Food & Wine Writing

Carignan makes a comeback

April 6, 2011
Carignan makes a comeback

Green, rough, bitter—for a hard-working grape, carignan shoulders an awful lot of insults. And it’s true the prolific variety, traditionally used in reds from France’s Languedoc region, has produced a lot of undistinguished wine. But lately, carignan has been coming in for artisanal treatment, notably at the hands of winemakers in Chile who are...
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Happy birthday to me

January 20, 2011
Summer and chardonnay, the perfect pairing /Michelle Locke

Vinecdote turns one this week and I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of you who have read, commented on, and maybe even, ever so gently, improved what’s been posted here. As some of you may know, I started this blog at a bit of a low point.  It was a time...
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What I learned in wine school

May 7, 2010
summer vines 2

I’ve covered the wine industry for a decade, but always from the business end. Facts, figures, and farming trends? Yes. Distinguish a Pinotage from a Pinot noir? Not so much. So I didn’t hesitate when I recently had the chance to take the weeklong course “Mastering Wine I” at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone....
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Cooking outside the box

April 28, 2010

    There’s been a lot of chatter lately about avoiding processed food. The issue is time, how much of it we have and how we want to spend it. Some cooking-from-scratch proponents argue that if we’ve got time to watch “Dancing with the Stars,” we’ve got time to stick a chicken in the oven....
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A proper tea party

April 26, 2010

Tea parties have been in the news a lot lately. But not the kind where people are, you know, enjoying a nice cuppa. I wrote a story a while back about how specialty tea merchants are a bit put out to see their teapots in a tempest of political upheaval. Meanwhile, those of us with...
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Must-have cookbooks

April 19, 2010

Just pre-ordered a new cookbook, “High Flavor, Low Labor,” written by my friend and sometimes editor J.M. Hirsch,  Food Editor for The Associated Press. Judging by some tasty previews I’ve seen, it should be a must-read for the busy cook who wants to put something good on the table but can’t face any elaborate,...
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Travels in France

Lovely Languedoc

  I don’t think six weeks is a long time to take to put together a slideshow on my visit to the Languedoc, do...
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Carcassonne: A Fairy Tale City

The ancient walled city of Carcasonne had me before hello. Just driving up to the fantastically fairy-tale expanse of walls, turrets and towers was...
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Languedoc dogs

Look out, winery dogs of Napa Valley. Yes, I know you’re cute and featured in all sorts of books and articles, but let me...
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Swept away by cassoulet

Ever get annoyed by people who go to the South of France and proceed to rave over the victuals? Well bite me, because today...
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Top 5 differences between hiking in Berkeley and the South of France

Somewhere between the vegetable gazpacho and the duck confit, I realized my hike in La Clape, part of the Languedoc wine region of France,...
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Party like a paparazzi at the Cannes Film Festival

Two things are vital if you want to chase stars at the Cannes Film Festival. First, you need to know a clued-in and friendly...
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Wine Finds