When I visited the Languedoc for the first time, it was with the name Gérard Bertrand fresh in my mind.
I’d had the opportunity to read about Bertrand’s work and my friend had mentioned, more than once, the outstanding Festival de Jazz à l’Hospitalet that happens on the property each July.
As a writer with a biodynamics beat, Bertrand was on my radar as a leader in the field. Bertrand’s network includes Cigalus, the Aigle Estate, the Clos du Temple, Château La Sauvageonne, Château l’Hospitalet, Château des Karantes, Château Tarailhan, Château Aigues Vives, Château des Deux Rocs and Château de la Soujeole — all in compliance with Demeter Biodynamic® Farm and Processing Standards.
Bertrand has significant reach a stone’s throw from major hotspots in Herault and Aude: Carcassonne, Narbonne and Montpellier. Esteemed appellations such as Limoux, Corbiers and Minervois are represented by Gérard Bertrand releases.
Mother’s Day is important for mothers, grandmothers and step-mothers. Over the years I have written about Mother’s Day ideas. Many of the blogs are about recipes that you can create to show someone special that you really care. However some of the blogs are about visiting a winery with your mom or possible gift ideas.
In one blog I wrote: “For those who live hours away perhaps on the opposite coast, other wine related ideas include sending a gift basket with a bottle of wine, a box of candy with chocolate filled with wine/Port, or perhaps something as simple as a wine bottle opener that is easy to use.
Mothers who enjoy spending time in the kitchen may like a special olive oil. Some olive oils are available with an infusion of fruit.”
Check out some of these Mother’s Day blogs on the Wine …
Brooks Winery is one of those producers that wine writers crave. There’s a strong family element combined with a tenacious streak of terroir pride. There’s a cool appellation and biodynamic growing. Brooks has the views and killer hospitality.
We want to visit there, and maybe, (probably) we want to be like them.
It could be said that well-respected Brooks is a proxy for all that’s right in Oregon wine, the Willamette Valley in particular and Eola-Amity Hills, in super-particular.
This year celebrate Mother’s Day by spending some time in the kitchen to create a tasty dish for your special Mother. Wine Trail Traveler offers an assortment of recipes but also has specific recipe suggestions for Mother’s Day.
Below we have added a recipe from Ocean Mist Farms for Instant Pot Lemon and Herb White Wine Artichokes. If your Mom enjoys artichokes try this recipe out.
If you don’t live close enough to cook for your special Mother, be sure to give her a call this Mother’s Day.
Instant Pot Lemon and Herb White Wine Artichokes
1/2 c white wine
2 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
1/2 stick of butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced thyme
1/2 tsp minced rosemary
Cut the top one third of artichokes off and trim bottom stem flush …
Is it ever possible to get sick of eating pasta? With countless shapes and sauces, each region of Italy has its own signature pasta dishes. From delicate to hearty, creamy to tomato-based, there’s a pasta for every wine out there – and several fitting wines for every pasta dish.
While it’s safe to pair white sauces like Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara with white wine and red sauces like Amatriciana and Bolognese with red wine, it doesn’t hurt to mix things up. Acidity is important regardless of the pasta’s richness, as acid can both balance the weight of creamy or oil-rich sauces and match the brightness of tangy tomato-based or citrusy sauces.
The next time you decide to whip up a quick pasta dish, don’t skimp on the wine pairing. Start with these five recipes and pairing ideas, but don’t worry about playing around, either – as long as you’re …
I’ve tinkered slightly, using a paella pan for all steps and using a different cheddar. For the record – fry 1.5 medium onions (rough dice) and 1 green chilli (de-seeded and roughly chopped) in olive oil. When starting to take on colour – add 10 chopped Roma tomatoes. Let this simmer, stirring occasionally, till a thickish sauce has been created. Add 3 cups of cooked basmati (from 1 cup of dry rice), mix and toss and pat flat. Add 2 large handfuls of grated cheddar – I used a smoked cheddar. Grill for 3-4 minutes – allowing the cheese to brown in parts.
Try this recipe for Risotto and Asiago “Thumbprints” from St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. The winery is located in Sonoma Valley, California. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of white wine.
Risotto and Asiago “Thumbprints”
Pair with Cabernet Sauvignon
Risotto Ingredients (Makes 1½ quarts)
2 T olive oil 2½ c arborio rice
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
½ c white wine
1 T fresh minced garlic
3½ c hot water
1. Heat olive oil until almost smoking, add rice. Reduce heat to medium and stir rice until lightly browned (3 to 5 minutes). Add wine and garlic, stir well.
2. Reduce heat to medium low and add water, stir well. Cook for about 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice has absorbed all the water and is al dente (slightly undercooked, or just a little bit chewy).
With Easter Sunday approaching so quickly, deciding what to serve for dinner can be daunting for those who are experiencing hosting Easter dinner at their home for the first time. Others experienced in hosting Easter dinner may want to offer a different entrée or side dish for everyone to enjoy.
If you are looking for a unique recipe for the day, consider one of the recipes from the Wine Trail Traveler website’s recipe section and/or look at some of our suggestions for Easter.
If you are planning on serving lamb for Easter, check out this recipe from Schug Carneros Estate Winery in California.
Sirloin Lamb Roast with a Cabernet-Olive-Roasted Pepper Jus
1nicely trimmed boneless sirloin lamb roastapprox. 2 lbs., tied with string (your butcher can do this for you)
Readers of L’Occasion and my column at Forbes must be interested in biodynamics. It is one of the topics I cover regularly because I have an interest and because I have a background writing about sustainability.
Prior to my exclusive focus on wine (food and travel too), I also covered yoga (I’m a certified teacher in the Iyengar method), mindfulness and ecology. I was the ‘green’ section editor at elephant journal, where I was also a contributor. In that time I interviewed Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, covered beat poet perspective on the planet, reported on Keystone XL, zero waste, plastics bans, oil addiction, climate change and sustainable businesses (including Guinness, which, in a full circle pattern, I’ve also covered for Forbes).
Moving Into Wine
Why did swap my beat from green to wine? Both topics are interests of mine …
Sicilia DOC is a consortium of 300 Sicilian+ wine producers with a rich history of winemaking and a connection to the ecology of the island via a significant commitment to organics. In fact, Sicily winemakers are responsible for 38% of organically cultivated wine in all of all Italy.
Alberto Tasca is a member of the board of Sicilia DOC. He’s also the seventh-generation of a winemaking family with a legendary history. In his work on his own estates as well as with the consortium, Tasca has a reputation for championing indigenous grapes and preservation of the Sicilian ecosystem. I had the opportunity to converse with Tasca about his perspective.
Jill Barth: What is the landscape for production of indigenous grapes in Sicily? Are producers tending towards native grapes or international varieties?
Earlier this week I read an upsetting story about plastics in the ocean. By no means, the first or the last that will cross my desk, this piece was particularly haunting and it occurred to me that aside from lessening plastic use in my own life, I would make it my goal to highlight wine producers that have their hands in the clay on this issue.
Italian Food, Wine and Travel
Simultaneous to this contemplation, I am in the midst of covering Italian island wines, Sicily in particular, as part of a this month’s Italian Wine, Food and Travel (#ItalianWFT) event. Sicily has a lot going on right now, wine-wise, so I have stumbled upon several totally compelling stories to share with readers.
When I got the opportunity to interview the team from …