Time magazine recently proclaimed the Aughts as The Decade from Hell. There’s really no denying this decade stunk. From Presidential election decided by the Supreme Court to the Dot Com bust to September 11 – all the way to TWO wars, the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression and all the reality TV shows and natural disasters in between.
On the other hand, lots of good things happened to us in the Aughts. Things involving all manner of new stuff: Partnerships, Ventures, Offspring, etc. And of course the conception, launch and evolution of first vine wine imports + sales.
While we still wouldn’t mind getting the Oprah bounce, our sales volume and transaction sizes have steadily grown and this year we are happily on a whole new playing field. This is extremely encouraging and shows that you, our customers, have developed a trust for us. We have tried our very best to be as diligent as possible in all aspects. Searching out the best quality wines to bring over and sell for reasonable prices. Keeping in touch constantly to educate and entertain. Providing personalized service and attention to each one of you. Many of you have become our advocates , and we are so grateful. Cheesy but true 😉
Switching gears – I’ve been thinking a lot about chocolate lately, for obvious reasons. So when one day a few weeks ago I was half listening to an episode of “America’s Test Kitchen” , my ears perked up at a recipe for Cincinnati chili. Cincinnati-style chili is a regional style of chili characterized by the use of unusual ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves, and/or chocolate. It is frequently served over spaghetti or as a hot dog sauce. A few days after the show aired I tinkered around with the recipe, coming up with my own version. While not strictly authentic it was delicious and a big hit at my house. The use of chocolate provides a wonderful round base note , and along with the other spices I used, made the chili reminiscent of a traditional Mexican mole sauce.
Try it with our Cave La Romaine Côtes du Ventoux Rouge Volupté ($12). The Volupté, as you might expect from the name, is richer and has a longer finish than the other Cave la Romaine wine we are importing, the Tradition. This makes it an excellent wine that stands up well to the complex spicy/savory/sweet flavors in the chili.
Cincinnati – ish chili
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
1 (15-ounce) can of tomato sauce
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 cup or so of cooked beans (canned fine)
1 TBSP olive oil
1 box Spaghetti
Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped red onion
Brown meat in 1 TBSP olive oil in large frying pan. Remove from heat while inside is still pink.
In a large stockpot, add onion, garlic, chocolate, chili, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, salt, bay leaves, tomato sauce, beans and vinegar. Heat to a simmer. Simmer for ½ hour, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions and drain.
Add ground beef to stockpot, simmer for 5 additional minutes.
Serve chili over cooked spaghetti and top with grated cheese and chopped red onion.
Serves 4 – 6