Monday, December 26, 2011

Crispy Kale and Sauvignon Blanc

Those of you who know me probably think my blog was hijacked – I mean, really, a post about not only Sauvignon Blanc but also a vegetable? What have I done with Wine Lush???!!

It really is me. I still like my steak extra super very purple rare. I still have a love affair with Chardonnay. I still generally dislike veggies. And I still rarely eat dessert and don’t care that much for chocolate.

Feel assured? Ok, so a bit ago a friend (Mrs. V) introduced me to crispy kale and has strongly encouraged eating “super veggies” to help make amends with my liver. Well, she is today proud, as I like a super veggie. Now before you get excited, it is tossed in olive oil and lightly salted, but it’s a way for me to enjoy a veggie with a ton of vitamin C & A and with fiber, calcium, & iron too!

Here’s the instructions:
  • Rinse and dry kale – note, it shrinks WAY down during cooking so use a lot
  • Toss lightly – or even lightly spray – in olive oil
  • Lightly salt – I use sea salt or if you can find it, smoked salt
  • Cook on cookie sheet at 400 degree for 10 minutes, turning half way through

It can be a side or an appetizer and is very easy. I’ve never had it with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but it goes well with American Sauvignon Blancs- we recently had it with the Joel Gott and it paired nicely. Just a little herbal complement with some acidity to cut through the salt. Delish! (well, for a veggie ;)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hot drink recipies pt 2

And as promised, here's the other 3 from

Vin Chaud
Courtesy of Noir Bar at Charles Hotel, Cambridge, MA
  • 1 750ml bottle Pinot Noir
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/3 cup Cognac
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange peel
Combine wine, sugar, cardamom pods and cloves in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer, about 15 minutes. Strain out the spices by pouring the mixture through a cheese cloth. Add the Cognac to a mug and ladle the mulled wine over it. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange twist. Makes 4 drinks.

Happy Swallows
Courtesy of Willy Shine of 1534, New York City

  • 5 ounces black tea, brewed 
  • 2 ounces Disaronno 
  • ¼ ounce fresh lemon juice 
  • 3 rose petals 
Combine the hot tea, Disarrono and lemon juice into a coffee mug. Garnish with the rose petals.



Rum Ta Ta 
Courtesy of LOKaL, Chicago
  • 1 750ml bottle of white wine (sweet works best)
  • 10 cloves 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 2 spoonfuls honey

In a saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer, about 10 minutes. When heated, the add cloves, cinnamon sticks and honey. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Let cool for 45 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hot drink recipies

About 2 years ago, I posted a recipie for my Hot Toddy- a standy for the winter. Today I was reading Wine Enthusiast and ran across a few more - I'll publish my hot toddy today along with 3 of WE's recipies (giving credit for the bar they originally came from as well) and tomorrow I'll post 3 more:

WineLush’s Hot Toddy 
  • ½ shot bourbon 
  • ½ shot triplesec/cointreau/grand marnier (whichever you have)
  • 1 shot brandy
  • 1 tbs honey
Fill mug with hot tea. (personally I use Orange Spiced (black) Tea or Orange Passionfruit & Jasmine (green) Tea.


And 3 from


The Beale End All

Courtesy of Chaim Dauermann of Inoteca e Liquori, New York City 
  • 2 ounces spiced rum
  • 1 ounce Montenegro Amaro 
  • ½ ounce lemon juice 
  • ¼ ounce Demerara sugar syrup 
  • Dash of Regan's Orange Bitters 
  • Dash of Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters 
  • 4 ounces hot water 
  • Orange peel, for garnish

Combine all ingredients, pour into a coffee mug, and garnish with an orange peel.


Midnight Cowboy Haut Chocolat
Courtesy of EDGE Bar at Four Seasons Denver, Denver, CO

  • ¾ cup milk 
  • 1 hot chocolate powder packet (your choice of any gourmet brand)
  • 1½ ounces Jack Daniel‚Äôs Tennessee Whiskey
  • ½ ounce Amaretto
  • Whipped cream
  • A pinch of allspice 
  • Marshmallows, for garnish 
In a saucepan, heat the milk, then add the hot chocolate powder and mix until the chocolate is well incorporated. Add the Jack Daniels and Amaretto to the hot chocolate mixture. Pour into a coffee mug and top with whipped cream and a pinch of allspice. Serve with marshmallows on the side.



Death by Hot Chocolate

Courtesy of 39 Degrees at Sky Hotel, Aspen, CO
  • ½ ounce Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
  •  ½ ounce Baileys Irish Cream
  •  ½ ounce Navan Vanilla Cognac
  •  1 hot chocolate powder packet (your choice of any gourmet brand)
  •  Marshmallows, for garnish

Combine the liqueur, Irish cream and cognac. Add the powder packet of hot chocolate and garnish with marshmallows.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Napa & Sonoma, here we come

So Mr. Lush and I are finally making it to Napa Valley in January. I've been before only for a couple days, but it was many years ago - when tasting fees were $5-10 instead of $20! We're going for a long weekend and will likely spend 2 days in Napa and one in Sonoma.

We're joining a couple wine clubs of places we know we will like prior to going, so we can get tasting fees for free. But we're also looking for some small scale hidden gems we've got some good ones from GMWC, but are always looking for some more recommendations.... do you know of any?