Dear Food Wine Club: Dear wine tasting in Temecula,

Delicious wine over a beautiful Temecula vineyard.

Delicious wine over a beautiful Temecula vineyard.

It’s not really a secret: wine tasting is the best thing to do ever. You don’t have to be an oenophile – but that undoubtedly makes you cooler – to enjoy hanging out at a beautiful, rustic vineyard while sampling the oaky, full-bodied, fill-in-wine-adjective fruit juices of its labor.

Specifically, I visited Faulkner Winery. It might have been the calm vibe, the setting sun or the unseasonably warm December, but it was transcendent. A particular favorite was the Hot Lips mulled wine (yes, the irony of a mulled wine in Southern California is not lost on me but it was delicious). Add a piece of chocolate with the taste, and the evening is complete.

Love,
A

Wine club: Dear Veramonte merlot and cheese,

Wine, herb brie cheese and baguettes, also known as dinner.

Wine, herb brie cheese and baguettes, also known as dinner.

It’s obvious that the best dinner consists of wine and cheese (and sometimes, that’s all I want for dinner). But as the weather starts to cool and the leaves begin to fall, I find comfort in the simplicity of the preparation juxtaposed with the robust flavors of the food. Today, we’re having merlot for dinner.

While I am partial to Spanish wines, how could I resist this minivacation to Chile’s Casablanca Valley with a merlot by Veramonte. It’s rich, dark, fruity and smells heavenly. This is how life should be.

Love,
A

Wine Club: Dear Green Truck sauvignon blanc,

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It’s no secret: We love food. And we also love it’s near and dear cousin, wine. So we’re starting an unofficial wine club: the Dear Food Wine Club.

We’re hardly connoisseurs, but we staunchly believe that you don’t have to be one to enjoy it. Besides, who hasn’t ever picked up a bottle solely based on its pretty label? So join us as we stumble through the world of wines and confess our love for it along the way.

I begin with Green Truck sauvignon blanc. While I generally prefer reds, I picked this up to go with Natalie’s delectable pasta – basically on the principle that white sauces and meats go with white wines. Granted, no actual sauce or meat here, but it’s been so humid in Lawrence that a red just wouldn’t fit.

This was refreshing, light and fruity which – I thought – clicked perfectly with the lemon and pine nuts in the pasta.

We’d love your suggestions for the Dear Food Wine Club. Email us!

Steamed rice with spring vegetables

In a rare moment of inspiration, I decided to cook. And I wanted this: steamed rice with spring vegetables.

It’s a quick hit: Light, delicious and satiating, especially if you love soy sauce as much as I do.

I made a couple boo-boos: I forgot to get eggs at the store; used green onions instead of scallions and a spicy sesame oil instead of the regular. But man, I think bok choy is my new favorite thing.

And of course, wine was present. We went to Wamego, Kan. a couple of months ago to visit The Oz Museum and Oz Winery. I cracked open my bottle of Ruby Slippers to sip while I cooked.

Yeah, I had a good time. And here’s leftovers.

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Downtown Lawrence Farmer’s Market

There’s nothing more fun than a farmer’s market, especially a Kansas one where the actual farms are pretty close by. Living on the coast of Southern California meant the farms were a long ways away – granted, it was still better than the distances most imported food travels.

But the joy of chatting with the people who grow and sell your food is something else.

It was a chilly day but people came out for the first weekend of the year to check out some produce, walk their dogs and sip delicious (and potent) coffee. I made away with some local honey and sachets of lavender, but it was the coffee, breakfast burrito and maple bacon donuts that were the highlight of the market.

Love,
A