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Castello di Amorosa

Mary Davidek
 
January 23, 2014 | Mary Davidek

Experience Taste

While enjoying a 'Royal Pairing' at the Castello, it happened. Once again, the stage was perfectly set. The winter wind was blowing and the unending sunshine had temporarily given way to much-needed rainfall. Through looming clouds the late afternoon sun peeked out just enough to splash a bright ray of light dazzling the Vaca Mountains. During this tasting experience….it happened…we fully experienced the tasting and the afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Is a wine tasting experience simply a contemplation of taste? To savor or enjoy on our palate? Or, is how we taste influenced by all of our senses and emotions subject to and affected by our surroundings? Wine tasting is defined as the “palate’s examination and evaluation of taste”. I can’t find fault with this scientific and clinical definition, but, it does seem sterile. When tasting wine our sensations of taste and smell are fundamental, however, by setting the stage we can taste not just what is in the glass, but, we can savor the entire experience; experience taste.

 

A wine tasting experience is visual- demonstrated by Castello president Georg Salzner and Dario Sattui

 

Not only by examining the content of the glass....

a beautiful environment impacts our enjoyment of an experience.  

The room was picture-perfect, warm and inviting. The glasses were glistening and the candles were glowing.

                                                       

Many chefs are fond of the saying, “we eat with our eyes first”, and there is research to support this. Studies have shown when we find food visually appealing, not only do we enjoy it more, we also absorb more nutrients from it.

  

 

What we hear also has impact. Music evokes emotions and feelings and can be far more powerful than spoken language. Andrea Bocelli gets me every time...

                                

The most important element is to surround yourself with friends and people you love. Create a tasting experience whenever you want and wherever you are and you will truly experience taste.

Castello team members Alison, Jason, Kylee and Melissa sharing laughs and great vino!

My husband and I sharing a moment....salud!

Time Posted: Jan 23, 2014 at 10:44 AM
Mary Davidek
 
January 3, 2014 | Mary Davidek

My 2014 Food and Wine Resolutions

According to research conducted by the University Of Scranton Journal Of Clinical Psychology, although the majority of Americans make annual proclamations and set yearly goals with good intentions, less than 8% of us actually achieve success in keeping New Year’s resolutions. Here is a list of the top 10 yearly resolutions:

Lose weight

Get organized

Save money

Enjoy life to the fullest

Get fit and healthy

Learn something exciting

Quit smoking

Help others with their dreams

Fall in love

Spend more time with family

The sure way to improve on this dismal statistic? Set obtainable goals. Unrealistic resolutions are destined for failure so I’ve created a list of 10 highly achievable food and wine resolutions to put myself on task over the next 12 months. Even if I don’t strike the entire 10, I am bound to have a great time trying! In 2014 I resolve to...

Make a cheese soufflé A masterpiece of a thickened white sauce paired with flavorful cheese. The inside is delicate and warm and the bottom and sides are crusted together forming a heavenly thick cheese layer. Nirvana!                                                                                                                      

Eat more fish Seafood is healthy, light and the perfect canvas for many amazing spices and preparations. My good friends Tim and Carol Berg at www.great-alaska-seafood.com have spoiled me rotten with the freshest seafood available and this feast was no exception. Scallops with Pappardelle pasta in a Tarragon cream sauce. Decadent!

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Pair more sweet wine with savory foods On the Royal Pairing tour at the Castello, sweet and savory is a palate pleaser and always promises alluring and exotic pairing possibilities. Castello di Amorosa Dolcino Gewurztraminer and Moroccan spiced pork loin looming on the horizon.

Try one new restaurant a month  Even here in the promised land of epicurean delights --I get in a rut. The same four restaurants seem to be on my go-to list not because I don’t have seemingly infinite choices but because…well… the choices can seem infinite! January is a great time to start as it is Napa Valley Restaurant Month and a perfect opportunity for new restaurant adventures.

Visit one new winery a month With 450+ wineries just in Napa Valley and 1600+ in a 150 mile radius! How many days in a year?

Eat vegetarian for 30 days I love vegetables of all kinds and welcome this 30 day meat free stint.

Take a class I aspire to become more educated on the vine to wine process— after nearly 20 years on this side of the glass, I am still amazed at the sheer scientific/artistic process in which we finally arrive at this crazy delicious fermented grape juice.  As much as I read and learn I realize how much there is yet to discover. Hence, the love of this elixir!

Buy more magnums Magnums, or 1.5 L is equal to 2 standard 750 ml bottles. Magnums not only have a ‘wow’ factor but wines from a mag show better with more fruit and an intangible zip. When one bottle isn’t quite enough, one bottle of 1.5L often is just enough.

Take more culinary risks I am reluctant to try new techniques (see resolution #1) as I fear failure. The catastrophic kind of kitchen failure. I have heard from some professional chefs that the reason there are more males than females in the culinary industry is because men are not afraid to make mistakes. If something isn’t right, most men will simply toss it and have another go at it. Women become attached; we want to ‘save’ it and ‘fix’ it. By the way, I am referring to culinary attempts here but it seems this theory has many applications. =)

Travel! I want to spend an entire month in Italy. Not a rushed jaunt or a hurried two week trek! I want to go for a month with time to explore and savor—maybe take an Italian cooking class in Tuscany. I want to drink local wine, aimlessly roam the streets, drink in the art and feast on authentic cuisine. For a month I will absorb everything Castello di Amorosa summons in my heart and in my mind. Hear that Castello? Consider this my official vacation request; January 2015 will be blogged from fair Firenze!

Ciao!

 

 

 

Time Posted: Jan 3, 2014 at 2:04 PM
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