Saturday, October 30, 2010


Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Thomas <>
Date: October 30, 2010 11:41:25 AM PDT
To: Mysweet Perez <>

Thomas Perez Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group Wine Director Sent from my iPhone


Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Thomas <>
Date: October 30, 2010 11:51:38 AM PDT
To: Mysweet Perez <>

Eilat Hills Vineyard

Thomas Perez Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group Wine Director Sent from my iPhone
Eola Hills AVA Willamette Valley Oregon, Harvest 2010.

Thomas Perez Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group Wine Director Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Practicing to keep the winery looking good durring harvest!!


Willamette Valley...Brooks winery is as close to harvest in burgandy:
bad news Did not pack enough warm clothes....

2010 Eola Hills Pinot Noir

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

4 Reasons to Celebrate Non-GMO Month

Did you know that October is the first official Non-GMO Month? This month, retail stores nationwide will celebrate the consumer's right to be informed of foods and products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

What exactly are GMOs again?

GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are products of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE), which creates new combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes by combining DNA from one species with DNA from another. The result: new organisms that do not occur in nature.

GMOs are often not labeled as such. In many developed nations, GMO products are heavily restricted or banned altogether because they have yet to be proven safe for people's health and the health of the environment. However, in the U.S. there is a dearth of public awareness of the potentially harmful repercussions of GMO products.

Here are four more reasons why you should celebrate Non-GMO Month this October and empower yourself to make the right decisions for you and your family.

1. Human Health

Currently, seed companies prohibit independent research with their products, leaving very little empirical data available.

2. Environmental and Animal Health

Genetically engineered crops can cause a variety of destructive problems on the surrounding environment. Farmers who use GMO crops can spray their fields to kill everything growing in the area except the specific GMO food crop. The increased use of pesticides and herbicides often leads to superweeds, which then become resistant to the same pesticides, creating the need for stronger, more toxic pesticides (that can leach into our food and water sources!).

3. Moral and Ethical Concerns

Some people question whether genetically altered crops and species threaten and violate the natural order of an environment. Also, genetic modification may involve the creation of foods that are prohibited by certain groups (e.g., the use of animal genes may conflict with some religions, as well as the diets of vegetarians and vegans).

4. Labeling Concerns

Whether you decide to limit or restrict your consumption of GMO products, the right to know what is in our food is important. Research has shown that many Americans would choose not to have GMO products if aware and given the choice.

When shopping for food, it's a valuable practice to stop and ask yourself the basic question: Where does it all come from? It's time for us to be food detectives.

Here are a few ways you may be able to consume fewer GMO products:

  • Buy produce and other food items from farmers' markets.
  • Start conversations with the people selling your food to get more information.
  • Grow your own food in a garden at home or join a community garden.
  • Join a corporate garden or co-op to know where items are coming from.

To help you choose the right foods, check out the Non-GMO Project's iPhone App Shopping Guide and the Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

How will you celebrate Non-GMO month?

To read the full article by Integrative Nutrition Founder Joshua Rosenthal go to The Huffington Post.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wine Politics and the Emperor's New Clothes

Yes1100 In two weeks Washington State voters will decide the fate of the state's three tier system. This vote is the most consequential initiative concerning alcohol regulations any state in America has put to the voters many years.

The money in opposition to what is called Initiative 1100 comes from beer and wine wholesalers...across the country, not merely in Washington State.

Why do America's alcohol wholesalers oppose Initiative 1100? Very simply because it is an example of leveling the playing field and withdrawing the wholesalers many state-mandated protections folded into the three tier system that allow them to control the alcohol distribution system and guarantee themselves income earned by virtue of their place in the three tier system, not their performance or value.

What does Initiative 1100 do?

1. Takes the state out of the business of being the retailer of spirits through state stores

2. Gives private wine and beer retailers the right to sell spirits

3. Allow retailers and restaurants to buy spirits, beer and wine directly from producers, going around wholesalers

4. Allow volume discounts from producers to retailers/restaurants

5. Eliminate price controls

6. Allow retailers to warehouse their inventory and distribute it themselves to their various stores

7. Allow retailers to buy on credit

Alcohol wholesalers don't want any of this because it removes laws and restrictions that help wholesalers unnecessarily dominate the sale and distribution of alcohol. But their real fear is that these kind of sensible, consumer friendly, market-friendly reforms might spread to other states.

Recently at the Beer Wholesalers of America's National Convention in Illinios, the Wholesalers Chairman, Mitch Watkins called the move in Washington "a real and immediate threat". He's right. It is a threat to the kind of hacker's high handicap the wholesalers have been granted by the states.

Wholesalers make a lot of noise about just wanting to "protect" a system that "protects consumers" and "has for more than 75 years". Don't believe it for a second. That kind of rhetoric, if true, would represent the first time that an commercial industry supported something not because it benefits them but supposedly benefits others. The argument is similar to what the wholesalers have said about H.R. 5034, a bill in Congress that would prevent challenges to unconstitutionally discriminatory alcohol laws. Wholesalers argue that they've spent millions of dollars to pass this law because states need to be protect from lawsuits challenging their alcohol laws. In what imaginary universe have private companies decided that their primary mission is to protect the state from lawsuits? The wholesalers use doublespeak. Plain and simple.

What's weird is at their conventions and meetings the wholesalers themselves sit and listen to their own representatives tell them that the emperor is sporting some amazing new duds while they know full well he's completely naked. And they sit there and nod their heads approvingly. There's a name for sitting and listening approvingly to lies.

To-date, the anti-Initiative 1100 campaign has raised over $8 million, most of it from alcohol wholesalers around the country and with more than $2.4 million form the Beer Wholesalers of America an the Beer Institute alone. Recently the Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America have thrown over $250,000 in the effort to kill reform in Washington State though an organization ridiculously named, "People for Responsible Liquor Law".

If Initiative 1100 passes a variety of things will come to pass:

1. Consumers will have greater choice in their alcoholic beverages

2. Consumers will see lower prices for alcoholic beverages

3. Retailers will be freer to source product from a wider array of suppliers, allowing them to better serve their customers

4. The alcohol distribution system will become a fairer and more just system

With any luck, Initiative 1100 will pass in Washington State and will be followed up with similar initiatives in other states where the emperor is declared to have no clothes.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are you stocked up for your Halloween party??

Spätburgunder Eiswein...

I enjoyed a rare wine from the Rheingau, a late-harvest Pinot Noir. Only in Germany!!!

Thomas Perez Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group Wine Director Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 17, 2010


MY Fantastic husband took me out for a few hours on the town.......Akiono is the BEST restaurant in Carmel. Seriously
monk fish liver, yellow tail was the best ever
. Mundaka for a beer out of cidra vaso, made
me want to be on one of the greatest streets = GASCONA.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Brown's Best on Cantinetta Luca and L'auberge Carmel

The wine list is a dazzling array of Italian bottles (and 25 offerings by the glass). Thomas Perez is also responsible for this cellar. And there he was by my table – as always, the friendliest and most affable of fellows – to sort out for me a glass of vanilla-laden Tuscan chardonnay (Cabreo, La Pietra, 2007 - $16) and a bottle of big, muscular barbera d’asti from Piedmont (La Spinetta, Ca di Pian, 2006 - $67). It was a joy to see Thomas again and to benefit from his expertise.

Special Edible: Saturday: Made for Farm Fun

Special Edible: Saturday: Made for Farm Fun: "No fewer than three cool local gardening/farming open houses sprouted up this Saturday (tomorrow)—including one starring a couple who abando..."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Swiss Wine.....

After talking with my grandma yesterday and finding out many of my relatives on fathers side are from Switzerland (not sure why I never knew that?), it made me think about traveling and how to lure my husband into going there.

Swiss Wine: The Best Wine You've Never Tasted
by Victoria Daskal
“It’s difficult to export wine because we drink a lot” is the response I got when asking why Swiss wine does not exist on the international market.

Switzerland, a tiny independent country in the heart of Europe with a population of 7.5 million, is divided further by languages; French, Italian, German, and Romanche. While each region is actively involved in wine production, the most action occurs in the French part, specifically in the cantons Neuchatel, Geneva, Vaud and Valais. Lakes and rivers play a large role in regulating the effects of the Alps. Most of these vineyards grow on steep south facing slopes with increased sun exposure; Neuchatel vines sit by a small lake of the same name, Geneva and Vaud stretch over the northern part of Lake Geneva (or locally known Lac Leman), and Valais vineyards follow the banks of the famed Rhone River through a narrow valley. With such extreme topographies at once including mountainous terrain, large bodies of water, and every type of soil in between, these vineyards can sustain over a hundred grape varieties.

In Valais alone (which is the most productive canton, accounting for over 40% of Swiss wines) there are 49 varieties under the AOC Valais label. Still the most prevalent varieties are Pinot Noir, Chasselas, and Gamay. There is also a rising interest in local grapes (Cornalin, Petit Arvine and Humagne Rouge) and to varieties that are well suited for the Valais conditions such as Syrah and Pinot Gris.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I was just reading a post from Dr. Maki Takashima of Monterey Naturopath and she gives us all a reminder to be grateful and appreciative. I wish as humans we were (or at least myself)not so inclined to focus on goals, resistance, or what we need to change in our lives to be happier or feel more satisfied. How many times do we have to be told that happiness is not a destination and if we could just lighten up, ALL WILL FOLLOW.

"It is said that energy of Gratitude/Appreciation/Thankfulness can clear your aura and raise your vibration. You can change dense energy to finer vibrational energy. Your heart will lighten and open up, which can lead to healing of the physical body. Even for people who do not believe in energy or metaphysical things, you feel good when people appreciate you. You can look at situations in more positive ways even when things are not going the way you would like to be.

Let's find something you are grateful for. Even small things. Being able to drink a cup of tea before bed, your friend listened to you complain, amazing cells in your body working their function nonstop, your pet brings you joy, your nice clothes to wear, etc...anything is fine. If that happens to be a person, express to the person how grateful you are. And it is not out of the obligation, but something from your heart."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Last year executive pastry chef Ron Mendoza of Mirabel H&R, took first place in the annual "Golden Scoop Award" competition in New York City. Following is a simple dessert that is sure to make a memorable impression at your next dinner party.

Herb infused Panna Cotta
by Ron Mendoza

2C milk
2C cream
1/2C sugar
3 fresh bay leaves or herbs of your choice
4 gelatin sheets, rehydrated in ice water***can be found at Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table

Bring milk, cream, sugar, and herbs to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 20 minutes.

Return to a simmer and add gelatin (which has been strained from water), remove from heat and strain.

Pour panna cotta into cups or glasses. Chill 4 hours until set.

Top panna cotta with fruit of your choice, diced into bite size pieces. Garnish with herbs and shaved white chocolate or crushed graham crackers.

The highlight of this dish is that the panna cotta is very soft and creamy. "I enjoy the way it is set in a glass because I can build up from it in a parfait style which leaves a wonderful presentation," shares Ron.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's FALL!!!

Fall is the best! The best weather and the best fruits and vegetables. Don't forget that when you have the sweetest, freshest ingredients you do not ave to do anything. Here is a reminder of how easy it is to make dinner this time of year.
Choose 2-5 of the vegetables listed below.
Chop the hardest ones, like carrots and other root vegetables into smaller pieces.
Softer vegetable, like onions, can be cut into larger chunks.
Add vegetables into a pot in layers. Place the thickest on the bottom. It will cook more than the ones on top.
Add about 1 inch of water to the pot and cook until vegetables are soft.
Empty vegetables into a large bowl and use leftover cooking water as a delicious sweet sauce.
Notes: Any vegetables such as: corn, carrots, onions, beets, winter squash and sweet potato have a deep, sweet flavor when cooked. Other less known sweet vegetables like turnips, parsnips and rutabaga, also taste sweet when cooked

check out more simple and super healthy recipes on