Monday, August 22, 2011
Hi, friends! Did you have a good weekend? I continued my Friday night baking streak with a lemon meringue pie. The second season of MasterChef just wrapped up and one of the pressure tests/elimination challenges was baking a lemon meringue pie. Feeling inspired, and since John asked so nicely, I baked the pie for him. I made the crust, lemon curd, and meringue all from scratch. They were pretty darn tasty, if I do say so myself.
Though somebody, who will not be named, managed to taste the pie before me. I finish baking around 10:15pm on Friday and it was too hot to eat right then. I let it cool overnight and hoped we could try the pie together in the morning. Well.....that unnamed somebody woke up in the middle of the night and decided to take a little nibble (see the bottom left picture). In his defense, I did bake the pie specifically for him.
In other news, we made a nice discovery at the local wine/beer/liquor store. The store was having wine tastings for Syrah/Shiraz/Sirah, as well as 90+ Cellars. By happy accident, we focused more of our efforts on the 90+ Cellars wines. Our favorites being the Riesling, French Fusion, and Shiraz.
90+ Cellars is a unique concept and the first that I've heard of. 90+ Cellars is a virtual winery and doesn't own any vineyards. From the 90+ Cellars website, "We are taking advantage of the current economic conditions by purchasing high quality and highly rated finished wines direct from wineries at a discount and then passing the savings on to you. The wines we purchase must have a pedigree of 90 or higher ratings, best buy or gold medal accolades from a respected wine authority or publication."
These wineries either have a surplus of grapes or are having trouble selling their wines. In order to cut their losses and continue to sell, the wineries agree to sell their wine to 90+ Cellars at a discount. The wineries will also bottle and label the wine for 90+. In return, 90+ Cellars gives those wineries complete anonymity and passes the savings on to us.
I'm not a wine expert, so knowing I'm getting a high quality bottle of wine at a great price is very appealing. The prices at the store ranged from $9.99 to $13.99 (sale prices of $8.99 to $12.59). According to the distributor, these bottles would normally run in the $20's, possibly higher, depending on the Lot. As a point of reference, we usually buy wine that's well under $10 from Trader Joe's.