As the name of this blog implies, this is a space devoted to using relatively humble food ingredients and more obscure or so-called “lesser” wines, and elevating them to their highest levels. There is nothing more worthwhile spending money on than good food and wine, but that doesn’t mean that these things have to be expensive.
I try as much as I can to maintain a seasonal approach to cooking (like no eggplant dishes in January, for example!), and I always give strong consideration to using local produce, as well as a distinct preference for, though not a thoughtless adherence to the use of organic ingredients as well.
The concept of “If it grows together, it goes together” is also really important to what I do here in these pages, so I typically will select a menu from a specific region or even sub-region, and try as much as possible to find a wine from as close to this or that place to pair with the meal (or vice versa). This means that if I’m cooking a classic Roman dish like spaghetti alla carbonara, I’m looking to pair it with not just an Italian white wine, but one from the Lazio region.
I bought my first book about wine when I was 10 years old(!), and I’ve maintained a strong interest in wine, particularly those from the Old World, as well wines made from the many wonderful but overlooked or nearly unknown grape varieties grown there. I worked for over 10 years in the wine trade, buying and selling wines on both the retail and wholesale sides of the business in the New Jersey and New York markets.