When Time magazine writer Joel Stein learned that all 50 states make wine, he set out to "see if good wine can really be made anywhere." He looked for bottles that cost $15 to $20, and he rated each wine: excellent, good, bad or undrinkable.
Stein, his wife and wine critic Gary Vaynerchuk tasted most of the wines. Twenty were sampled at a wine-tasting party with a dozen friends, and Stein tried one wine while visiting the state where it was made.
"We gained an appreciation for the country. The country, in this case, being France," he said.
In the article that appeared in the Aug. 28 issue of Time, Stein wrote about the Kentucky wine he sampled: "I had an entire group of snotty Los Angelinos demanding we open this wine just so we could make fun of it. There's a white rose on the label, it's from Kentucky, and its name is clearly a desperate attempt to market the wine for weddings and derbies. We were going to bury this wine.
"And yet, it was delightful. Fun and light like a pinot grigio, but drier and smarter without trying too hard, maybe like an Italian Orvieto. Kentucky, you charmed me."
Stein pronounced Equus Run Vineyard's Celebration white excellent.
Read the Time article at www.time.com/wine. Learn about Equus Run at www.equusrunvineyards.com.
It's only September, but many of us already are making plans for holiday gift-giving. If you're a baker, you can go ahead and fill the freezer with goodies.
This year we're looking for awesome oatmeal cookie recipes to share with our readers. Send your best recipes by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Sharon Thompson, Lexington Herald-Leader, 100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, Ky. 40508.e_SClBBig Green Egg holds its own festival
Outdoor cooks who salivate over the Big Green Egg will get the chance to use one at Housewarmings' Eggtoberfest on Saturday.
Housewarmings will have 50 Big Green Eggs ready for grilling experts to show off their barbecuing talents. To participate, call (859) 231-0005.
Grillmasters John Bassmier, chefs J.J. Boston and Javier Lanza will demonstrate smoking, baking, plank and cast-iron cooking on the Big Green Egg. The Eggfest will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Housewarmings is at 2312 Palumbo Drive. For more info, go to www.myhousewarmings.com.
Food and faith
A book study that explores our relationship with food is called "Just Eating? Practicing Our Faith at the Table," and is 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at Maxwell Presbyterian Church, 180 East Maxwell Street.
The key aspects are the health of our bodies; the challenge of hunger; the health of the earth that provides our food; the ways we use food to extend hospitality and enrich relationships; and the opportunities for action, renewal and transformation in our eating practices — as individuals and as faith communities.
This book study will take participants on a journey from the table of the Lord to the table of the world and will challenge, encourage, and enrich all who participate, associate pastor Diane Baldwin said.
Just Eating? is a collaboration between Church World Service, Advocate Health Care, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program. The book is $5. Call (859) 255-1074.
National Geographic has taken us around the world and shown us culinary images that we can taste only in our imaginations. But now, through Foods of the World, we can have authentic, artisanal foods from around the globe.
A new online marketplace, www.NatGeoFood.com, offers specialty items from more than 30 countries. Also online, consumers can share recipes from their own travels or culture.
Food categories include cheeses, chocolates and desserts, coffees and teas, dry goods, cured meats and seafood, oils and vinegars, and sauces and spreads. A variety of baskets, samplers and assortments, sorted according to country of origin and food type, are available.
Foods of the World also offers several food-club options, with monthly gift shipments of foods from around the globe, such as cheeses for wine tastings, chocolates and cookies, oils and vinegars, and cheeses from around the world.
Foods of the World seeks out natural foods that are minimally processed, and it offers a range of vegan, kosher, organic and fair trade options. Every item sold through Foods of the World is evaluated and kitchen-tested and is 100 percent guaranteed.
Michelle Obama joins Paula Deen to talk about food and cooking at Paula's Party on Saturday. The show airs at 7 p.m. on the Food Network.
Deen and Obama will make fried shrimp and Creole French fries. The episode "Grease Is the Word" also will feature Maury Povich and Connie Chung, who will share Chung's mother's recipe for fried dumplings. Deen will make Povich's favorite dessert, fried apple pies, and Jamie and Bobby Deen — Paula's sons — will make fried pork chops and sausage potato salad.
Peanut butter prizes
Looking for something to keep the kids busy after school? Let them be creative with their peanut butter sandwiches, and if their creation is over the top, they could win scholarship money.
The Jif most creative peanut butter sandwich contest is open to children ages 6 to 12. The contest runs through Nov. 14. Five finalists will win a trip to New York City, and the grand-prize winner will receive a $25,000 scholarship. Rules and entry forms are at www.Jif.com.