Chinon, oui ou non?

What makes cabernet franc Chinon? Terroir, of course; but what are the special qualities of Chinon, and how does it vary within the region? Find some answers and maybe more questions at the New York Times’ Wine School:


For a simple, but decadent, breakfast or brunch, serve caviar on scrambled eggs. Include some creme fraiche and a fresh baguette, and Champagne, if you dare…

More Room for Mushrooms 

Layer after layer of mushrooms—a mushroom mille feuille… I, for one, can never get enough. Try this recipe from Dirty French:

What to Drink Now 

It’s always time for Cabernet Franc somewhere…

Sonic Boom

Some restaurant owners are rethinking sound and toning it down. This is music to my ears as I get tired of yelling over dinner—now if they will also turn off the played playlists, we will be in business.

Tarte a la Tomate

Use those last heirloom tomatoes of the summer for a tomato tart. Buy frozen puff pastry (see my post “Frozen Puff Pastry”), three or four large tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and an herb of your choice (basil, chervil, parsley, or oregano). 

Place the sheet of pastry on parchment paper and scatter on enough grated cheese to cover in a thin layer. Bake at 350 until brown and bubbly. 

Slice tomatoes; coat in salt, pepper, and olive oil; and place on top of pastry. Sprinkle on more grated cheese and chopped herb and return to the oven for 15–20 minutes or until cheese on top is just melted.

[This recipe was inspired by an Alain Passard (@alain_passard) Instagram post.]

Permanent Pantry

I keep some items in my pantry and elsewhere to be prepared always…

There are the sweet staples, such as flour, sugar, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, butter, and eggs, of which you never want to run out. To these I would add frozen puff pastry (see my post “Frozen Puff Pastry”), almond flour and almond extract (see my posts “Gluten-Free Goodies” and “King of the Castle”), dark chocolate (see my posts “Mousse au Chocolat” and “Gateau au Chocolat”), and heavy cream (see my posts “Gosh, Chocolate Ganache” and “A Thousand Kisses Deep”).

On the savory side, in addition to salt and pepper and the French trinity of onions, carrots, and celery, include bacon (see my post “Bacon”), extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar (see my post “A Simple Vinaigrette”), spaghetti (see my posts “Carbonara” and “Clam Up”), Arborio rice and dried porcinis (see my posts “Mushroom Risotto” and “Turkey Risotto”), and a frozen chicken (see my posts “Roasted Chicken” and “Chicken Dinners”). Parsley dresses up any dish, so buy a bunch, or better yet, grow your own (see my posts “Herb Bouquets” and “Patio Pots”).

Red Hot

Summer is wining down—time to reach for a red that can be slightly chilled (see my post “Chill”)…

The Cream of the Climat

The “climats,” or individual vineyards, in Burgundy have received UNESCO recognition as World Heritage sites.


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