Posts Tagged ‘Windows on the World’

What I’m Reading: Gifts for Wine (and food) Lovers

December 9, 2012

I read.

I read a lot.

This may come as a huge shock to my parents, but it’s true.

I spend a lot of time reading books, magazines, and blogs about my favorite subject…


If you have a wine (or food) loving friend on your holiday shopping list, you may want to skip the wacky wine gadgets (considering that most of them stink), and pick them up a book.

With that in mind, here’s what I’m reading right now…

This is a really fun book that follows wine writer, and natural wine advocate, Alice Feiring, as she attempts to make her own fermented grape juice.  If you’ve ever been curious about natural wine, or how wine in general is made, you’ll get a kick out of this one.

Speaking of all things natural…

I first came across this book, while crashing at a friend’s house after a concert.  I woke up pretty early that morning, and was having trouble going back to sleep.  I saw this book laying on his table, so I decided to crack it open.

I’ve never come across another writer who can make the most simple of foods sound as delicious as he does.  I was drooling after reading his description an apple.

There are a butt load of great recipes, as well as some fantastic stories behind them.  This is a book about food for wine lovers to obsess over.

Back to the wine…


The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson

Not really a front to back type of read.  This is an encyclopedia of all things wine.  Entries are anywhere from a couple of sentences to a couple of pages.  From abboccato to zymase, this book will tell you anything you ever wanted to know about wine.

Recently, I had someone ask me how I knew so much about wine.  I had trouble answering.  The reality is that I don’t feel like I know much at all about wine.  I’m always in the process of learning.  The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know anything.

That being said, if I were to recommend one book that could really help the world of wine seem a lot more accessible, this is the one I would push in your direction.  Zraly does a fantastic job of breaking wines down style by style, and region by region.  Do yourself a favor…  Pick this book up, and taste along with Kevin Zraly.


I love me the Wine Spectator magazine!

Each issue contains a ridiculous amount of tasting notes.  I really enjoy reading the tasting reports for different regions.  It’s just a really good mag.

Getting a subscription to this bad boy was one of the best presents I’ve ever received.

Happy shopping y’all!

Stay Rad,


PS – What wine related gift are you expecting under your tree this year?


Still Facing My Fear… and ready to #CrushIt!

July 23, 2011

A while back, you read about my life-long hatred of eggs.

What’s that?

You didn’t?

How dare you!

Click here to catch up.

Now as gung-ho as I was about attacking all of the recipes in Jodi Liano’s “Egg” book

"Eggs" by Jodi Liano. You know what time it is! Yeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh Boooooooooyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

writing the post about it, and reliving the Hulkster’s Powerful Protein Shake experience was really tough for me. The more I wrote, the sicker I felt.  After I published the entry, I avoided eggs for about a week.

Now look…

I’m not one to give up so easily.  All I needed was a little BREAK from the EGGS (You like that one?).

A few days ago, I decided to jump back on the egg wagon.  Here’s what I made…

Jeff and Kara in a Hole.

I really liked this one.  The letters that I cut out of the bread were a little too small.  As the egg was frying in the hole, a lot of it piled on top of the bread.  This increased the cooking time, and made for a messy presentation… But… It was delicious.

Kara would have liked it to be a little more runny, but I’m beginning to like mine over hard.

This morning, I made this…

Egg, Bacon, and Smoked Mozzarella Panini

Now, in the book, Jodi uses brie, but I had some smoked mozzarella that I wanted to finish off… so I did.  I got the ciabatta and bacon from Trader Joe’s.  One problem was that the ciabatta loaf was too fat, so the panini could not get as flat as I would have liked.  Another issue was the bacon.  Trader Joe’s is a nice store.  I love it.  Their bacon selection, however, is HORRIBLE.  I got this crappy turkey bacon that did not get anywhere as crisp as I would have liked.  Next time, I’m going to Safeway to get me some real crispy pork action.

By the way, the sandwich was f-ing AWESOME!  I can only imagine how good it would have been with better ingredients.



Here’s the deal…

Since we returned from Healdsburg, I haven’t tasted any new wines… but I have been reading a lot recently.  I wanted to share some of these books with you.

I know.  I know.  This is a wine blog, so let’s see if we can tie in some wine…

When I was in high school, I was in a punk rock band called The Willies.

I'm the skinny kid, practicing my punk rock jumps with a mic in my hand.

A few weeks back, my old friend and drummer, Nick Thedrummer, suggested that I read “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk.

“I know Gary!” I wrote back to Nick.  “I’m a huge fan of his video blogs Wine Library TV and Daily Grape.  He even follows me on Twitter.  I just don’t know if I want to read a book about business.”

“Just read it, dude.”

A few days later, I was kicking it with my buddy Dave Thevegetarian when I meantioned Gary’s book.  Dave was all, “I’ve got Crush It right here.  You want to borrow it?”

"Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk... and you should too.

I was all like, “Sure.”

The book is a quick 142 page read (including two appendices).  It’s all about tapping into things that you are passionate about, creating blogs, and using social media to build your personal brand.  This book is very entertaining, and… dare I say it… inspiring.  I was just a few weeks into this blog when I read Crush It, and have since been inspired to take on the world.  If you like blogs…  If you have a Facebook or Twitter account…  If you are passionate about anything… You must read this book!

One of the things that Gary preaches in his book is to become an expert on your passion, by reading as much as you can on the topic.  So last week, I picked up this…

"Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Complete Wine Course" next to some spheres inside some cubes.

This well-written 338 page textbook is the number one selling book about wine in the world.  Kevin takes the reader through a step-by-step guide on getting to know all the wines on the planet.

Right now, I’m in the middle of Class One: The White Wines of France.  I am stoked on the way he presents information in this book.  Zraly makes wine a whole lot easier to understand.  If you like wine, and want to know more about it… Grab this book!

As interesting as Windows on the World is, I’m realizing how much more I have to learn about the subject of French wine (and wine in general).  The good news, according to Zraly, is that the best way to understand wine is to TASTE it.

Looks like someone’s gonna have to make a run to the wine shop and make a raid on the Alsace section.  Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris better watch out… None of them are getting out alive!

Stay Rad,


%d bloggers like this: