The Wine Bottle Cork

A wine bottle is opened at the table if ordered at a restaurant.  The cork is presented to you.  Why?  Well, the cork should bear the name of the producer (a practice begun many decades ago), as will the bottle.  This prevents passing off lesser wine in a better bottle.  If your bottle isn’t opened in front of you, be suspicious.  Look at the cork – it should be wet at one end.   If it is dry, your wine hasn’t been stored properly and then you must take very seriously the sniffing and tasting before the approval!   You probably want to sniff  the glass(and even touch your tongue to it if you don’t embarrass easily); if it smells or tastes like detergent you will surely have an unexpected taste of the wine you ordered!  It is perfectly acceptable to ask for new glasses – they should be embarrassed, not you!   No need to sniff the cork if you don’t want to – sniffing the wine will tell you all you need to know.  I however, prefer to sniff the cork – it delights me – the fragrance of wine meeting tree like that!  Happy sniffing, AND drinking! – Lula

Black Garlic: All the Rage

If your foodie friends are talking about Black Garlic and you’re NOT in the know… it is aged and fermented raw garlic.  It is rife with “umami” – that raw protein richness that some foods carry like mushrooms.  Since it’s fermented, it will keep a really long time (about a year after opened on the counter!).  It comes in foil pouches, and can be eaten directly – which alot of people are doing for the health benefits of garlic.  It goes down much easier than “raw” garlic! Yum!  To your health, Lula