The Wine Country Online

Summer Reading

    A simple summer, a cool bottle of lively young red wine, and a good book in the soft light of a summer evening. These four ingredients are readily available in endless variations here in Northern California's various wine-growing regions.

    The following menu and book recommendations should translate well into any summer-season setting where you might find yourself a table and chairs out in the yard.

Bon appetit!
Chef Jack

A Summer Menu for Readers

Mixed Olives and Giardiniera

Summer Green Salad Vinaigrette with Poached Eggs and Butter Crôutes

Ripe Figs and Cheese
(Visit our introduction to the Cowgirl Creamery)

Cool Red Wine
(Suggestion: 1999 Faux   A lovely Rhône-style blend from our friends at Preston Vineyards and Family Farm)

After a good day at work, we like to start the evening with a small bowl of olives and a mildly spiced pickled vegetable mix. There is always a couple of jars of something on this order in the fridge. Open the wine, put a disc in the boom-box and spit olive pits out the kitchen door while you prepare your salad and crôutes.

For easy handling, you might split your figs after they are washed. Arrange them on a colorful platter with a chunk of cheese and a knife. The whole presentation only takes a few minutes, just about one glass of wine's worth of time. Then it's out into the garden, book front and center, salad on the side and hey, put your feet up!

   Read Chef Jack's Review of