A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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A New Year Ahead

January 16th, 2010

This year I am looking to shake things up a bit. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of cooking your favorite three recipes, serving the same bottle of wine, and travelling to the same places in your own backyard. Don’t get me wrong, a routine can be very comfortable. But diversity is the spice of life, and I am looking for new experiences in food, wine, and travel.

Food is all about great ingredients, and I have been disappointed with the pork I have been able to purchase locally. However, with the internet we are no longer limited to a few local suppliers. Yesterday I received my first shipment of Pork from Flying Pigs Farm http://www.flyingpigsfarm.com, a small producer of heritage pigs in New York. Tonight is the first test. I will make a pizza with their Italian sausage, tomatoes, and fontina cheese. I’ll keep you posted.

I am always seeking out new recipes, and I am determined to expand my repertoire this year. For starters, I received two new cookbooks for Christmas: ad hoc at home and Williams-Sonoma Essentials of French Cooking. I have already made Thomas Keller’s Leek Bread Pudding and it was spectacular. Friday I start a new series of cooking classes with super chef Michele Moloney; and I am anxious to try new recipes, cook with new ingredients, and master new techniques.

Tasting new wines, and visiting new wineries is easy, but identifying new favorites is a difficult feat. Many of you can probably suggest terrific wines that would blow my socks off ; but if they cost $100 per bottle is that really better in this economy? I say no. So finding a delicious $10 bottle would certainly be a home run; but how many cheap crappy wines do you need to sample to find that diamond in the rough? I don’t have the solution, but I have 12 months to figure it out. When I find a wine or producer that excites me, I will share it with you.

Last year I visited some great places in California: Mendocino, Half Moon Bay, Napa, Big Sur, and Palm Desert. This year I will look to expand my horizons beyond California. Paris is already on the schedule for  March, and although I have been there many times I have identified numerous new places that I must visit. The Northwest and new regions of Italy are also in the viewfinder. Perhaps Alaska, Patagonia, Spain, hmmm…so many places, so little time.

I’m excited, this year is already off to good start. Hopefully each month I’ll introduce you to something new on food, wine, or travel. Cheers!

7 Responses to “A New Year Ahead”

  1. susan case says:

    I’ll be interested in hearing what you think about the pork. I agree the local pork is sub par but I never thought about ordering pork from New York. Let us know how it is.

  2. susan case says:

    Oh, also, Ed if you were my husband I would buy you a cookbook every week

  3. Ed,
    Great to see you are doing this again. Looking forward to great recipes, wine and some great photographs of your travels! Hope all is well.

  4. Jean Brooks says:

    Ed,

    I want you to try J. Lohr Chardonnay if you havent already. I think for
    $9 it is dry and affordable- right up there with Simi.

    Have you tested anything from the Wm. Sonoma book? Love getting
    your emails.

    Jean

  5. Alex & Gina says:

    Ed,
    We are looking forward to hearing about your pork find. Whenever we return from a European trip we are always disappointed with the pork from any of the local supermarkets. We heard once before it was possible to buy better pork product from back east via the internet. We hope so.

    Continuing to enjoy all your newsletters.
    Alex and Gina

  6. Glen says:

    Once again, Ed, you lift our spirits as well as engage our palates. I look forward to another fine year on A Taster’s Journey, many great meals and excellent wines.

  7. sherry says:

    Hi Ed, we must be neighbors? So happy to meet you here and we will visit often. Can not wait to visit Paris with your posts. Best, s

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