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Hello everyone, welcome to my blog.  This is a very exciting time for me, I am so ready to dig in with a great glass of wine and a compliment of some tasty goodies.  Let’s get started.

First of all let me tell you a little about myself.  I was born and raised in California and I have visited Napa Valley several times, although it has been a long time since I visited.  I now currently reside in Florida, so I can’t just get in my car and take a scenic drive on over to Napa anytime I want.

Napa Valley is the premier wine growing country in the world.  Some of the best wines in the world come out of Napa Valley.  There are approximately 4.5 million people who visit Napa Valley each year.  That’s a lot of people. 

But I do want to take a moment to take about Corkscrews.  These are very important tools, because with these tools you get to uncork your wine and drink it.  Which is the end game here.  There are a variety of different types and everyone has their own preference

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One type of corkscrew is the Wing Corkscrew

(This one is a Best Seller on Amazon)

Another type of corkscrew is The Best Rabbit Corkscrew

(This one is a Best Seller on Amazon)

This corkscrew is a bit more fancy, with some bells and whistles on it that will impress your guests. With this corkscrew you receive a rabbit opener, foil cutter, and corkscrew spirals all in one.

Another type of corkscrew is what’s called the Waiters Corkscrew

One last corkscrew I want to mention is the fancy Electric Corkscrew

(#1 Best Seller in Electric Wine Bottle Openers on Amazon)

This corkscrew is luxury that is meant to impress. It’s stainless steel and includes an electric wine bottle opener and a foil cutter.

This is not an exhaustive list of the corkscrews available out there, this is just meant to give you an overview of the varieties that exists.  Everyone has their own preference. Having been in the restaurant industry for over two decades I prefer the handy-dandy waiters corkscrew. It’s functional for me on the job. But, if I’m entertaining at home I would opt for something more fancy, just to impress.

I want to get into some technical stuff for just a minute, because it will help all of us to understand how this whole classification of wine regions works.  There is something called the American Viticultural Areas or AVA.  The AVA are Federal Regulations approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).  The AVA defines the characteristics and boundaries of each area.

On a wine bottle you will see the AVA, which I know that actually all of us have seen on a wine bottle.  Legally, a minimum of 85% of the grapes in the wine must be sourced from the AVA stated to be able to print that name on the bottle. The wine bottle will say the name of the winery, the varietal, and the AVA. For example, if the wine bottle says the winery, the varietal and Alexander Valley, then 85% of the grapes in the wine must be sourced from Alexander Valley.

In this example you can see the: winery – Alexander Valley Vineyards, varietal – Sangiovese, and AVA – Alexander Valley.

Now onto the important stuff pairing wine with food. The primary varietal produced in Napa Valley are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

One of my favorite wines in Pinot Noir and is best described as a light-med red with bright acidic structure, can be slightly dry with red fruits esp. cherries, raspberry, strawberries. Pinot Noir will tend to have earthy notes w/ age.  I love to best pair Pinot Noir with asparagus with a hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise sauce is a butter and egg yolk based sauce that is best paired with vegetables and is the traditional sauce on an eggs benedict. I made this the other night and it was delicious. Now you can make it over a double boiler, but I like to cheat and make it in the microwave.  Much faster and less clean-up. And if you’re like me you are very busy with work, life, and everything else. So, the faster the better.

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