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I had an opportunity to attend a wine paring recently at Nona’s Italian Grill in The Woodlands pairing wines from Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery (FC) located in Sonoma Valley, California. Needless to say, I was very excited as Nona’s is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in The Woodlands and Ferrari-Carano is one of my favorite wine producers.

The wine-dinner featured a first course of a fresh watermelon and feta salad on a bed of arugula topped with a yummy balsamic reduction paired with a 2017 Ferrari-Carano Rosé. The second course consisted of shrimp and jumbo lump crab capri with capers bathed in a lemon butter sauce paired with a 2016 FC Tre Terre Chardonnay....

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In Loving Memory of Sandra Gail Loofs (1947-2019) 🌹

In case you have been checking and seen that I haven’t posted in quite awhile, my wife and partner of 53 plus years was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) in May of 2018 shortly after our return from Europe. Therefore, I have been taking a hiatus in order to care for her. IPF is a condition that has no known origin, is progressive with no known cure, and is always fatal. We suspected something was terribly wrong while on vacation in Europe, but looking back there were signs we missed years before. The disease claimed Sandra and she went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ earlier this year. I lost the love of my life, but Heaven gained an angel.

I encourage each of you to make time to spend with...

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I'm off for vacation traveling through Europe for the next several months and visiting some wonderful wineries. If you would like to keep up with my travels, I will blogging on: http://www.mypersonaltraveler.com/johnandsandy.

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In case you are wondering, what happened to this month's article? I could say the dog ate it. But, that would be a fabrication. The truth is that I am taking a break from writing this month in order to prepare for my trip to Europe later this summer. No worries though, as I will be blogging on our trip as we visit the vineyards of Italy.

Until next time, Cheers🍷

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Okay, folks. Pay attention! May is buy your Sommelier a drink month! So, every time you see me in May you MUST buy me a drink!

Alright, yes, I just made that up but, it really should be a thing. Don't you agree?

I did an article sometime back in which I mentioned participating in May Day celebrations as a kid. I recall getting out of school early and skipping or running around a maypole chasing the girls. Does anyone still do that?

May Day celebrations predate Christianity; however, as Christianity spread across Europe, it began to loose its pagan religious character. Different cultures may attach their own definition to the day but, May Day is usually celebrated on May 1st by most. Some cultures celebrate it as the day of transition from Spring into Summer. However,...

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No, I'm not talking about libraries serving wine. Although, I suppose if you have your own library and want, you could serve wine. However, that is not what I'm talking about.

When wineries refer to their library wines, they are referring to wines from pervious releases that have been held back and allowed to bottle age in the winery's cellar. Wineries will release those stocks from time to time for sale to their wine club members (see previous article where I describe how wine clubs work) or for direct sales. It's a good way to purchase some of your favorites that have been aged in a proper cellar (see my previous articles on cellaring).

Not all wineries library their wines. Mostly due to limited production or lack of proper storage facilities. But, the ones that do are...

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I bet that got all the vets' attention. It also means that I am looking forward to March. After all, it is the month in which I'll be celebrating our 52nd wedding anniversary with the love of my life. It is also a month of birthday celebrations for some family and friends. If you have something to celebrate in March, then please, allow me to wish you nothing but happiness!

Speaking of happiness, I'm always happy to introduce folks to new wines and make new friends. My philosophy is that we can never have too much wine or too many friends. I hope you agree? I was privileged to make some new friends at the Ajo Restaurant/Bent Oak Winery dinner and wine pairing, which was held on February 7, 2017, at Ajo Restaurant, 121 Main St., Round Rock, Texas.

If you missed the event,...

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A few years back I did an article featuring the Romanic Wines of Italy in celebration of Valentine’s Day. One of the wines I recommended was a Brunello di Montalcino from the producer Marchesi de Frescobaldi. It is still one of my favorites to share with my Valentine and a box of chocolates. And while the Italians may not have invented LOVE, I grew up watching Sophia Loren, so I believe they perfected it. And then there is the language of love sung by the likes of Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. Not to mention the food and wine. AMORE!

As the name implies, the wine comes from the hilltop town of Montalcino in the Tuscany region of Italy. Even through the first mention of Montalcino, a fortress, in historical documents wasn't until 814 AD, it is believed to have been settled...

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Update on the Ajo-Bent Oak wine dinner. The dinner has been rescheduled. It is now set for Tuesday, February 7, 2017. So, call 512-992-2335 and RSVP your place at the table. Don't delay, call today!

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May the new year bring you good health, an abundance of love, prosperity, and new friendships. We had a wonderful time on our November-December cruise sharing experiences with friends and family. There were ten of us traveling together including my wife and myself.

Everyone did their own thing during the day and then we would get together in the evening for cocktails and dinner. We dined in a different restaurant almost every night, but made arrangements to sit together as a group. We had a great time sharing that day's experiences. Lots of laughs and what fun! I encourage you to join us on one of our cruises. Check back regularly and I will let you know what we have planned.

I don't often write about restaurants, but thinking about the new year and new friendships, I have...

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