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  • November 27, 2015 Wine Pick of the Month

    CK Mondavi Scarlet Five bottle Picmonkey

    2013 Scarlet Five


    CK Mondavi


    Alcohol: 13.6%

    Suggested Retail: $6.99


    “Blended wines are the latest ‘hot category’ in the wine business. Scarlet Five is what would be called a Bordeaux blend because, though its grapes were grown in California, their varieties are all native to this part of southwestern France. Predominately Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Scarlet Five also includes Merlot (28%), Petit Verdot (13%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Malbec (1%).

  • November 27, 2015 Beer Pick of the Week

    Firestone Walker Union Jack Picmonkey

    Union Jack


    Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

    Paso Robles and Buellton, California

    Style: West Coast IPA

    Alcohol: 7.5%

    IBUs: 70

    Serving Style: 12-ounce cans, 12 and 22-ounce bottles, kegs (our sample from draft)

    Availability: Year-round in much of the U.S.


    Appearance:   “Light amber or dark golden in color. Creamy head that dissipated quickly.”

    Aroma:   “Pronounced citrus nose. Mostly grapefuity, but there seems to be some tangerine or orange notes and a bit of spice, too.”

    Taste:   “Strongly-hopped, but great balance here. The malt is very welcome. Seems to be reminiscent of British IPAs, though I know it has much more hops. A lot of personality in this beer. Good carbonation, too. One pint invites a second.”

    Food Affinity:   “Given the flag reference, I’d think a Scotch egg with some Colman’s mustard would be nice right now, as would some really good fish and chips done in a light, clean batter.”

      --Guest reviewer Stanley Morrison is an English ex-pat who does kitchen remodels in California.

  • New Research Shows Strawberries Can Play Role in Alzheimer's and Diabetes

    strawberries in bowl Picmonkey

    TASTE News Service, November 24, 2015 - We're used to tossing strawberries into our shopping carts, but new research shows that this fruit may also keep us at our healthiest. As November is both American Diabetes Month and National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, new research indicates that eating strawberries regularly can be an effective way to help prevent and manage diseases that affect millions of Americans and their families.

    With approximately 5.3 million Americans currently suffering from Alzheimer's disease, a severe type of dementia, USDA researchers designed one of the first clinical studies to determine if strawberry intake could reverse age-related motor and cognitive decline among healthy older adults. Even in the absence of neurological dysfunction, the researchers demonstrated that supplementing older adults' diets with about two cups per day of strawberries can improve cognition. The research, conducted at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, was presented at the recent Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Chicago. Overall, the results suggest that dietary intervention with strawberry fruit may be an effective means of combating age-related cognitive decline.

  • A Taste of the Holidays in San Francisco

    fairmont hotel gingerbread house 3 PicmonkeyFairmont Hotel lobby features gingerbread houses

    By Cindy Hu

    Forget turkeys and hams. Starting in November and lasting into the New Year, San Francisco is packed with a plethora of holiday treats. Here are a few ways you can get a taste of the holidays in San Francisco.


    You can combine two holiday treats — chocolate and holiday lights — on Gourmet Walks Holiday Lights and Chocolate Tours (http://www.gourmetwalks.com). The downtown walk, which has seven stops (each with its own chocolate tasting), runs Fridays and Saturdays (and some weekdays) from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. during the month of December. See the lights of Union Square, Embarcadero Center, the Palace Hotel and Westfield San Francisco Centre while sipping hot chocolate and nibbling a peppermint truffle.