November 8 2010

Tempering and Temperance

When I took the job with Philips, I knew that it was going to be a big life change.  I’d been out of the corporate world for nearly six and a half years.  And while there have been adjustments, the majority of the experience has been positive.  Especially last Thursday.

Philips places a great deal of importance on Work/Life balance, and on Employee Engagement.  As such, team building “outings” aren’t uncommon.  Now, my team has been pretty damn busy since I started, so the first real outing we got to take came last week.

The view from our table at Le Garage.
The view from our table at Le Garage.

The four of us departed the Foster City office at 4:00 and drove up to Sausalito for dinner at Le Garage.  We started with a really nice Cline Carignane.  Big, fruity and tasty tasty tasty.

Learning About Chocolate!
Learning About Chocolate!

We splurged a bit because it was Shari’s birthday on Monday, so the appetizers were… indulgent.  A Brie Beignet and frisee salad with prosciutto, pumpkin seeds and a roasted walnut vinaigrette was followed by Black Mission Figs with fourme d’ambert, pistachios, mizuna, organic French prunes and a huckleberry vinaigrette, and finally a Filet Mignon beef tartare with quail egg, shallots, parsley, capers, ground mustard and grilled croutons.  The tartare was beyond amazing.  I could have eaten 3 orders of it for dinner.

Coco-luxe Chocolate Molds
Coco-luxe Chocolate Molds

We bolted from dinner and made our way over to the kitchen shared by Dragonfly Cakes and Coco-luxe for the team building part of the evening.  The awesome ladies at Coco-luxe were offering a two hour chocolate bar making class, and if there’s anything better than learning, it’s learning about chocolate. Continue reading

April 19 2010

Friends and Frappato

There are some things that, upon trying them for the first time, we find an instant affinity for.  The same goes for people.  There are some things that take some getting used to… you have to try them over and over again, you have to be exposed to them repeatedly, you have to WORK to find common ground before you can honestly say you like them.  The same goes for people.

This week, one of my college professors is in town, and on Tuesday, I’ll be taking her and her husband around San Francisco as part of their Bay Area Whirlwind Tour.  It was this last Saturday, however, that we had a gathering over in Dublin where students of hers from the Bay Area gathered for a bit of bar-be-que and a bunch of wine.

My two contributions to the wine table were a Primitivo (Layer Cake 2007 – Puglia) and an Organic Frappato (Occhipinti 2007 – Sicily).

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April 11 2010

Wine, wine, everywhere (and way too much to drink)

What better way to kick off my attempt to blog about fermented spirits than with a summary of my visit to the SF Vintners Market.  Invited by my friends Melissa and Paul (soon to be Urban Spumelunkers themselves), it was a really fun afternoon filled with the vino.

We actually attempted to start at one end of the room and work our way around, but with over 150 vintners in attendance it became quickly apparent that we were going to have to change up our game plan and be a little more selective.

Below are the meager tasting notes I jotted down as I went…

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