Prosciutto and Porcini tomato pasta sauce

This is a variation on a basic tomato-based pan sauce. Serves 3-4 over pasta of your choice. Boil approx. 1/2 cup water in kettle and pour into small bowl over one package dried porcini mushrooms until mushrooms are covered — it probably will not take all the water to cover the mushrooms. Chop one medium-sizedcontinue reading

Aglianico redux redux

The Cappellaccio Aglianico Riserva 2004 I briefly raved about earlier was released at Vintages on May 2, and is still widely available throughout Toronto Central (though not at Manulife, apparently). We uncorked a bottle at dinner last night and — perhaps predictably — we gave it a rave review. It’s a rich dark tannic (andcontinue reading


It didn’t take us very long to uncork that Aglianico I referred to in my last post — we shared it with one of J.’s classmates in a post-term informal celebratory pizza dinner on Friday evening. It’s the Bisceglia 2006 ‘Terra di Vulcano’ DOC Aglianico di Vulture, at $14.95 and 13.5%, in the Easter weekendcontinue reading

Wines update

Way back when we posted a brief note praising the 2005 Rothschild Vin de Pays d’Oc Cab Sauv as a very reasonable wine for about $10. I forget exactly what we liked about it — probably some reasonable sense of cab-sauvy-ness with decent fruit and tannins. Unfortunately 2007 has been unkind to Rothschild — orcontinue reading

Eating and drinking in Florence

We are both fans of Italian food and wine — J. being especially addicted to good pastas — so we tried to eat well when we were in Florence, without entirely breaking the bank. Depending on where we went and how much wine we ordered, we were generally able to sit down to leisurely dinnerscontinue reading


We arrived back from Florence Sunday afternoon after 8 days of art, architecture, and good food. It was my first time in Florence, J.’s third, but with her last trip 15 years ago and with a school group a lot of it was like a new experience for both of us. Practical details. We flewcontinue reading

Pseudo-provencal beef braise

This is actually a variation on a lamb braise — which I like somewhat better but it’s more difficult to get the appropriately cheap cut of lamb without a large quantity of extraneous bones. It’s a good dish to make the night before for a potluck, because it seems to improve by sitting overnight incontinue reading


Vintages devoted pride of place in their January 17 release to Argentina. We’ve always generally liked good Argentina Malbec so I decided to stock up on a few bottles of something — in the event, two bottles of Santa Ana’s “La Mascota” Malbec 2006, at 14% and $15.95 . (There were two wines that caughtcontinue reading

Wine thoughts again

I bought a bottle of wine for an experimental quasi-Provencal braised beef thing we made for dinner today. The braised beef absorbs a good third of the bottle in the braising sauce, making it possible to buy one of these 14% New World reds on a weekday without regretting it the day after. The winecontinue reading