Wine jam is the best jam

One of my favorite dishes to make during Passover is Matzo brie. It’s like a dense, sweet pancake made of broken up bits of Matzo, eggs, water and lots of sugar. Matzo is the flat, crunchy cracker Jews eat during Passover as a reminder of our ancestors slavery in Egypt and the continuous need to focus on social justice.


I had gone the eight days of Passover without having time to make Matzo brie, but the day after, I made sure to fry a big one up for my other half and I to share. You can top Matzo brie with powdered sugar, syrup or jam. I chose to give it a dollop of this Muscat fig preserve we got as a giveaway gift at a recent wedding we went to.


The Kozlowski Fig & Muscat Wine Preserve is thick and chunky and reminded me of a fresher version of the insides of a fig newton. It was the perfect compliment to the fried Matzo brie. I love wine jelly, but this preserve was definitely something special.

When to eat: On pancakes, matzo brie or even a nice thick wheat toast.

Review: 2013 Leoness Muscat Canelli

I know the summer is over when I head to the Hollywood Bowl for the final time of the season. No more potluck picnics and al fresco wine in the bench seats, sigh.

My last trip a few days ago to see Cat Power and the Pixies play, I brought along a flirty, sweet wine to numb the sadness.


The 2013 Leoness Muscat Canelli doesn’t have much depth nor bouquet–it just smells like grape skins to me–but it does have nice single-dimensional flavors of sweet peach and apricot. It’s made in stainless steel, giving it a little spritzy kick.

This is a pretty simple, sweet table wine that you won’t have to think about.

Nuts & Bolts:

  • Winery: Leoness
  • Type: Muscat
  • Origin: Temecula
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Price: $15 club price, $20 regular
  • Alcohol content: 11.4%
  • When to drink: Picnicking on a hot day

Wine milkshake? Red Robin’s got one.

Red Robin, yes, the chain that brought you the a burger called “Burnin Love,” now has a wine milkshake on the menu.



The Mango Moscato Wine Shake includes vanilla soft serve ice cream, Skyy Vodka (Moscato flavored, I’ll have to look into that for another post), Moscato by Alice White (the cheap wine you can buy at the grocery store for $5 that has a kangaroo on the label) and mango puree. Red Robin introduced beer milkshakes in the past, including one featuring Blue Moon.

I’ve had boozy milkshakes before at the Satellite Room in Washington, D.C. which were delicious, but those included shakes mixed with Bulleit bourbon and Tanqueray dry gin. Wine and ice cream I have yet to try, but I’m going to keep an open mind on this one. You know what they say, don’t knock it until you try it.

I have to say though that I’ve been antsy to try the Guinness milkshake at Slater’s 50/50.

H/T to Chicago Tribune for spreading the news about the family dining restaurant’s newest drink concoction.

Review: 2012 Jarenincan Crnko

Bet you can’t say that five times fast.

I bought this Slovenian white blend of riesling and dry muscat hoping to drink it with a delicious meal featuring lemon garlic cod and jasmine rice, but I decided to bring this table wine to a pre-New Year’s Eve party since it’s 1-Liter size and bottle cap top make it difficult for individual consumption.

OK let’s stop right there. Yes, this wine has a bottle cap on it.


Not a screw top and not a cork. Weird, huh. It’s the wine of the people over in Slovenia, served in every country tavern and in every household, so I guess the bottle cap blends well with that scene.


That’s not the only thing weird about this number. It’s lemony and zesty and reminds me of the idea of an alcoholic Fresca.


Great for easy drinking, I decided to bring it to the pre-party because I knew it would be low-key, great for a crowd and a nice, light precursor to the Old Fashioneds and other bourbon/whiskey cocktails I’d ride for the rest of the evening, which by the way was filled with beautiful views of Los Angeles and sparklers!




The wine is hand-picked from a family vineyard in northeastern Slovenia that features fossil-rich soils. The blend changes from year to year, according to the folks at Vintage Berkeley.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: Crnko
  • Type: blend of riesling and dry muscat
  • Origin: Slovenia
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Price: $15
  • Alcohol content: I left the bottle at that pre-New Year’s soiree and forgot to write this down!
  • When to drink: Tuck this in a picnic basket as you head out to the park on a summery day with your friends, a croquet set and this amazing lemon-feta dip.