Wine Education

A conversation with Sommelier Dave Johnson Oakville Grocery, North Scottsdale

Dave Johnson takes care of the wine department at Oakville Grocery in North Scottsdale, Arizona.

Dave Johnson

The Store is located directly across the street from P.F. Chang’s restaurant at the Kierland Shopping Center.  Dave is a warm and friendly fellow, he is well-traveled in addition to being a Level III Sommelier.  He has worked with and trained with some of the worlds most famous wineries, wine makers, he’s been there and done that, so to speak.  He now calls Arizona home, and has lived here for the past 10 years.

This is a video of my visit.  In it Dave tells us about a wine he had a hand in creating, he has actually made 6 vintages of wine.

Book Review: What to Drink with What you Eat, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

The authors of this book contacted me via email a while back, having read a post on this blog. They inquired if I would be interested in reviewing their book and I said yes. So that is how this book ended up in my possession.

Price: $35 Hard Cover

Entertainment Weekly bestseller
Los Angeles times bestseller
International association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook of the year
George Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year
Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winner

And those are just the awards printed on the back cover!  Wow! I thought to myself, I’m pretty lucky to have received this book!  And it was signed by Karen and Andrew as well!

Let’s just cut right to the main reason you  are reading this; YES THIS BOOK IS WORTH THE PRICE!

I would have bought it myself had I some how come across it and had a few minutes to peruse the preface.  I think this passage from the preface really sums up the substance of this book: “This book represents the better parts of two lifetimes of research.  We’ve been collecting these guidelines and recommendations – and taste testing as many of them as humanly possible for more than two decades.”

There!  If you want 20 years of research;  “The  collective wisdom of dozens of America’s leading experts on the subject of food and beverage pairings”  condensed into 356 pages of organized information..this is it.  This book is organized in more than one way too.  You can look up pairings starting with the food in mind first, OR you can look up pairings starting with the beverage in mind first.  And this book is not just about food and wine.  As they point out, one of the best pairings they’ve found for rich vanilla ice cream is a plain glass of water, a palate cleansing glass of water.

But this book has a lot more to offer than just an extensive spreadsheet of food and beverage pairings with nice photographs.  The book also contains tons of stories and quotes from top sommeliers.  Interesting intriguing stories that are fun to read while sipping wine.

What to Drink with What you Eat is going to be my “Go To” guide for the rest of the year.  I am actually going to attempt as many of the 1,500 pairings as humanly possible, and post my results and experiences here.

Interview with Gary Loring, Loring Wine Company. Part 3

This is part 3 of a 3 part series of an interview with Gary Loring, partner and winemaker for Loring Wine Company. In this segment Gary talks about how much of an influence Terroir plays, and how much of an influence clones are. He also tells us about some very special projects on the horizon, like a 300 case production Chardonnay and an even smaller production Cabernet Mouvedre blend.

The Chef’s Loft, Scottsdale Arizona

I recently was introduced to The Chef’s Loft by my friend “The Sassy Sommelier” Lizbeth Congiusti. She also introduced me to Chef’s Loft principal Michael Murray. What is Chef’s Loft? Take a look at the video and see! In the beginning of this video I show you how to find the Chef’s Loft

Part two:

Chef’s Loft Website Here