues of luxury magazines with the morning espresso and track the Miami events scene, plus national and international news at night.

Comfort in Food

When I’ve had enough, I turn to food.

I’m in love with cooking slow. Not the electric pot you throw everything into and leave it for 8 hours. I mean researching the dish and its origin, going to the market to buy the best quality and if possible locally-sourced ingredients, washing, chopping, searing, reducing, simmering, stirring and waiting.

Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood, Florida

I’m Not Original

I recently found out that there’s an international movement called Slow Food that originated in Italy. The organization’s predecessor Agricola formed in 1986 to protest the opening of a McDonalds in front of the Spanish Steps. (Funny, because two years ago, while I sat on the Spanish Steps I thought: behind me is so much history and in front of me is an American mall. Such a shame.)

Slow Food is so much more than my cooking fantasy, it’s a way of life. Check it out  here.

Wine Friday

I’m obsessed with food and wine pairings. While only at the infancy of wine knowledge, I count on #TheWineTherapist  for advice. Stefano doesn’t spare a lecture if I get the pairing wrong, but if you tell him your recipe ahead of time, the right wine will be at your door in no time. Tonight’s selection: Marcel Servin – Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2014.

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