100 Point Wines Other than Bordeaux vs. Bordeaux 100 Point Wines – OUCH!

100 Point Wines from Regions other than Bordeaux

100 Point Wines from Regions other than Bordeaux, Click to see a larger image so you can read the text



100 Point Bordeaux. Click to see a larger image so you can read the text

This information was forwarded to me by my Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) Fine Wine Rep.

The price differential between Bordeaux and anywhere not Bordeaux at this level is dramatic.

What Do Chickens and Italy Have in Common?

Fat Amy

Fat Amy, so far, the most prolific egg-layer and friendliest of our new additions

Over the weekend, my family I took the plunge into urban ranching.  This may seem a bit grandiose on the surface, but really all we did was add 3 egg-laying hens to our collection of four cats and a mini Dutch bunny.  Its official, we have a farm!

So far, my daughter has named her favorite, which is also the most friendly.  “Fat Amy”  (from the movie Pitch Perfect, which she has watched at least fifteen times) is the largest of the hens.  So far, she has been the most consistent with her daily “gift” of a single fresh, medium-sized brown egg.  While chickens are not known to be particularly affectionate creatures, Fat Amy always comes up to greet you and doesn’t seem to mind being held.  As for the other two hens, we are still waiting for their personalities to emerge to determine their names.

Compare large white egg to fresh egg

Compare large white grocery store egg to our urban farm-fresh egg

I had my first taste of these eggs yesterday morning.  Of course, I did a side-by-side comparison with the store-bought white eggs.  In the last year, after eating a burger with a fried egg on it at Second in Austin, I have developed a fetish for runny eggs on just about any dish.  With this in mind, I cooked the eggs over easy with a little cracked black pepper.  In comparison, the fresh egg had more flavor and a divine creamy texture that the store-bought white eggs lacked.  Unfortunately, I will have to continue supplementing my egg habit with grocery store eggs until the weather warms up a bit more and brings on more regular egg production.

Some have questioned the legality of raising chickens in the Houston city limits.  Currently, the city ordinance requires that hens roost 100 feet from a neighbors property.  Roosters a noisy and are not allowed. The hens make very little noise, save for a few cackles to announce they have laid an egg.  Either way, a neighbor probably would not complain if you “bribe” them with a few tasty fresh eggs.

Fun Map of Italy

Several weeks back, I entered a contest for a 10-day trip to Italy sponsored by the Guild of Sommeliers and Banfi.  The essay question was, “What do you expect to gain from the experience of this trip to Italy?”   To paraphrase my answer, I discussed the idea that in the Old World, food, wine and culture are intrinsically connected and have developed together over centuries.  Travel to a wine region instills a deeper understanding of this connection.  There is no substitute for first-hand experience.  I also noted that walking the vineyards, meeting the winemakers, and growers gives the wine a face.  Most wines have a story and a personality that reflects the passion and personalities of the people involved in making it.  Visiting with these people where “the magic happens” is the only way to truly understand the wine.

I received the great news yesterday, I was selected for the trip!!!  As an added bonus, Ben Roberts, sommelier at Masraffs, who is a great friend and study mate was also selected.  I have no doubt, that the experience will be amazing.  Banfi has one of the top educational programs in Italy.  I may not learn to speak Italian on the trip, but I will certainly learn a lot about Italian wine.  The trip will cover wineries in Piedmont, Veneto, Reggio, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, and Abruzzo.  It will include visits to a cooperage (where barrels are made), a cheese dairy, and numerous artisans.  I have not been to Italy since I was nine years old when I visited Rome, Florence, and Venice.  I am excited to return with an adult perspective.