Jul 182015

A 2008 Bisceglia Aglianico del Vulture Gudarrà was opened last night. It’s been waving to me from the basement rack, begging to be tasted. I needed an Italian red to go with supper, so I agreed.

It’s made in the instep of the Italian boot and is from Lavello, which is known as “Wine Town,” in the Basilicata region. Gudarrà means “to be enjoyed” in the local dialect, and enjoy this wine you will. I found it dark and brooding–full of leather, black plums and intense spiciness with a long luscious finish. Great garnet color reddening on the edges.

Gudarra aglianico

It paired perfectly with Martha Stewart’s One-Pan Pasta, but then it’s pairing perfectly with typing up a blog post as I re-taste it now. Very good on the second day, too.

One pot pasta IMG_0059

Wine bio:

Purchased for about $20 in the fall of 2014
Wine Spectator scores it at 90
Cellartracker says drink between: 2013 – 2017
Vinehound rating 91

Jul 162015
If you can't be drinking wine in Italy, you have to go purse shopping.

If you can’t be drinking wine in Italy, you may as well go purse shopping.

After writing  and publishing a few posts it occurred to me that the cork dork isn’t associated with them anywhere. So it’s probably time to come out of the wine cellar. Feels like I’m at a “meeting”. “My name is Leslie, and I’m an aspiring cork dork [and I have a small problem with purses].”

I discovered that I loved wine several years ago. Since then I’ve taken classes, joined wine clubs, attended and hosted tastings, and sipped, swirled and, a few times, spat many glasses of wine.

Today is my birthday, so I’ll introduce myself. I’m an avowed foodie, wine snot, adult adoptee and Continue reading »

Apr 152015

For me, anyway. It’s always WINE. I love wine, but I had the opportunity to attend Beer School on Monday, and since I already had my undergrad degree in the hoppy stuff, I thought I’d pursue a masters. Good decision. The event was hosted by Barley’s Brewhouse in Overland Park, Kansas.

The tasting area was very well laid out — plenty of room for attendees, hosts and our brewmeisters, Rafi Chaudry and Travis Moore, both joined by friends and family for the class.

IMG_20150413_175150 edited

Read more about the brewers and their beers in the article at Recommended Daily.

Our group was fortunate to be able to sample all seven beers Torn Label Brewing Co. makes at this time. Each beer was commented on by Travis and Rafi, including history, ingredients, method and personal insights. [Ed. note — these Professors of Beerology rival any of the international winemakers I’ve had the privilege to take classes from — they know their product and are entertaining to boot.] Their fresh tap beers are currently sold in local establishments in Missouri and Kansas. However, I’m looking forward to being able to bring some home at some point (see notes on number 6).

Beers tasted were:

Alpha Pale ale

Alpha Pale ale

1) Alpha Pale Ale — I liked this one — great start for the event.

2) Monk & Honey — a Belgian-inspired ale, good for allergies since it’s made with local honey.

IMG_20150413_184423 edited

3) House Brew — contains locally-roasted coffee from Thou Mayest — hmmmmmmmmmmm, a buzz with a buzz? Delicious combination.

4) Cafe Dubbel — Kochere green coffee [I see my notes started to lag here — was really enjoying the event]

5) Leap of Faith — has bold Citra hops {I guess I’m not quite ready for my thesis yet — will have to research Citra hops} Tropical fruit flavors. I loved this fruity IPA.

7) Long Time Comin’ I liked this one. Big bold stout. A little heavy for me, but would be great at the end of a meal. Delicious, but very heavy. Got better as it warmed up.

6) Guadjillo! — saved the best for last — this was hands down my favorite. An absolutely luscious beer. Flavored with guajillo chiles. It isn’t spicy-hot like many chile beers, but very rich and chile’ey. I need this beer to pair with the Chicken in Mole Poblano I’m making this week. There were rumors at my table that it might just be possible to acquire some beer to bring home in the future. I sure hope that’s true, but in the meantime, I’ll have to freeze some of the mole sauce. Or, in the alternative, see if Barley’s Brewhouse will let me bring a plate to see if my pairing hunch is on target.

In summary, to complete my homework so I can hand in my paper, if you get the chance to taste these beers or attend an event, do it. I’d love to hear what you think.

Keep it local and watch these guys!


You will see more of them, and. if you’re lucky, more of their beer. Attend their events and classes [there aren’t any tests at the end so you can award yourself a post-grad doctorate if you want].  I’m already looking for another Torn Label Brewing Co. event. Thanks to my benefactor, MAC, for treating me to this wonderful class.

Vinehound, M.B. [Masters in Beer]