As a self-styled wine aficionado, you can bet that it is the focus of the meal when I entertain. In fact, I promise my guests a real wine pairing. This involves a different wine for each course so that four are usually selected for one sitting. Each one should be radically different. I mix different regions, even countries at one dinner party. Hopefully, I will be introducing something new. Tantalizing the experienced palate is the goal of the evening. Guests are not invited to my Facebook events if they don’t prefer vino. If they adore beer or hard liquor, they don’t get the privilege of tasting something special from my wine cellar. I am lucky to have the space for such a luxury in my basement. It is important that the bottles are kept at the right temperature. White goes in a special fridge set for this type. Reds can thrive at room temperature, even if it is a bit on the cold side. Visits to my favorite vineyards in France have kept me in reds, whites and rose for years.

I kept the cellar well stocked so that I can share it at a moment’s notice. Most of the time, I prefer to plan ahead and prepare a home-cooked French meal. Food and wine together are a heavenly experience. I learned this when visiting Corbières. In fact, I learned a great deal about grapes, soil, climate and winemaking. Subtle and not so subtle difference are apparent when you go on a wine tour in France. It was a real eye opener and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the fruit of the grape. For me, there is no better vacation on earth, not even the shore.

Getting ready for guests is a lot of fun. I am glad that I just had a new dishwasher installed to wash my elegant wine glasses. They get dusty when sitting on the display shelf. The new appliance does a great job ridding them of spots. There is nothing worse than seeing lime residue when sipping your treasured wine. I rinse them first with the new Grohe faucet ( I had installed at the same time. As long as I would have disruption in the kitchen, I might as well get an upgrade at the sink. A faucet is used daily, more than anything else in the kitchen except maybe for the revolving refrigerator door.

Wine is my passion and entertaining is an offshoot. I am almost as interested in the menu for a party as I am in the type of wine. The process is rewarding and the comments of the guests as they leave are the cherry on the sundae. You don’t have to go to extremes to enjoy wine. I also like to sit quietly and read a book while sipping a glass of fruity chardonnay. The warmth of a red is perfect by the fireplace on a cold winter night. Wine is perfect any time of the year.

Categories: Vacation

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