Drink It: Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha Calatayud 2008

Happy hour struck about 30 minutes ago. Prompted by a long-time college friend and wine consultant, Dan Stockman, I uncorked the said bottle of Garnacha in the title to this post. It has been waiting for consumption since February.

Garnacha and other wines from Spain have been at the top of my list since a visit to Sangria’s of Royal Oak.  There — in the company of two best friends and my husband — I enjoyed my first experience drinking wine from Spain. I hope I am not shaming my Italian heritage when I admit this, but the wines I have been drinking from Spain  rival the best I have had from Italy.

In closing, I am not a wine expert. So, I don’t really have the knowledge to provide tasting notes or food pairing suggestions. I just know I am enjoying the contents of my wine glass; and plan to go for a refill in just a moment or two.

Related posts from kateschannel

Call Me Wino

Classic Wine Cooler Recipe From Whole Foods

Also, you really should check out my friend Dan’s online wine resource. He and his wife Krista are the experts. They host tastings near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Too bad I don’t live closer. But, their web site is a great place to learn about wine.

Cheers! Wine Consultants



What I Learn From My Dad

My dad celebrated his 83rd birthday Monday. At first glance, most take him for being in his late 60s. I believe his youthfulness results from his northern Italian ancestry as well as a lifetime of organic gardening, home cooking, activity, traveling and learning.

In addition to sharing — with me — his enjoyment of sailing the Great Lakes, skiing and staying active, here are some lessons I have learned from him through the years.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. When life throws me a curve, I do my best to channel my dad’s calm demeanor. Keeping things in perspective leads to better problem-solving and keeps life from becoming overly complicated.

2. Patience is invaluable. I wish I could claim this attribute. But, alas, I still loose my cool when my children refuse to dress themselves, share or go to bed.

3. Appreciation for good food and drink. Both of my late grandparents were born and raised in Pinerolo, Italy. When they migrated to Highland Park, Mich. their passion for  organic farming and home cooking remained. There is not a chef on this planet who could out cook my grandma anyway.

4. Age is just a number. My dad doesn’t look or behave like a typical 83-year-old man. He travels, volunteers for his local Meals on Wheels charity, creates beautiful wood furniture, and stays informed with a daily read of the Wall Street Journal.

5. Enjoy the view. Much to the chagrin of his passengers on family road trips, my dad is a master at commandeering a car while also viewing scenic mountain vistas. Vivid, bare-knuckle, recalls of traversing switchbacks through the Alps and along Route 1 in California are common.

Love to My Big Beautiful Family

A few weekends ago, my Aunt Kate and I sat around a bonfire at her lake house. We discussed many subjects. One was our big beautiful family; and the importance of maintaining connections with one another. We agreed, no matter where we end up in life, the love we have for each other and each family member is a bond to treasure and nurture; because we are fortunate where many are not.

kateschannel — grandparents celebrating unity

So, I am proud to be a part of so many.  My immediate families are small, my extended ones are not. They mix a number of ancestries, but mostly Italian and Irish. My mom is one of nine. Most live in Michigan. Others live in Florida, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Then, there is my dad. His parents — my grandparents — immigrated from Pinerolo, Italy. So, many from his extended family still live there as well as Torino, Milan, London and California.

A big, beautiful family such as this is generous in its contributions to each other as well as to the world. Some are business owners, horticulturalists, engineers, innovators, sales people, creative forces, market researchers, therapists, ornithologists, public employees, artists, barbers, personal trainers, artists, musicians, and entertainers. Others parent, pray, write, create jewelry, advocate, design web sites, build custom motorcycles, repair cars, keep track of numbers, educate, play the piano, sing, comfort, give care to people, save animals, cook, protect green spaces, play baseball, hunt, fish, study, and make orange bourbon slushes to refresh family on hot July weekends.

kateschannel -- part of the big, beautiful family

There is faith, love, strength, talent, intelligence, beauty, athleticism, ambition, fun, generosity, strong work ethics, integrity, humor, kindness and attention to detail. We unite often to drink, eat, party, play, remember, give to others, support, overcome and prevail.