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Amy C. Collins
Interests: reading, writing, essays, fiction, wine, food, cartoons, design, color, drawing, painting, cooking, eating, gardening, observing, talking.
Recent Activity
The Domaine Chevillon Bourgogne Passetoutgrain 2011 is showing the best of both worlds: juicy, ripe cherry fruit and rustic pinot flavors only this part of the world can produce. On the nose, ripe and dried cherries, a bit of game and fresh earth, float from a ruby red hue. On the palate, more delicious cherry fruit and mineral tones accompanied by bright acidity and firm, smooth tannins. A lingering finish keeps the attraction strong. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Pig&Vine
Is it just me, or is there a sauvignon blanc renaissance happening? Or maybe it's always been the "it" grape and I've just begin to notice again how lovely and enticing a good sav blanc can be. To be honest, it's never been a favorite grape of mine, except Sancerre (and only on occasion), but lately I've tasted so damn... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Pig&Vine
"When trying to talk about wine in depth, one rapidly comes up against the limitations of our means of expression... We need to be able to describe the indescribable. We tasters feel to some extent betrayed by language." - Émile Peynaud Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at Pig&Vine
The Lima Vinho Verde 2013 is a classic example of the easy, bright wine from the Vinho Verde region in north west Portugal. Known as "green wine," Vinho Verdes are often racy wines with lemon notes and a tiny hint of sparkle on the tongue, and most often made from the alvarhino grape (albariño in Spain). This one's a little... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Pig&Vine
Domaine de la Berthète Côtes du Rhône rosé, "Sensation" 2014: Wild strawberry and candy greet the senses on both nose and palate with medium body and just enough acidity to be taken seriously. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Pig&Vine
I first tasted this wine at The Carriage on Court, with whom I collaborate on my monthly Vine Club, a little while back. They were pouring it by the glass at their bar adjacent to the retail space, and I LOVED it. So did everyone else. It seemed every time I went in there, the bar was lined with sparkling... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at Pig&Vine
This is the out of print Folio edition, illustrated by Natacha Ledwidge. Alice B. Toklas was the life partner of American avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein. They met in Paris in 1907 through a mutual friend - Alice had gone to France to escape her earthquake and fire ravaged hometown of San Fransisco and the assumed responsibility of taking care of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Pig&Vine
The Domaine de l'Enchantoir "Terres Blanches" Saumur 2011 was only the second vintage from this husband and wife team, Pierre & Brigitte Van den Boom, in the southwestern reach of the Tourraine region in France's Loire Valley. This part of the world is known primarily for its Anjou blancs and rouges, but Saumur grows the same grapes on a predominantly... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2015 at Pig&Vine
An illustrated guide to opening that bad boy like a pro. Just a few more hours before the new year rolls in and we toast with friends and lovers through blurry vision, full of hope for the 365 days to come and scorn for those past. "2015 is going to be my year!" you proclaim. Or you're at home in pajamas watching/not watching the ball drop, impervious to resolutions and contrived timetables. Either way, if there's a special bottle of bubbly in the mix, you'll want to make the most of it by reserving every drop and avoiding damage to yourself or others. Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Bailly Lappierre Crémant de Bourgogne Pinot Noir Brut Lean and nuanced, slightly yeasty-nutty, like raw cashew and hazelnut, just-ripe red fruit with a long, satisfying dry finish. It had a complexity common for pinot noir bubblies, and plenty of jazz to keep it interesting. Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at Pig&Vine
someone posted a photo of a bubbling pan of lasagna on Instagram the other day and I was hit with a craving for the same. I haven't made lasagna in years, college maybe. I went looking for a recipe in Bittman's tome How to Cook Everything and came out with a mash-up of three. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Bacchanal has been around for about 15 years, in a building over 200 years old on a corner in the Bywater neighborhood, part of the 9th Ward that escaped flooding during Hurricane Katrina. The entrance opens into a retail shop where you select your wine and cheese plate, if you are so inclined, and a back door leads to the open air backyard dining room where you grab a table and order food at a modest window. We drank a friendly bottle of Croatian Babic, an indigenous Croatian wine grape. Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Pig&Vine
There's something inherent to acupuncture that invites a heightened sense of self-awareness. When you're lying on the table in your underwear with needles stuck in your toes, calves, belly, side, neck and jaw, there's little choice but to keep still and feel your own presence. Miso Soup with brown rice, tofu and cilantro... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Anytime, CityGirl. Come back for more!
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2014 on Esporão Portuguese Red Reserve at Pig&Vine
Esporão red Reserve is a tasty sipper made from a blend of Alicante Bouschet (a French varietal grown mostly in the south), Arogónêz (called Tempranillo in Spain), Trincadeira (a Portugues native variety that favors the dry, hot climate of southern Portugal) and Cabernet Sauvignon (French/international variety). Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2014 at Pig&Vine
I can't remember exactly when I had my first runny egg, but I'm fairly certain my father prepared it. At the very least, he influenced the moment. He often ate a soft boiled egg for breakfast, gently broken into a bowl and eaten with a spoon, while sipping black coffee and reading the Florida Times-Union front to back. On Christmas morning, eggs benedict was a tradition, with poached eggs and Hollandaise that oozed across my plate, savory gold and decidedly adult. Liquid yolks were my first "adult food" I embraced with 100 percent of myself, no urging necessary. Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2014 at Pig&Vine
The venerable Mimi Sheraton's 1962 "The Seducer's Cookbook" reads as a guide for those wanting to seduce, be it your wife, your husband, someone else's husband, and everyone in between. Sheraton's tongue in cheek prose, reflective of her honest, dry sense of humor, is at times hilarious, at times feminine retro to the point of submission. Illustrated and paired with recipes, this book is easy proof that food and sex are inextricably linked. Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2014 at Pig&Vine
It's been so long since I've checked in here it might look like I've abandoned my readers altogether. The truth is I've been crazy busy with my freelance writing business and by the end of the day I have little energy left to devote to writing, or screen time. It's definitely a good problem to have, though I do feel a little guilty about neglecting my beloved Pig&Vine. How fitting that the wine I've chosen this week - C'est pas la mer à boire - is a French idiom that translates to "it's not the sea to drink," meaning, "no worries, it's no big deal." Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Reina sells her handmade traditional Central American tamales at the Sale Barn every Tuesday morning. For $1 a piece, you get a taste of homemade goodness and a little cultural trip outside the norm. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at Pig&Vine
The Domaine La Manarine is situated in the southern part of the Côtes du Rhône appellation where the unique soils in the domaine's 18 hectares produce unusually refined Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre wines. The vineyards are farmed organically and proprietor and vigneron Gilles Gasq vinifies the white and rosé wines in cement vats, which allow the wines to become the elegant specimens they are. Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2014 at Pig&Vine
At a shrimp boil a couple weeks ago, I had the rare opportunity to try some wine from Georgia, one of the oldest wine producing countries on the planet. You can't get this wine in Alabama, and maybe not in the United States (it was smuggled in), but it was certainly interesting enough to write about anyhow. Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at Pig&Vine
Simple ingredients with simple preparations are the basic combinations for cooking no matter where in the world you go. People use what's in front of them and they develop creative ways to make few ingredients taste delicious, especially when people have very little. Chef and memoirist Jaques Pépin shares one of his mother's signature recipes, Les Oeufs Jeanette, in his book "The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen." It's classic French country cooking, simple, beautiful and flavorful. Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at Pig&Vine
My friend and fellow No'Ala columnist, Sarah Gaede (she writes "Food for Thought" in every Shoals and Huntsville edition) gave me these gorgeous chanterelles, which she plucked from her front yard and which I threw into a light and tasty veal stew. Recipe included. Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at Pig&Vine
A family trip to central Georgia always means great country eating, hugs, crazy stories and a country view that elicits youthful nostalgia. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at Pig&Vine
In today’s technology-driven culture, we are inundated with images and content beyond our interest and ability to fully process. Breaking through the noise with strong, deliberate words can tell the story you need to convey. Be it an informative brochure, small business message, or high-standard of journalism, good story sells.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2014 at AmyCCollins