ORDER UP — We hear from the folks at Westborn Market that they're starting to offer online shopping options. Those who visit the market's website will find several holiday gift baskets that can be ordered and shipped, fully assembled. If the mini-chain weren't already convenient enough to visit, with its three locations in metro Detroit, it now awaits your commands via mouse. See how it works at westbornmarket.com.
FUN AND FIN — With their long-running monthly "Last Wednesdays" series, Josephine Creperie is skilled at giving things a delicious finish. Take the eatery's New Year's Eve dinner, a five-courser with entrées including crepes, chicken, duck confit, short ribs, filet mignon, salmon and risotto, as well as a host of toothsome desserts. Dine early and get on your way or come late and stay for midnight's Champagne toast. Call 248-399-1366 for reservations; Josephine Creperie & Bistro is at 241 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale.
EAT THE PAGE
Americans now consume more wine than ever. Yet many of us are still intimidated by how the language of wine describes various wines in terms that seem foreign to us. Wine on Tuesdays: Be a Serious Wine Drinker Without Taking Wine Too Seriously (Thomas Nelson publisher, $19.99) by Debra Gordon and Keith Gordon demystifies much of that by discussing wine in plain, sometimes humorous terms that anyone can understand. Learn how to explore and enjoy wine every day, even on Tuesdays.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Why bother with crappy Beaujolais Nouveau this holiday season when, for a few dollars more, you can purchase a bottle of 2007 Clos Roche Blanche gamay containing twice the character. It's the same grape variety as in the nouveau but grown farther north in the Touraine appellation of the Loire Valley, hand-picked from older vines with lower yields, grown using organic and biodynamic methods. After aromas of berry salad, spring dust and stones, a sip will go down lean and fruity with a tart finish.
Allowing wine to breathe opens it up, enhancing its bouquet and flavor. This sleek Vinturi "essential" wine aerator eliminates the need to decant wine and to wait for the time-consuming process to occur. Wine expert Tom Natoci of Cloverleaf Fine Wines in Royal Oak was a skeptic until a couple of weeks ago when he tried one: "It really works!" Pour the wine into the vessel and watch it flow through a series of small holes, exposing — breathlessly — it to air, the equivalent of letting it breathe in a bottle or a glass.
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