While TalesoftheCork blog page is under construction, viewers will be able to find recent dining and wine tasting dinners and occasional lunch posts. Geena and I are sharing our food and wine journey with readers in real time despite each having full-time jobs away from the dining and travel industry.
Therefore, we offer no pretense. Food ideas may be preplanned a day or two in advance or, much like our followers, are via text messages to each other as 5 p.m. nears. Our favorite shopping spot is Trader Joe’s but we will make pit stops at the local meat and fish markets and grocery store before heading home.
We are constantly in learning mode but have focused our attention on French and Italian fusion dishes for the last 10 years or so. Our planning starts with a variety of “idea recipes” and then add our own flavor and influence to what we create. Spices and rubs are always on our “to buy” list. We glean other ideas from chefs, restaurant managers and acquaintances are often peppered with “how did you do that?”
While we have many cookbooks ranging from Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeuvres Handbook, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Ina Garden’s collection, Mapie, Comtesse Guy de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Good French Cooking, to The Balthazar Cookbook from New York’s famous bistro, and local Sonoma cookbooks like A Wine & Food Affair: Tasting Along the Wine Road and Sondra Bernstein’s Plats du Jour.
Our cultural backgrounds have gifted us with a diverse repertoire of Italian, German and Canadian dishes. Living in California’s Central Valley affords us fresh fruits and vegetables year-round and close proximity to Hispanic and other readily available ‘mom and pop’ eateries of varied backgrounds.
One of our favorite ways to improve is asking the waitress at any establishment we visit: “What is your favorite dish and why?” Inevitably something new is on the menu or side menu. Greg is more apt to try it and find ways to use the ideas at home.
While we are in no way labeling ourselves as chefs, we will make a concerted effort to create dishes each month that readers could emulate. Plans are to publish recipes we use so that you can recreate our modest efforts at home.
The wine pairing is Greg’s department and he relies on meeting winemakers, wine brokers and wine shop owners to pair with the dishes Geena creates. While not all pairings or wines are perfect, this will continue to evolve. We prefer French, Italian, California, Oregon and Washington wines. However, as time advances, Argentine, Chile, Spanish and other wine regions are beginning to find their bottles on our table.
As far as the blog is concerned, TalesoftheCork has created quite a following on Instagram and needed a blog. After pairing and reviewing wine for the last couple of years, it has become apparent that longer posts are needed on top of the Instagram posts. As the passion for wine pairing has grown, we receive wine samples from wineries and wine brokers which now augment our own purchases. Recently we also have opportunity to review restaurants and boutique hotels as well. However, even if we receive wine and/or food samples, we reserve the right to share our opinion.
Wine is a social experience and we find love to share our table with friends, acquaintances and often strangers we meet via social media who enjoy our passion. Additionally, it is our hope that our social pages and this blog will lessen the mystery of the wine and wine pairing experience for many.
Please take the time to leave comments or suggestions. You might add a different way to serve up or create a dish, suggest a different bottle of wine or maybe even disagree with us. Either way, you will add to our posting, creating a more relevant community together.
Please also visit our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and say hello, comment. We’d also love to receive a like as well, if you feel it warrants one.