The Power and the Glories of Eating Alone

King Louis XIV did it. M. F. K. Fisher did it. The faceless man in Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks,” did it. Mr. Bean did it, too. And so did I. Daring to eat a proper meal alone in public probably ranks as one of the few acts that cause normally confident people to quiver a…

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Unquenchable: Natalie MacLean’s Terrific New Book on Wine

If, like me - overwhelmed by the hundreds of possible choices in front of you at the grocery store or local wine shop - you’ve ever stood in front of the endless shelves of stunning wine bottles and felt like just closing your eyes and grabbing a bottle, any bottle (preferably one on the lower…

The Last Vineyard in Paris? Clos Montmartre

Through the seasons of the year, the Montmartre vineyard prevails ... the temple of Bacchus no longer sits on the steep slopes and the vineyard covers only a small portion of prime real estate, 1500 square metres to be exact. Benedictine monks in the 12th century produced wine here, their monastery destroyed during the French…

Celebration! With Champagne …

Gherkins & Tomatoes / Cornichons & Tomates celebrates an anniversary in a couple of days, and I would like to thank all readers --- old and new --- for their ongoing and strong support. A special thanks goes to friends and family, who keep me going by saying nice things and bringing me champagne. This…

Mulled Wine, a Timeless Taste of the Divine?

"He has given us plenty of merriment, I am sure," said Fred, "and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health. Here is a glass of mulled wine ready to our hand at the moment; and I say, 'Uncle Scrooge'!" "Well! Uncle Scrooge!" they cried. "A Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to…

500 Years of Grapes and Wine in America: A Remarkable Story

Curated by Prof. Dan Longone and Jan Longone, February 16-May 29, 2009 Clements Library, University of Michigan Open to the public, free of charge, Mon-Fri 1-5pm Lecture on the exhibition, Sunday May 10, 3-5pm Prof. Dan Longone and Jan Longone Co-sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor PLEASE ADDRESS ANY QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS TO:…

Prosecco Mi Amore

Like Rodney Dangerfield, makers of Prosecco want more respect. If you respect Prosecco, take a little journey over to "Italian Makers of Prosecco Seek Recognition," in the December 26, 2008 issue of The New York Times. So what seems to be the problem? Because prosecco is the name of a grape, like chardonnay or cabernet,…