Around the BLOCK

Finding the Perfect Wine for your Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving will be here in the blink of an eye. In addition to planning your feast, why not give some thought  to what wines will best complement it? You deserve to drink something that will highlight the countless hours you spend preparing that gorgeous bird with all the trimmings. I’m a firm believer that you […]

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Scopa and Campo Fina in Healdsburg, CA

Scopa and Campo Fina share a chef and owner. And while they are both Italian and serve pizza, Campo Fina is the more casual of the two, with all day menus and a bocce court out back. On a recent visit to Healdsburg, we had dinner at one the first night and the other on the […]

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Cellar Rat wine class

This was not my first rodeo. Shortly after Cellar Rat opened, a friend and I went to the wine store’s basic Wine Essentials class to learn about the five S’s of wine tasting–See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Savor. Having accomplished those feats, we decided it was time to take a more advanced course and, with […]

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Extra Virgin Wine Dinner

I recently had the pleasure of attending a wine dinner at Extra Virgin, featuring wines from Maison Bleue Winery in Prosser, Washington. Maison Bleue was started by Jon Martinez, a former Kansas Citian. He used to practice dentistry, but got the winemaking bug while working with Michael Amigoni of Amigoni Vineyards.  In five short years […]

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Green Dirt Farm cheese appreciation event

We are so fortunate to have an operation like Green Dirt Farm in our midst. Located near Weston, MO, it’s a true gem. Owned by Sarah Hoffman and Jacqueline Smith, the farm raises sheep and produces the highest quality lamb and farmstead cheeses. They also hold farm-to-table dinners, cheese making workshops, and cheese appreciation events […]

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Proof–Washington, DC

There’s a very good reason why Proof is considered one of Washington, DC’s hot spots of the moment, in the hopping Penn Quarter. Although I’ve only been there once, I can’t express my enthusiasm enough. Incredible food, exhaustive wine list, attractive decor and a fun vibe all combine to make the experience a special one. […]

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JP Wine Bar

I have always been a fan of JP Wine Bar in the Crossroads District.  (The Leawood location recently closed.) I enjoy the wine and cheese flights and the food has always been fabulous. Last year the menu was tweaked to include more entrees and fewer small plates, evidently because Kansas Citians have trouble with the […]

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Cellar Rat

If you’re on the hunt for that hard-to-find bottle of wine or beer from around the world, check out the Cellar Rat in the Crossroads District. Rather than focusing on big ticket bottles as some wine stores are apt to do, Cellar Rat has only a small section devoted to the higher priced vintages, with […]

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Pairing Food and Wine

I often have difficulty pairing wine with whatever I’m serving for dinner. We’ve gone well beyond “white with fish, red with meat”, and there are so many grape varietals that it can be a bit overwhelming to decide. For a handy tool, check out wine maven Natalie McLean’s Drinks Matcher. Select the dish you’re having, […]

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The Drop Bar

I love the Drop. If you haven’t been, go, and if you haven’t been lately, it’s time to go back. It’s on Martini Corner, on 31st Street, between Oak and Gilham. While the stark décor might be more attractive to the under thirty crowd, the food should be pleasing to all palates. The menu is […]

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