Aspen Food & Wine Classic

Aspen – many times I only correlate that name with skiing. But every once in a while something else gets partnered with the name. For me this time it was the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. I had heard about it awhile back and it sounded amazing. But when I glimpsed at the ticket price I had no interest in going; costs a little shy of $2,000 to attend.

But this year a company that I work for reached out because they needed some help at their table. So, that meant free entry. Bring it on! I got to experience this at no cost.

This festival is amazing. While I didn’t get to take part in most of the seminars or do as much wine tasting as I would have liked, I still got a feel for all of it. Was able to get some quick sips of wine here and there, little nibbles of during prep time and meet lots of folks. Many regions of the world are represented, so many varietals of wine, so many cultures, so much fun. And you get to see the town all around you. These pictures are just a tidbit of it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I found out that volunteers at the event get a one day free pass. Going to consider doing that next year…help out the amazing event then enjoy it, too.

Cheers!

Thomas Read, Dublin

While enjoying many local brews in Ireland I wanted to give something else a try.  Stopped by a nice bar, Thomas Read, in Dublin one day and asked the bartender if he had any suggestions.

IMG_3127

He asked he could whip up a concoction of his own.  How could I turn that down?

It all started with some Jameson, some Ginger Syrup (similar to simple syrup but he doesn’t use heat to make it) and bitters.

IMG_3121Of course some rocks were added.

IMG_3122

Stirred carefully.

IMG_3124

And then he took so much time and care with the lemon rind I can not even begin to explain it!  This drink was good.

IMG_3125

Living (the) Social (Life)

Last weekend in DC, LivingSocial had a deal that looked good, almost too good.  Per the email, for $39 you could get a luxurious 1.5 hour Wine & Chocolate Tasting AND 4 bottles of wine to take home?  The tasting part included 6 tastings and nicely paired chocolates.  Then 4 FULL SIZE bottles to take home.  I figured even if they were roughly $10 bottles you break beyond even.  Only Two (or Three) Buck Chuck would make it a bad deal if you’re that picky.

So, a few friends and I took the plunge and checked it out.  It was nice!  Gorgeous set up, you check in, get a nice tasting glass (plastic, ergonomic with finger ‘area’ and stemless — SMART!) and wine tickets.  You travel from stations 1-6 and get a rundown on the wine and the taste, of course, and unique chocolate paired with it.  The whole place was not too loud and very laid back.

Wineglass

The wines we tasted were 3 whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Moscato) and 3 reds (blend, Malbec, Merlot):

LS6

LS3

LS1

LS5

LS4

LS2

Before we left, we each turned in our last tickets and were handed a box of 4 random bottles of wine.  They weren’t necessarily ones we tasted that night.  Between my friends and I, each of us had at least one of the bottles we sampled.  After some research, I found that the average cost of the bottles was about $9.  Not bad considering the price of the event.  Would love to see more of these come to town!

Japan #4: Beer…a button away

It’s Friday, the weekend is only hours away.  So what better to do than loop back to the Japan trip theme and talk about BEER???  T minus 4 hours until Happy Hour. 

There are beers around the world and I was looking forward to having true Japanese beer while in the country of origin.  But the best thing I found while there were beer machines.  What is that you ask?  You want a Coke, Sprite, Mountain Dew?  You go find that machine and throw in a couple bills and voila.  Over in Japan…OH, you can do the same thing for beer.  HEAVEN!  You can tell they aren’t as strict on the drinking (age) as we are.

Beer3

Also want to highlight a couple of the beers I enjoyed, overall.  There is the ‘normal’  Sapporo, which I only had once.  I also only saw it on tap one time.  Otherwise I looked for the ones we don’t get here or I haven’t tried.  Pictures below (Asahi is the one also available in the machine).

Beer4        Beer5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beer1