I recently traveled to the East Coast to visit a dear friend and discovered a new favorite wine, nestled among other delightful experiences. We initially enjoyed this wine on the first eve of my visit.  The name Orvieto caught my attention. 


At our wedding reception, a topiary rested on each table listing select cities in Italy on the brim of each painted pot, along with a bottle of red and white wine for our guest to enjoy during the social hour.  At the entrance, we had little travel passes to designate table settings for our guests.   A few of the topiaries remain and rest quietly in the corner of our dining room as a symbol of our blessed day.  I can’t bear to part with them.

Orvieto had resonated with me because we had used this name for the family table, where our parents and grandparents were seated.  It was handpicked off a map for no particular reason.  I liked how the word looked and the way it rolled off my tongue.  We didn’t get a chance to visit Orvieto on our honeymoon.  We ventured to Roma, Sienna, and Venezia as our primary stops.  I think that means a return trip is in order.  *smiles and winks* 

This city stole a special place in my heart back in 2005 and I will continue to cherish it with new meaning and memories made in 2012, thanks to my friend Mo and this new wine find. 

Here are some details from Ruffino for better insight into this delicious white.  Lovely.  Light.  Delightful. Perfect for summer. 

Winemaker Notes


Selected grapes from the most vocated growing locations within the Orvieto Classico DOC area in Umbria, since the word Classico means “traditional”.


The grapes are harvested in the first half of September. They are then destemmed, crushed and gently pressed.

The must is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats.

Orvieto Classico presents an alcohol content:12% vol.


Colour: Brilliant straw yellow

Aroma: The bouquet is very pleasant and fragrant, characterized by neat sensations of citrus fruits and golden apples, on a flowery background that reminds fresh hints of meadow flowers and a persistent vegetal note of sage.

Tasting profile: At the palate firstly stands out an excellent freshness, well-balanced by a pleasant roundness, featured by notes of meadow flowers and golden apples. The aftertaste is long and fragrant, with hits of fresh almond.

I invite you to enjoy Orvieto Classico just as soon as you can.  It is delicious in every way and promises to suit your palate and your pocketbook.

Off to buy a case…Cin cin!

P.S. Have you discovered a new favorite wine recently?  Feel free to leave a note in the comments section.  I’d love to hear about you wine adventures.


Foil Packages

My latest discovery is that good things come in foil packages. Now, good things also come in small packages. As you know, tiny blue packages or velvet packages are particularly delightful. But I am talking about dinner wrapped in foil for you and your family to dive into. The only thing that resembles bling is the shiny aluminum foil.

Besides sparkly gifts, I also happen to love shrimp, pasta, and easy dinners. This dish from Pioneer Woman satisfies all three of those loves for me in one meal. I thought it best to share this recipe with you, in the event you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying pasta and shrimp in foil. It was my first time and we found Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package to be simple and delicious.  

My husband took one look and expressed his thoughts of concern that dinner wasn’t going to be all that great on this particular evening. (He was alarmed because there was not an ounce of red meat or a potato in sight.) However, after he was able to obtain some of the pasta and shrimp drenched with the sauce at the bottom of the foil package, I witnessed an incredible transformation. He actually liked it. How do I know? He helped himself to more than one plateful. And he told me so. I also loved this meal very much. And also may have indulged in more than one helping.

The time involved was short and sweet. Plus, cooking with a glass of wine in one hand certainly makes dinner preparation an enjoyable venture. It took about 20 minutes to put together and another 15 minutes to finish in the oven. My freezer happened to contain only one pound of shrimp so I cut everything in half (except the wine!) and used 28 ounce can of tomatoes which I know is two-thirds and not half. What can I say? I like tomatoes. And wine.

May all your packages be wrapped with generosity and received with delight.

Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package (Printable Recipe)


  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 whole 14.5 Ounce Cans Diced (or Whole) Tomatoes
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • 2 pounds Jumbo Or Large Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Parsley, Minced
  • 1 pound Linguine, Uncooked
  • Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta for 1/2 the recommended cooking time. Pasta should still be very firm.

In a large skillet or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Dump in the tomatoes and wine. Stir the mixture together, season with salt and pepper, and allow to cook for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a large parcel of heavy duty aluminum foil. It should be large enough to hold the entire pasta dish.

Throw the shrimp on the top of the pasta sauce. Throw the drained pasta over the top, then pour the whole dish onto the foil. Tightly wrap the foil into a parcel.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm until serving.

Open the foil parcel right before serving. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the top. Squeeze on lemon juice, if desired.

Seven Daughters


Last Friday I had the pleasure of meeting a dear friend for dinner in St Cloud.  We enjoyed delicious food at Ciatti’s Ristorante and shared a bottle of wine.  The wine was new to both of us but it came highly recommended by our server so we decided to give it a go.  When I find something new that I like, I like to share the news!

I am a big fan of wine blends.  Ménage à Trois California Red is one of my faves.  It is just a great go-to wine and good all around choice.  Ménage, for those of you not familiar, is a blend of three grapes.  Delicious.

The wine I enjoyed last Friday was a blend of SEVEN.  Yes, seven glorious grapes combined into one bottle.  For those of us who are indecisive, Seven Daughters certainly makes it easy.  An excerpt from their site:

Seven Daughters Red Winemaker’s Blend tempts the taste buds with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Carignane and Sangiovese.

Be prepared to be seduced by the dark red fruit on the palate, complemented by alluring aromas of vanilla and lavender and a provocative peppery finish.

According to their site, the Seven Daughters Red Winemaker’s Blend retails for $14.99 and would pair well with risotto, Thai or other spicy dishes, grilled chicken or salmon, pasta with red meat sauce.

It also goes well in a glass.  With no food.  Maybe it could accompany you for a hot soak in the tub while your husband takes your children out for ice cream?  Hostess gift, birthday gift, mothers day gift, bad day at the office gift, you see where I’m going here gift.

I suggest you pick up a bottle for the weekend.  Here’s to three hour dinners with friends and to wine blends!