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So why is the 2012 Ladera Cabernet—made from almost entirely from Howell Mountain fruit, from an incredible vintage—sitting pretty at $34.99? I honestly can't tell you. Maybe it's because no one knows how good the Ladera holdings in Howell Mountain are. Or maybe it's the pride that winemaker Jade Barrett takes in making a serious wine for a reasonable price. Or maybe it's because Ladera is an overlooked gem in a sea of Napa alternatives. For whatever the reason, I'm not going to complain. We tasted the 2012 vintage at our staff training yesterday and I was just floored by the quality of this wine. Dark, fleshy fruit cloaked in fine tannins, bits of earth, and in total balance, with enough gusto to go the long haul in your cellar. It's a whole lotta wine for $34.99, and it's made primarily from Howell Mountain grapes, harvested during a great vintage. 

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Friday
Nov122010

Food-Pairing Friday: Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Sriracha & Mint

It's been more than four years since I wrote my first ode to Brussels sprouts, the cute, grassy green little cabbages about the size of a golf ball. And I'm still amazed that despite New York Magazine declaring that "Vegetables are the New Meat," their reputation hasn't improved much more than rosé wine in some circles. (See this summer's post, No Way Rosé.) But Brussels sprouts are deliciously sweet with nutty overtones when they're cooked properly. And you can do almost anything you want to them--though I often default to a quick sauté and dressing them up in the salty goodness of Fra-Mani pancetta--as long as you don't boil them. They're even amenable to a little kick, like in this simple recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha and Mint from our friends the White on Rice Couple.

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