Wine, Books and Eating Out

Yesterday we went out to dinner for a friends birthday then after a bottle + of wine for the two of us, we went over to Powell’s Bookstore, where I bought several cooking and wine books for myself and as gifts and some books for my son. Don’t worry Rich bought books for himself too.
I started the evening buying two bottles of wine – neither of which I new much about. One was for the guest of honor as a birthday gift. The other was for a mutual friend who had just had a birthday.  I went winetasting with the birthday girl, so I new she really likes Viognier. My belated birthday friend isn’t much of a drinker, but she does appreciate a glass of wine now and again. She went to Tuscany for a recent birthday and was a big fan of the area, so I was looking for a fruity white Tuscan wine for her.
I thought this would be easy, but no it was not and I should have researched more. The store I went to has a very good Oregon selection of wines – mostly Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. It was a little harder finding what I was looking for in other wines. I ended up getting an Australian dessert Viognier. She was happy about it – hopefully she will be honest about how it tastes. I ended up getting a fruity Pinot Griogio from Italy (don’t know if it was Tuscan) for the belated birthday girl. She was happy about that too.
So I am including below websites that I should have read before heading to the store:
Tuscan Wines
Good general links page
We went out to the Alexis Restaurant in Portland on Burnside. The area is on the scary side, but the food, wine and service were great. We had a one price meal served family style with plenty to eat. We had a salad, Spanakopita, Saganaki and Kalamarakia. It was delicious. For wines, we drank Kretikos and Agiorgitiko. I enjoyed them both.
After dinner we went over to Powells bookstore and spent time browing and buying books. We also had a latte at the instore coffee shop – so I stayed up and read one of my books that night! I bought more than I usually do – but I really found some interesting books.
My one new book was IceWine The Complete Story by John Schreiner
The other wine books are:
Brunello Di Montalcino by Emanuele Pellucci published in 1979
Languedoc-Roussillon The Wines and Winemakers by Paul Strang published in 2002 (originally a $40 book!)
I also picked up two books on Oil and Vinegar, one for a gift one for me (both used):
Oils and Vinegars A Gourmet’s Guide by Karen Farrington is a beautiful hard bound guide to a variety of oils (emphasizing olive) and vinegars. I plan on giving it as a gift with some of the more exotic cooking oils.
The Good Cook’s Book of Oil and Vinegar by Michele Anna Jordan is a used paperback that is comprehensive – I am really enjoying it.
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