Archive for November, 2012


Shopping for that perfect bottle of Gift Wine… is a season of hope and light at this time of the year. We (here in the United States) have concluded a bloody political season and are beginning to move on with thoughts of happy children and visions of sugar plums in our head. I’ve seen a shift from people seeking the perfect $10 bottle of wine as a hostess gift to wanting something really special for their best friends and family members.

While I pride myself in our selection of great wines, I still want to make certain you get a value for your dollar. Most of our shelf space remains under $35 per bottle of great wine. When you’re selecting a wine for a gift, I want to make a few suggestions that will help you help your wine merchant assist you in the process:

1)    Sweet wines have sugar in them and are “sticky sweet”, Dry-Fruit driven wines have a lot of fruity flavors, but are clean and fresh feeling in the mouth, and Dry-Spicy wines tend to have more oak and tannic characteristics and often are better for food pairing than as a sipping wine.

2)    Does the recipient of the gift Drink more Red, or White Wine?

3)    Do they usually drink the wine with food, or simply with a good glass?

4)    What dollar value do you want to stay beneath in your purchase per bottle?

5)    Do they have a sense of adventure, or like to stay inside the comfort zones they have established?

With those 5 simple questions, we small wine merchants can reach out and grab a couple of bottle for you to select from with a pretty good ratio of success in pleasing you and the person you’re giving that special bottle of wine to!


Flavors of the holidays!

Flavors of the holidays!


Cheese: Livingstone Gold

Livingstone Gold is a distinctive North Otago sharp flavored cheese produced in a traditional open vat. A natural additive, annatto is added to produce its golden color, inspiration for naming it Livingstone Gold after North Otagos historic Livingstone goldfields.


Recipe: Santa Bread

This recipe is relatively simple for bread, but very impressive this time of the year… have fun and enjoy!


  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 raisins
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring


  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat in the eggs until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other.
  • Shape the larger portion into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa’s head and hat.
  • Divide the smaller portion in half. Shape and flatten one half into a beard. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, cut into strips to within 1 in. of top. Position on Santa’s face; twist and curl strips if desired.
  • Use the remaining dough for the mustache, nose, hat pom-pom and brim. Shape a portion of dough into a mustache; flatten and cut the ends into small strips with scissors. Place above beard. Place a small ball above mustache for nose. Fold tip of hat over and add another ball for pom-pom. Roll out a narrow piece of dough to create a hat brim; position under hat.
  • With a scissors, cut two slits for eyes; insert raisins into slits. In separate small bowls, beat egg each yolk. Add red food coloring to one yolk; carefully brush over hat, nose and cheeks. Brush plain yolk over remaining dough.
  • Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-12 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

How I’ve come to view the world…


Recipe: Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie

So, you had a great Thanksgiving Dinner and now you’re dreading a month of Turkey Sandwiches. How about instead making a Turkey Pot Pie with that leftover turkey? Sounds a lot heartier, more wholesome, and much tastier!

Not to mention this is simple, quick and kid friendly too!



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening

6 tablespoons ice water, or as needed


3 cups cubed cooked turkey

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of potato


1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken


1/2 (10.75 ounce) can water

2 (15 ounce) cans mixed vegetables,


salt and pepper to taste


1. Whisk together the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Drizzle the ice water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, over the mixture and gently work the water into the dough with your fingers. Add more water as needed until you can gather the dough together in a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. In a saucepan, mix together the turkey, onion, cream of potato soup, cream of chicken soup, water, and mixed vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat and allow the mixture to simmer while you prepare the crust.
4. Cut the dough in almost equal halves. Roll the larger piece into a circle on a floured work surface and fit into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Roll out the smaller piece into a circle to fit the top. Pour the hot turkey filling into the bottom crust. Place top crust over the filling, crimp the two crusts together with a fork, and cut several slits in the top with a sharp knife.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.


** for a variation, you may want to eliminate the bottom crust and pipe leftover creamed potatoes for the topping.


**Don’t forget your wine to go with this dish, I recommend a light bodied Pinot Grigio, or Vouvray!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, we will only be open until 1:30pm … just in case you need that extra bottle of wine, or a great sherry to finish off that special gravy for dinner!

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November 2012
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