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This Week’s Tastings

Oh my, the day after Christmas – Decision Point!!! To either turn it around, put down my mom’s homemade peanut butter balls and get the eating back on track OR to have just  a few more bites of the leftover potatoes and dressing and one more slice of pecan pie????

Of course I know what my decision is as I write. We’ll see if it holds up when I go by grandma’s house for lunch. It’s always an interesting week of cuisine, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It seems to be one extreme or the other – feast or famine. Holed up inside the house, eating whatever’s left in the cupboard, living in your pajamas…… or on the go, more parties and lots of good food from your kitchen and others. Well my week seems to be shaping up like a feast this year!

I’m very excited for tonight’s meal. We’re meeting up with good friends for some good food. We’ll dine at Room 39 and I am very much looking forward to it. With a chef who excelled in New York City at nationally-acclaimed restaurants like Union Square Cafe, Daniel and Le Bernardin, you know you’re in a for a gastronomical treat. I’m already torn about which appetizer to order – beef shortrip papardelle, foie gras, or the potsticker. Wow, my mouth is already watering. And I hear the gnocchi is outstanding!

Joseph Cellars 2008 Cabernet direct from Napa Valley

Tuesday we’ll treat ourselves to a homecooked meal…..and I’m doing the cooking. I always love to have friends over for dinner, but with a few appointments, a trip to the grocery store and post-holiday house cleaning on the day’s duty-list, I need something that’s not very time intensive. I’m thinking about brining some pork chops or going simple with cedar-planked salmon on the grill.

What I KNOW we will indulge in tomorrow is some of our newly-arrived wine ordered during our trip to Napa Valley this fall. I just unloaded the cases on Friday, had some of the chardonnay on Christmas eve, and can’t wait to break into the 2008 Cabernet. It is phenomenal! You may not have heard of Joseph Cellars because it’s a fairly new winery right in the heart of Napa Valley. The grapes are cultivated from some of the most coveted acreage in the area. When we visited last October, the cabernet grapes were to be harvested in just three days and we were eating them off the vine. The warm soft fruit filled my mouth with sweet juice as the thick

Eating grapes from the vine just 3 days before harvest

skins rubbed between my teeth. It was an experience like no other. The winery and wine caves were still under construction, but despite the hardhats and unconventional tasting, it was a highlight of the trip! These wines should not be missed!

Later in the week, I get to do one of my favorite things at one of my favorite KC places. It’s a party at the Intercontinental and some drinks and live music in the Oak Room! If you haven’t been to the Oak Room for a great martini and even better atmosphere, put it on your list. Especially around the holidays, this fantastic KC spot has great music and one of the most stupendous locations (can anyone say “I Love Plaza Lights”?) in the city!

Our tasting was held in the half-constructed wine cave

One of my favorite treats around Christmas, is getting together with friends coming back to visit family. We’ll do our catching up at our friends’ favorite KC steak locale, Capital Grille. I know it will be a night of great food, fantastic wine and even better conversation.

Our New Year’s Eve celebration will take place at one of KC’s most elegant and versatile event spaces, Studio Dan Meiners. Dan is a warm, funny and extremely fashionable Kansas City talent. His floral studio and event space have been hopping since they opened with cooking classes, floral how-to’s, and of course private parties. The Hubs and I will be attending a wedding reception at the studio and I’m already excited to set foot into that beautiful, modern room and see what kind of stunning decor we’ll experience. And, none the less, I’m anxious to find out who’s catering too!

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