Friday, October 30, 2009

Try it, you'll like it 2! Elk Creek Ghostly Whites

It's All Hallow's Eve eve and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Roommate is in bed watching a scary movie on his laptop. And thankfully, so far at least, the post-Ike renovation of Casa Lou has rendered it mouse-free (oh yes, like many other 103 year old Original Highlands houses, Casa Lou has had some critter problems). What's a girl to do but blog and tweet and catch up on emails...

A few weeks ago I chimed in on Elk Creek's Bone Dry Red, one of the three wines that Elk Creek was kind enough to send me for review (And that's your disclaimer, folks). That left me with the two Ghostly Whites: Sweet Mellow White and a 2007 Chardonnay. Both of which I dutifully enjoyed over the past week or so.

I'm not a big fan of white wine. I always order red when I'm out, no matter what I'm eating. I don't think I've ever bought a white wine for myself. But if there's white wine in the house, I will drink it-- it's unthinkable to let a perfectly good bottle molder on the rack, right? And certainly when a winery sends you a couple of bottles of white... gift horses, you know?

And it's silly that I have this embargo against white wines. Inevitably, I enjoy the gift bottles or left behind bottles that end up in my house.

And I very much enjoyed the Ghostly White Sweet Mellow White. In my last wine blog, I mentioned that Grandma Lou and I enjoy our sweet wines when we're together, and the Ghostly White Sweet Mellow White would be totally up her alley. In fact, I briefly considered sending her a couple bottles for Thanksgiving, but I realized that it might be a bit creepy to send a "Ghostly" wine to an 86 year old widow. But from first sip to last, I was totally blissed out with nostalgia thinking about her; so much so that I actually poured a glass and called her last week. So thanks, Elk Creek-- it was awesome of you to send me these wines and exponentially more awesome that one of the bottles made me pick up the phone and call my favorite person in the world.

What was nice about the Sweet Mellow White was that it wasn't TOO sweet. Some sweet wines give you a tummy ache and some sweet wines are only good for a glass or two at most. This one was a good drinking wine. I finished the bottle in two sittings and only gave up a half a glass to Roommate. I think the drinkablility of the wine is due to its really clean finish. There's no lingering sugary taste. I assumed that I would like the Bone Dry Red the best, but the Ghostly White Sweet Mellow White may have been my favorite.

Roommate liked the Chardonnay the best. I was a little more indifferent about that bottle. It was good, but I just don't think I'm a Chardonnay kind of gal. Roommate did some quality time in the wine country of Australia and sort of fancies himself a budding wine connoisseur, and I am not wont to dispute that: he definitely knows more about wine than I do. So I feel comfortable saying that although the Chardonnay wasn't my bag, per se, it's still very good. He's a red wine drinker and liked the Chardonnay best of all, so that says something.

Anyhoo... my first foray into wine reviewing has been a blast. I am tickled pink and purple that Elk Creek thought was a door they could open. And I'm likewise tickled that what they sent me was really, really good wine. (They also sent a package of Pop Secret microwave popcorn. I can't decide if that was to keep the bottles from rattling together or if I was supposed to eat the popcorn while imbibing the wine... I didn't. Saving the popcorn for a Netflix night.)

Totally going to look for Elk Creek wines when I shop for wine from now on. The three Halloweenie bottles told me that they're consistently good-to-great. Mission accomplished, I think.

Big Monies at the Back Door Costume Contest and more...

Happy Halloween, Louisvillagers!

I always knew that the Back Door has a HUGE Halloween party every year-- I may have even been once or twice-- but I didn't know what the draw was. The draw is this: a $500 prize for best costume! Holy bar tab, Batman! And this year, I have an "in" with one of the celebrity judges. If I had known about the huge prize, I would have gone last year. I was a lock with my "Crazy Bald Britney Spears" costume. This year... not so much.

According to reliable sources, this weekend is the last weekend for both Carly Rae's and the Barret Bar. Sad news.

We're off to Carly Rae's-- for the first time-- in a few hours to hear the always-fantastic Tyrone Cotton play for a little while before we head off to see Chicago at the Kentucky Center.

Remember, Louisvillagers, "When you're good to Mama, Mama's good to you."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bigfoot, Chicago, and Sushi: Monday Evening Randomness

Whether it's the sudden uptick in the temp today or the residual benefits of Roommate's fantastic homemade chili last night, I'm feeling darn near perky this Monday evening. I've been a bit laggy with my blogging of late; these past few weeks have been mild, but persistent, madness. I'm not saying that there's a light at the end of the tunnel (another surgery next month, for example), but... you know... I'll take what I can get.

Some random stuff for this (unfortunately cooling) Monday evening:
  • This weekend Chicago is at the Kentucky Center-- the musical, not the Peter Cetera-fronted pop/jazz fusion band-- and if you buy your tickets through this website: and if you use the password: GildasClub, $5 for every ticket goes to Gilda's on Baxter.

  • Speaking of cancer stuff, last weekend's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk raised upwards of $250,000. Some people have remarked on my absence from said walk this year... and the truth is, I've decided to give myself a year off from The Pink Stuff. Or, more specifically, as much time off as I need. Last year I Pinked it up real good, but always had to nurse myself back from shell shock after every event. I donated to support a friend, but I couldn't bear to join the walk this year.

  • On a lighter note: Last week's Fairdale Bigfoot column at Consuming Louisville was perhaps the funniest so far (definitely the randiest!). Check it out. And don't forget, you can email FBF with questions at fairdalebigfoot [at]

  • The Twitter gods are saying that Raw on 4th shut down. I thought that was old news. Maybe not. I kind of liked the place-- especially their super cool wood wall. But all is well: Cafe Mimosa is open again and is rumored to be doing booming business. We ordered delivery last week... yummo. Nothing says comfort like eating sushi on the couch in your pjs while watching TiVo. And, as before, you can even order delivery online.

  • On a personal note: my Newfoundland & Labrador travel companion from last summer got engaged this weekend. On Facebook. As I watched in real time. It was a harrowing three minutes after I watched him post "[Name redacted]? Wanna get married?" But quick came the reply. Congrats, friend. I happily hand over all future Navigator responsibilities to your lovely wife-to-be. (If there's a better use for the new Facebook Live Feed, I've not heard it.)
Time for a little more homemade chili therapy. Have a wonderful week, Louisville.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Barbara Kingsolver in Louisville

When I first got this email I thought, hey, it's been a while since I last read a book by Barbara Kingsolver.  And then, as I read the email, I realized that there was a good reason: turns out, Kingsolver hasn't written a novel in a while.  But she's got a new one coming out, The Lacuna, and not only can you buy it at a 15% discount at Carmichael's, but you also get a free ticket to a reading and book signing event on November 22.

Note to Carmichael's, though: The following email is a bit confusing. The event is free-- all you have to do is buy a book-- so how are you donating 10% of ticket sales to the Community Farm Alliance?  Are there tickets available for sale, too?

Anyhoo, super exciting author event for Louisville.  Unfortunately, I'll be recovering from surgery on the 22nd and won't be able to attend.  But I look forward to reading Kingsolver's newest!

The email:    

Carmichael's Bookstore and Bellarmine University are delighted to host Barbara Kingsolver for a reading and book signing for her first novel in nine years, The Lacuna.  This event will be held at the Cralle Theater in the Wyatt Center for the Arts on Bellarmine's campus on Sunday, November 22nd beginning at 4 PM.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets are free with the purchase of any book by Barbara Kingsolver.  To honor Barbara's commitment to local foods, Carmichael's is donating 10% of ticket proceeds to The Community Farm Alliance.

Stop in either store to pre-order a copy of 
The Lacuna at a 15% discount or to buy any of Barbara's previous books and get one free ticket per book purchased. Seating in the theater is general admission, however your lettered ticket will indicate your place in the signing line, so the earlier you get your ticket, the better. The Lacuna will be available on November 3rd.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jazz Hands!

You'd think I'd be a big jazz fan, being from New Orleans and all... (Right, I'm not really from New Orleans. Don't get all picky on me, kids.) And truly, New Orleans style brass band jazz is, indeed, my favorite kind of music. (If you're ever in need of instant happiness in your ears, download something by the Soul Rebels Brass Band.) But jazz in general? It's not really my thing.

That's neither here nor there. Luckily there are some Louisvillagers over at the Louisville Jazz Society who more than make up for my lack of enthusiasm. Each week, I get a lovely listing of all the jazz-related events in our fair city. And who knew there were so many? Here's this weeks email: Sign up for your very own Louisville Jazz email blast at the website:

Another Reason to Love Louisville: 21c = #1

The most interesting thing on Twitter last night wasn't the story of Falcon and his alien storm chasing Jiffy Pop balloon (we can joke because it turned out okay). I was so excited when @21cHotels tweeted that the 21c had just been named the #1 hotel in the United States by Conde Nast Traveler that I immediately retweeted and started spreading the news at the Back Door, where I was enjoying a post-Adventures of Power beer. (More on that later. Mini-review: Surprisingly sweet and funny!)

I've never stayed at the 21c and I haven't even seen any of the fancier rooms, but it remains one of my favorite places in Louisville and one of the many, many things that make me proud of this city. I love this quote in the Reuters article:

The presenter, New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, noted,"When I stay
at 21c I feel coddled, transported, nurtured, nourished, stimulated,
rested, and above all, smart."

I'm a big fan of anyplace that makes me feel smart. So congrats, 21c! And thanks for tweeting to thank me for my enthusiasm-- that's classy.

Spread the word, Louisvillagers. This is concrete evidence that we are a world class city.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yeesh, Quite the Limited Run...

Turns out tonight is the last night you can see Adventures of Power at the Baxter.  So you know where you'll be able to find me this evening.  Since my last post about AoP, when I knew absolutely nothing about the film except that it was opening here and NYC,  I've made a couple of interesting discoveries: 
  • I discovered that the reason we got the film first was that it was produced by our very own Gill Holland of The Green Building fame.  Well, that make sense, then.
  • And I discovered that Ari Gold, the writer, director, and star of the movie, is the same Ari Gold I went to college with. 
  • And Ari Gold is the Ari Gold of the band The Honey Brothers, which features more people I went to college with. 
  • And isn't it just strange that Adrian Grenier is in AoP and The Honey Brothers with a guy named Ari Gold and also stars in Entourage in which one of the main characters is Ari Gold?

Anyway.  Go see Adventures of Power.  I will.  We want to support independent films with Louisville connections.  

Here are links to:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Loueyvillager Powers Activate! Form of: Hotel Toiletry Hoarders

Planting the seed of an idea:

Do you travel? Do you compulsively stash the free hotel toiletry items in your suitcase, sure that you'll need them some day? Do said toiletry items pile up in a shoebox in your linen closet? Are they collecting dust?

I spent the day volunteering at a local homeless shelter today. As could be expected, I was overwhelmed by the experience and came away wishing that there was some small way I could continue to help.

There is. A very small way.

Turns out, the shelter is always in need of small, travel-sized toiletry items to give to residents. Especially soap and shampoo. Seems like the bathroom of Casa Lou is always cluttered with these souvenirs of hotel stays; I end up pitching half of them in the waste bin.

So, my wheels are turning... I'm still working out the logistics. But if you read this blog, and you live in the Louisville area, I'm asking you to start hoarding your hotel toiletries. If you take a trip, scoop up those unused soaps and shampoos and lotions. In the next week or so, I'm thinking I'll officially announce the first "do good" action. I'll keep you posted.

Try it, you'll like it! Elk Creek Vineyards' Bone Dry Red

Sorry for the radio silence, Loueyvillagers. Mama's had a complicated couple of weeks. Some good (business travel and... uh, well, business travel) and some bad (death and sickness and work-overload at Meatspace job). But things are leveling out now.

Luckily, things rarely ever get so bad that they can't be made at least a little better by a good glass of wine. And luckily x2, Elk Creek Vineyards sent me three bottles of wine this week. (that, kiddos, is my disclaimer) Luckily x3, the bottle I cracked open the other day, Bone Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon, was (is-- I'm drinking the last of it right now) so yummy I would have gladly paid for it. So yummy, in fact, I just may go out and buy myself another bottle.

In my very limited experience, local wines have leaned toward the fruity side: super sweet and sugary. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Grandma Lou-- bless her heart-- and I usually kill a whole bottle of Catawba whenever we're together, and that stuff is like dissolving a packet of Lick Em Sticks in a glass of Mountain Dew. Once, when I was living at a writer's retreat in Arkansas, I spent a month drinking gallon after gallon (yep, it came only by the gallon) of liquid cotton candy called Maiden's Blush (yep, typical writer). Loved it. Wish we could get it here.

But Bone Dry is a "big girl" wine. It's chocolate-y and coffee-y and complicated. And like other "big girl" wines, the flavor changes as it breathes and matures. It is dry, but I wouldn't say it's Bone dry. I don't like my wines too dry, and this one isn't. I had my first few glasses from the bottle two days ago, and two days later it's really just as good. It's sweet and warm, and at 13.8% alcohol, it'll make your cheeks blush after just a glass (or is that just me?). According to the website, Bone Dry retails for $19.99. Totally worth it.

I suppose you could be forgiven for assuming, at first glance, that Bone Dry is going to be a novelty beverage. It is, after all, a Halloween-themed wine. But it turns out that Elk Creek comes by it's Halloweeny-ness honestly; the owner of the vineyard, Curtis Sigretto, also founded Halloween Express, the #2 Halloween costume and accessory retailer in the country. This is someone who takes one of my favorite holidays pretty seriously. And that's reflected in the label art; it features a sufficiently creepy human skeleton. Sure, it telegraphs "Halloween," but it's also arty enough to grace the table at a classy Halloween dinner party. (Is there such a thing as a classy Halloween dinner party? If so, please invite me.)

I have two more bottles of Elk Creek wine to try out, so you'll get at least two more posts about this local vineyard from me. I'm very intrigued by Elk Creek Vineyards. They have a store in the Mall of St. Matthews (which I haven't been to yet). The vineyard also has an inn, which looks like the perfect fall weekend getaway. Now that my Meatspace job has settled down a bit, and I am almost over my nagging cold, I'm going to put a little time and effort into sussing out some more about Elk Creek. I'll report back.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Traffic improves (somewhat) on Grinstead & Bardstown. Go to Mimosa!

Well, kids, I have had a perfectly crappy past few days. Received some rather horrifying news AND have been sick for four days. Not a happy time here in Loueyville.

That being said, there are two good pieces of news I wanted to share. Well, one good (or GREAT, if I were able to muster that kind of enthusiasm) piece of news and one step in the right direction.

The good news (GREAT. sigh. Just ain't feeling it today.): Cafe Mimosa is now OPEN for business. I have been very vocal about how much I have missed Cafe Mimosa. Just this weekend I was meowing about how very much I loved their egg rolls and fried rice. Welcome back, old friends. I hope you have the same delivery people. They were regulars at Casa Lou.

The step in the right direction: On Monday morning, I noticed that the traffic gods had seen fit to turn the left-bound lanes of Grinstead into left-turn only lanes at Bardstown Road. Bravo, that! I cross that intersection at least twice a day and curse its ridiculous traffic patterns. Why not just "good news"? Well, they're still allowing parking in the right-hand lanes. So you have to slalom around parked cars if you're going straight or turning right.

I would really like to believe that someone in the know will realize quite quickly what a boneheaded move that is.

I'm off to DC for the rest of the week. Catch you on the flip side, Louisville.