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16 | LIFESTYLE & ARTS WINES OF THE WEEK

■ by johnson ho When the pumpkin/gourd and light stew season commences, few gourmets realize that crisp acidity in wine can be delicious with mild richly flavored dishes. The French aristocracy learned to appreciate the virtues of local wines centuries ago when they vacationed in their summer chateaux in the bucolic Loire River Valley, just a day’s coach ride south of Paris. The sophisticated oenophiles spread this discovery throughout the world.

SATURDAY DINNER 2010 Chateau de Tracy Pouilly-Fume, Loire Valley, France; $41 An aristocratic family-owned estate since 1396, Chateau de Tracy ranks as one of the most beautiful winery sights of Pouilly-Fume region. The Loire River has been depositing layers of silt along its banks for eons.  That organic material imparts a distinctive smoky aroma (“fume” in French) to the vibrantly crisp Sauvignon Blanc grape.  The palate cleansing virtue leaves a salivating need for encores of rich seafood chowders, hearty fish stews, potato soups, corn souffles, pumpkin/gourd recipes and pork loin dishes. Best 4-7 years from vintage with 30 minutes of aeration. MIDWEEK MEAL 2013 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre, Loire Valley, France; $34 Just across the Loire River from Pouilly Fume,

the Sancerre region features a lighter style Sauvignon Blanc highly popular with casual diners in bistros, brasseries and seaside oyster bars. Intensely citrusy and minerally in flavor — but lighter than its neighbor — Sancerre can act as a lemon juice alternative on dishes with sweet shellfish or deep fried fish or white meat foods, e.g. veal cutlet, Southern fried chicken, and wienerschnitzel. Vegetarians love it with stir fried legumes, artichoke, eggplant, squash or stuffed tomatoes.  It can even elevate canned fish, oysters, clam and smoked trout to culinary respectability. Best 2 -4 years from vintage with 15 minutes of aeration.

SOCIALS

ACE Benefit Preview Party photography by larry miller

The 30th annual American Craft Exposition (ACE) presented by The Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) kicked off its three-day show with a Collectors’ Hour and Preview Party last August, all housed under the roof of the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion on the Northwestern campus. More than 800 supporters attended the evening, which featured over 160 juried artists from across the country, raising more than $230,000 for ovarian cancer research. northshore.org

BEST VALUE

SUSAN WHITE, DEBBIE HULICK

2009 Domaine de Noire Elegance Chinon, Loire Valley, France; $23

Chinon’s largely obscure red wine made from the floral Cabernet Franc grape is another Rodney Dangerfield (gets no respect) phenomenon in the fine wine world. Medium bodied and understated in opulence, Chinon offers an alternative taste to the Pinot Noir from the neighboring Burgundy region. Its hallmark dried rose petal, lavender, violet and red berry aromas complement gamier fish dishes (pink salmon, tuna, red mullet, sardines, cod, swordfish) and mushroom recipes or veal stews and game meat pot pies.  Serve at cellar temperature (57 degrees) 3-6 years from vintage with 30 minutes of aeration.

MARVIN, JULIE & SOPHIE CRONE

SEAN O’GRADY, MARY MOWRY, MARK NEAMAN

CHUCK & MARY REYNOLDS

DANA TURBAN, SANDY MILLER

THE WEEKENDER

In honor of its support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sparkling ICE has created a specialty “Sip Pink for the Cure” cocktail using its Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Ice flavor.

Ingredients:

3 oz. Grapefruit Sparkling Ice 1 ½ oz.  vodka 1 oz. lime juice Lime wedge Sliced fresh jalapeño Chili salt for rim of glass (Kosher salt mixed with chili powder

Steps:

Use a lime wedge to rub the entire rim of a chilled martini glass, and dip into chili salt mixture. Combine vodka and jalapeno slices with ice in a shaker. Strain and pour into the chilled martini glass. Top with Grapefruit Sparkling Ice.  Garnish with a few jalapeno slices. Serves 1.

The North Shore Weekend EAST, Issue 104  

The North Shore Weekend (East Zone) is published weekly and features the news and personalities of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfiel...

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