Espiral Vinho Rose

It’s been a hot summer so far, which is my excuse for not blogging more often. Today hit 91 degrees F, and with no AC, a chilled glass of rose is my first line of defense. (After a large glass of water, of course!)

This Portuguese rose is fruity and a bit sweet, and it has a subtle effervescence on the tongue. It smells like strawberries and cherries and is lightly acidic. Not a very substantial wine, I do really enjoy it on a hot day.

This is a Trader Joe’s offering and cost about $5.

Chateau de Campuget Rose Rhone Wine


This pretty pale blush wine looks so sweet and innocent but it’s actually more complicated than that. The aroma is of citrus with cherries but the first sip is bracing and crisp with a nice acidity to it. There’s a slight minerality on the tongue, which I like. There’s nothing sweet about this rose but it’s perfect for a hot summer day. Or a cool summer day as is often the case this time of year in the Pacific Northwest.

The grapes used are Grenache Noir (30%) and Syrah (70%).the bottle cost about $10 and I may buy a case. If you want a crisp rose, I highly recommend this.

Any new favorites or old standbys you like for the summer?

Shanghai Modern


Looking across the river to Pudong (c) Todd Mecklem

I’m still processing a recent trip to Shanghai. It was wonderful, overstimulating, fun, irritating, modern and ancient. These photos show the modern side of Shanghai. I was surprised at how hip the city felt in many places – the selection of restaurants and shopping was a capitalist’s dream. I’ll highlight other sides of the city in coming posts.

Gap and Apple

Gap and Apple (c)Todd Mecklem

Bike share (c)Todd Mecklem

Bike share (c) Todd Mecklem

Shanghai street scene (c)Todd Mecklem

Modern Shanghai skyscrapers

LV store

Louis Vuitton store


Night scene with drizzle[/caption

[caption id="attachment_6507" align="alignnone" width="584"]Super Mario brother (c)Todd Mecklem Super Mario brother (c)Todd Mecklem

What city strikes you as the most modern you’ve visited? And the oldest?

Antonio Barbadillo Palomino Fino white table wine

(c) Roger Parry

(c) Roger Parry

Warm, sunny days have been teasing us here in the Pacific Northwest so it’s the perfect time to test out white wines. I was pursuing the white wine at our local grocery and saw a bottle of Palomino Fino, which I’d not tried before.

Winery: Antonio Barbadillo
Location: Cadiz, Andalucia, Spain
Color: light yellow
Aroma: apples, grapefruit
Taste: minerally, short finish, with a pleasant tingle on the tip of the tongue
Price: $7.00

This wine is a dry, pleasant, slightly salty wine made from palomino grapes, which are used in the production of sherry in this area. I found it fun to drink, with no sweetness nor oak. It’ll be a fun summer aperitif.

Now if I could only get to Andalucia to try it in person…


Bon anniversaire, René Lalique!


Rene Lalique

René Jules Lalique was born in the village of Ay in France on April 6, 1860; his family moved to Paris when he was two years old. He attended art schools in Paris and London, and began work as a freelancer designing jewelry for Cartier and Boucheron. He became one of the Art Nouveau movement’s most famous designers.

I love the details on his jewelry including small insects and flowers, and his sinuous metal work. His attention to detail is amazing. Below are a few of his stunning pieces.


Comb. Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Necklace of gold, enamel, opals, amethysts. 1897-99. Gift of Lillian Nassua. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lorgnette of

Lorgnette of gold, enamel, diamonds, jade and glass, ca. 1900. Gift of Mrs. J.G. Phelps Stokes. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Winged Sylph

Winged Sylph, 1889. National Museum of Art of Japan

Pendant with Depiction of a Winter Scene, ca. 1900. State Hermitage Museum

Pendant with Winter Scene.

The museum pieces above are wonderful to look at but if you’d like your very own piece of Lalique jewelry, 1stdibs has this beauty for sale.

Very rare Les Danseuses necklace at 1stdibs

Very rare Les Danseuses necklace at 1stdibs

Lalique website
Biographical sketch of Lalique
Wikipedia Entry (has some nice photos of his glass work)

Easter Candy!

bunny basket eggs
Ever year it gets harder to find my favorite Easter candy, the hard shelled, pastel colored marshmallow eggs that are pure sugary bliss. Fred’s and Safeway have failed me so far this year.

Some years we had coconut nests in our Easter baskets. The jelly beans in the middle were the best part.

Speaking of jelly beans, the purple ones are my favorite flavor, followed by the pink ones. White and orange jelly beans are pretty good, and the yellow ones are tolerable. I don’t really like the black licorice ones and I can’t stand the green ones.

I remember getting pretty sugar eggs in my basket once or twice. Sadly, I just wanted to eat the colored decoration on them rather than enjoy their delicate beauty.

I’ve always been fond of chocolate anything, so a chocolate bunny was a treat. The proper method was to start by biting the ears. These days I prefer dark chocolate but I didn’t as a child.

What was favorite Easter candy as a kid? Have your tastes changed? And what’s your favorite jelly bean flavor?