Saturday, February 10, 2018

"Uncle Lou! Remember me?"

If you have been out of the loop or just wasn't aware, we at Paradocx Vineyard play host to PDX Wine Tastings all year-boy are they a hit. 

We have had many groups, such as birthdays, bridal showers, graduations, bachelorette parties (look out for those girls), corvette clubs, and ugly sweater parties. 

If you have had a group tasting before, then most likely Lou was your host.. Lou certainly has mastered the tasting experience and provides not only a great story, but also rocking entertainment. 

The PDX Wine Tasting experience gives you the history of the winery, the characteristics of the wine, and Lou will sure have you smiling and laughing.

Lou has captured quite a following and on social media he has been nicknamed "Uncle Lou".  I have an Uncle Lou, well more like an uncle Terry but just as fun, but I digress....

Oh, you really don't need a special event to have a group tasting, just a day out with family or friends. Just give us a heads up by contacting and we will reserve a space for you. Ask for Uncle Lou. 

One Final Word

Just this past weekend, we finally had our company holiday party. Better late than never. This was my fourth holiday party and by far the best. 

Besides the great food and great company, we played a gift exchange game. Pretty simple, one by one, everyone opens a gift and may keep it or steal from another. Most of us kept our opened gift. We're not greedy, but our GM stole mine. The nerves!

The gift I had opened was a wine by 19 crimes. Perhaps you have heard of them? The back story goes in London, in the 1800s, prisoners that were convicted for one of the 19 crimes were sentenced, not to the gallows, but to Australia to start a new life. 

Not all survived but the ones who did were able to share their story through augmented reality via the wine bottle. Just download the app, place your phone on the label and the prisoners come to life and tell their unique story.

Oh I forgot, although  my 19 Crimes wine, The next gift I opened was another 19 Crimes wine-Lucky for her. 

This got me thinking, What could we do with augmented reality? When the wine maker saw the wine label come to life, he was amazed.

You know we are known for our paint cans of wine. How about when you scan over the can with your phone, the wine maker appears, surrounded by a mass amount of grapes and juice, then dips a paint brush into the juice and paints the wall with the phrase "Paint The Town Responsibly" Paradocx Vineyard!

Well it's a thought. I am just waiting for the chance to impose a video of me at the tasting room, introducing and pouring  tasting flights while I sit at a French cafe drinking our Cabernet Franc, getting paid of course.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Beer And Chocolate - Yeah it's A Thing

For the last couple of years, we have celebrated February as Chocolate month at Paradocx Vineyard. After all, chocolate deserves an entire month. Our wine maker selects PDX wines and pairs with local handmade truffles from Nuechatel Swiss Chocolates.

Last year, as we were rolling out craft beer for the first time, I was asked to pair beer with chocolate truffles.

When I mentioned I would pair craft beer with chocolate, I got a few puzzled looks like "is that a thing"? or "I never heard of beer and chocolate". Well, I am here to tell you, not only is it a thing, but it pairs better than wine. What a bold statement-don't tell Gabriel!

Let me explain why. First, it's not just chocolate that pairs so well with beer but all foods, even those challenging wine pairing foods, such as asparagus and eggplant. Oh, and don't let me get started on cheese. I will save that for another post.

Before you understand why beer pairs so well with foods, especially chocolate is to understand a few tasting characteristics of beer. Remember there are over 100 beer styles, not to mention the ever changing amount of sub-styles. 

What difference does this make? Well, the many styles are so diverse in flavor, color, body, aroma, that for every single food, there is a beer to accompany it.

Think of the many flavors and textures of food. Take the 5 tastes. Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Umami. You have foods that are acidic like citrus and vinegar, you have spicy foods like jalapeno and horseradish, sweet foods like caramel and cake, salty foods like popcorn and chips, savory foods like mushrooms and eggplant and tomatoes,  poultry, lamb, beef, game, fish, shellfish, greens, herbs, spices, milk, yogurt, candy and potatoes, etc.

Now with beer, You can have sour beers, fruity beers, wheat beers, dark, smokey beers, creamy beers, spicy beers, pumpkin beers, chocolate beers, coffee beers, toasty beers, dry beers, sweet beers. bitter beers, light beers, strong beers, and it goes on and on. Beers that range from 3.5 % abv to 21% abv..

I am not going to get too nerdy, but here are a few good examples. 

Pair strong bitter chocolates with big strong malty beers such as barley wines and Belgium Doubles. Go with a salted caramel with a brown ale. Hoppy beers are a challenge. Try a chocolate with Grand Marnier or a citrus flavored truffle with an IPA.

Also, try a rich dark chocolate with a sweet Lambic Framboise. Here is one I like, Dark chocolate with Smokey Rauchbiers. And finally a pumpkin beer with a cinnamon chocolate truffle.

One Final Thought

You don't Say

How many times have you heard or said to yourself. "I was wrong the whole time?" well apparently I was too, or shall I say I just didn't know.

No Germans were harmed in making this 

Did you know that the German Chocolate Cake has no German (country) origins whatsoever? Neither did I. So in 1852, an American named Sammual German, who worked for the Baker Chocolate company, developed a dark chocolate for the company and later was branded as Baker German's Sweet Chocolate.  

In 1957, a homemaker, Mrs George Clay developed a chocolate cake she called German's Chocolate Cake using Baker's German's Chocolate. The recipe became a hit and Baker chocolates became a huge success.

I'm The King Of The World

Milton Hershey, the founder of Hershey's Chocolate almost met his demise aboard the Titanic. Thankfully, he and his wife had important business matters to attend to, and canceled their trip. Would that have been the end of Hershey Kisses, or would his status as a chocolate giant have secured his seat in one of the not so many life boats. 

Chocolate Love

In Mexico and Central America, Cocoa beans were so luxurious they were once used as currency. 4 beans would get you a pumpkin, 10 beans would get you a rabbit and another 10 would get you a lady for the night.

Wife: Where were you all night? You were supposed to bring home dinner.

Husband: Sorry, they were all out of rabbits. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Take Our wine, Please!

I am from Delaware but, I work here in PA. Don't worry, it's not like I am traveling two hours away, though I did that once before. In PA, there is a thing called BYOB, Bring your own bottle. You probably knew that, but in Delaware, there is no such thing, as far as a restaurant is concerned.

In Kennet Square, at our shop and bar at The Market At liberty Place, we have quite a few customers purchase a bottle of Paradocx wine to take to their local BYOB restaurant. This is great news for them, and us. We happen to be conveniently located in the center of town on State Street, where you can just stroll on down to your favorite restaurant.

I thought, in this post, I would tell you folks about some of your options. I will break this up into cuisines.

The first is the one I hear the most about, Portabellos,  located at 115 West State Street, just a short stroll from The Market. I have yet to dine there. So sad, but the menu is amazing and I love how the menu reflects the seasons. The winter menu is hearty and diverse. Oh, and expect some clever mushroom preparations as well-it is Kennett Square after all. Some sample dishes include the Beef Stroganoff made with short ribs and Crimini Mushrooms. Another offering is the Crispy Duck with French cherries and a Merlot reduction. You had me at crispy duck.

What to bring? Try our 2015 Merlot for the duck and our 2013 Cabernet Franc with the Stroganoff.

Another choice within close proximity is Lily Asian Restaurant at 104 West Street in Kennett Square, PA. Lilys specializes in super fresh sushi, but also prepares other Asian favorites, such as Pad Thai and Kung Pao Chicken. The food is incredibly fresh and well seasoned. They are also well known for their Tuesday all you can eat sushi. You may want to arrive early for that one. Take our 2016 Vidal Blanc or Pinot Grigio for the sushi.

Finally, if you're in the mood for a no-frills authentic Mexican restaurant then look no further then La Pena at 609 West Cyprus Street Kennett Square, PA. This is definitely my go to when all I crave is authentic Mexican. Now they do offer a few classic Tex-Mex dishes but this is the real deal. Tamales, beef tongue tacos, dried beef chilaquillas, etc. Take our Barn Red or White Wash to cut through the spiciness. 

One Final Thought

Say what? In English please

"Please Pass the Jelly."

Do you remember that commercial in the 80s? A bunch of people are sitting at a well dressed table enjoying a fancy meal and they continue to ask for the Polaner All Fruit Spread, but when it comes to a less posh guest, in a southern accent, he says "please pass the jelly" - Classic. 

Do you also remember when we were kids and we picked up a menu and under the entree section, it said Lasagna, 8.99, and that was pretty much it. We knew what to expect and didn't really question it. We ordered it. Maybe we liked it. Maybe we didn't. 

Fast forward to the 90s and present time, and the description of a menu item is like taking a foreign language, with a whole lot of fluff and BS.  Does work?

Tell me if this sounds familiar? 

Dry-aged and free-ranged porterhouse, pan roasted with caramelized pearl onions and served with a red wine reduction sauce, accompanied with Gorgonzola laced polenta. Say what?

Here is how it translates: Beef that comes from cattle that has been allowed to roam around on it's own, then cut by a master butcher into large portions of beef, then hung up in a special air controlled room for several weeks or months then cut into thick tender steaks.

Placed into a preheated super hot pan then finished cooking in the oven. Then we take pealed pearl onions, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper then roasted in the oven until sweet and sticky. Maybe honey was added, who knows? 

There is more. When the steak is done (Medium Rare), you remove from the pan, pour in wine, and reduce to a sauce. Maybe butter is added, maybe beef stocked is added. who cares? It sounds great. Finally, you serve it with cornmeal mush that has had Italian blue cheese added. Yummy but who knew? 

New straightforward boring description

Steak with little onions and wine sauce served with cheesy cornmeal mush. 

Which would you want?

Here are a few other over-described menu descriptions:

Roasted shallot brined pork tenderloin, grilled to perfection and topped with a chiffanade of Thai basil and sake macerated watermelon. 

Grilled to perfection? Like the alternative is to grill it to mediocre?  Duh. Brined? Fancy term for salty marinade. Macerated? That's a term for steeped in liquid. Chiffanade of basil?  Herbs cut in thin strips. I just love it.

Cold smoked salmon crostini topped with roasted garlic and tarragon aioili served along side a salad of toasted  couscous and candied orange zest. 

Cold smoked? Is that possible? It's really smoking meats or seafood at low temperatures. Crostini, what's that?  Bread slices. Toasted couscous? Couscous that has been added to a hot pan maybe with oil until lightly brown and toasty. Aioili? That's mayonnaise. And finally candied orange zest. The peel of an orange dried with sugar. Boom! 

Seared Jamon wrapped chicken breast with grilled radicchio and sage infused olive oil, topped with pan grilled local stone fruit, drizzled with a reduction of barrel aged balsamic vinegar. 

Jamon is the French word for ham, and radichio, which is a leaf vegetable in the chicory family. Very Italian, usually red leaves. Stone fruit is simply summer fruit with a large hard seed such as peaches, nectarines and plums.Why didn't you just say so? 

Reduction of barrel aged balsamic? The good stuff  (red wine vinegar) is typically barrel aged anyway, and a reduction is no more than cooking a liquid down to a thicker substance, intensifying the flavor. Forget the drizzle, just cover the whole thing.

Is all the fluff really worth it? Maybe. I like it to a point. Sometimes I find it to be a little over the top, but it does certainly sounds enticing, and as long as they are being honest, it allows us to make better choices. What it boils down to is does the food taste good or not? That's what's most important. "Please pass the mayonnaise"

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Behind The Glasses - The Character In The Blog

Behind the eyeglasses, behind the wine glasses, behind the pint glasses. Why is everyone keeping me behind glass?

So I have been asked to reveal my true myself. The one with the bad jokes, the one who keeps getting in trouble in Europe, and the one who works for peanuts-wait, don't let my bosses hear that one.

So Mr Huff, when were you born, where did you grow up, what do you like to drink, who is your favorite singer? Do you really want to know all that stuff? Too bad, though David Bowie wins hands down.

Who Are You?

I think a great way to get to know a bit about me is to understand why I work for Paradocx.

Quite a few years back I had an office desk job working at a claims processing facility, auditing claims. Snoresville. I was restless, bored, and unchallenged. Trust me. it had it's perks, but I just had a really hard time staying motivated. "Patrick, Wake up!"

At the time, I started a beer blog and it was getting pretty serious. One night, at one of our infamous Christmas parties, I asked the group how many of them loved their jobs. Only one raised their hand, isn't that sad.

Work. Work. Work.

I later found out that only about 13% of Americans enjoy their careers. Well that wouldn't be so bad if we didn't spend such a large part of our life working. 

I think about my wife who gets up at 7 am. Get's to work by 9 am. leaves work at 5:00 pm, and gets home at 5:30 pm. That's 10.5 hours a day set aside for her career. That's 52.5 hours per week. Most of us, including me, for quite some time, hate their jobs.

The reasons are varied, but for me, I just wanted my career to line up with my passions and bubbly personality. First, I am quite the social butterfly; I like people. Second, I love food and drink. Last but not least, third, I have an over-following river of  creativity.

Will You Take Me In? 

Luckily, I am able to channel all of those characteristics at Paradocx. Was I originally looking for Paradocx? Well sort of. I was building a relationship with Hard Cider.   I found a cidery/winery in MD.   I worked there for a short time but the commute was two hours one way.   The interest remained and I found myself later looking in the same industry - Wine, Beer, or Cider. 

In the meantime, I completed my Cicerone training (Sommelier for Beer), taking an endless amount of social media and online marketing courses. I have more certificates than I could possibly need. 

I sent my resume to some local wineries in the Brandywine Valley. It's all about timing you know. This was August of 2014. I stopped into The Market at Liberty Place and dropped off my resume. Luckily, they called soon after and the rest is history.

Well not quite. I worked mainly in the tasting room in Landenberg, at the winery. I loved it. The staff, the overlords, the customers, but of course I wanted new challenges, and eventually they learned about my blog and newsletter talents. I jumped right in and found my true element. 

I was soon offered a role developing social media graphics and banners. This was pretty new for me but I stepped up, put my big boy pants on and rose to the challenge. I have quite a bit to keep me busy  and absolutely love it. They allow me to put my personality into it and to wear shorts.

The winery is growing and I plan to grow along with it. Though I think I really stopped growing at 15. Nevertheless, I enjoy it here and can't wait to see what's next.

One Final Thought

Ok. I promised not to bore you with nonsense trivial matter, but that's too bad. Here are a couple useless facts about me.

Favorite PDX wine? Yield

What food are you into now? Poke. It's like sushi in a bowl.

How tall are you? Depends who I am standing next to.

What is your favorite TV show? It involves a blue police box and a doctor.

How old are you? None of your business, but there was no internet or video games at the time. Well does Pong count?

What car do you drive? A big wheel. Try fitting a keg of beer on that, but where there is a will, there's a way!

Boxers or briefs? Depends who I am standing next to.

What's you favorite gadget? Echo Dot. Alexa, How many people read my blog? 

Cheers. Find me at the winery some time. Ask for Sir Patrick. That's my official title. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A New Brewery In Town

Crowded Castle

Do you remember that ska band in the 80's called Crowded House? Am I showing my age? Sorry, it's the first thing I thought of when I first heard of Crowded Castle Brewery. OK, actual castles are much bigger and very important people typically live there. Lucky for me, some even allow visitors every once and a while.

Personally, I like trying on the helmets and imagining how heavy a knight might actually weigh sporting all that armor. Oh, and of course, the dungeon room. Oh, the simple things that amuse me.

Back To The Brewery

Every Brewery has a story and after reading Crowded Castle's blog, it makes me really appreciate new breweries more than I already did.  First of all, Crowded Castle hangs their helmet in Phoenixville, PA, and thanks to other breweries such as Sly Fox and Stable 12, Phoenixville's beer scene is really booming.

Let me take a long story on how Crowded Castle got it's name and shorten it up a bit. It mainly started with a few blokes who went from beer making kits to all grain brewing.

The original five guys bottled their first red ale titled King Leo's Imperial Red Ale. The King part became a regular joke in the "Beer Making" kitchen which later became known as the Castle.

After graduating from partly mashed beers to whole grain brewing, they decided on W5 as their name. They started a brew club in their kitchen and the Castle became a bit "Crowded", but there is always room for more.

About 18 months into W5, they decided it was time to introduce their well seasoned beer to the rest of the world or rather local community, and Crowded Castle was founded.

Our General Manager Trish visited Crowded Castle a while back to talk wine and the possibility of bringing in their beer to Paradocx. We sampled a couple crowlers and were more than pleased. It would be a few months before we would have the opportunity to tap a Crowded Castle keg.

Though I have yet to visit or sample all their beers, we brought in an Amber Ale and a tropical IPA (No longer available). Our customers and the staff members have been pleased. Even Carol our resident "I don't like beer" staff member loved it.

The Amber, called Iron Amber Ale represents it's style perfectly. If you find yourself avoiding hoppy beers then this is for you. A bold malt profile, medium bodied, and a caramel finish.

The Tropical IPA is a west coast style IPA with notes of mango, papaya, and grapefruit. The tropical and grapefruit notes come from the aromatic hops. This is an Imperial style and clocks at 7.75 abv.

Stop by the winery this month for a pint of Crowded Castle's Iron Amber. Cheers

One Final Thought

First of all, Happy New Year. I hope 2018 is full of good times, good choices and good wine and beer. 

Totally Gnarly Wave Brah!

In a neighborhood slum in London, Oct 17, 1814, the unthinkable happened, or shall I say undrinkable. The Horseshoe Brewery held 3,500 barrels of brown porter beer in a 22 foot wooden fermenting tank. The tank was held together by massive iron rings. 

You know where I am going with this don't you? Well the pressure of the hot fermenting beer caused one of the rings to burst off the tank, sending a tsunami like force of beer that broke the back wall. The force also blasted more vats releasing about 320,000 gallons of beer onto the streets. 

Happy Hour

A 15 ft wave of frothy beer flooded the streets and gave the community one heck of a scare. Free beer for all. Locals wasted no time filling their jugs and cans with fresh debris filled ale. Not sure if I would risk it but who knows? I wasn't there. 

I can't help but imagine the stench that followed. It goes without saying, wooden tanks were soon phased out. Imagine if they had smart phones? Or surf boards? 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Chestnuts Roasting - In Summer?

Christmas time is here. Well for us at least. For all the department stores, it started right after Halloween. But we choose to ignore that. Did you? 

It's kind of a big deal at our home and was kind of a big deal growing up. Just like most families, we had our traditions. It started on black Friday. Dad was off and instead of joining the crazies at the stores, we took the next two days to decorate. We lived in a small apartment, but that didn't stop mom from decorating the place like a gingerbread house. 

I admit it was over the top. I mean she wrapped all the picture frames to look like presents. She even wrapped the front door. She sprayed artificial snow on the windows and tree. Garland and lights were everywhere. Christmas shower curtains, rugs, and even salt and pepper shakers. You're probably chuckling right now because you know someone just like that. 

I loved it and decorating was always accompanied by traditional Christmas tunes. On vinyl of course. We had them all:   Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and Brenda Lee. Although these songs are now played 24 hours a day on your local radio station, they still send me back in time. 

It was one song that I never seem to tire from, and surprise - it involves food. Yes, I mentioned Nat King Cole above. It represented everything I thought of about Christmas, though the Chestnuts never entered our kitchen, nor did we have a fireplace. That's not true. Mom had a cardboard cutout of a Christmas fireplace, how else would Santa get into our apartment? Duh.

"Chestnuts roasting by an open fire"

 "Jack Frost nipping at your nose"

When I get into a blog post, I typically find myself deeply buried beneath the layers of the web. This time I stumbled upon some interesting history of the origins of The Christmas Song.

First, it wasn't originally called A Christmas Song, but was originally titled Merry Christmas To You. It was written by Bob Wells and Mel Torme wrote the music and some of the lyrics.  Now here is what you probably don't know. It was written in the summer-say what? 

"Yuletide carols being sung by the fire"

"And folks dressed like Eskimos"

You see, Bob Wells was sitting at the piano playing on a hot summer day and to mentally cool himself off, he wrote down the phrases Chestnuts Roasting..... Jack Frost Nipping...... Yuletide Carols.... Folks Dressed Like Eskimos. Though it may not have cooled Bob off, it surely led to one of the most celebrated Christmas songs of all time and Nat King Cole mastered it. 

Since we are talking about Chestnuts roasting, I would like to share a few Chestnut inspired recipes. The truth is that chestnuts are much more popular in Europe than the U.S. There are venders on the street corners of France selling hot fire roasted chestnuts. Chestnuts are found in many Italian culinary treats such as bread, cakes, and even beer. Below are three recipes I have located and also pair well with Paradocx wine. Try cooking the nuts with our award winning wine.

Here is a recipe that you can try out for your Holiday feast. Goose is typically served along side this traditional stuffing. Try our 2015 Merlot.

Chestnut Stuffing

The earthy starch character of fresh chestnuts balance perfectly with the tartness of this braised cabbage dish. Use our Barn Red to add a touch of sweetness to this classic European dish. 

Braised Red Cabbage With Red Wine And Chestnuts

Finally a creamy chestnut soup. For easier results, find peeled chestnuts in cans or jars. I recommend serving this with our award winning 2016 Yield.
Creamy Chestnut Soup

One Final Thought

A New Holiday Tradition

We all know the Holiday season can be stressful. Not can be, but always is. It's our fought after all. We buy into the craziness. Wait in long lines on black Friday for that hot toy. We decorate our house like a museum, stay up till 4 in the morning playing Santa, entering a Cookie baking marathon, and sending cards out to our long lost cousin that my not be living any longer. 

But those things don't nearly stress me out as much as that damn Elf On A Shelf. Since this Pinocchio looking creepy one-way staring elf entered our home, my nights and early mornings have become a pain in my ask me later..... 

Don't get me wrong, it was fun the first 2 months but then our patience and creativity went into overdrive and the creepy factor sky rocketed. The Elf, aka Heart, found her way into the cookies, she wrote on the bathroom mirror and she wrecked a Barbie's hot rod. She was telling ghost stories to woody and Jessie. Heart even once cut herself with a knife. Do you know how strange it was taking her to the emergency room. She cried like a baby. 

Then there were the days the lazy elf forgot to hide and broke the kiddies heart. The good news is the girls got up earlier than usual but that damn elf needs to go, like soon. 

It is now mid December and Heart hasn't arrived from the North Pole yet. She probably got fired. Maybe she's at the winery. Hopefully the girls won't notice, keeping my fingers crossed......

Insert Elf on Can of Barn Red?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Two Wines - Two Dishes - PDX Style

People often ask me, including my daughter, what is my favorite food. Well the truth is, when you are a foodie (A person who loves almost all food and seeks out new culinary treats) like I am, it tends to be, well, everything.

However,  there has been a couple dishes that really stand out and since this is a wine blog, it only makes sense I share two classic dishes that are made with wine.

I just came across a post titled 8 of the best Julia Child Recipes and of those 8, three were cooked with wine. Not to my surprise, one of those recipes holds fond food memories for me.

Perhaps you remember one of my older post titled At The Market - A little Taste Of  France. In that post I shared one of my many "Did That Just Happen? Stories".  Let me share one of my fondest, not so absurd, French memories with you.

The trip was part of a culinary weekly excursion, and to say the food was amazing is an understatement. I remember a few incredible dinners we had, but the one that stood out the most was the classic Boeuf Bourguignon or simply Beef Burgundy.

Boeuf Bourguignon is such a simple dish but to make it a great dish, as opposed to an average one, boils down to the quality of ingredients and technique. Oh and yes, this was one of Julia's favorites. I almost feel embarrassed to say it but it is really just a beef stew with red wine.

A true Beef Burgundy is made with good quality red wine from the Burgundy region of France. Mushroom, pearl onions, and potatoes are almost always served in or along with this tender and succulent dish.

You can also concoct a great Beef Burgundy using American wines.  I suggest our PDX Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine is a perfect choice for an exceptional Beef Burgundy!  

Here is a link to a wow your guests Beef Burgandy recipe I found on The Spruce. Use our PDX Cabernet Sauvignon for the red wine. 

Beef Burgundy

I am not sure how Julia Child felt about mussels, though I do remember my first steamed mussels dish. It was actually in Culinary Art school many moons ago. I got a chance to try many new dishes those two exciting years. I try to forget the calves brain I sampled, though it was not all that bad. 

One of my favorite classes was the seafood course. I learned how to put a lobster to sleep, how to filet a fish, and how simple it was to steam mussels. Although I didn't make it myself, I certainly enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it so much, it often appears on my restaurant plate and of course my Holiday party platter. Steamed mussels tend to be a cook's blank canvas.

The technique is simple enough and can be made with so many different ingredients. Start with sausage or bacon, add onions, leeks and garlic. For the steaming liquid, wine, beer, or stock acts as the base. Consider tossing in fresh herbs or scallions. The options are endless. 

Please, DO NOT forget the bread. You will need that to sop up the aromatic juices. Believe it or not, this is a pretty inexpensive and quick meal to make. 

Here is a simple recipe I found on my favorite site Savuer. For the white wine, an excellent choice is our PDX 2015 Vidal Blanc. 

Mussels With White Wine, Garlic, And Parsley

One Final Thought

Can I have a ride? 

The life of mussels appears to be quite boring. Just sayin. They 

typically just sit there, eating, and hanging out at the bottom of the 

water. No music, no cell phones, and certainly no bar. Like, get a 

job or something.

But they make up for their mediocre life with their cool 

reproductive style. The lazy male just sits still, and releases his 

sperm. The sperm follows the current and locates the lazy female. 

The female mussels do that thing female mussels do and produce 

mussel larvae. 

The larvae hangs out at the fish stop and waits for a very specific 

fish to stop by. It then hops on and takes a three week joy ride. 

When able to make it out on its own, it hops off the unharmed fish 

and starts its own boring life. I guess after all that excitement, it 

needs to rest until the next available ride comes along. 

"Hey Mr. Fish, so what do you do for a living?"

 "I work at the mussel delivery center." "I deliver mussel larvae

"Yeah right, like that's a thing."