Friday, September 11, 2009

Welcome to Wine in Thyme

Welcome to Wine in Thyme.

I've created this blog to share my thoughts on the wines, foods and restaurants I've enjoyed across the country and around the world.   I'm not a professional wine reviewer, I'm just one of those people that know what I like.  Same for the food I eat.
I've been fortunate enough to dine at some of the most expensive and fancy restaurants in the world with some expensive and fancy people, and I've also chowed down at diners with the guy who drives a 1988 Ford F-150 and just got off work. If the food is good, I'll go there. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive to be good.

Along with the good, I'll probably share the bad. But, only if it's reeeeeallly bad and I think I should warn people away.

I'm fairly sure this blog will cover a lot of Italian food, because for now, it's my favorite. You'll also see a lot of mediocre pictures of food. I'm working on that.

Let's start with food. I recently returned from a short trip to Boston. Boston is one of my all-time favorite cities and has been since I met my very first boyfriend there many many years ago.  But that is not why Boston has remained one of my favorite cities to visit.

I love Boston for its walkability, its smells, its people and its streets.  It is absolutely one of the best cities to walk around and see things you won't find in any other American city.  For instance, Boston has it's "historic North End".  You'll find the Old North Church and the Paul Revere House in the North End.  It's bordered by the Boston waterfront, and what used to be a cramped, busy, working-class Italian neighborhood has been recreated as a tourist destination.  One of the North End's best-known landmarks, 250 year-old Faneuil Hall (also known as Quincy Market), is more than a market center selling veggies and meats to the locals, it has become part market, part restaurant, part boutiques, - in other words, a tourist magnet.

When you've had your fill of Faneuil, I would encourage you to walk two blocks from Faneuil Hall to see the rest of the North End.  Yes, it is filled with tourists looking for a great meal, but who can blame them?  What you'll find is the same working-class Italian neighborhood of years gone by, but now you'll be able to understand the people on the street, because they actually speak Boston instead of Italian. 

And trust me, you can't go to Boston without visiting the North End (well you can, but not if you want a good authentically Italian meal.)

L'Osteria was recommended by a member of our group and his choice was excellent. It was old-school Italian - white tablecloths, not too many tables, small intimate venue with large windows that opened to the busy, crowded street.  The waiters looked like neighborhood guys.  Our waiter explained the specials to us with a thick accent and a flair for the dramatic. I ordered the specialty of the house - Chicken L'Osteria. It was a delicious chicken breast lightly floured and sauted in buttery lemon sauce, then baked with mushrooms, spinach, mozzarella and topped with a thin slice of prosciutto. Accompanied by a lovely chianti, a roving violinist and charming dinner companions - L'Osteria was a hit. Buen appetito!

This was a nice North Carolina cabernet that I found on a recent trip to Charlotte, NC. North Carolina is not well known for red wines. The red wines that are produced from local grapes are generally sweet and quite grapy.

This was labeled for the J. Wesley vineyards, but it was produced by Uwharrie Vineyards, which is located east of Charlotte in Albemarle, NC. I visited the Uwharrie Vineyard in September and was able to enjoy a nice wine tasting for just $7. For my $7 investment I received a mini-education on NC wines and a Uwharrie wine glass. We started with the whites and worked our way through the reds. As I mentioned, the majority of the wines were grapy, particularly their muscat.
Why did I buy a J. Wesley wine if I was at Uwharrie you ask? Because the wine specialist (I really have to work on my wine vocabulary) said it was the exact same vintage as the Uwharrie Cab I tasted, but because it was private-labeled and being discontinued, they were priced at half the Uwharrie rate. So I bought two bottles... Right now, I wish I had bought more.


  1. Hi BWS! Loved the name of the blog before I knew it was you. I subscribed to your RSS because I love wine and food too! We're going to Portland, OR in the spring for a library conference, got any dining suggestions we should plan for?

  2. Hi Holley, thanks for the comments. I had to start a non-work-related outlet.... I will work on a Portland connection for you. It's been a while since I've been there. Now, if you were going to Vancouver... I could hook you up!
    But - Portland it is.

  3. if the American Library Association ever heads north for a conference, I'll be sure and quiz you!