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So glad this week is over! But…instead of relaxing with a glass (or two) of wine… I will be relaxing with my wine JOURNAL. It’s Lent, remember? No vino except on Saturdays and Sundays. Cheating? No, that’s survival. So in between making egg salad for dinner (no meat on Lenten Fridays) and pining for that Jacob’s Creek Pinot Grigio in the fridge, I will write a journal entry re-living our WONDERFUL dinner from LAST weekend at Upperline in New Orleans.

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The journal was given to me by my friend Karen, let’s see…back in 2009. What a great gift – she knows I like to write and I love wine! But for some reason, considering how much wine I drink, I haven’t recorded wines in the journal that often. Well…maybe that’s because in the moment you’re drinking, eating, laughing, talking – it can be kind of awkward to whip out your journal and write about it. But when a wine or an EXPERIENCE with a certain wine really sticks with me, I can write about it just like I’m writing in my diary or other journal. And it’s fun to go back and read my tasting comments and who I was with, where we were, what we were doing. I’ve got 12 wines in here, everything from the chianti I had in chianti Italy to a chianti/sangiovese blend from Macaroni Grill. And because I like to go to regional wineries, it’s fun to write about unusual wines that I can’t get just anywhere. Here are the wines that have made it into my journal so far:

Flat Creek Estate Super Texan 2008 (Marble Falls Texas)
Lasios Nero D’avola 2007 (Sicily)
Independent Producers Chardonnay 2008 (Columbia Valley, Washington)
Altos de la Hoya Jumilla 2007 (Spain)
Michael David Petite Petit 2007 (Lodi, California)
Golden Kaan Cabernet 2005 (Paarl, South Africa)
Le Grand Donjon Chardonnay 2007 (France)
Acrobat Pinot Gris 2009 (Willamette Valley)
Monteluce Primoro 2010 (Dahlonega, Georgia)
Montecalvi Chianti Classico 2010 (Chianti, Tuscany)
Crane Creek Vidal Blanc 2011 (North Georgia)
Col di Sasso Cabernet/Sangiovese 2013 (Montalcino, Tuscany)

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And tonight’s entry: Trimbach Gewurtzraminer 2010 from Alsace, which we had last Saturday at Upperline in New Orleans. A friend from New York and some friends from Minnesota were visiting and wow – what a fantastic dinner all around. I love Gewurtzraminer but don’t have it that often – probably because I don’t usually want to pay 42 dollars. My friends asked me to choose the wine from the wine list (of course!) and I knew it would be perfect. That Alsatian spice and fruit, so delicious with fish or seasoned meats can be the perfect compromise between red and white. My husband and my friend Nicol had the shrimp and grits (silky smooth) and I had the lamb shank with saffron risotto and, oh – the gewurtz brought out the flavor in both. To start? How about some spicy fried oysters in between sips of that spiced honey and lychee fruit. Can you say divine??? And afterwards, with honey-pecan bread pudding topped with toffee sauce? Smashing! Best dinner I’ve had in a while. I have to agree with the description on the Trimbach website which states, quite frankly: “It is in Alsace that this grape variety reaches the height of perfection”. Fortunately tonight I have a couple episodes of Mad Men recorded to go with my egg salad….

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