Food & Wine

A Family Tradition

wine corks

My husband’s father turned 21 while living in California. That’s always the excuse that my husband gives for how his Dad became a wine collector and why he knows so much about wine. He quickly follows up with the fact that his first job out of grad school was in Germany, so he had a lot of opportunity for getting to know small producers – and for importing for his friends.

I love wine tasting with my father-in-law and we’ve been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of it. Since we live in San Francisco, it is pretty easy to take a quick trip to the Wine Country when they visit. His knowledge is vast and he has a pretty large cellar himself. (So large, in fact, that my husband swore he would never help him to move it again after a particularly exhausting weekend doing so!)

One of my favorite traditions that my husband’s parents started was a wine collection for each of their children. Over the years, they collected wine from the birth year of their two children and when they turned twenty-one, they gifted the wine to them. How fun is that?! Each of them has a pretty large selection of various wines and ports from the year they were born. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a few of those bottles myself and some of them are incredible! Hubs and I love to drink one of the bottles from his collection on his birthday each year. It’s our own little special treat.

Since we have both enjoyed this special tradition, we have decided to continue it for our own children. Of course, you have to pick a varietal that will age well and in some cases, you’re just making an educated guess on what will be good, especially if you purchase futures in hopes of a good deal. So far, it’s been really fun to do, though, and I love thinking about how my boys will enjoy these wines for years to come.

What do you think of this fun tradition? Is it something you would do with your kids? What’s your favorite family tradition that spans the generations – or one you’re hoping to cultivate with your own children?

Bouchon Bakery

Bouchonbakerylatte

One of the fabulous things about living in San Francisco (and there are many!) is that we are so close to the wine country.  Sonoma is a quick 45-minute drive and Napa is just an hour away, making it really easy to drive up for the day.  The landscape is beautiful, the shops adorable and the weather is usually warm and sunny, which is a nice break from the city fog in the Summer!  There are more wineries than you can possible visit and more great food than is reasonable for anyone to eat and when you visit the wine country, even for a day, you feel like you’re on vacation – a million miles away from the city.  It makes for a wonderful day trip or weekend getaway if you life in SF and a fabulous vacation destination if you don’t!  (more…)

Flour + Water = Yum

flour & water

On Friday night, we went out to dinner with some friends in town from Texas.  We went to Flour + Water in the Mission, which both of us had been wanting to try.  It was FANTASTIC!  I wasn’t totally sure what the whole flour and water deal was about, but I quickly learned it refers to the ingredients for pasta, for which the restaurant is known.  They had an entire tasting menu dedicated just to pastas and had a ton of fabulous pasta choices on the menu.  When I first looked over the menu, I was a little put off by how many ingredients listed were completely foreign to me.  (Don’t you just hate it when restaurants use ridiculous words for something totally normal, just to look cool?)  With a little explanation from our very knowledgeable waitress, however, I could see that they weren’t being pretentious at all.  They just really like to use unique ingredients – and they do so with great success!  We ended up getting a few appetizers (including pig’s feet, which was surprisingly yummy!), a few pasta dishes and one of their incredible thin crust pizzas and for dessert, the INCREDIBLE chocolate budino with espresso caramel cream and sea salt – YUM.  Every single thing I ate was delicious.  Check them out at Flour + Water and then stop by for a bite.  You won’t be sorry!