Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Honey burned my ham!


The entire top of the roasting bag melted onto my ham as I warmed it up with a sweet honey-orange glaze. Here are the pictures to prove it.

Thank goodness I had plenty of wine to recover and keep the guests occupied while I carved the top of my ham off.

Burned the rolls too.

Blasted high-altitude cooking with a 1960s oven!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Organic Mulled Wine

My favorite drink after a nice, long day out in the cold.

  • 1 bottle of dry, organic red wine
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • a few big pinches of brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon or orange
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • Monday, December 13, 2010

    LEED and follow

    There’s been and continues to be a lot of talk about LEED Certified wineries.

    To start, a LEED Certified anything means that the building in which a business is housed has passed criteria in energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. LEED, after all stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The US Green Building Council created LEED certification in 1998 and it has been THE acronym ever since.

    Stoller Winery in Oregon became the first US LEED Certified winery in 2006. Hall Wines of St. Helena became the first winery in California to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Cade Wines were the first organic winery to be awarded in Napa Valley. Goldeneye Winery became the third LEED certified winery in CA this year.

    This looks like a great trend to keep watching. In the mean time, take a look at these sites for information about what a LEED winery does differently. Gravity flow anyone?





    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Green Frog

    Drinking Green can be a lot of fun. No, I don’t mean exclusively drinking Vinho Verde.

    By fun, I mean drinking wine that you know something special is going on. Take this great wine for example: Frog’s Leap 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Besides being a delicious, can’t wait to have more, bottle of wine, there’s another side to this bottle. The outside. If the inside is the juice you quoff, the outside is the winery which equals the business, the environment and the people that make the inside possible.

    Here’s the outside scoop on Frog's Leap and why they are one of my favorite brands (both inside and out).

    Frog’s Leap is an organic winery in Napa, CA. I had the pleasure of visiting the winery years ago. I grabbed a bottle of Chardonnay on a beautiful summer day and hung out in the hammock with friends. The gardens were beautiful and with the help of friends and butterflies, it quickly became an exquisite day. Although moved by so many variables, I still wanted to learn about the winery.

    Frog’s Leap is not organic to be trendy. They believe in health and sustainable farming as the mechanism for ensuring a healthy environment. Their mantra is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew, Retain and Revere.

    Organic and Biodynamic Farming methods are not only used in the vineyards but flow into the gardens. Everything you see is buzzing with the life of the season. The true life of Frog’s Leap is exactly where it is at that moment, surrounded in the harmony of nature.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Wine Bottle Renew

    While I was researching the Green Wine Summit and reaching out to some folks about interviews, I came across some of the event sponsors.

    One company that I find very interesting is Wine Bottle Renew.

    Check it out: Of the 300 million cases of wine sold each year in the United States, none of the bottles are reused and 70% end up in landfills.

    It is estimated that 60% of a wine’s carbon footprint is in the production of the wine bottle. Using a Renew bottle reduces that production carbon footprint up to 95%. Reuse of wine bottles not only cuts the carbon footprint, but also reduces the amount of glass that ends up in our landfills. The EPA estimates that 70% of all wine bottles are not recycled. Glass in our landfills never breaks down and will be there 5000 years from now. With 10% of landfills being glass, it is our duty to change our throwaway culture and look at reusing and recycling bottles to reduce waste and help our environment.

    These guys are really cool and I was surprised by some of their investors. I will be keeping an eye on them and look forward to watching them grow.

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Green Wine Summit

    I JUST found out about the Green Wine Summit and wish I could attend! I can’t swing it on such short notice but next year, believe you me - I will be there.

    I am so excited to see the greening of the wine industry growing. The Green Wine Summit is in its 3rd year. Topics for this year’s summit include:

    Green Business: Third-Party Certification Programs
    Energy Efficiency Programs and Projects for the Wine Industry
    Vintners & Growers Perspectives on Certification
    Impact of Consumer Values on Organic Wine Purchases
    Innovative Collaborations: Engaging Workers and Community
    "Climate, Grapes, and Wine: Structure and Suitability in a Variable and Changing Climate"
    Green Business: Green Bucks, Economic Viability of Green Technologies Networking Break
    Green Business: Supply-Chain Environmental Assessment to Improve Winery Performance

    I’ll see what I can dig up from those that attended and get back to you.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Enter Etica Wines & Etica Wine Tastings

    I figured that my love for wine and the knowledge I picked up over the years could not be for nothing.

    I love wine, agriculture and working with interesting people. I love to travel, write and share my enthusiasm for the treasures I find.

    These are the things that make up Etica Wines.

    My mission: to promote ethical wines.

    How? Marketing online and conduct wine tastings.

    So there you have it. Plain and simple but full of passion.

    I am excited again and it feels so good.

    It has been a while.